Click below to see why we're an economic powerhouse in Africa.
Note: Figures below calculated at a rate of R14 = US$1
South Africa has some of the most sophisticated road, rail and air infrastructure in Africa, facilitating business linkages to high-growth markets in the region. Establishing your business in South Africa will allow you the comfort of a developed logistical environment to access an estimated 1 billion consumers on the African continent.
The country is renowned for its abundance in resources, attracting larg-scale multinational corporations in the fields of mining, agribusiness, renewable energy and oil & gas. The Western Cape accounts for 50% of South Africa’s Agricultural exports, whilst it has formalized the opportunities in Renewable Energy and Oil & Gas through commercializing sector specific Industrial Development Zones.
South Africa is the second largest country on the African continent by GDP $294.8 billion and represents a vibrant local market of over 56 million people. As such, 42% of multinational corporations investing in the region have done so due to the domestic market growth potential. South Africa is therefore the preferred destination for investment in Africa for global firms seeking to headquarter operations on the continent.
South Africa has a host of investment incentives and industrial financing interventions that are aimed at encouraging commercial activity. Its regional trade policies also favour further expansion in South Africa's burgeoning levels of international trade (Source: dtic).
The Western Cape hosts two locations that have been designated as Special Economic Zones.
The first: located in Saldanha Bay, focusses on the oil and gas value chain.
The second: located in Atlantis, focusses on the green technology value chain.
Both Industrial Development Zones have dedicated incentives on offer to investors, shared services, and pre-approved infrastructure to expedite the operationalization of opportunities.
Find out more about Saldanha Bay IDZ here.
Find out more about Green Cape here.
According to the US-based ratings agency Moody’s (2016), South Africa was rated the fastest growing renewable energy sector in the world. Around 60% of the utility-scale project developers, and 70% of renewable energy manufacturing takes place in the Western Cape.
The Cape has already attracted US$1.2 billion of investment in renewable energy projects (Source: GreenCape)
The Western Cape is home to four world-class tertiary academic institutions, all located within 70 kilometres of the Cape Town CBD.
Most notably, the University of Cape Town ranks amongst the top 200 universities of the world (Times Higher Education World University Ranking).
The Cape is also home to FET colleges located in strategic locations around the province, enhancing businesses’ access to the region’s talent pool.
The Western Cape is also a leading incumbent in Africa’s knowledge economy, with 70% of economic activity associated with service-related activities.
The City has budgeted over US$1 billion for alternative water supplies over next year 5 years, making it a leader in climate change resilience, and future proofing it for investment (Source: City of Cape Town, 15 May 2018).
Cape Town is the first city in the world to decrease water usage by 50% in three years, as recognised by the International Water Association. The city is also a member of “100 Resilient Cities” an initiative pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation.
Cape Town, the Western Cape, connects you to the rest of Africa, with total exports from the Cape to the rest of the continent valued at US$3.2 billion in 2017 alone (Source: Quantec).
Cape Town International Airport is the best in Africa, winning the sought after Skytrax award for three years running. It’s connected to over 21 countries, with 750 000 international inbound seats and 13 new routes added in the last three years. The airport had over 10 million total passengers in 2017. International passenger numbers grew by 20% in 2017 after an already impressive 16% growth in 2016, driven by the *Air Access Initiative (Source: ACSA).
*The Air Access Initiative is a partnership between City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government, Airports Company South Africa, South African Tourism, Cape Town Tourism, Wesgro and private sector partners.
The InvestSA “One Stop Shop” in Cape Town is a multi-faceted collaboration between National, Provincial and Local Government with the primary objective of alleviating ‘red tape’ issues often experienced by investors seeking to set up or expand business interests in the South African market. The initiative has clustered key governmental departments and Agencies located under one roof, creating an integrated convenience of servicing investors within a single point of demarcation.
Cape Town is the Tech Capital of Africa. The Cape Town-Stellenbosch tech ecosystem in the Western Cape is the most productive in Africa, employing over 40,000 people. More than Lagos and Nairobi combined (Source: Endeavor Insights Report 2018).
Cape Town is home to Amazon, employing more than 2000 people, and broad-based multinational Internet and media giant Naspers chooses to have headquarters here, offering services in more than 130 countries.
