Culture eGuide | South Africa


South Africa’s distinct business culture

South Africa can best be characterized as the wealthiest country in Africa with the 28th largest economy in the world and is considered an upper middle income economy. It borders the territories of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland on the southern tip of the African continent. It has a nominal per capita GDP of approximately $11,000 US, accounting for about 25 % of the total gross domestic product of the whole African continent. And its manufacturing sector represents 40 % of the continent’s total manufacturing output.

South Africa is multi-ethnic and has diverse cultures and languages with its constitution recognizing eleven official languages. Although English is the lingua franca for business, the strong dialect and varied usages require the use of a local country expert and/or a translator. South African culture can best be described as a cultural mosaic, where the different mix of cultures and ethnic groups co-exist together. Individuals identify themselves by their language and cultural heritage, i.e. white South Africans identify themselves by their language and culture which is either English or Afrikaner and black South Africans by their ethnic language affiliation whether it is the Zulu or Xhosa. Foreign companies should take these cultural divisions that have formed over the years into consideration in their management philosophies and business negotiations.

Our Social and Business Culture Guide South Africa will help you get up to speed as quickly as possible.


Take advantage of this no obligation offer and learn about the soft skills that will increase your chances of success including:

[icon name=icon-screenshot] Proper business and dress etiquette

[icon name=icon-screenshot] The importance of networking and relationship-building

[icon name=icon-screenshot] Preference for in-person meetings


Other interesting facts about South Africa include:

[icon name=icon-screenshot] The booming automotive and mining sectors

[icon name=icon-screenshot] The increasing importance of the construction sector

[icon name=icon-screenshot] Opportunities for foreign investment

You will find our Social Business and Culture Guide South Africa essential to your preparation to entering this vibrant and growing market.





Download your Free Culture and Business eGuide

Please wait...


Alpha Global Experts supports you in all aspects of doing business on a global scale - from market entry to cross-cultural operational integration.