The South African economy is one of the biggest in Africa. The government’s commitment to job creation makes the following industries the fastest growing in the Rainbow Nation and the most exciting for investors and ground-level employees.
South Africa has a diverse and modern economy that does not rely on anyone industry alone. At one point, it was very reliant on mining and agriculture, but it has grown and modernised to where there are many exciting industries full of potential.
As a result, South Africa offers plenty of business opportunity that has seen the rise of a growing middle class and has attracted investors from all around the world. These are the business sectors that everyone is excited about for the foreseeable future.
Finance And Banking
Even though South Africa is listed as an “emerging market”, it has an incredibly sophisticated financial services sector. Not only does the country boast a full range of financial services from commercial to retail banking, but many foreign institutions also base their African divisions out of the Rainbow Nation.
Not only is the banking system modern and of a world-class standard, but South Africa is also frequently at the forefront of innovation in this sector, especially with regards to electronic and mobile banking solutions. South Africa also boasts a robust legal sector underpinning and protecting the financial industries and ensuring that the country can maintain stable economic growth.
Information And Communications Technology (ICT)
South Africa is a central regional hub for ICT in sub-Saharan Africa and a significant player across the continent. The country provides ICT solutions and products to its neighbours and is also the host of African subsidiaries of major international corporations such as Dell, IBM, Microsoft, and Intel.
The country has always had a strong demand for mobile phones, with around one in every three people owning a cellphone. The network coverage is good, with 99.7% of the country having access to 3G and around 93% to 4G. There has also been significant demand for broadband and fibre internet services in the last few years.
“Currently, there is a lot happening in the telecoms sector, with the expanding national rollout of fibre driven by the growing uptake of bandwidth-intensive applications. This has opened up a host of opportunities, ranging from the implementation of cables to technical support services,” said executive director at Business Partners Christo Botes.
One of the sectors that have benefitted the most from the rapid growth of ICT in South Africa is the online gaming industry. According to a report by Statista, South Africa has the second-largest gaming market in Africa, behind only Egypt.
Among the various forms of online gaming, the iGaming sector, in particular, is showing immense potential in South Africa, and mobile connections and favourable regulatory conditions are driving it. The industry is becoming heavily regulated in many established markets such as Europe and North America, where laws and high taxes drive away established brands.
As a result, gross gambling revenue has shown robust and consistent growth of around 6% annually for the last six years. It recently became an R35-billion per year industry, and there are no signs it will slow down any time soon because mobile gaming and online casinos in South Africa are gaining in popularity, and many major international brands, such as Spin247, Europa Casino and Kassu, are already well established.
South Africa has always had a strong mining sector, and even though its significance to the economy as a whole has reduced in recent years, it is still an important industry. There are plenty of signs that it could even pick up to its previous levels soon.
The Rainbow Nation is among the world’s largest producers of gold and platinum, which have many commercial, industrial, and cosmetic uses. It also has plenty of natural reserves of metals like copper, cobalt, and lithium, which are used to make batteries that power electric cars.
The increasing demand for this type of vehicle and the continued and seemingly never-ending desire for gold and platinum will continue to drive growth in the mining industry in South Africa.
South Africa has relied on its agricultural sector for a long time, and it continues to be a significant contributor to the economy. The country has a long and proud history of farming and agriculture and plenty of arable lands, which has made it a regional and global powerhouse in this sector.
The export of fruits, vegetables, meats, herbs, wines all guarantees this sector will always be a significant player in the South African economy.
The growing population within South Africa ensures there will always be a market for whatever this industry can produce. On top of that, the country also produces and exports agrochemicals and machinery.