chapter  2
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2GENERAL COUNTRY BACKGROUND5 Macroeconomic features and trends

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Based on average income measures, South Africa is a relatively rich country with a Gross National Product (GNP) per capita of close to USS 3,000 (World Bank, 1995, p. 163). Thus, South Africa belongs to the World Bank category of upper-middle-income countries. Furthermore, South ‘Africa is indeed a regional ‘giant’ with a GNP which is about three times as big as that of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries together. Nevertheless, if the average annual income of the black South Africans in the former so-called homelands is used as a measure, South Africa would be categorized among the poorest of the low-income countries. Moreover, while the GNP is large by African standards, total GNP is after all only equal to about 11 per cent of, for example, the GNP of the United Kingdom.