South Africa has a well-developed manufacturing sector with a strong reputation for quality and innovation.
It is the largest economy in Africa and the ninth-largest in the world by nominal GDP.
Despite being a developing country, South Africa has a strong manufacturing sector that is still growing.
Manufacturing companies have access to modern technology and infrastructure, making it an attractive destination for foreign investors.
There are minimal barriers to entry into the industry, which means that South African manufacturers face competition from both local and international companies.
There are many manufacturing industries that you can start with little capital.
If you have been looking for businesses to start in South Africa, consider starting one of these 13 manufacturing businesses:
Best Manufacturing Business Ideas in South Africa
1. Glass Manufacturing Business
Glass manufacturing is yet another thriving and profitable business that an entrepreneur who is interested in starting a small-scale manufacturing company can successfully start in South Africa.
Glass is used for a variety of things such as windows, containers, bottles, etc.
The demand for glass has not diminished over the years even with the introduction of plastics and other materials.
You can start your own glass manufacturing business by buying a glass-making machine that can be sourced from anywhere including China and India.
Your market will include manufacturers of products that use glass such as beverages, cosmetics, etc.
2. Soft Drinks Manufacturing Business
The good thing about the soft drinks manufacturing business is that it is not capital intensive, and you can easily start it from home.
You only need to rent a place or use your garage or kitchen to prepare the product.
Soft drinks are consumed daily by people of all ages in South Africa. This makes the market for soft drinks a very lucrative one.
People consume soft drinks more than alcohol, which means starting a soft drinks business is more profitable than going into the alcohol business
To start a soft drink manufacturing company, you need to register your business with the CIPC, paying attention to the excise tax laws and other environmental laws in your area.
3. Shoe Manufacturing Business
A shoe-making business is a profitable venture that can be set up in rural, suburban, or urban areas.
It involves the manufacture of different types and designs of shoes.
The market for shoes in South Africa is virtually endless because everybody wears shoes.
The good thing about shoe-making businesses is that they do not require much capital to start, they are easy to manage and they guarantee huge returns on investment.
As a startup entrepreneur, you can start small by making shoes and other leather goods at home and then gradually scale up as your business expands.
You will need to identify a niche market to focus your attention and resources on it.
4. Soap Production
Soap is considered to be a basic need for human beings, so it is never out of demand.
Starting up a soap production firm will guarantee constant demand and steady income flow.
For this idea, you will need to have some skills in chemistry because you will be required to mix different chemicals to produce the soap.
If you are not a chemist, you can hire one on a contract basis.
The capital needed for this business can be sourced from banks and other financial institutions.
You will also need a good location that has a constant flow of customers and a vehicle that can help with deliveries.
5. Earth Wire Production Business
This is one of the most lucrative manufacturing businesses in South Africa.
The earth wire is an electrical conductor that protects the users from electric shock by passing electric current to the ground in case of faulty insulation on the wires.
Earth wire does not only protect human lives but also sensitive equipment used in homes and factories from damage.
It’s a fast-growing product in Africa and it has very high demand in the market.
You will need a place where you can do the production and then sell to those who need them.
6. Manufacturing of Cosmetic Products
In South Africa, the cosmetic market is growing at a rapid rate.
This industry is worth R15.8 billion and includes beauty products for skin, nails, fragrance, and hair care, as well as personal hygiene products for women and men.
If you can find a unique niche market within this industry, you will be able to earn a lot of money.
Some of the most popular cosmetic products include anti-ageing creams and lotions, sunscreen, lip balm, and sunburn relief products.
You could also focus on making hair care products like shampoo or conditioner.
There are lots of opportunities to break into this industry and make some serious money.
This is a relatively easy business idea to get off the ground because all you need is raw materials, a lab, a place to manufacture your products and store them until they are ready to be sold, as well as packaging materials.
7. Cement Manufacturing Business
If you are looking for a manufacturing business to start in South Africa, cement manufacturing is probably one of the most profitable ones.
This is because cement is one of the most used building materials in the country.
It is a well-known fact that cement is essential in the construction of virtually any structure, from homes and buildings to bridges and sewer systems.
The demand for cement will rise since it’s the most used building material in the world.
If you are considering starting a cement factory in South Africa, you will be able to make profits all year round.
Get into this business by having a good understanding of how cement is made and sold in South Africa.
8. Clothes Manufacturing Business
Starting up a clothing manufacturing business is a highly creative and profitable enterprise.
However, starting a successful clothing line is not an easy task.
It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and most importantly, a creative mind.
To start your clothing line successfully, the first step is to plan your business strategy.
You will have to decide on what category of clothing you want to offer, who your target customers are, and how you are going to promote your products.
After planning, the next step is to set up your manufacturing unit or find an efficient manufacturer for outsourcing production.
Outsourcing production can be an efficient way of making clothes provided that you have selected the right manufacturing partner for planning and executing timely deliveries.
9. Tiles Manufacturing
One of the manufacturing business ideas in South Africa you can consider is floor tiles manufacturing.
Floor tiles are essential for residential homes, commercial places, and industrial places.
If you are looking for a business to start in the manufacturing industry, then one of your options is to go into floor tile manufacturing.
There are so many designs of floor tiles that you could manufacture. Some of the floor tile designs include terrazzo, brick, ceramic, mosaic, etc.
You can choose to produce all the designs or just one design. It all depends on your investment capacity and available resources.
10. Production of Baking Soda
Baking soda is one of the ingredients used in the production of bread and cake.
It is also used in many homes as a cleaning product and a deodorizer.
It is used to preserve some food items such as fish, meat, and eggs.
The baking soda production business can be started with less capital and it can be run on a small-scale or medium-scale basis.
The demand for baking soda is always high since it’s used by almost everyone.
11. Manufacture of Offset Printing Ink
Offset printing ink is one of the types of printing ink that is used extensively in the print media industry.
The demand for this type of ink has been on the increase for a long time now and there are not enough producers to meet up with the rising demand.
So if you are looking toward starting a manufacturing business, one of your options is to start an offset printing ink production company.
The truth is that there are loads of businesses that require offset printing services, hence the high demand for offset printing ink and offset printing services providers.
If you are looking towards starting this type of business, all you need to do is to get the required machinery and equipment needed for the production process.
12. Bamboo Toothpick Production
Bamboo toothpick production is a simple process that can be learned by anybody with the right information and guidance.
The major raw materials required for bamboo toothpick production are bamboo sticks and wood veneers.
Bamboo sticks are readily available in South Africa, and can also be purchased from overseas countries like China.
The wood veneer is used in packing the ready-made toothpicks into cartons for sale.
The equipment needed for bamboo toothpick production is a drying machine, cutting machine, shaping machine, and packing machine.
These machines can be purchased as brand new or fairly used ones and can be sourced from China at affordable prices.
13. Surgical Mask Production
If you’re good at sewing and want to start a business in a variety of potential markets, consider starting a surgical mask production business.
Using a few simple materials, you can produce masks that help people when they need them the most.
Surgical masks are used every day by medical professionals to protect against the risk of infection, but consumer demand for them spikes at various times, such as when news surfaces about the spread of viruses such as the coronavirus.
In addition, with air quality worsening in many large cities across the world, people are seeking more and more ways to protect themselves from pollutants.
If you are looking for a manufacturing business idea in South Africa, it is important to take into account all the risk factors.
Manufacturing business comes with some big challenges, but more so rewards if you are willing to take those challenges and succeed.
There is no doubt that the manufacturing industry will continue to grow and be one of the fastest-growing industries in the world today.