Four facts you might not have known about the manufacturing industry

Four facts you might not have known about the manufacturing industry

Recently released data from Stats SA provide fresh insight into South Africa’s manufacturing industry.

In 2014, Stats SA conducted a large sample survey of the industry, covering about 15 000 enterprises. The results of the survey – containing detailed information on income, employment, capital expenditure, salaries and production – were recently published in two reports: Manufacturing industry: Financial, 2014 and Manufacturing industry: Production, 2014.

The following are a few interesting facts from the reports relating to the labour market:


Fact 1: 52% of the workforce resides in just three metros

Over half of the manufacturing industry’s national workforce is concentrated in just three metros: Johannesburg, Cape Town and eThekwini. The chart below shows the distribution of manufacturing’s 1,19 million employees across 44 districts and 8 metropolitan areas. In 2014, 312 000 people (26% of the national total) were employed in Johannesburg. Click on the chart to enlarge.



Fact 2: Metal and machinery manufacturers are the largest employers

Metals and machinery enterprises employ the largest number of individuals in the manufacturing industry, followed by the food and beverages and petroleum and chemicals enterprises.



Fact 3: Petroleum pays the highest average salary; textiles the lowest

If you want to maximise your salary in manufacturing, find a job in petroleum and chemicals. The average salary for an employee working in this group of enterprises was R265 871 per annum in 2014, far higher than the R69 443 for an employee working in textiles and clothing.



Fact 4: Manufacturing lost 250 000 jobs over a ten-year period

The number of people employed in the manufacturing industry has declined over the years, from 1,44 million in 2005 to 1,19 million in 2014. The job losses occurred across all manufacturing divisions with the exception of petroleum and chemicals, which created employment for 20 000 people. The largest drop in employment occurred in the textiles industry, which lost 91 000 jobs over the period.


For more interesting facts about the manufacturing industry, download the media release presentation here.

For detailed tables, download the full reports here and here.