Pridekit - Facinating Facts

Business and economic development:

  • That for every R1 million spent on local products instead of imports, a minimum of between 5 - 30 jobs will be created, depending on the industry?
  • South Africa celebrated a GDP growth of around 3% in 2002 while some economies, like Japan, have actually been shrinking?
  • According to Iraj Abedian, chief economist at Standard Bank, South Africa is within the top 7 best-performing economies in the world?
  • South African exports are far more diversified, even when compared with other leading economies around the world. While Europe is still our largest trading partner, we are not reliant on only one or two countries or regions for our export earnings?
  • Coega, which is estimated to be the largest single long-term investment in our history, is expected to create 10 000 jobs directly by way of multi-billion rand investments in the construction of the port, a stainless-steel works and an envisaged aluminium smelter, among other possible business ventures?
  • Blue IQ expects to generate R100 billion and 100 000 new jobs for the Gauteng province over the next 10 - 15 years?
  • The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is the 15th largest stock exchange in the world?
  • An analysis by the Clothing Federation of South African suggests that the improved export opportunities offered under AGOA (African Growth and Opportunities Act) could lift the clothing sector employment by 74% in 5 years?
  • That four of South Africa's banks rank among the world's top 500?
  • The MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) industry contributes 246 000 jobs and R6 billion in salaries to South African annually?
  • Small businesses in South Africa absorb more than half the people formally employed in the private sector and contribute about 42% of the country's GDP?
  • Japanese researchers acknowledge that South Africa's export performance in the last four years is better and broader than that of Japan in the fifties and sixties, considered their boom years?
  • That the South African electronic equipment maker Grintek announced a major export order of about 10 million dollars in a specialised electronic intelligence system to Europe in May 2002, after entering a partnership earlier in the year with Germany's leading high technology company, EADS Ewation?
  • That Walt Disney serves South African wine exclusively at its 73-acre Animal Kingdom Lodge in the United States?
  • That South Africa has had single digit inflation in 1993, following 20 years of double-digit inflation?
  • That water is now piped into 76% of households, compared to 68% in 1994? In rural communities, an astonishing 62% more people now have water.
  • Locally-owned companies are often more adventurous than their former foreign owners, investing increasingly in the promising African market? South African, for example, is the largest foreign investor in Mozambique, with some 250 companies present there. This is particularly true in the financial services sector. Our banks are the most powerful in Africa and are increasingly comparable to many of the larger banks elsewhere in the world.
  • The Mercedes Benz C-class, the BMW 3-series and VW Golf and Jetta vehicles, for all right-hand drive markets, are produced in South Africa?
  • In Japan, Daimler Chrysler has enough confidence in our country to promote its vehicles, manufactured in East London, as 'Made in South Africa'?
  • Old Mutual, with £143 billion of funds under management around the Group at the end of 2001, is now one of the top asset managers in the world? In the USA, they are one of the top 10 fixed-annuity businesses.
  • South African Breweries was the first international brewer to enter Central America (in November 2001) and has become the largest brewer and soft-drinks bottler there? In 2002, South African Breweries bought Miller Brewing from Phillip Morris to become SABMiller. It is now the world's second largest brewer behind Anheuser Busch, makers of Budweiser.
  • SABMiller is the world's largest bottler and distributor of Coca-Cola products outside of the USA?
  • Sasol was the world's first petroleum-from-coal refinery and provides 40% of South Africa's petrol? The company now competes globally in the energy industry.
  • Raymond Ackerman, who bought four very small supermarkets in 1967 and turned them into the multi-billion rand family and supermarket chain, Pick 'n Pay, which now operates 70 stores in Australia?
  • Carrol Boyes' extraordinary, quirky creations in pewter can be found in homes and offices across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. She employs over 450 people?
  • Dolosse - large concrete shapes which are used all over the world to protect harbour walls and watercraft from wave action - were designed in South Africa by Eric Merrifield?
  • The Kreepy Krauly automatic pool cleaner, now world-famous, was invented in South Africa in 1974 by hydraulics engineer, Ferdi Chauvier?
  • In the space of a few short years in the 1990's, Johnnic was transformed from a lumbering, monolithic company mining minerals and manufacturing goods into a focussed, dynamic company 'mining' information and 'manufacturing' news. This metamorphosis rivals Finnish company Nokia's change from a pulp and paper manufacturer into a world leader in cellular technology?
  • Streetwire art is unique to Southern Africa - born in the shantytowns and on dusty backroads and baptised on the street, this genre is today a thriving and legitimate art form in its own right?
  • Our banking sector is rated as one of the top 10 in the world. We are known to be an early-adopter society and thus have a disproportionately large number of ATMs, users of Internet banking and cellphone banking?
  • Did you know that people come from around the world to shoot their TV commercials in South Africa? And that our local advertising industry is amongst the top prizewinners at international awards shows?
  • That South Africa produces more than 50% of the world's ferrochrome?


  • That Miriam Makeba won the 2001 World Music Grammy Award for her album, Homeland?
  • That some of Hollywood's highly paid stars are South African? These include Charlize Theron and Arnold Vosloo.
  • That Lebo Morake, popularly known as Lebo M, won a Grammy Award for music composed for the block buster movie: The Lion King?


  • That Prof Chris Barnard led the team that carried out the world's first heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital in 1967?
  • That South African orthodontists chair the dentistry departments at the universities of Buffalo (New York); Alabama (Birmingham, USA); and Manitoba (Canada)?
  • That Dr Debbie Glencross, whose cheaper CD4 test measures in the immunity of Aids patients, has received world-wide recognition for her innovation which, is more accurate than previous tests and has cut costs by more than a third?
  • That Harwill Medical, a Cape Town based company produces a locally designed syringe with a needle that locks inside the tube after use, preventing reuse, or a possible needle-stick injury that could cause HIV/Aids. They have won numerous awards and are used worldwide?

Government policy:

  • That South Africa is the only country in the world to voluntarily abandon its nuclear weapons programme?
  • That the South African constitution is regarded as one of the most liberal in the world?


  • That South Africa has the longest wine route in the world?
  • That Cape Town International airport won the best airport in Africa award in 2002?
  • That Belgians voted South Africa as their third favourite destination?
  • That South Africa dominates the conference market in Africa with four of the top 10 most popular convention cities in the continent?
  • That Durban is listed at number 41 of the most popular convention cities world-wide?
  • That the Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in the world?

Natural resources:

  • That the south coast of South Africa is the whale-watching capital of the world?
  • That our tap water is rated amongst the purest in the world?
  • That the Cape Peninsula has more species of plants per hectare than any other area in the world?
  • That two-thirds of Africa's electricity is generated in South Africa?
  • That South Africans developed the technology of using micro-organisms like bacteria to extract gold from ore? The process is used worldwide for a wide variety of other metals as well.


  • That South Africa's flag is reportedly the third most recognisable flag in the world?
  • That Nelson Mandela is one of the most widely recognised and respected personalities in the world?
  • That the only street in the world to house two Nobel Peace winners is in Soweto? Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both have houses in Vilakazi Street, Orlando West.