The South of Africa - one of the richest with minerals of regions of the planet. Not only on a variety, but also on stocks of a number of minerals of the Republic of South Africa occupies the first or one of the leading places in the world. According to official data, its share in world reserves makes: on manganese - 82%, to metals of platinum group of-69%, to chromites - 56%, to gold - 40%, to alyuminoglyukata - 37%, to vanadium - 33%, to zirconium - 26%. Specific weight of the Republic of South Africa in world reserves of many other important minerals is also very high.
Soils. In the country chestnut and red-brown soils are most widespread. Etd two types of soils occupy nearly a half of the territory of the country — from the Western coast to the bottom of the Drakensberg Mountains (Kalakhari's region, Average and almost all High Veld, the extensive areas of Bushveld, and in the south Big and the Little Karroo). Existence of the called types of soils is defined by climatic conditions, first of all an amount of precipitation. Light-brown and red-brown soils are characteristic for desert and steppe areas, and chestnut — for dry steppes.
In the conditions of a lack of a surface water underground waters are of particular importance. They are used by both the industrial enterprises, and many farms of the central and western regions of an internal plateau. Installations on desalting of sea water act on the Western coast, water purification for a reuse at the industrial enterprises is carried out.
For many years South Africa holds a leading position in the world on stocks and volumes of production of metals of platinum group (MPG - platinum, palladium, osmium, iridium, rhodium and ruthenium). According to official sources, MPG stocks which are available in the Republic of South Africa at modern production level will not run low throughout life of several generations. The main demand for platinum is shown by the enterprises of oil-processing, automobile building and chemical industry, and also such branches as radio - and the electrician, the electronic engineer and instrument making.
Coal bedding conditions - the small depth and considerable thickness of layers - mostly are very favorable for development. This circumstance is the reason of that coal mining cost in the Republic of South Africa - among the lowest in the world.
Rivers. The lack of moisture on the most part of the country does not promote emergence of large lake and river systems. Density of a river network is extremely uneven. The majority of the constant rivers belongs to the basin of the Indian Ocean. The largest of them: Limpopo, Tugela, Umgeni, Greyt-Kay, Greyt-Phish, Sandis, Gaurits, etc. In most cases it is the short, rapids rivers originating on east and southern navetrenny slopes of the Big Ledge. They are deep, mainly rain food, with a summer maximum of a consumption of water.
In South Africa there are also considerable reserves of nickel with the low maintenance (less than 0,2%) of a useful component in ores. 14 fields of this type of raw materials from which 9 are operated are known. Many of them have complex character, i.e. nickel lies with non-ferrous metals and metals of platinum group that promotes decrease in cost of its extraction.
At the South African enterprises the base and for production of the high-precision electronic equipment is prepared. The main centers of electronics and electrical equipment - the city of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Ferinikhing, Boksburg, Port Elizabeth.
The Republic of South Africa possesses one of the leading places in the world on production of alloys of manganese - 11-13% of world production of ferromanganese (4,5-5,0 million t in and about 30% (about 300 thousand tons) of silikomarganets. Manganese alloys let out four plants. Processing of manganese ores is made generally by the companies connected with production of this type of raw materials that considerably simplifies a solution of the problem of raw providing the metallurgical enterprises.
The Republic of South Africa possesses the most developed manufacturing industry on the continent. This branch creates 25% of GDP and in it about 1,5 million people (11,5% of economically active population) are occupied. The most important components of this branch are metallurgical, metal-working, machine-building, chemical, pulp-and-paper, food and flavoring, textile, clothing industry.