Investing in Gauteng province

Gauteng Province is the financial hub of South Africa and an essential gateway to doing business anywhere in Africa.

The Sandton central business district in the north of Johannesburg, Gauteng, is one of the richest areas in Africa. (Image: Brand South Africa)
The Sandton central business district in the north of Johannesburg, Gauteng, is one of the richest areas in Africa. (Image: Brand South Africa)

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 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.

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

The Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) is an investor’s first port of call for developing business relations in Gauteng and the rest of Africa.

GGDA is Gauteng’s official economic, investment and trade promotion agency and its mission is to promote the economic growth and development of the province.

GGDA identifies and markets investment opportunities in the province and responds to requests for 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.

GGDA’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 with specific 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, 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 JSE in Johannesburg 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.

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, 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.

Brand South Africa reporter

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