Industry & Retail

South Africa Industry & Retail

One of the top manufacturing powerhouses on the continent, South Africa has a strong industrial tradition dating back 150 years. The past few decades, however, have posed challenges to the industry, with external and domestic factors weighing on sector growth. To help revitalise the industry, the government and industry leaders have been working to stoke growth and develop value-added industries. By autumn of 2015, some industry pressures were showing signs of easing, with industrial action coming to an end, and new power and water infrastructure coming on-stream. While some structural issues remain, particularly in the realm of labour legislation and education, the government’s industrial strategy has allowed the sector to maintain momentum, with investment incentives and close cooperation with investors helping to offset downside risks to a degree. Over the longer term, manufacturing will be buoyed by growth across Africa, which should support higher sales. South Africa also has a well-developed retail sector ¬– one of Africa’s largest and most affluent markets – with a sizeable portfolio of major domestic players. While recent macroeconomic difficulties have affected certain segments of the market, the retail sector has continued to grow, drawing in a number of new international brands looking for an entry point to the rest of the continent. Their arrival underscores the sector’s sound fundamentals, and the market looks set to remain highly competitive and active in the coming years.

This chapter contains an interview with Andre de Ruyter, CEO, Nampak.