The winter season in South Africa falls between May and August, whereas summer begins mid-October and lasts until the end of February. Summers are characterised by long, hot and sunny days – often with afternoon thunderstorms in the central and northern regions of the country. The coastal areas experience less adverse weather conditions and are prone to more stable environments.
Widely regarded as an emerging market, South Africa has a well-established and highly functional financial system – backed by the South African Reserve Bank. The local currency is the South African Rand (ZAR), which offers visitors and investors great value for money.
Following the first democratic elections in 1994, the deregulation of the fruit industry in 1997 paved the way for free market fresh produce trade between South Africa and the rest of the world.
Today, fresh fruit accounts for approximately 35% of South African agricultural exports. South Africa is also the second largest exporter of citrus fruit, worldwide. Along with citrus, other fruit exports include pome fruit, stone fruit, table grapes, subtropical fruit, berries and other exotic fruit – exported to more than 100 destinations. Vegetables are also exported from South Africa. The economic value generated from these exports is in excess of $3.3 billion.