With a population exceeding 12 million Gauteng is at once South Africa’s smallest yet most populated province. Home to the country’s two biggest cities – Johannesburg and Pretoria – Gauteng is the country’s economic engine room and hosts the largest stock exchange in Africa. It also plays a major role in the financial, technology, transport and telecoms sectors.
|3,740,026||Leisure||The City Bowl|
Cape Town was recently named the best place in the world to visit by both the New York Times and the UK’s Daily Telegraph. Home to Table Mountain and pristine beaches the city lures more than 1.7 million tourists every year. But many other industries thrive in this multicultural metropolis too: not least finance, transport, fishing and electronics.
|3,442,361||Transportation||Central Business District|
Home to South Africa’s busiest port, Durban is a globally influential importer and exporter as well as the country’s second largest manufacturing hub after Johannesburg. It is also the seventh richest city in Africa, with nearly 3,000 millionaires living in the city. Lured to its subtropical climate and enviable beaches, tourists also flock from around the world in great numbers.
|5,822,734||Leisure, Real Estate||Cape Town|
The Western Cape is South Africa’s fourth largest province and one of the country’s fastest-growing economies. Central to this growth are its financial, real-estate and business service sectors. However, other industries are flourishing too, such as fashion, TV and technology. The region can also claim a lower than national average unemployment rate.
|2,921,488||Professional Services, Retail||Tshwane|
Pretoria’s economic success is powered by its central business district, which boasts some of South Africa’s biggest banks, shopping centres and skyscrapers. One of three capital cities it serves as the country’s executive seat of government. It also has three highly regarded universities and is a dynamic hub for research and development.
KwaZulu-Natal province is home to Durban, the busiest port in Africa. It also generates huge income from its world-renowned vineyards, which are also mainly located in and around Durban. Further north, Newcastle is an industrial powerhouse for the production of steel, rubber, diamonds and cement.
Johannesburg was founded on a gold mine and the South African capital’s gold and diamond trade still fuels its economy nearly 150 years later. The mining industry has admittedly slowed, but manufacturing has risen in its stead. ‘Joburg’, as the city is affectionately known, made MasterCard’s Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index top 50 and boasts the region’s best shopping centres.
Thailand’s economy is heavily export-dependent, with major exports including rice, jewellery, cars and technology. Tourism makes up 6% of the economy, with tourists enchanted by a heady mix of famously friendly locals, renowned cuisine and stunning beach resorts. Nevertheless, nearly half of the Thai labour force is still employed in agriculture.