South African cities are rapidly growing


More than half of South Africa’s population is urbanised – up to 64% of South Africans live in the country’s urban centres. And most of these people are under the age of 40. Brand South Africa’s research team has analysed the state of South Africa’s major cities.

CPT-text South Africa is rapidly urbanising, and the population in these cities are young and energetic, according to a Brand South Africa report. (Images: Brand South Africa)

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By Shamin Chibba

South Africa is urbanising at a rapid pace and its major cities are taking the most strain. Its five major cities are home to over 15 million residents.

Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban are known for their affordability and healthy job market, but the country’s social and economic challenges are obstacles for businesses wanting to enter these cities.

The perception of cities reflect on the nation’s brand and its reputation. According to Brand South Africa, this means that what cities offer residents and the world play a major role in shaping the reputation and competitiveness of the country as a whole.

Based on the 2015 City Brand and the Mastercard African Cities Growth indices, Brand South Africa’s research team analysed the state of South Africa’s major cities.

For the full analysis, read: The global reputation and competitiveness of South African cities.

Presented here are some of the highlights from the report.

JHB-SKYLINE According to Statistics South Africa and the World Bank, South Africa’s population is urbanised at a rate of 60% to 64%.

CPT-BOKAAP Out of a population of 54 million, more than 39 million are under the age of 40, and most of them live in cities.

PE01 South Africa has a much higher level of urbanisation than China (at 54%), India (at 32%), and Nigeria (at 47%). Despite this, some cities like Port Elizabeth, pictured above, has low growth potential according to the Afrcian Cities Growth Index.

CPT-FLOWER According to the City Brand Index, South African cities are renowned for their natural beauty and cultural diversity. People in Cape Town, pictured above, are seen as energetic.

DBN-BUSINESS South Africans are regarded as hard working and respectful of traditions, as seen here in a Durban textile store.

DBN-SKYLINE Durban is praised for its cleanliness.

JHB-STANLEY44 Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa with a population of 4.4 million, is known for its educational offerings and contribution to the world.

CPT-LONGSTREET-BY-NIGHT Cape Town’s 3.7 million people are praised for their open culture and interesting tourism offerings. The city also received high scores for its affordability and overall familiarity.

JHB-REA-VAYA Johannesburg and Cape Town lead their competitors Mexico City (46th), Cairo (47th) and Istanbul (45th), with Durban behind.

JHB-GAUTRAIN In the MasterCard African Cities Growth Index, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, and Tshwane are in the medium-low growth potential bracket. Cities with high growth potential include Maputo, Casablanca, Lagos, Abidjan and Dar es Salaam.