IMA Overview

Country overview

South Africa is the most sophisticated and developed economy in Africa and has some high-class companies in finance, real estate and business services, manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade. South Africa is the ‘gateway to Africa’ for investors due to its comparative sophistication, ease of doing business, continental expertise and ability to act as a base for critical services (e.g. auditing) for doing business on the rest of the continent.

South Africa’s business environment is challenging but still one of the best in the developing world, with a well-developed transport infrastructure, sound macro conditions and robust financial and legal frameworks also exist. Challenges are not insurmountable, and many are already being addressed. The development of powerful interventions such as the National Development Plan and the New Growth Path provide a strong blueprint for tackling these issues. The country has also improved in a range of other areas around starting a business, registering property, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and paying taxes.

The UK is a valued trading partner for South Africa, with annual bilateral trade worth just under £10 billion. Many languages and dialects are spoken in South Africa, but English is the most-widely understood, and the common business language.

About IMA Guides

About this guide

This guide aims to provide a route map of the way ahead, together with signposts to other sources of help.

The main objective of this Doing Business in South Africa Guide is to provide you with basic knowledge about South Africa; an overview of its economy, business culture, potential opportunities and to identify the main issues associated with initial research, market entry, risk management and cultural and language issues.

We do not pretend to provide all the answers in the guide, but novice exporters in particular will find it a useful starting point. Further assistance is available from the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in South Africa. Full contact details are available in this guide.

To help your business succeed in South Africa we have carefully selected a variety of essential service providers as ‘Market Experts’ Click Here.

The guide is available in 4 formats:

  • this website

  • a ‘free’ downloadable 'mobile device-friendly’ app – available from the iTunes App Store and Google Play store

  • a full colour hard-copy brochure (to order your copy please Click Here)

  • PDF download/e-flipbook (available to download below)

UKTI Video

About IOE&IT

An introduction to the Institute of Export & International Trade

IOE&IT Homepage You Tube Icon 304x 250px

Established in 1935, the Institute of Export & International Trade is the professional membership body representing and supporting the interests of everyone involved in importing, exporting and international trade. Offering a unique range of individual and business membership benefits and a world renowned suite of qualifications and training, the Institute is the leading authority in best practice and competence for businesses trading globally.

To view other videos, please visit the IOE&IT YouTube Channel.

For more information visit:

Market Experts

Doing Business in South Africa Guide Market Experts - Please click on the logos below to view our Market Expert profiles and to find out how they can help you to succeed in South Africa!

Financial Institution

Absa Barclays Dual Small Logo 240X140px

Shipping & Logistics

DHL Small Logo 240X140px

Law / Legal Services

Ensafrica Small Logo 240X140px

Audit Tax & Advisory

GT Small Logo 240X140px

Case Study (from a UK based company with proven success in South Africa)

Illovo NEW Small Logo 240x 140px


Old Mutual Insure Small Logo 240X140px

Office Solutions / Office Services


Market Entry / Professional Business Services

TMF Small Logo 240X140px

Forex / Money Exchange Services

VF Small Logo 240X140px

ICT / Telecommunications


Download the 'Doing Business in South Africa Guide' as an e-Flipbook or a PDF


South Africa Cover Image _with _outline


E -Flipbook Download (South Africa Green )JPG

Click the button above to Download the full
'Doing Business in South Africa Guide' as an e-Flipbook

PDF Download

PDF Download (South Africa Green )JPG

Click the button above to Download the full 
'Doing Business in South Africa Guide' as a PDF Document   



Download the FREE Mobile-App! 

Simply search 'Doing Business Guides' 
to download!

Available _appstore

On -google -play

South Africa Cover I Phone

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