Updated 29.09.2021

List of Top Investment Opportunities in South Africa 2021

South Africa is a land of many opportunities for African citizens and foreign investors alike. The country is rich in natural resources with gold as one of the leading minerals in the country. For a while now, South Africa has been known as a leading gold producer in the world. Besides, South Africa also has vast land available for farming and real estate establishment. All these present good investment opportunities. Politically, South Africa has survived significant upheavals to become a rainbow nation that accommodates all races and people from all walks of life. 

Even so, like any other country, South Africa experiences insignificant political issues as it adjusts to its ever changing social and political structure. Fortunately, these political problems fade away just as quickly as they arise leaving a stable country for people to do business and create wealth while at it. As an investor, you can create wealth by investing in any of these top investment opportunities in South Africa in 2021.

Real Estate

There are millions of people in South Africa who wish to own homes or buildings. The real estate market is not yet fully exploited. New architectural designs and advanced modern housing facilities come up every day, to meet the ever rising demand for properties in the country.

Sightings of new construction projects is commonplace in South Africa as property developers, both local and foreign, put up buildings in South Africa’s growing towns. The developers are not only focused on constructing new homes, but also refurbishing old homes for renting, leasing, and flipping. . 

There is a possibility that the prime rate for houses has reduced by at least 3%, which calls for property decline. The falling of property prices is what most real estate investors anticipate. This is when they buy undervalued properties at a discount and sell at a high marginal profit.

South Africa is among the fastest urbanized countries in Africa. Every single day about 30,000 new people move from rural areas to urban centers. Apart from the locals, you also come across thousands of immigrants from neighboring countries seeking refuge or work permits in the country.

All these people need a roof over their heads. Although most of them end up in informal houses in the slums, some come with money to invest in good homes in the city.

With the booming real estate sector in South Africa, many investors and property developers eye the top end market, mainly on high-end residential homes, industrial and commercial estates. This leaves a vast, untapped, and unserved market for low-priced residential homes in South Africa. That is why there exists an excellent opportunity for real investors interested in low-cost and low margins homes.

Apart from selling houses and properties, there exists an untapped market for construction materials in South Africa. Constructors need building blocks, cement, sand, timber, metals, and other building materials. For low-cost housing, you can sell low-cost building materials such as soil-based bricks. Remember to include design materials that enhance the look of a building no matter the building materials used. 

Agriculture

People cannot survive without food, no matter the economic conditions and other factors. Surprisingly, South Africa’s population is increasing daily, and the demand for food is high. Yet, there is not enough supply to feed all South Africans, which forces the government and other private companies to import from neighboring countries. The pressure for enough food supply calls for agricultural investment for future food security. You can open a private agricultural company for crops, fruits, and vegetable production.

There is also a significant growth space in agripreneurship in the country that involves new and adverse investments using advanced technology in agriculture. This kind of entrepreneurship creates business opportunities for farmers and new agricultural and food value chain investors.

With vast unfarmed acres of land in South Africa, agripreneurship can give rise to new farmers and fast-growing crops for better food production. This will create a new market, both local and international, and employment for many South Africans.

There is also a need to invest in agribusiness to provide information services and products for farmers and entrepreneurs. Currently, there are various agribusiness companies that promote agricultural value-chain opportunities. 

The country needs to encourage diverse farmers’ revenue streams in connection to secondary production. So, the establishment of agribusiness will aid in promoting efficiency and economies of scale among all types of farmers. It will also encourage business partnerships and networking among farmers and entrepreneurs.        

Untapped Opportunity in South Africa’s Agricultural Sectors

Some of these opportunities include:

Fish Farming 

There is an increased demand for fish meat and aqua food in South Africa because of its health benefits. Locals’ demand for fish meat and oils is high, and supply is low, yet most fish in South Africa is for export, leaving locals with no fish on their plates. There is still a significant opportunity for fish farming investment in the country for fish and fish meals such as corn and wheat.

Cannabis Farming

There is high demand for cannabis crops in South Africa for medical purposes, yet very few farmers. This is a business opportunity for local and international investors who can afford to buy or lease acres of land for cannabis production.

