The Best and Worst Performing Sectors in Gauteng, Western Cape and KZN

Posted on September 27th, 2018


SME funder, Retail Capital has dropped data on how small businesses in three provinces – Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape – are faring across automotive, beauty and wellness, food and beverage and retail sectors. The data is based on card turnover figures from their clients over a two year period 2016 – 2017 ; 2017 – 2018.

Here’s a breakdown of the statistics in the major sectors across South Africa for the past two years

Food and Beverage

The food and beverage sector has fared well in the Western Cape with a 14% spike from 2017 to 2018 parallelling the growth of 11% from 2016-2017.

Gauteng has fared well with year on year growth of 11% 2016 – 2017 but just 4% growth since. KZN revealed a massive 27% growth in 2018 off the back of a 13% growth in 2017.

Beauty and Wellness

The beauty and wellness industry has seen a steep decline of 8% in the Gauteng province.

This in comparison to strong positive figures across the Western Cape with a 2% growth 2017-2018 and 3% spike for 2016-2017. Kwa-Zulu Natal generated impressive results with a jump to 56% growth from 2017 to 2018.


The retail industry in the Gauteng region was up 6% in both 2016 and 2017, but saw a huge jump of 11% in 2018.

Kwa-Zulu Natal took a dip in 2017 with a decline of 5% but recovered with a positive gain of 2% in 2018. Western Cape retail experienced a surge of 23% growth from 2017 to 2018, up from 13% for the period 2016 to 2017.

The sector that has shown the most promising progress is general retail nationwide, with a swell from 8% growth in 2017 to 15% on average in 2018.

Automotive sector

The automotive industry in the Cape saw a 9% decline in growth this year, after a 2% drop in 2016 and 2017. In Gauteng the sector experienced a 2% decrease this year in comparison to a 9% growth 2016 to 2017. Aside from these provinces, KwaZulu-Natal saw no distinction, with a 2% year-on-year growth.

Business performance

In terms of Retail Capital’s clients’ turnover, businesses in KwaZulu-Natal saw the most growth with a jump from 6% to 31% growth on average from 2017 to 2018. Nationwide, card turnover for clients grew by 8% in 2017 and by 11% in 2018, reflecting a steady increase overall.

While local consumers might not be spending for the rest of the year, there is still hope. The good news is that South Africa is on the radar of many international tourists, due to the significantly weakened Rand.

And businesses in Cape Town can certainly breathe a sigh of relief, as water shortages are abated for now and the city has just been announced as the most affordable destination for tourists from the United Kingdom.

According to the Long-Haul Holiday Report, brought out annually by the UK’s Post Office Travel Money, the Mother City rated the most affordable out of 34 international resorts and cities.