Opportunity Source: Google Images

While the South African economy has been under-performing, the first positive signs of turnaround started to become visible by the second quarter of 2018, and by the end of the third quarter, data supplied by Statistics South Africa showed that the economy had indeed grown by 2.2% , compared with the previous quarter. This uptick is expected to have a positive effect on business confidence in 2019.

This is according to Jeremy Lang, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who says that certain business sectors have already seen an increase in opportunities for small businesses and start-ups.

The following four industries are likely to offer the best opportunities for small and medium enterprise (SME) owners:

Tourism

The World Travel and Tourism report 2018 revealed that the direct contribution of the travel and tourism sector to South Africa’s GDP has been projected to rise from R136 billion in 2016 to R197.9bn by 2028 – set to make up a total of 3.3% of the country’s total GDP, says Lang.

“Although this sector experienced some setbacks in 2018, such as the drought in the Western Cape and stricter visa regulations for children entering the country, both the water restrictions and visa regulations have been relaxed and the sector is once again poised for growth,” he said.

Manufacturing

Statistics South Africa has credited this industry with being the biggest driver of growth in the country’s GDP, having expanded by 7.5% in September 2018, says Lang. “The government has made a concerted effort to stimulate small business growth in this area with initiatives such as the Black Industrialist Programme.”

Agriculture

“The debate around land expropriation has occupied most of the discussions surrounding the agricultural sector in 2018, with some questioning growth prospects. However, this industry has a lot of growth ahead of it, as demonstrated by its 6.5% growth over the last three months of 2018,” said Lang.

“The industry is already taking advantage of seven climatic regions in South Africa, with the export of fruit and vegetables increasing substantially,” he said.

Data & information technology

Connectivity and information technology infrastructure are both crucial to business and employment growth, said Lang. “With many municipalities and the Western Cape government committing to providing all of its residents with free data as part of a plan to expand public wi-fi access, it is clear that this is also becoming a high priority on a state level.”