Cattle Farming

Like many countries, South Africans love meat, pork, beef, or mutton. You will always find pieces of red meat on a South African plate. Surprisingly, the demand for red meat is high, but the country experiences limited supply that causes a hike in prices. So, cattle farming for meat and milk Is an excellent opportunity for large-scale investors in South Africa.

Beekeeping

Very few South African practice beekeeping, and there is so much imported honey in the country. This is another untapped opportunity for investors who are well-versed in bee farming. You can either do the bee farming itself and process the honey for local and international sales or educate locals about the benefits of bee farming.

Poultry Farming

There is high demand for white meat and eggs due to their health benefits, yet the supply is low. The country needs more investors in poultry farming as well as meat processing. 

Fruits Farming

Fruits are simple eats that keep our body healthy with their excellent nutritional value. The South African government urges more avocado farming in the country for local selling and export. This is a gap that is yet to get filled up, and the demand is still high.

Telemedicine

As the country fights COVID-19, it promotes the use of technology in meeting people’s daily needs. This is especially important because of the vulnerability that the coronavirus pandemic exposed about South Africa’s healthcare systems. South Africa is among many African countries carrying the killer virus burden. Since its outbreak, the focus has been on the virus yet, there are people suffering from chronic illnesses that need much attention as well.

The pandemic has disrupted conventional South Africa’s healthcare system. Today, there is a lot of brain drain on the medical team and loss of life. The country has also witnessed hundreds of healthcare workers migration to western countries in search of better opportunities. This leaves the country with very few health workers who are currently overwhelmed with work. There is only one doctor per 1000 patients with limited healthcare resources. 

To cover this shortage, there is a need to invest in telemedicine in 2021. This service will also fill the healthcare gap brought about by the restrictions on patients visiting hospitals due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Essentially, the innovation allows patients to receive medical care in the comfort of their homes without visiting any hospital. That means you either get help online or via a call. In case a patient needs the attention of a physician, the doctor or nurse can come to your home. 

Investing in telemedicine in South Africa is a good opportunity for many people in the medical field who want to establish a hospital services business. Patients can receive prescriptions and advice from professional doctors through a phone call, live chat, or video call. This way, you can serve more patients with hospital visits and reservations for emergency cases. 

e-Sports and Gaming

With technology advancement and widespread internet use in South Africa, there is a need to tap the e-sports and gaming industry. South Africa boasts of many sporting activities from Rugby, Athletics, horse racing, football, among other games. However, there are very few websites that offer e-sports and Gaming

Today, South Africa boasts of the world’s best sportsmen and women, and just recently, one of their own became the first African player to receive sponsorship from Red Bull. The FIFA player is now an icon on PlayStation (PS4) and ranked 73 in the world.

This means that South Africa has become a world of competitive sports and video gaming. E-sports and Gaming is a worldwide market that boasts significant earnings from betting. With an increasing youth population who make up the highest percentage of people interested in the gaming industry, there is a need to establish more e-Sports and gaming companies in South Africa.

Virtual Education

We all witnessed classroom education coming to a halt in the entire world when COVID-19 struck the world in 2020. South Africa was no exception and still sending students to study at home because of the rise in COVID-19 cases in school.

South Africa has a broken education system, especially for the younger students living in slums or shanties. Schools in rural areas lack modern infrastructure, and home learning is news to them, which cannot happen.

There are many poor public schools in South Africa which have led to the establishment of private schools for those who can afford them. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual education has evolved in the country, this development leapfrogs the ability of physical school infrastructure. It provides both poor and abled students with a decentralized education model at affordable costs.

Parents are trying their best in 2021 to facilitate their children with smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The government has also taken measures to ensure that every student can access an internet connection. So, with many lockdowns and stay and study from home, education in South Africa is still going on.

You can take advantage of the pandemic situation and start your virtual education system if you are a teacher. All you have to do is charge students fairly so that they can all afford your lessons. You can also seek grants from donors and help many students in the country achieve their education goals.

Stock Markets and Funds

This is not a new investment opportunity in South Africa, but it has become popular in 2021, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. South Africans experienced a sudden knock from the JSE and lost so many points compared to the previous years before COVID-19 struck the world.

