Investment incentives available in South Africa


South Africa offers various attractive investment incentives, targeted at specific sectors or types of business activities.

Opportunities and incentives exist for those wishing to invest in South Africa. (Image: Brand South Africa)

Government assistance

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has a number of incentive schemes ranging from tax allowances to support in the automotive sector, from helping innovation and technology companies to film and television production.

Investment incentives portal

To help companies or individuals wanting to make use of the government’s business and infrastructure development and job creation, incentives can be found in one place, on a one-stop web portal.

The website helps potential investors find the incentive that might fit by dividing state incentives into three categories:

  • Concept, research and development incentives – for private sector businesses that invest in the creation, design and improvement of new products and processes.
  • Capital expenditure incentives – for companies that want to acquire or upgrade assets in order either to establish or expand their business’ productive capacity.
  • Competitiveness enhancement incentives – for investments that facilitate increased competitiveness, sustainable economic growth and development in a specific sector.

Research and development incentives offer:

  • Grants for small R&D projects;
  • Grants for large R&D projects;
  • R&D tax incentives;
  • Grants for feasibility studies;
  • The Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme;
  • The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) technology programme;
  • A technology venture capital fund; and
  • R&D in the automotive industry.

Capital expenditure incentives are available for:

  • Small industry;
  • Large industry;
  • Critical infrastructure;
  • Industrial development zones;
  • Capital expenditure in the automotive industry;
  • Foreign investment;
  • Capital expenditure in the textiles industry; and
  • Manufacturing competitiveness enhancement.

Competitiveness enhancement incentives are for:

  • Business process services (outsourcing);
  • Black business supplier development;
  • Export marketing and investment assistance;
  • Sector specific assistance;
  • Film production;
  • Competitiveness in the clothing and textiles industries;
  • Co-operatives;
  • Female economic empowerment through the Bavumile training programme for rural women and the Isivande Women’s Fund; and
  • Manufacturing competitiveness enhancement.

Useful links

Sources: The Department of Trade and Industry, Industrial Development Corporation

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