Sector Overview

The SACEEC is an indispensable part of the globalisation of the South African Industry

An Overview of the South African Capital Equipment Manufacturing and Allied Services Sector

There are very few cases in economic history where a country has achieved sustained and sustainable economic development which has not been led by manufacturing, this is especially true of South Africa where the manufacturing sector has the highest economic multipliers primarily due to its value-addition, linkages to upstream production sectors of the economy (mining and agriculture) and the downstream services sectors.

The past decade has been a tough period for the mining industry and related manufacturing industry in southern Africa with the region’s powerhouse South Africa being immersed in a series of political scandals and economic underperformance at a time of low commodity prices, thereby taking a toll on its mining industry. Having said this, the region’s strengths are undeniable, hosting some of the most competitive infrastructure networks on the continent, a highly skilled labour force relative to other African regions and mineral deposits ranging from gold to copper and diamonds to coal. The new South African Mining Charter, with its expectations of increased Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and Local Procurement rules is poised to stimulate fresh investment in manufacturing technologies for research and development and mining innovation.

The South African Capital Equipment manufacturing and allied services sector has had a long history. It took off modestly during the last part of the 19th century with the discovery of gold and diamonds. The sector can be divided into five segments:  1) Agriculture, 2) Mining, 3) Building and Construction, 4) Utilities and 5) Other Processing Industries such as chemical processing, automobile and electronic manufacturing. However, by far the biggest part of South African capital equipment manufacturing goes to the mining and mining processing industries. Because of the uniqueness of the geological formations in the SA mining environment such as hard rock, deep deposits, steep dip of ore bodies, very narrow veins and some low grades, equipment manufacturers both on the mining and minerals processing sides, had to be innovative and bold in order to deliver appropriate solutions in terms of equipment and related services.  These range from highly innovative designs and the associated R&D, increased mine efficiency and the development of an appropriate safety environment for the challenging conditions found in some of the deepest mines in the world. Tailor made financial services also had to follow suit.

This demanding home market has created the perfect environment for South African manufacturers and service suppliers to be highly competitive exporters to the mining industry world-wide, even during the present adverse conditions. Several clusters exist to support this continuous competitiveness and innovation drive such as the Valve and Actuators Manufacturers Cluster of South Africa (VAMCOSA), Hydraulic and Pneumatic Export Cluster (HAPEC) and the South African Minerals Processing Equipment Cluster (SAMPEC) all operating within the ambit of the South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC).

South African capital equipment exporters are highly qualified to provide simple, as well as comprehensive solutions to your mining and minerals processing needs in terms of equipment and services, for green- and brown- field capital projects, for aftermarket supplies, for de-bottlenecking, for revamping and for optimisation.

The SACEEC ( together with other engineering oriented export councils such as the South African Electrotechnical Export Council (SAEEC), ( the International Steel Fabricators (ISF) ( and the Built Environment Export Council (BEPEC) ( are Public Private Partnerships working with the South African Department of Trade and Industry ( to promote exports and the globalisation of South African companies to render the most competitive solutions for South Africa’s international clients.


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