5 Manufacturing Business Ideas in South Africa 

Updated on 20 May 2022

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Manufacturinbusiness ideas in south africa

Manufacturing forms an important part of South Africa’s economy. The South African manufacturing sector is large and innovative, with a wide range of opportunities that exist. Budding entrepreneurs should certainly consider entering the manufacturing market, as there is an opportunity for many profitable ventures.  

To start a manufacturing business, it’s important to understand where the most in-demand and profitable opportunities lie. We’ll uncover a few of the best options in our guide below. 

What is the Manufacturing Industry? 

The manufacturing industry covers a broad sector that focuses on developing and transforming goods. Manufacturing includes any industry that creates products from raw materials using labour, machinery, tools, or chemical and biological processing.   

Manufacturing is not only focused on the use of raw materials. Manufacturing can also include any industry that makes a significant material transformation of products. This could even include installations and repairs of equipment and machinery.  

Manufacturing can be done at a large industrial scale, or it can be done at a small scale as part of the informal economy. The general idea is that goods or materials are significantly transformed through a manufacturing process.   

Many entrepreneurs start with small manufacturing operations and scale these up as demand increases.  

Why is Manufacturing Important to the Economy? 

Manufacturing plays an essential role in driving economic growth in South Africa. Manufacturing helps develop economies by shifting away from raw materials and using resources to create goods of higher value. The manufacturing industry involves modern technology and infrastructure, which makes it an attractive sector of the economy for investors.  

In South Africa, manufacturing is the country’s fourth-largest industry, contributing to 14% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Focusing on manufacturing can grow the economy significantly, providing large amounts of jobs and helping develop unique economic opportunities.  

5 Manufacturing Business Ideas 

If you are thinking of launching a business in the manufacturing industry, there are many excellent opportunities available. Here are a few of the best manufacturing business ideas in South Africa right now.  

Glass Manufacturing 

Despite the many plastics and materials available, there is still a strong demand for glass. Glass manufacturing is a profitable industry in South Africa, and entrepreneurs can start manufacturing glass at a relatively small scale.  

Glass manufacturers can sell to other manufacturers who require glass in their products. This means you core focus glass manufacturing on a wide variety of areas, such as bottles, windows (for the automotive and construction industries), containers, and more.  

Earth Wire Manufacturing 

There is a very high demand for earth wire – a type of electrical conductor that protects against electric shock by passing electrical current into the ground. Earth wire manufacturing is a lucrative business in South Africa, and its demand isn’t slowing down.  

Starting an earth wire production business is relatively accessible, and there are many potential buyers for the finished product. 

Clothing Manufacturing 

Clothing manufacturing is a popular business because there is always a demand for clothing. If done correctly, this can be a highly profitable venture.  

Successful clothing manufacturing requires creativity and the development of a unique product. Standing out in the competitive market can be a challenge but starting a clothing business can be incredibly rewarding if done properly.  

Soft Drinks Manufacturing 

Soft drinks present a lucrative business opportunity. In South Africa, soft drinks are more popular than alcohol, and they have a very high consumption rate across the country. Entrepreneurs can start a soft drink manufacturing business relatively easily from their homes and tap into this large market.  

Shoe Manufacturing 

A show manufacturing business can be set up in rural, urban, and suburban areas. There is always a demand for shoes and setting up a shoemaking business is relatively low-cost to start up. If done right, this can be a highly profitable market.   

For a successful shoe manufacturing business, you will need to find the right niche market with enough demand. Once identified, shoemakers can start small and increase their production volume as demand rises.  

If you are looking to start a manufacturing business in South Africa, it’s important to understand where the demand lies. While manufacturing can be highly profitable, there are also plenty of risks involved. 

However, with the right approach, entering the manufacturing industry can bring major rewards for savvy entrepreneurs. Manufacturing is an area that will continue to grow and innovate. This makes it an excellent area of the economy for South African entrepreneurs to consider when starting their businesses. 

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