Priority Sectors

Automotive and components industry

The automotive and components industry in South Africa is a major contributor to economic activity and export earnings, with the heart of the industry located in Tshwane. This includes the Automotive Supplier Park (ASP) in Rosslyn (130 ha), which has the highest concentration of automotive and component manufacturers in South Africa. It is located close to key vehicle manufactures, including BMW, Nissan, Volvo and Tata, and has excellent access to transport infrastructure. A total of 40% of passenger vehicles that are manufactured in South Africa are produced in Tshwane. Tshwane is also home to Africa’s first Automotive City, the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ), which is in Silverton adjacent to Ford SA. The TASEZ provides unparalleled connectivity and harmony between the living city, green city and productive city, including an array of state-of-the-art modern infrastructure, facilities and support services.

Agriculture and agro-processing

The role of agricultural development in Tshwane is to support a sustainable city economy. 11 main agro-processing subsectors in Tshwane’s agricultural sector:

  • dairy processing,
  • meat processing,
  • leather and hides,
  • prepared animal feeds
  • wineries
  • distillers and breweries
  • beverages
  • pharmaceuticals
  • essential oils
  • biofuels
  • grain milling
  • bakery products.

Opportunities for expansion, development and investment exist in each of the subsectors.

The Tshwane Fresh Produce Market has a national and international client base. On the procurement side, produce is obtained from producers countrywide, while on the supply side, the market is supported by buyers from all walks of life in South Africa and neighbouring countries. In terms of turnover, the Tshwane Fresh Produce Market is the second-largest market in South Africa and holds a significant percentage of market share of the total turnover of the 17 fresh produce markets in South Africa. It has a ripening centre with 6 377 m2 of floor space, with 49 rooms and a capacity of approximately 60 000 boxes per week. The market has a good standing in the fresh produce industry and is known for its clean and modern facilities.

Aerospace and defence technologies

Tshwane is a key node for aerospace and defence-related technology development in South Africa. The foundation of the aerospace cluster is the Department of Defence, which is located in Tshwane. The aerospace and defence cluster in Tshwane comprises numerous large and small companies, both public and privately owned, representing the largest concentration of knowledge, expertise and manufacturing capacity in South Africa. Industry giants, such as Armscor, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Denel Dynamics and Aerosud are key role players in the cluster, which are supported by privately owned engineering and specialist engineering companies. The industry accounts for research and development, design, manufacturing, support, maintenance, renovation and upgrade of rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, satellites, satellite launch and tracking systems, air traffic control systems, unmanned aircraft, weapons systems, and other relevant subsystems and components.

A key infrastructure project development which is underway is the R3,33 billion (US$ 230 million) Centurion Aerospace Village (CAV) adjacent to Waterkloof Air Force Base in Centurion. The CAV will develop a cluster where businesses in the aerospace industry can be located, integrating subtier suppliers of local aerospace and defence companies into global supply chains. Companies located in the CAV will be favourably positioned to become suppliers of choice to original equipment manufacturers in the industry, including Boeing and Airbus, as well as Spirit Aviation, Labinal and others.


Tshwane is a cosmopolitan city with a rich heritage and cultural diversity. It is also the diplomatic capital of South Africa. Owing to its location, heritage and economic activity, it attracts travellers of all kinds for business, leisure and health treatment. Tshwane is the administrative and academic capital of South Africa and has a well-developed knowledge and information industry. Its abundance and variety of conference facilities close to business centres or in peaceful and natural surroundings can accommodate large and small groups of delegates.

Tshwane offers its visitors numerous tourist attractions, including cultural and heritage sites, nature and game reserves, zoological and botanical gardens, and museums. Tshwane is also a major shopping destination. The trade sector alone contributes about 11% to Tshwane’s economy. The city offers more than 2 000 000 m2 of retail space and some of the largest shopping malls in the southern hemisphere. These include Menlyn Park Shopping Centre (119 124 m2) and Centurion Mall (104 701 m2).

Business process outsourcing

Gauteng has already established itself as the largest business process outsourcing hub in South Africa, hosting more than 60% of all call centres in South Africa. Johannesburg has been at the forefront of this trend, but Tshwane has everything that is required to become a prominent player in this industry: high literacy, a large concentration of financial and business services and the support of educational institutions. It also has powerful communication infrastructure and a strong cluster of vendors, including national and local government.

