You are here: South Africa

Country background

South Africa is a middle-income emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy and transport sectors; and a stock exchange that is Africa's largest and among the top 20 in the world. With 55 million people, it is the world's 24th most populous nation, and its constitution recognises 11 official languages.


• 55 million people, with 28% younger than 15

• Life expectancy: 62

• Poverty headcount ratio: 54% (2010)

• HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 19%

• Government education expenditure as a % of GDP: 6.1% 

• Literacy: 94% of people aged 15 and older can read and write

Our South African partner

The Kusasa Project

Lessons for Life's initial partnership with The Kusasa Project began with a secondary-school scholarship programme, which we still support and actually expanded in 2012 to include funding for their pre-primary education programme (for three to five year olds). In 2019, we are directly supporting secondary school as well as quality pre-school and primary education for disadvantaged children in the Franschhoek Valley.