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Your business and the South African economy in 2022

Navigating the post-lockdown South African economy

The South African economy has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a challenging economic environment – both now and in the near future - companies of all sizes require insights, analytics and tools to identify opportunities and strategies to outperform competitors. What is the impact of the economy on your business, and your impact on the economy?


Man looking at statistics on his tablet.

Challenges and opportunities in 2022

The South African economy experienced a deep recession in 2020 and a slow recovery in 2021. The impact of COVID-19 on the domestic and international economies resulted in local businesses seeing new challenges not imagined before. The economic landscape changed quickly – and dramatically – to a ‘new normal’ that is still unfolding at the start of 2022. 

Despite these challenges, South Africa offers a large market opportunity: a population of 59 million people, a sophisticated financial system, well-established manufacturing sector, a century-long legacy of commodity exports, highly innovative companies, top quality universities, and some of the most beautiful tourist attractions in the world.

Alongside previously unimagined challenges, local businesses will also see new opportunities open up in 2022 as the economy shakes off the shackles of lockdown regulations. However, as in many emerging markets, finding value and solutions in South Africa is now more challenging than ever. Understanding the local economic and political context is imperative in grasping the reshaped long-term opportunities that the country offers domestic and international investors.

South Africa is also still a competitive gateway into the rest of the continent. PwC has a wide network of experts across the continent who understand the intricacies of Africa’s economies. Many of the challenges seen in South Africa – and the solutions that we offer to our clients at the southern tip of the continent – are used to answer important questions elsewhere in Africa.


How we can help

Measure your impact on the economy

Measuring your impact yields invaluable insights about your company, the role it plays in the economy and maintaining your license to operate. Our analysis can consider the impact of your organisation on GDP, taxes, employment, and household income, amongst other factors, both from a direct, indirect and induced perspective. Another topic of measurement is the impact of changing regulations in your business or industry. 

Our services in this area include:

  • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Just Transition.
  • Economic Impact Assessment (EIA).
  • Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA).
  • Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA).
  • Total tax contribution.
  • Localisation calculations.

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Make decisions about risk and investment

Understanding economic and industry drivers, as well as risk factors, is at the core of investment and market expansion decisions. Our research untangles demand and growth drivers (e.g. sales prospects), supply-side challenges (e.g. supply chain limitations), as well as political and regulatory elements. This information is critical to future business success in a new territory.

Our services in this area include:

  • Macroeconomic research.
  • Market entry analysis.
  • Country and industry risk assessments.
  • Commercial due diligence assistance.

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Plan for future economic scenarios

By looking ahead at where an economy or industry is going, we’re able to provide our clients with the potential futures that their organisations face. Our experts identify and model/extrapolate the key trends today, to form a picture of what tomorrow could look like. The future is not singular, and a perspective is needed on multiple potential outcomes.

Our services in this area include:

  • Economic and political scenario planning.
  • ESG scenario planning.
  • Industry and macroeconomic modelling.
  • IFRS 9 audit assist.

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Contact us

Lullu Krugel

Lullu Krugel

Partner and Chief Economist, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 11 797 4929

Christie Viljoen

Christie Viljoen

Senior Manager and Economist, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 21 529 2000