Natural Resources

Quick Fact

At 2014 production levels, South Africa will exhaust its proven platinum reserves in 335 years, coal in 256 years, and gold in 39 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.



The decreasing importance of gold mining in South Africa

The decreasing importance of gold mining in South Africa

Monthly gold production reached a new monthly low in January, according to data released by Stats SA1. Although a number of temporary factors might have contributed to the unusually low level, general historical trends show that gold has lost the prominent place it once had in the South African economy. Stats SA has published comparable   read more »