Total changes 1990-2008
Inclusive Wealth Index
Gross Domestic Product
Changes over 20 Years
The negative changes in inclusive wealth in South Africa were primarily caused by a rapid drawdown in natural capital, which growth in human and produced capitals were not able to offset. These numbers suggest the country’s GDP growth is closely tied to its natural capital stocks. Further, South Africa also presented negatively on the Human Development Index. These low ratings suggest that urgent interventions to improving all three types of capital, should be made if sustainable growth is to be achieved.
From 1990 to 2008, human capital was increasing in South Africa, which is typical of developing countries starting from a lower level of human capital.
Natural capital also accounted for a large proportion of inclusive wealth; however, South Africa was shown to draw down heavily on their mineral and fossil fuel resources. The situation was further exacerbated by South Africa’s high population growth rate, which at 1.64% average annual growth, resulted in a low rate of return of its capital asset base per person.