It is also the 24th most populous nation with at least 51 million people. The country is a multiethnic society. South Africa is a developing country, according to the standards of the CIA and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (CIA, 2013). The country’s economic position is rapidly advancing, particularly as a result of its robust trade initiatives. South Africa’s trade initiatives include major imports from and exports products to numerous countries across the globe. Some of the country’s most notable imports include motor vehicles and vehicle parts, computers and electronics and refined petroleum products. The import product selected for this paper is refined petroleum products. This selection is based on the fact that South Africa’s importation of refined petroleum products encompasses 7.4% of its entire imports. Petroleum products are vital materials that come from crude oil and are processed in oil refineries. Petroleum is converted into petroleum products that consist of an array of fuels (UN, 2010). Question 2 The Republic of South Africa is based on a constitutional democracy. The government structure encompasses three structures namely; local, provincial and national governments. South Africa is a sovereign and democratic state, which is segmented into nine provinces. Each state has its individual provincial legislature. All segments of government in South Africa derive their powers, as well as functions, from the Constitution of South Africa. The National Assembly is the supreme law-making institution of the Republic of South Africa (CIA, 2013). The National Assembly makes law applicable throughout the country and the same is also true for all legislative policies developed by the Cabinet of the National Government. Although there are sections of executive legislative competence for the National Assembly, it shares its legislative power with the country’s provincial legislatures. The South African parliament consists primarily of two houses, namely, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and the National Assembly. The South African National Assembly is elected into office for five years and is made up of no fewer than 350 members and no more than 400 members. Members of these houses are elected in keeping with the country’s electoral system, which centers on a roll of voters who are above the age of 18 years (USTR, 2012). This results in a system characterized by proportional representation. On the other hand, the local government encompasses municipalities whose objectives include the provision of democratic and accountable government for the country’s local communities, promoting socioeconomic development and ensuring equitable provision of services to all communities. The link between the national and local government is the provincial government. South African provincial governments are subject to policies and laws established at the national level (CIA, 2013). However, provincial governments have the power to pass their individual policies and laws in the framework so as to suit the specific needs of the provinces. Provincial legislatures are allowed to establish their own constitutions in accordance with the provisions of the South African Constitution. A number of challenges plague the marketing of products in South Africa. Firstly, South Africa is a low yield environment, which means that the traditional income of most South Africans is quite low. This makes investors uneasy
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