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Salus. 1992 Jul;15(3):3-4.

South Africa's position. Present generation can still prevent a crisis.

[No authors listed]



South Africa has rich mineral and other resources, but scarce and limited agricultural potential. Experts have determined that southern Africa in terms of its natural resources and socioeconomic potential can accommodate 80 million people. The population of South Africa was estimated to be 39 million in 1992 and is growing by 5 million every five years. If the current growth rate of 2.3% per annum persists, the population of South Africa will reach 80 million by the year 2025 and 464 million by the year 2100. Population size, however, needs to be stabilized at 80 million if the country wants to avoid surpassing its domestic carrying capacity and the social decay which will undoubtedly ensue. Fertility rates have declined in recent years and could lead to a population of only 110 million by the year 2100, still too big for the country to carry. The Population Development Program aims to decrease fertility rates to such an extent that the population stabilizes at 80 million by the year 2100. The South African government is aware of the need to check population growth; this is the last generation which can prevent a population crisis of runaway poverty, malnutrition, restricted economic growth, and shortages of primary health care services, family planning services, housing, and education. The author notes that fertility normally decreases as living standards increase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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