This has been around for a few months, but if you haven't played with it yet, it's worth a look:
Gapminder from Google.
It allows you to visualize various demographic measures. South Africa doesn't do too badly, except on life expectancy, where, like other Southern African countries, the life expectancy has plunged in recent years. To my untrained eye, South Africa's reduced life expectancy doesn't seem to be correlated with economic growth or child mortality, but it may be correlated with per capita income.
Productivity per capita versus life expectancy might also be a revealing measure, but I am not an economist, so I can't think of any way of measuring productivity, or defining it.
Gapminder is a fascinating tool.
If, like me, Gapminder got you interested in data visualization check out the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods.