Xibei San Ma
- Powerful allies, in particular the United Kingdom
- Decent tech teams (in particular Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. and South Africa Railways)
- Decent starting land doctrines
- Far from threats
- Early peace to build a military
- Low IC and manpower
- Poor starting forces (6 transports and 3 garrisons)
- Mediocre starting domestic sliders
- Far from countries to annex
- Some terrible ministers
African Conquests with the Allies
Even if you don't want to declare war personally (at least too often), World War II will present opportunities for gaining more territory in Africa. While most of the land is worthless, at least you won't have to worry about partisans.
A natural first choice is Ethiopia, which has typically been annexed by Italy by the time it becomes at war against the Allies. As soon as you are at war with Italy, load up your troops and make a landing. Make sure you do not land next to one of the United Kingdom's territories, or you'll claim the land for them, not yourself. Rush the capital of Addis Ababa. This will score you some IC, 5 if you are using Full IC Takeover. At most you'll have to deal with five militia/infantry divisions from Italy, but you should be able to defeat them easily.
A decent next choice for conquest is Vichy France's colonies in Africa. Unfortunately this will not be as easy as Ethiopia, and as soon as you declare war on them, the United Kingdom will make a land grab as well, so you must make sure you have a head start toward conquering key provinces (read: those on the coast). You may want to try to buy a province from the United Kingdom or (non-Vichy) France to serve as a jumping-off point; generally the easiest way to do this is to spam supplies for a while. Be aware that there is some pretty heavy jungle in the area.
Waiting until the year 1940 while progressively moving the country towards Authoritarianism until it becomes a dictatorship will allow South Africa to declare war on Portugal's holdings. A war with Portugal is easy to win, as its eastern colonies only hold two infantry divisions and an aerial division. Once you start pushing these two divisions to the sea, the two other divisions in the west will pose no threat, as Portugal will sue for peace and award you almost all of its territories.