Investing in Gauteng
Gauteng is the financial hub of South Africa and contributes transport, technology, and
telecommunications, as well as offering a host of benefits to companies needing a
commercial base in Africa.
The province is the economic engine of the southern African region, and the gateway
to doing business in the rest of Africa.
Although the smallest of nine provinces, covering only 1.4% of the country's land area
of the country, Gauteng contributes 33% to the national economy and a remarkable
10% to the GDP of the entire African continent.
Gauteng was built on the wealth of gold found deep underground - 40% of the world's
reserves. The economy has since diversified, with more sophisticated sectors such as
finance and manufacturing setting up shop, and gold mining is no longer the mainstay.
The province is essentially one big city, with 97% of its population living in urban
Johannesburg is the capital, and by far the biggest city in South Africa - and
a whole. It is often compared to Los Angeles, with its similar urban sprawl linked by
huge highway interchanges.
Key investment agencies
Agencies set up to promote investment in the province include the Gauteng provincial
government's Department of Finance and Economic Affairs, the Gauteng Economic
Development Agency, the Gauteng Tourism Authority, and Blue IQ, which runs the
province's spatial development initiative.
Gauteng provincial government - The Department of Finance and Economic
Affairs of the Gauteng provincial government oversees the financial health of the
province, provides payment and accounting services, oversees
procurement, and promotes the economic development of Gauteng by providing a
number of essential economic development functions.
The Gauteng Economic Development Agency (Geda) is an investor's first
port of call for developing business relations in Gauteng and the rest of Africa.
Geda is Gauteng's official economic, investment and trade promotion agency and its
mission is to promote the economic growth and development of the province.
Geda identifies and markets investment opportunities in the province and responds to
assistance from potential local and foreign investors. It also hosts regular
outward missions and provides local industry with opportunities to bid for local and
international tenders, with specific emphasis on the European market in the
engineering parts industry.
Geda's activities take their lead from three approaches that form the basis of the
Gauteng government’s economic strategy. These are:
- The realignment of the manufacturing sector away from traditional heavy industry
input markets and low value added production towards sophisticated, high value
added production, as well as the development of other high value added production
activities in the agriculture and mineral sectors.
- The development of the province as the smart centre of the country with specific
emphasis on information technology, telecommunications equipment, research and
development and bio medical industries.
- The development of the finance and business service sector
emphasis on financial services and technology, auxiliary business services and
technology, corporate head office location and business tourism.
The Gauteng Tourism Authority was created to stimulate, co-ordinate and
facilitate sustainable tourism development and marketing of the Gauteng province.
Its objective is to create a world-class destination that will attract tourists, business
people and all other visitors who will contribute to the province's economic growth and
benefit the communities.
Blue IQ - Gauteng has taken charge of its own spatial development initiative
programme and runs it under the project name Blue IQ.
The emphasis of the programme is on innovation-related industries, financial and
business services and value-added high-tech manufacturing. Gauteng has made a
strategic decision to move away from traditional heavy industry and low-value-added
products. It is now committed to enhancing its reputation for being the country's
Finance and industry
The most important economic sectors are financial and business services, logistics
and communications, and mining.
Gauteng is the financial capital of Africa: more than 70 foreign banks have their head
offices in the province, and at least that number of South African banks, stockbrokers
and insurance giants. The JSE in Johannesburg is the 17th-largest stock
the world by market capitalisation.
The province’s economy is moving away from traditional heavy industry markets and
low value-added production towards sophisticated high value-added production,
particularly in information technology, telecoms and other high-tech industries.
In an international survey in 2000, Gauteng was identified as one of 46 global hubs of
technological innovation. The burgeoning high-tech corridor in Midrand, halfway
between Pretoria and Johannesburg, is the fastest-developing area in the country.
The province has the best telecommunications and technology on the continent, with
correspondents for the world's major media stationed here, as well as South Africa's
five television stations. It also has the highest concentration of radio, internet and
print media in Africa.
Manufacturing includes basic iron and steel, fabricated and metal products,
machinery, electrical machinery, appliances and electrical supplies, vehicle parts and
accessories, and chemical products.
Gauteng’s agricultural sector is geared to provide the cities and towns of the province
with daily fresh produce. A large area of the province falls within the so-called Maize
Triangle. The districts of Bronkhorstspruit, Cullinan and Heidelberg hold important
agricultural land, where ground-nuts, sunflowers, cotton and sorghum are produced.
Food, food processing and beverages make up around R9.9-billion of the province's
economy, with half of South Africa's
agriprocessing companies operating in Gauteng.
New and competitive niche products under development include organic food,
essential oils, packaging, floriculture, medicinal plants, natural remedies and health
- Download the Department of Trade and Industry's Provincial Economic
Overview (1.8 MB) here.