8 reasons why SA is the gateway to Africa

South Africa has experienced significant challenges over the past decade, including corruption, policy uncertainty, persistently high crime, poverty and unemployment, and market volatility. But it is still one of the leading economies in Africa, is recognised as one of the best countries in the world in which to live, boasts one of the finest climates in the world, and offers a remarkable lifestyle at a relatively low cost.

South Africa has also established a global diplomatic footprint. There are more than 180 foreign representations in South Africa, including embassies and consulates. In our opinion, there are 8 compelling reasons why it will remain the diplomatic, political and investment gateway into Africa:

  1. South Africa is one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in Africa. It is home to more than 60 million people and has a nominal GDP per capita of $5,121, according to Briefly.*

  2. The country has established itself as the leading African voice in the Global South, through its proactive involvement in multilateral forums like the United Nations, G20, Brics and the World Trade Organization.

  3. SA is a leader among developing nations as the only country in Africa to belong to the elite Brics group of developing-nation giants.

  4. According to analysts at the World Bank in 2020’s Ease of Doing Business* study, South Africa is ranked in a strong 4th position in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  5. The low cost of doing business in South Africa compares well with most other emerging markets, with cost savings further enhanced by a currency that is relatively weak compared to those of most developed nations.

  6. SA is a safe investment destination offering solid returns and ranks highly (in Africa and globally) in terms of investor and shareholder protection. The country consistently delivers competitive financial returns for investors and offers extensive investment opportunities across all market sectors.

  7. The South African government is actively seeking to enhance investment levels and supports business investors through a range of incentives for companies that invest in various special economic zones (SEZs). These include a preferential 15% corporate tax rate, suspension of value-added tax (VAT) and customs duties, employment creation incentives, building allowances, and preferential rental and utility costs.

  8. South Africa remains relatively inexpensive in comparison to many countries. In the 2022 Mercer Cost of Living* rankings, Johannesburg ranks 193rd and Cape Town 194th out of the 227 cities ranked, making it more affordable than peer-group cities like Lagos (55th) or Nairobi (160th).

Make the most of what South Africa has to offer you, your business and your employees

Nedbank’s Non-resident and Embassy Banking team understands the opportunities and challenges of non-residents and foreign-registered business in South Africa. We have a special division that’s geared up to manage their financial affairs seamlessly. Our specialists set up and manage rand-based or foreign-currency business accounts, offering round-the-clock support and easy-to-use digital channels. Our unique financial options cater for businesses, employees and their households, giving them local transactional accounts with foreign trade, home loan and vehicle financing access.

Product solutions can be tailored to suit each client’s unique circumstances and provide the insight, understanding and opportunities they need to reach their goals and ambitions, so that they can enjoy everything else South Africa has to offer.

Carin Kotze has worked for Nedbank for 24 years and Ntsiliseng Lebaka has been with the bank for 23. They are the area client managers for Nedbank Non-Resident and Embassy Banking in Western Cape and Gauteng respectively and welcome the opportunity to engage.

To find out how Nedbank can provide tailored financial services for you or your foreign-owned business and employees in South Africa or throughout the rest of the continent, from top-of-the-range exchange control services to a dedicated banker and round-the-clock helpdesk, please email nreb@nedbank.co.za

*Sources: Briefly.co.za2020 Ease of Doing Business rankings2020 Mercer Cost of Living rankings