Natural Resources

Quick Fact

At 2013 production levels, South Africa will exhaust its proven platinum reserves in 239 years, coal in 118 years, and gold in 38 years.

The natural environment provides resources – such as water, land and minerals – that drive the economy and other human activities. The effective measurement of the extent of resource use is vital for ensuring the development of successful environmental management policies and sustainability. The United Nations’ System of Environmental and Economic Accounts (SEEA), adopted by Stats SA, is the international standard for measuring the amount of natural resources a country has in reserve, and how quickly these reserves are being used.

Stats SA has developed the following environmental economic accounts for South Africa: energy (the amount of energy produced by coal, crude oil, gas, hydro, nuclear, petroleum, waste and renewable resources), minerals (physical stocks and flows, depletion rates, sales and resource rent for gold, coal and platinum group metals (PGMs)) and fisheries (the physical stock of hake, lobster, abalone and horse mackerel caught over time). These are published in the annual Environmental Economic Accounts Compendium report. Discussion documents on the compilation of water accounts have also been published.

Minerals

Fisheries

Electricity production declining

Electricity production declining

Less electricity was generated in South Africa in 2014 compared with 2013. Recent data show that national electricity production has been in decline after peaking in 2011, highlighting the country’s continued struggle to keep the lights on. The latest Electricity produced and available for distribution publication, released by Stats SA on Thursday, 5 February 2014,   read more »