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 up to a third to the national economy.

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 centres.

Johannesburg is the capital, and by far the biggest city in South Africa - and Africa as a whole. It is often compared to Los Angeles, with its similar urban sprawl linked by huge highway interchanges.

Agencies set up to promote investment in the province include the Gauteng provincial government's Department of Finance and Economic Affairs, the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, and the Gauteng Tourism Authority.

Department of Finance and Economic Affairs

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 provincial procurement, and promotes the economic development of Gauteng by providing a number of essential economic development functions.

Gauteng Growth and Development Agency

The purpose of Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) is to provide focused strategic capability for the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED) to implement its economic development strategies.

The GGDA’s mandate is to be the implementation arm of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development and to assist the department to lead, facilitate and manage sustainable job creation and inclusive economic growth and development in the Gauteng City Region. As an implementation arm of the GDED, the GGDA has positioned itself as a thought leader in all the areas of its functional responsibility and manage relations within its scope of operations.

It drives its programmes through supporting the development of key sectors of the economy in line with the approved economic and industrial policies of the Province. Key to this is the facilitation of trade and investment; export training as well as increased strategic economic infrastructure.

GGDA services include:

  • Project Appraisal: Working with our development finance partners to assess a case for proceeding with a project or proposal
  • Site Identification and Evaluation: Undertaking the co-ordination, pre-planning and evaluation of sites for our clients and post-investment site visits
  • Sector Economic Data Provision: Providing and disseminating market intelligence on sectoral and regional economic data
  • Business Permits (with the DTI): Assisting with company registrations and work permits
  • Incentives: Facilitating access to national and local government incentives
  • Facilitating local & foreign business retention, expansion and after-care services
  • Inward and Outward Investment Promotion Missions: Hosting and coordinating inbound foreign and local business delegations and undertaking outbound missions to promote Gauteng as a premier investment destination

GGDA’s subsidiary companies

Automotive Industry Development Centre

The Automotive Industry Development Centre primarily focuses on being a centre of excellence with a specific focus on the following areas: Automotive Investment Facilitation; Supplier Development, Supply Chain Development, Skills Development and Training, Enterprise Development and Incubation Programmes and a Work Help Contact Centre. Key to its strategic objectives, the AIDC is involved in a number of strategic interventions aimed at technical project conceptualisation, implementation and service delivery in primarily the automotive sector.

The Innovation Hub

The Innovation Hub is the first Science and Technology Park by international standards in Southern Africa. It was established with a view to spurring the development of smart industries (high technology sectors) in Gauteng.

TIH’s role in the provincial innovation eco-system is to be a catalyst for innovation and a key knowledge economy driver, in line with the Gauteng Growth and Development Strategy. Key focus areas are information and communications technology, biotechnology, renewable energies and low carbon economy technologies (green economy).

Gauteng Industrial Development Zone

The Gauteng Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) is an initiative of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) which is an agency of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED). The work of the Gauteng IDZ aims to be a leading IDZ that facilitates and promotes inclusive and competitive economic growth and development through focussed support to targeted sectors and strategically position Gauteng as a global city region.

The Constitution Hill Development Company

Constitution Hill is a site of consciousness and conscience - dedicated to remembering past struggles, it houses the Constitutional Court and other strategic tenants and plays an educational role focusing on constitutionalism, human rights, and democracy. ConHill also has a variety of multipurpose venues, suitable for conferencing, performance, a large array of events and for public activities and programmes.

Gauteng Investment Centre

The Gauteng Investment Centre (GIC) was set up by the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) to support the Gauteng Provinces’ economic development initiatives as a one-stop-shop.

The main goal of the GIC is to provide an investment and export facilitation platform where relevant organs of state and state entities/agencies are brought to one location, co-ordinated and streamlined to provide efficient and transparent services to investors and exporters by providing the following:

  • Investment and trade information of Gauteng as well as in Africa
  • Facilitate business registration, application for licenses, application for incentives, work permits and any other licenses required to do business in Gauteng etc.

The main purpose is to simplify and shorten administrative procedures and guidelines for issuance of business approvals, permits and licences, thereby removing bottlenecks in establishing and running businesses in Gauteng.

Gauteng Tourism Authority

The Gauteng Tourism Authoritywas created to stimulate, coordinate 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.

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 Johannesburg Stock Exchange is the 17th-largest stock exchange in 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.

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, food, 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 foods.

SouthAfrica.info reporter

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BMW manufacturing plant in Rosslyn, Gauteng BMW manufacturing plant in Rosslyn, Gauteng province. (Image: BMW South Africa)

Gauteng Gauteng takes up 1.4% of South Africa's total land area.

Gauteng land use Map: Department of Environment and Tourism

Gauteng: fast facts

Capital: Johannesburg
Languages: 19.8% isiZulu, 12.4% Afrikaans, 11.6% Sesotho, 13.3% English
Population: 12 272 263 (2011)
Share of total SA population: 23.7%
Area: 16 548km2
Share of total SA area: 1.4%
Population density: 675 people per km2
Gross regional product: R897,6-billion (2010)
Share of total SA GDP: 33.7%

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