Manufacturing Subsectors (26)

Industrial policy aims to promote diversification and tailor interventions to the needs of individual manufacturing industries. To support evidence-based policymaking, TIPS has completed a series of notes on the main manufacturing subsectors in South Africa. These briefing notes provide information on the contribution to the GDP, employment, profitability and assets, the market structure and dominant producers, major inputs and international trade. They bring together data from Statistics South Africa, Quantec and Who Owns Whom to provide a more detailed overview of each sector.

The basic chemicals and petroleum refineries industry comprises polymers, bulk petrochemicals and intermediates, other basic industrial and inorganic chemicals, and fertilisers. It forms part of the broader chemicals industry, which also encompasses household chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and products of plastic and rubber, most of which are downstream from basic chemicals and…
The beverages industry comprises alcoholic and soft drinks excluding fruit juices, which are classed under fruit and vegetable processing. Soft drinks were around a fifth of beverages turnover. Download a copy or read online Other subsector notes Basic chemicals and petroleum refineries Capital equipment Clothing, footwear, leather and textiles Electronics…
Capital equipment comprises machinery and equipment used in production. While it does not equate to a standard statistical category, it largely falls under machinery and electrical equipment. Machinery refers to the production of machine tools, engines, pumps, handling equipment, armaments and similar complex equipment; electrical machinery covers electric motors and…
Clothing, footwear, leather and textiles (CTFL) comprises the chain from synthetic and natural inputs to final clothing and shoes. The leather and textiles production are distinct, but both clothing and shoes now largely make use of synthetic inputs from the chemicals industry. Relatively few shoes today are made mostly from…
Electronics and appliances refers principally to consumer equipment products. Electronics is also a core component for capital equipment as well as business services and communications. The industry covers SIC 37 (precision instruments, which includes information and communications technology, or ICT). It also includes parts of electric machinery (SIC 36), mostly…
The food processing industry comprises the production of final food products based mainly, although not exclusively, on agricultural inputs. The line between agriculture and food processing is not always entirely clear, however, although the formal definition of food processing excludes processing that takes place on the farm. The industry is…
In the standard statistical system, furniture is aggregated with a residual “not elsewhere classified” or “n.e.c.” category, which covers small and hard to classify activities, amongst others jewellery, musical instruments, toys, and recycling. Statistics South Africa aggregates furniture and n.e.c. manufacturing, but Quantec estimates separate the two. Furniture is only…
The glass and non-metallic minerals industry includes both glass products and minerals such as cement, bricks, ceramics and similar products, which are used principally in the construction industry. Around two thirds of turnover is cement and most of the rest is glass. The industry excludes coal. Download a copy or…
Metals and metal products covers smelting, refining and shaping of base metals – that is, excluding gold and platinum. In South Africa, the industry consists primarily of iron and steel, a range of ferro-alloys, and aluminium products. It derives from local iron and ferroalloy mining and coal-fired electricity, except for…
Other chemicals refers to the chemicals industry excluding basic chemicals, petrochemicals and primary plastics. The other chemicals industry produces primarily pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, household chemicals of various kinds and paints. Download a copy or read online Other subsector notes Basic chemicals and petroleum refineries Beverages Capital equipment Clothing, footwear, leather and…
Printing and publishing includes the production of printed material, including recorded media. It excludes the associated services, however, such as advertising. Download a copy or read online Other subsector notes Basic chemicals and petroleum refineries Beverages Capital equipment Clothing, footwear, leather and textiles Electronics and appliances Food processing Furniture and…
Transport equipment is dominated by auto production, but also includes rail, air and sea transport. It encompasses the assembly of final vehicles as well as the production of components.   Download a copy or read online Other subsector notes Basic chemicals and petroleum refineries Beverages Capital equipment Clothing, footwear, leather and textiles…
Wood and paper refers to the processing of wood, including milling and pulping as well as production of final products such as plywood, furniture and paper. Printing and publishing are dealt with separately because they differ substantially from the wood and paper sections of the value chain. Download a copy…

