This study recommends the construction of a tailor-made sustainability indicator for South Africa, based on the Adjusted Net Savings methodology that would track the country’s progress on a sustainable growth path, and also inform the trade-offs policymakers have to make. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the main indicator used to measure economic activity. However, GDP is not designed to assess the welfare of a nation. The National Strategy for Sustainable Development and Action Plan 2011 – 2014 (NSSD) provides an integrated framework to shift South Africa’s development path to sustainability. While the approach adopted reflects real interconnections, the overall relationship of the three capitals – natural, social and economic – can also be depicted as people-centered governance that balances the constraints of nature and the demands of the economy. Without proper governance, value would be extracted from nature without constraint and converted into financial rather than productive economic capital with little social capital benefits. At the same time, little value is returned from the economy to nature – for example through ecosystem restoration – leading to the imbalance that lies at the core of the modern-day sustainability challenge.