This report presents a South African country case study of oil dependencies and vulnerabilities to oil price and supply shocks. South Africa had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of $10 983 in 2011 (IMF, 2012), which places it in the upper-middle income country category of the World Bank. The total population was estimated at 50.6 million in mid-2011 (StatsSA, 2012). South Africa has the largest and most developed economy in sub-Saharan Africa, and yet nearly half of the population is classified as poor. The country relies on imports for approximately two-thirds of its petroleum fuel supply.
The case study is organised according to five subsystems of the socio-economic system, namely: energy; transport; agriculture; macro-economy; and society. Sections 2 to 5 each include a brief overview of the subsystem, an analysis of its oil dependency, and a discussion of the likely impacts of oil shocks under business-as-usual policy environments. Section 6 analyses important characteristics of contemporary South African society that increase its social vulnerabilities to oil shocks. The concluding section provides a summary of key strengths, vulnerabilities and likely impacts of oil shocks in each of the five subsystems.
Wakeford, J. Oil shock vulnerabilities and impacts: South Africa case study. (2013) 38 pp.