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South Africa's economy has traditionally been rooted in the primary sectors - the result of a wealth of mineral resources and favourable agricultural conditions.

However, the economy has been characterised by a structural shift in output over the past four decades.

Since the early 1990s, economic growth has been driven mainly by the tertiary sector - which includes wholesale and retail trade, tourism and communications. Now South Africa is moving towards becoming a knowledge-based economy, with a greater focus on technology, e-commerce and financial and other services.

Among the key sectors that contribute to the gross domestic product and keep the economic engine running are manufacturing, retail, financial services, communications, mining, agriculture and tourism.

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Image: South Africa has a highly complex and diversified chemicals sector.
Photo:
Sasol, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com