Market profile

South Africa is considered the gateway into Africa thanks to its comparatively superior infrastructure, transport, telecommunications and highly developed financial and banking system. South Africa’s economy was built on the discovery of gold, minerals and base metals for export and the service industry is contributing an increasing amount to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Well known for its dominance in minerals and agricultural products, South Africa has transformed into a sophisticated manufacturing and service based economy. The services industry comprises about two thirds of the country’s GDP while the mining and agricultural sectors now contribute around six per cent to GDP.

The telecommunication sector has shown excellent growth in the country and continues to grow as South African mobile operators expand their operations into Africa.

The South African government has prioritised labour law reforms in its 20 year National Development Plan, which may create opportunities for business in the medium term. This will open the way for education providers at various levels to address the need for skilled labour in order to reduce unemployment and grow the economy.

More information on doing business in South Africa

South Africa's market insights and opportunities

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Facts

  • Imports from South Africa A$1,700 million
  • Exports to South Africa A$1,590 million
  • Capitals Pretoria/ Tshwane, Cape Town, Bloemfontein
  • Area 1,219,000 sq km
  • Population 55 million

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Country information provided by DFAT

Trade and economic fact sheet

Containing general information, recent economic indicators, Australia’s trade and investment relationship with South Africa and their global merchandise trade relationship that is updated twice a year.

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Smartraveller

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smartraveller site provides advice for business travelers and tourists going to South Africa. This is regularly updated and should be checked before planning travel.

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