South Africa's chemicals industry
PlasticsSouth Africa’s plastics sector mainly comprises small firms, due to the ease of entry. Plastics manufacturing contributed approximately 0.6 % to South Africa’s GDP, and 3% to manufacturing sales. Value added in the plastics sector was R9,2 billion in 2009, and the sector employs around 33 000 people (IPAP, 2009). Key areas of opportunity for growing the sector include: automotive (carpets, dashboards, bumpers and mirror casings); packaging; medical (drips and syringes); building (pipes, flooring, building sheet, sanitation, woven/netted bags); and electrical and electronics (cables, appliances and casing components).
PharmaceuticalsWhile the South African pharmaceutical market is only 0,35% of the global market, it is also the world’s largest market for anti-retrovirals with an estimated 1,06-million adults and more than 105 000 children receiving state-sponsored antiretroviral treatment in 2010. This presents a significant opportunity for the domestic production of key pharmaceutical ingredients. Major pharmaceutical players here include Merck, Sanofi- aventis, Aspen and Cipla Medpro. Under the Industrial Policy Action Plan, the Department of Trade and Industry is supporting the development of scientific and technological skills necessary to encourage growth and progress.
- Download the Industrial Policy Action Plan 2
Gas-to-liquid technologiesSouth Africa is a world leader in coal-based synthesis and gas-to-liquid technologies. It is among the lowest-cost producers of ethylene and propylene in the world, thanks to abundant access to low-grade coal and leading-edge process technology.
Environmental concernsConsideration for the environment is a key factor in the development of the chemicals sector. South Africa has adopted first-world standards in its environmental policies, introducing regulations to promote co-operative environmental management and providing guidelines for the disposal of hazardous waste. SAinfo reporter, incorporating material from the South African Yearbook Reviewed: 29 November 2012
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