The economy

The South African economy is expected to grow by less than 1% per annum over the medium term. In a challenging economic environment, companies of all sizes require insights, analytics and tools to identify opportunities and strategies to outperform competitors.

Navigating the South African economy

South Africa is currently in its longest business cycle downswing since records started in 1945. The share of local CEOs who are very confident in their 12-month growth prospects has fallen to just 27% - the lowest since the global financial crisis.

However, despite this pessimism, some CEOs see the Rainbow Nation as a continued opportunity for profits. This is evident from the investment pledges made at the first two iterations of the South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC) in 2018-2019. As a result, President Cyril Ramaphosa is on track to reach his target of attracting R1.2 trillion in new investments over five years.

South Africa offers a large market – a population of 55 million people with 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.

For businesses, the potential benefits run wide and deep. But like in many emerging markets, finding value and solutions is not always easy. Understanding the local economic contact is imperative in understanding the long-term opportunities that the country offers domestic and international investors.

South Africa is also a 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 bottom end of the continent – are used to answer important questions elsewhere in Africa.


PwC's Strategy& Economics team assists clients to understand how the external economy impacts their business and how they, in turn, impact the economy through their activities. The team has assisted national and multinational clients to understand their strategic positioning in South Africa and the rest of the continent, considering current and expected future economic developments.

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:

  • 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
  • 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

Manager and Economist, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 21 529 2000