  • Sector Food and beverages
  • Quarter Third
  • Year 2015
Food and beverages was the largest manufacturing industry and one of the fastest growing over the past five years in terms of both value added and employment. Still, growth slowed to near zero from 2014, and will likely be further affected by the drought and possibly by new arrangements under…

  • Sector Metals and metal products
  • Quarter Third
  • Year 2015
The metals and metal products industry, which includes world-class ferroalloy and steel producers, never fully recovered from an unusually sharp downturn in the 2008/9 global financial crisis. In recent years, it has been affected by global overproduction and sliding demand especially from China; an uncompetitive domestic price for iron ore;…

  • Sector Chemicals, rubber and plastic
  • Quarter Third
  • Year 2015
The industry contributed 14.8% of total manufacturing production in the third quarter of 2015, with a fairly constant share from 2010. It was dominated by Sasol, which produced a variety of chemical products and petroleum from coal. Basic chemicals accounted for around 33% of the industry’s production, other chemicals for…

  • Sector Motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment
  • Quarter Third
  • Year 2015
The auto industry was the only manufacturing industry to rank among South Africa’s top five exporters. Transport equipment – mostly cars and car parts – contributed around a quarter of total manufactured exports (including bulk metals), although it accounted for less than seventh of manufacturing output. The value of imported…

  • Sector Petroleum refining
  • Quarter Third
  • Year 2015
Petroleum refining showed a downward trend over the past five years, but saw a sharp recovery in production in the past quarter. The industry contributed 7,9% of total manufacturing production in the third quarter of 2015, down from 10,7% in the third quarter of 2013. It accounted for 7,6% in…

  • Sector Machinery and appliances
  • Quarter Third
  • Year 2015
This industry, which is at the core of South Africa’s capital goods industry, contributed 5,2% of total manufacturing production in the third quarter of 2015, down from 5,5% in the third quarter of 2013 and around the same share in 2010. But production had fallen by 2,9% from third quarter…

  • Sector Wood and paper
  • Quarter Third
  • Year 2015
The industry has seen a degree of recovery from a prolonged slide following the 2008/9 global financial crisis. It contributed 5,5% of total manufacturing production in the third quarter of 2015, up from 5,1% in the third quarter of 2013 but virtually the same as in the third quarter of…

  • Sector Electrical machinery
  • Quarter Third
  • Year 2015
Electrical machinery comprises a range of equipment used in generating and distributing electricity. As such, it appears to have benefited from the national build programme over the past two years. Production grew by 10,7% from third quarter 2013 to third quarter 2015, which meant growth accelerated over the previous three…

  • Sector Glass and non-metallic mineral products
  • Quarter Third
  • Year 2015
The industry produces a range of building products and ceramics as well as glass. It contributed 3,1% of total manufacturing production in the third quarter of 2015, down from 3,4% in the third quarter of 2013 and 3,6% in the third quarter of 2010. The industry reported growing exports, however,…

  • Sector Textiles, clothing, leather and footwear
  • Quarter Third
  • Year 2015
The industry includes textiles and wearing apparel as well as leather (much of which goes into the auto industry) and footwear. It contributed 2,7% of total manufacturing production in the third quarter of 2015, virtually the same as in the third quarter of 2013 but down from 3,1% in the…

  • Sector Printing and publishing
  • Quarter Third
  • Year 2015
The industry contributed 2,5% of total manufacturing production in the third quarter of 2015, down from 3,1% in the third quarter of 2013 and the third quarter of 2010. It appeared to be a decline, however, presumably in part because of the shift to digital distribution of media. Production fell…

  • Sector Electronics and precision equipment
  • Quarter Third
  • Year 2015
This industry covers a highly varied set of products, including most telecommunications equipment as well as medical and other precision instruments. It contributed 1,1% of total manufacturing production in the third quarter of 2015, with the share remaining stable from 2010. It appeared to be very strongly and successfully export…

  • Sector Furniture
  • Quarter Third
  • Year 2015
The industry contributed 0,8% of total manufacturing production in the third quarter of 2015, with its share remaining fairly constant from 2010. Production fell by 3,7% from third quarter 2013 to the third quarter of 2015, compared to an increase of 11% from the third quarter of 2010 to the…