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Industries that you should keep an eye on in South Africa

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South Africa has a few fast-growing industries. It has a diverse economy and is quickly becoming self-sufficient. A few industries have been growing at exceptional speeds in the recent past. Here are a few of them.  

1.     Mining

Africa has about 30 percent of all minerals in the world. South Africa is home to many of these reserves. It is, therefore, no surprise that the mining industry is always growing.

South Africa is the biggest producer of gold and platinum in the world. In addition, it is the fourth biggest producer of diamonds. The country is also known for mining high-quality coal and base metals.

The South African mining industry is one of its biggest employers. Automakers from all parts of the world are switching to electric cars. Therefore, the demand for battery metals is likely to keep going up. Many battery metals are widely available in South Africa.

2.     Online Gambling Industry

The South African gambling industry is growing fast as well. Africa is a major online casino market, and South Africa is one of the top ones. In fact, one in ten South African citizens participate in some kind of online gambling.

Although the law technically deters you from playing at online casinos in South Africa, the country has many established platforms. Your money is safe, and you can access many generous bonuses.

Before 2010, it seemed that the country was headed towards the legalization of online gambling. There was ongoing discussion around its legislation and regulation. As the industry keeps growing, there may be room for legalization.


3.     Communication and Information Technologies

The South African government has been investing a lot in this sector. It seeks to equip the country with more skilled personnel. South Africa has always been a regional hub. The neighboring countries come to it for ICT services and products.

In addition, the country has an ever-growing demand for electronic banking systems, security systems, internet connection, and mobile software field. In addition, the country has one of the biggest smartphone markets in the world. It is a leading exporter of cell phone hardware, solar cells, integrated circuits, and cell phone development software.

Thanks to efforts by the government, South Africa now has plenty of agencies and programs to offer skills development in Cloud computing, Robotics, Coding, and Artificial Intelligence. Plenty of young South Africans are already benefiting from these programs.

Under the Protection of Personal Information Act, ICT inventors can no longer misuse private data organizations or individuals. Therefore, the general population has a lot of trust in the industry.

4.     Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals

Unfortunately, diseases like diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and cardiovascular illnesses continue to rise. South Africa is addressing the problem and currently has the biggest pharmaceutical market in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The market for prescription medicines is estimated at $3 billion, and the market for patented/innovator medications is worth $1.7 billion. OTC medications are estimated at $378 million.

If the government implements its National Health Insurance plan, the demand for generic prescription medicines is likely to increase. In addition, there may be a higher demand for improved healthcare infrastructure.

About 85 percent of the population relies on public health. Therefore, it may be necessary to create more pharmaceutical firms. The industry will grow faster than it is already.

5.     Transport and Logistics

The government is building better transportation structures to aid economic development. Currently, Transnet is the biggest logistics provider in the country. It is state-owned and a big employment provider.


Some of its services include rail transport (Spoornet), liquid petroleum (Petronet), port authority (Portnet), and road transport (Autonet).

South Africa Airways is an airline carrier also owned by the state. It offers shipping and transportation services to more than 700 locations around the world.

Although SAA and Transnet mostly dominate the transports and logistics industry, the country has many other local and international logistics companies. The market still has a lot of potential or growth, so it is attractive to new investors.

6.     Real Estate

There is a higher demand than supply for property in South Africa. The population is growing fast thanks to the country’s high birth and immigration rates, and there aren’t enough properties to cater to the emerging needs.

The property cycle is predictable. Graduates typically rent modest apartments as they get into the job market. Over time, they buy the apartments and resell them when they can finally buy or construct houses. Therefore, investors will have no trouble finding a footing in the industry.

Being a popular tourist destination, South Africa always has a high demand for hotels, resorts, and vacation houses. The number of companies in the country keeps growing so the demand for offices will always be high.


In addition, rehabilitation projects in the country enjoy plenty of tax incentives. Property acquisitions get to skip VAT and stamp duty which is also a major advantage for the industry.

7.     Beauty and Fashion

Although the fashion and beauty industry in South Africa is easy to overlook, it is fast-growing and one to keep an eye on. Retail sales for the cosmetics market stand at about R25 billion. Manufacturing sales are worth over R5 billion.

While there are many big international corporations, they don’t stand alone. The country also has lots of smaller local brands that bring in lots of revenue as well. With new stakeholders joining the market every other day, the growth of this industry is inevitable.

8.     Agriculture and Agro-processing

Like with many African countries, agriculture is a major contributor to the GDP in South Africa. Thanks to the rapid growth of the population, the demand for food is always high.

Studies by Statistics South Africa suggest that in the fourth quarter of 2020, this is the only industry that recorded positive growth in comparison to the other quarters. Growing crops and selling agricultural products is a pretty profitable venture in the country.


The growth of the agricultural industry directly contributes to the growth of the agro-processing industry. The country is known to export processed foods like herbs and meats.

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