The Eastern Cape is a key area for growth and economic development in South Africa, with a well-developed economy based on the automotive and manufacturing industries. General Motors and Volkswagen both have major assembly plant lines in the Port Elizabeth area, with the Daimler Chrysler plant in East London.
An excellent road and rail infrastructure feeds off the three import/export harbours and three airports offering direct flights to the main centres of the Eastern Cape.
Representing business in the Eastern Cape, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber as well as the Border-Kei Chamber of Business aim to connect and grow businesses to stimulate economic progress, providing members with a range of services including a strong international trade focus. Visitors wanting to find out more about business in the Eastern Cape, can visit the Chamber websites: nmbbusinesschamber.co.za and bkcob.co.za
A number of developments have contributed to the growth of the Eastern Cape including the Coega Industrial Development Zone and the East London Industrial Development Zone. Coega is the largest infrastructure development in South Africa since 1994 and is situated just outside of Port Elizabeth – the mohair capital of the world. South Africa is the biggest global producer and currently produces approximately 50% of total world production. The bulk of the world’s mohair production passes through the Port Elizabeth ports.
Agricultural industries play a vital role in the Eastern Cape economy. Livestock farming is the largest subsector in the industry, while the Eastern Cape is the second largest producer of citrus fruits in South Africa. Over 70 000 employment opportunities are spread throughout commercial farms in the area, with smaller farms offering approximately 43 000 job opportunities. The Eastern Cape produces a quarter of South Africa’s milk supply, with a number of dairies dotted throughout the area, including those in the East London and Coega Industrial Development Zones.
Other important sectors in the Eastern Cape include pharmaceuticals, plastics and chemicals, renewable and green industries as well as forestry and timber processing.