SA’s latest provincial GDP data: seven key findings
Stats SA publishes new data on the economic performance of the nine provinces for the first time in two years
Stats SA released a new set of provincial GDP data this week after a two-year hiatus, indicating the economic performance of each province and the drivers of activity in 2022.
The data, posted on the statistics agency website this week, reveals the following key facts:
1) Gauteng remains SA’s economic powerhouse
While all provinces achieved economic growth in 2022, Gauteng posted the highest rate — 2.8%, which was higher than the national growth rate of 1.9%.
2) Three provinces account for 63% of SA’s GDP
Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal are the dominant provinces in terms of economic output, contributing 33%, 16% and 14%, respectively, to national GDP in 2022
3) Free State and Northern Cape trail other provinces
The Free State, SA’s maize heartland, and the Northern Cape, SA’s emerging renewable energy industry hub, were the lagging contributors to the country’s nominal GDP. The Free State contributed 5% and the Northern Cape accounted for just over 2% of national GDP.
4) Finance, real estate and business services dominate in three provinces
Gauteng, the Western Cape and the Free State economies are driven by finance, real estate and business services. The sector was the biggest contributor in Gauteng with 31%, followed by the Western Cape with 30% and the Free State with 19%.
5) Mining the dominant industry in four provinces
Mining is the largest industry in the Northern Cape, the North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. The sector accounts for 30% of GDP in the North West, home to the world’s largest platinum deposits. The industry contributes 25%, 23% and 22% to the provincial value add of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape, respectively.
6) Manufacturing hubs
Manufacturing is a key industry in five provinces: the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga, where it ranks among the top four contributors to their provincial GDPs. Those five provinces also employed 90% of the national manufacturing workforce in 2021
7) Personal services leaders
Personal services, which include activities related to health and education, were the most significant contributor to the economies of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
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