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Mpumalanga Trade & Investment Profile 2023

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Companies in a wide range of sectors are already invested in Mpumalanga – and are ramping up the commitments with new investments. The 2023 Mpumalanga Investment Prospectus presents exciting opportunities for investment in Mpumalanga, including information about key sectors of the economy, business opportunities, government policies and programmes, and private sector success stories. The Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) is the official Economic Development Agency for the Mpumalanga Provincial Government and is committed to making the process of investing in Mpumalanga or starting a business in the province easy.


KEY SECTORS MANUFACTURING Three primary pillars of the manufacturing sector in Mpumalanga account for more than 60% of the output of the manufacturing sector, which overall makes up 15% of gross value added, regional (GVA-R). MAIN EXPORTS STAINLESS STEEL Cutlery Catering equipment Surgical instruments Automotive components STEEL White & grey goods Pipes & tubes Wire PETROCHEMICALS Plastic products Recycling plastics Artificial rubber products Paint & vanish Inks & dyes FOOD PROCESSING Maize meal Machinery Frozen & dehydrated VEGETABLES Preserves, pickles & condiments Nuts PAPER Recycling SUGAR Confectionery MINING Machinery and services RENEWABLE ENERGY Solar and biofuel Biomass Fuel, petroleum and chemical products are manufactured at the Sasol Secunda plant in Secunda, Gert Sibande District. It is one of the world’s largest synthetic fuels facilities, producing 60-million litres of liquid fuel a day. Products produced include petroleum, paraffin, jet fuel, creosote, bitumen and waxes. The ferro-alloy and stainless-steel industries are based in the Nkangala District. Columbus Stainless in Middelburg is Africa’s only producer of stainless-steel flat products. Samancor Chrome (Ferrometals), the world’s second-largest ferrochrome producer, has two plants in Mpumalanga. Agro-processing is mainly based in the Lowveld Region and consists of manufacturing forestry products (pulp, paper and cellulose), sugar at the Selati RCL Foods plants in Nkomazi and processing subtropical fruit and nuts. The province’s flourishing macadamia nut industry has a number of large processing facilities based around the provincial capital Mbombela. Subtropical fruits like mango, banana, papaya and citrus are processed into juice concentrate or dried for export. There is a geographical divide in the manufacturing sector. Fuel, petroleum and chemical production occurs in the southern Highveld Region clustered around Sasol’s plants. The northern Highveld area, including Middelburg and eMalahleni (Witbank), is home to ferro-alloy, steel and stainless-steel concerns. Creative thinking kicked in when Highveld Steel’s troubles reached a tipping point. The 1 000ha property in Emalahleni has been re-purposed as a multi-purpose site for industry and commerce. Called the Highveld Industrial Park, the project promotes a wide range of manufacturing enterprises. In the Lowveld, agricultural and forestry products are processed while Sappi’s giant mill is close to the company’s forests south-west of the provincial capital, Mbombela. KEY SECTORS TOURISM The importance of tourism to the economy of Mpumalanga cannot be overstated. The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic has been strongly felt. Mpumalanga received only 340 000 international visitors in 2020, down from 1.6-million international visitors in 2019. The key source countries were Mozambique, eSwatini, the USA, Germany, France and the UK. Domestic tourism has steadily increased. The total tourist foreign direct spend (TTFDS) in Mpumalanga for 2020 was R7.5-billion, down from over R21-billion in 2019. The sector accounts for 6% of gross value added by region (GVA-R). The announcement in 2022 by Eurowings Discover, a new division of Lufthansa, that it would start flying three times a week to Mbombela from Frankfurt, via Windhoek, will give a certain boost to tourist numbers .6 MILLION Number of visitors ANNUALLY pre-COVID-19 21billion Rand value of tourist spend in Mpumalanga… before COVID-19 visiting Mpumalanga. The Kruger National Park is Mpumalanga’s most famous tourist asset and safaris and hunting are major tourist attractions. The Manyeleti Reserve, a 23 750-hectare game reserve sharing a fenceless border with the Kruger National Park, is operated and managed by the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA). God’s Window and the Blyde River Canyon Reserve are other provincial treasures attracting investment. Business travel, including conferencing, adventure, heritage and cultural tourism, all hold huge growth potential in Mpumalanga, but require investment in infrastructure and product development. A hotel and conference centre project in Middelburg is making progress and should be completed in 2023.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES TOURISM Selected Strategic High Impact Projects: BOURKE’S LUCK POTHOLES HOTEL This natural water wonder is a major tourism attraction in the Mpumalanga Lowveld. This project presents an investment opportunity for a five-star hotel and a top-quality restaurant. Feasibility study: completed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): commenced Model: Joint Venture (JV), Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Value: R100-million BLYDE RIVER CANYON CABLE CAR PROJECT The Blyde River Canyon is the largest and deepest green canyon in the world and offers a spectacular opportunity to build a cable car transporting tourists from the top of the canyon to the peninsula below. Feasibility study: completed EIA: commenced Model: JV, BOT Value: R500-million GOD’S WINDOW SKY WALK The project to build a “Sky Walk” – an income-generating tourism attraction off the edge of the 700m God’s Window cliffs – giving 360-degree panoramic views out and down through a glass floor. Feasibility study: completed EIA: commenced Investors: secured Model: JV, BOT Value: R100-million 3.7km 500+ 13 Length of one of Eastgate Airport’s runways at Hoedspruit, which doubles as an airforce base. The other runway is 2.1km Bird species recorded in the Kruger National Park, including the Kori Bustard, Martial Eagle, Southern Ground Hornbill and Lappetfaced Vulture Nature reserves are run by the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency and Kruger National Park is run by SANParks

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