It is now easier than ever to invest in stock markets with companies such as eToro South Africa. While other types of businesses feel the pandemic impact, Stock market exchanges and brokers are still experiencing a rise in their return ratio.

However, while you are thinking of buying shares in major and well-established companies at a discounted price in 2021, note that the macro picture of the South African stock market contains obstacles. Not all stocks boast excellent investing prospects. So, you have to do proper research on the stock exchange market in the country. Ensure that you can differentiate between discounted equities to suit the current pandemic situation and undervalued equities caused by the actual performance. Some stocks are obviously more risky than others so it’s important to consider what your risk tolerance and investment goals are.

Funds and Bonds can be a safer way to invest rather than picking individual stocks. Fund managers will have a particular investment strategy and will usually be looking for long-term investment returns. It is wise to read all documents regarding the investment portfolio to ensure they are in alignment with your risk profile and expected return on investment. Bond funds are preferred by risk-averse investors, these could be government bond funds or corporate bond funds. Likewise, bank products such as high-yield savings accounts could be an equally excellent choice as vehicle for investment. 

Climate Smart Investments

There are a lot of opportunities for climate smart investments which look to combat the effect of climate change and encourage sustainability. This can be seen with the uptake of electric vehicles and renewable energy such as solar power. More institutions are now also looking at investing in clean energy stocks. You can read more about some of the SDG-Enabling Investment Opportunities

Gold, Precious Stones, and Metals

Gold, precious stones, and metals are hedging assets in difficult financial times. Even with the current economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, prices for gold and precious stones are still escalating. So, investing in the three can provide you with feasible income for rainy days. However, ensure that you purchase the goods from legal suppliers. Also, do deep research of gold and other stones production, current market, storage, and delivery for a more manageable investment.

Urban Logistics

With most South Africans moving to the city and other urban areas, they create major logistical problems. People need goods and services in their specific location, and this market gap is still untapped. This makes a great investment opportunity in 2021.

Currently, South Africa lacks a formal address system in many urban settings. Lack of correct and verified addresses makes business conduct challenging and frustrating. Your customers and lenders cannot verify your identity or track your location to collect their orders. As the population grows in the country, it strains the limited transport infrastructure and makes the movement of goods difficult. The good news is that you start up a delivery company in the urban areas using your truck or car. You can combine technology with customers’ networks and ease logistical problems.

Cybersecurity and Data Storage

When COVID-19 struck the world, many businesses and companies turned to work from home. This jeopardized many company’s information since every data was open to hackers and third-party people.

To date, South Africa is still facing cybersecurity challenges that have escalated with the current pandemic. Many organizations and individuals are getting targeted with small and massive attacks. This happens in emails, ransomware, malicious activities, and customer data. 

This has made cybersecurity one of the significant emerging business opportunities in South Africa. There is a need to create potential solutions for the damages and losses caused to companies. Very few specialists cannot handle the uprising cyber crime issues alone, and more are needed. South Africa also needs local data storage, which you can also take as an investment opportunity.

Cryptocurrencies

How about investing in blockchain and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The world is currently going cashless with the introduction of blockchains and cryptocurrencies. This is a safety trade measure even with coronavirus because there is no touching of money in this business. You trade online on your phone or on a computer, and some cryptocurrencies get deposited into your account.

There is still an unexplored market for cryptocurrencies in South Africa. You can either invest in crypto mining, or crypto trading among other forms of crypto investment strategies. Even better, some banks are planning a regulatory sandbox that will allow private investors to experiment on blockchains and cryptocurrencies under regulatory conditions.

However, as much as the investment looks lucrative, you should be cautious and not put all your eggs in one basket. This is because there are many fraudulent cryptocurrency traders globally hungry for your money. Once they get hold of your money, they shut down their accounts, and you are left bankrupt.

Also, trade with caution as the government hasn’t fully legalized cryptocurrency trading. Educate yourself on South Africa’s crypto regulations to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law while investing.

South Africa is a land of many opportunities for both local and foreign investment. You can invest in virtual education, agriculture, logistics, cryptocurrencies, telemedicine, eSports, and Gaming. With the rapidly growing population in 2021 and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is best to take advantage of the current opportunities. Remember, in order to reduce risk it is recommended to consider a wide range of investments to ensure a diversified portfolio.

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