Africa is a massive continent. It consists of 54 countries with diverse histories, economies, politics, legal and tax systems, and has a total population of some 1.1 billion people – or about 15% of the total world population. This makes it one of the most promising emerging markets in the world and, with a profusion of commercial opportunities not just in its wealth of natural resources but across the economic spectrum, a key global investment location.

As the most industrialised country in southern Africa, South Africa offers opportunities not only for companies as a dynamic domestic market but as a springboard to the rest of the continent.

From an FDI perspective, South Africa is an ideal place to invest in for a variety of reasons – a mature, accessible legal system, independent courts and judiciary, advanced financial services and banking sectors, well-developed local capital markets and the finest transport infrastructure in Africa. Read more..

For investors from outside Africa who are considering investing into the continent, here are more compelling reasons to start with South Africa:

  • South Africa is the second largest economy in Africa, contributing 24% of African gross domestic product (GDP) and is part of the G-20 bloc
  • South Africa is ranked as one of the five major emerging economies and therefore forms part of the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)
  • The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is the largest stock exchange in Africa
  • South Africa has concluded more than 100 double taxation treaties worldwide, many with African countries
  • South Africa is a natural holding company gateway into Africa with minimum requirements for accessing other sub-Saharan markets
  • South Africa has low barriers to foreign direct investments allowing new capital to flow more easily into Africa
  • The commercial legal system is closely based on overseas, particularly English law, models
  • The cost of doing business in South Africa is generally low
  • South Africa has excellent natural resources including coal, platinum, gold, iron ore, manganese nickel, uranium and chromium
  • South Africa has a good availability of highly qualified, professional personnel
  • South Africa has excellent professional, physical and telecommunications infrastructure

Registering your company in South Africa

South Africa is well suited to act as a base for investment into Africa and Sovereign Trust (SA) is able to assist with the incorporation of South African companies and trusts.

Company registration in South Africa is straightforward. A company is incorporated by lodging its Memorandum of Incorporation and various supporting documents and company forms with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). A company may trade only when the Commissioner has issued it with a certificate to commence business.