Farmers in the Western Cape are leaders of agricultural innovation, using drones to improve the way they farm. The Western Cape is the 5th largest global exporter in Africa of agricultural goods with exports valued at US$4.6 billion in 2017 (Source: Quantec). The Western Cape is home to leading international brands such as Burger King, Parmalat and GC Rieber, proving that it has a globally competitive Agribusiness sector.
The Western Cape generated over US$1.6 billion in tourist expenditure in 2017 and supported over 300 000 jobs (Source: SATourism, DEDAT, 2018).
Between January 2008 and December 2017, the Western Cape welcomed 299 direct investments, attracting over US$ 7.6 billion worth of FDI, facilitating close on 20,000 employment opportunities for the region (Source: FDI markets, 2018)
The Western Cape is a cost-effective destination for foreign productions, with a favourable exchange rate. There are over 5000 official City of Cape Town locations and countless privately-owned ones. Cape Town Film Studios is the first world-class, custom built, Hollywood style film studio complex in Sub-Saharan Africa. Feature films such as Tomb Raider and Mad Max: Fury Road have been housed at the studios recent in years. Cape Town is also a very popular commercial production destination, with 62% of national shoot days located in the province. The city is considered the new-media hub of South Africa and is home to more than half of the nationally registered gaming companies, as well as the largest animation studio in Africa (Source: Cape Town and Western Cape Film and Media Sector Study 2017).
Cape Town is the Meetings Capital of Africa. The destination hosted the largest number of international association meetings on the continent, with the subject matter focusing largely on medical sciences, technology, economics and education. 34 000 international delegates attended conferences in the Western Cape in 2017. In the last five years there were 160 000 participants who attended conferences in the Western Cape (Source ICCA 2017).
The Western Cape halal-relevant exports accounted for 37% of its total exports in 2017, of which 22% was to Muslim consumers.
92% growth in food preparation exports from the Western Cape to the world (Source: DEDAT and Wesgro calculations).
One million bottles of South African wine are sold per day. South Africa is ranked 8th in the world in terms of volume, producing 4% of the world’s wine (Source: SAWIS). 21 out of the 23 South African wine routes are located in the Western Cape (Source: Vinpro).
Between January 2008 and December 2017 a total of 20 FDI projects were recorded into South Africa’s medical devices & pharmaceuticals sector (Source: FDI Markets, 2018).These projects represent a total capital investment of over US$600 million. Cape Town has received the highest number of total jobs and has the largest project size with 204 jobs per project on average. The Western Cape has spent over US$400 million on health-care capital infrastructure in the last ten years.
The Western Cape has the highest mathematics pass rate and the highest number of students qualifying for university in the country. Every year thousands of foreign students come to study at four major universities in the province. 70% of international students attending the universities were from other African countries (Source: CHEC).
The Western Cape has received 100% clean audits for public entities (Source: Auditor General report for 2017/18).
The Western Cape Government spent close on US$1.6 billion on road infrastructure since 2009. 95% of km’s travelled by our road users are on roads in a “Fair” to “Very Good” condition, based on a comprehensive survey. Cape Town has 848kms of fibre-optic cables and 25 switching facilities. Fibre-optic cables and microwave links connect 346 Cape Town city buildings at speeds of up to 1Gbps.
The Western Cape is the only province that supports Neighbourhood Watches through formal accreditation, training and resources under the provincial Community Safety Act. We are taking a whole of society approach to making our communities safer.
The Western Cape has brought social services closer to communities by trebling its Social Development footprint to 40 local offices and 6 regional offices since 2009. This includes general social work and counselling, services for people with disabilities, older persons and families.
Local Governments in the Western Cape have the highest rate of clean audits in South Africa, with close to 100% access to basic services for residents, and reliable water, electricity and sewerage for industry (Source: StatsSA Non-Financial Census of Municipalities 2018).
The Western Cape has the largest library network in South Africa. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport will provide 385 library service points with free public Wi-Fi by 2020. This will make it even easier for residents to access information in the growing knowledge economy.
The Western Cape’s catalytic housing projects will deliver over 105 000 low-cost houses by 2022, boosting the construction sector and bringing working residents closer to major industrial and commercial zones.
The Western Cape uniquely combines Development Planning and Environmental Affairs in a single government department, helping to reduce red tape and enhancing the coordination of infrastructure projects that transform the urban landscape.