Mining and beneficiation

Mining and related sectors play a minor role in terms of contribution to the Tshwane GDP. However, investment opportunities do exist in downstream beneficiation in the industry, as well as support services to mining companies and operations in adjacent regions. Tshwane is an ideal location for jewellery manufacturers, given its central position with respect to deposits of the platinum group metals, gold and diamonds, which are mined in the provinces of North West, Limpopo, and other parts of Gauteng. Tshwane already hosts numerous jewellery laboratories and receives designers from various tertiary institutions in this field. Opportunities also exist in the metal and metal products industry, which is the most important economic activity in most industrial estates in Tshwane. The high concentration of steel manufacturing companies in Tshwane mainly produce steel products for the construction and automotive sectors through intermediate product suppliers.

Alternative and renewable energy

Tshwane has acknowledged the need for a green city and is actively supporting a move to alternative and renewable energy. This will significantly reduce the impact of conventional energy generation on the environment while reducing the cost of electricity to the end consumer. This is in line with the City of Tshwane’s vision to create jobs, lower carbon emissions and reduce the consumption of coal-generated electricity. The City has recently implemented a solar geyser heating programme. This will help to protect the environment and support the manufacture of solar heating equipment.

Investing in renewable energy technologies is a “win-win-win” scenario: A win for energy security, a win for the economy and a win for the climate. While “business as usual” scenarios such as those of the International Energy Agency and the South African long-term mitigation scenarios come at the cost of the climate and the economy, the energy revolution makes a clear case for “business unusual”, demonstrating that the global market for renewable energy could grow at double-digit rates until 2050 and overtake the size of today’s fossil fuel industry.

Advanced manufacturing

The steel industry in Tshwane is ranked second to the automotive industry in terms of contribution to the manufacturing sector. The products manufactured in this subsector include steel furniture, road wheels, houses, roof sheeting, boilers and other final products. Moreover, the steel industry supplies a large proportion of its intermediate products to the automotive sector and has linkages to the machinery and equipment industries.

The capital equipment industry plays an important role in providing equipment to other sectors in the economy. Its output ensures the continuous operation of the manufacturing sector and the maintenance and operation of public infrastructure.

Opportunities in this sector are plentiful and include general and special-purpose machinery, specifically in the non-automotive fields. With its excellent transport network, strong fashion sense, proximity to precious metal deposits and accessibility to international and domestic markets, Tshwane has a fast-developing jewellery manufacturing subsector with a number of jewellery laboratories, which is advantageous for jewellery manufacturing.

Knowledge and institutional support are readily available within the boundaries of Tshwane, which makes it an ideal destination for investment in the cosmeceutical industry. The presence of international corporations, pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturers, and easy access to local research and development facilities make Tshwane an ideal destination for investment in the pharmaceutical and related subsectors.

Tshwane is not only situated close to the cattle and game farming regions of South Africa, but also houses industries that use leather as an intermediate product. The automotive, furniture, clothing and footwear sectors all offer investment opportunities, with the potential to expand into upstream and downstream activities.

Tshwane has a prominent chemicals industry that produces products such as plastic moulds, rubber and foam products, packaging and paints. The key advantages of this industry in Tshwane are its closeness to the domestic market and chemical clusters in the adjacent areas.

Research, innovation, education and knowledge

Tshwane boasts an abundance of research, innovation, education and knowledge capacity. The scientific and technology research and development undertaken in Tshwane positions it as a major research centre in the global arena.

Much of this research focuses on manufacturing, but a significant proportion is also linked to the fields of medicine and the humanities. Some of the major research and development role players situated in Tshwane are the National Research Foundation, Agricultural Research Council, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Tshwane University of Technology, University of South Africa, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Human Sciences Research Council, Water Research Commission, Pretoria National Botanical Gardens, National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme, South African Nuclear Energy Corporation and Council for Geoscience.

Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute is a world-renowned veterinary research house. Research activities focus on developing and improving vaccines and diagnostic tests and applying the latest molecular biological techniques. Onderstepoort Biological Products, which is committed to ongoing research and new product development, provides animal vaccines to local and international markets.

Location of economic sectors and industries