Africa boasts some of the fastest-growing national economies in the world, with South Africa having already established itself as the second-largest economy on the continent – just behind Nigeria and its population that’s four-times the size of ZA. Businesses are always looking to improve as industries grow larger and invite in more innovative competitors.
In two of the biggest and fastest-growing industries in the country, one apparent factor runs through them both, which has, in turn, led to other industries and businesses becoming reliant on them to grow across South Africa. The main thread which runs through the two surging sectors is technology. While some say that people have become addicted to technology, its application in the world of business has become a necessity in the modern-day, as we can see by exploring the rapidly expanding industries of ZA.
The flying mobile and digital sector
The general conversation concerning the rise of mobiles across the continent often points to how the sector is growing and starting to influence each nation. In South Africa, smartphone penetration has already surpassed 90 percent, with the number of mobile users also increasing last year. It marks a huge rate of growth over the last few years, with smartphone penetration growing from around 43 percent in 2016 to over 90 percent as of 2019.
The sharp rise and general accessibility of mobile devices is changing how people perform everyday tasks, from communications to entertainment. With a fully-established mobile sector, businesses have been able to reach more customers with ease and even forge new mobile-based offerings to tailor the local internet to the people of South Africa. Alongside mobile, many digital entertainment platforms have been able to establish themselves in the ever-growing space, becoming more popular and competitive in recent times.
Around the world, a new phenomenon is taking over wherever people can play games, which is, effectively, anywhere that computers, consoles, or mobiles are widely available with an online connection. The eSports industry is growing at an incredible rate, with people evidently indulging in the chance to not just compete for grand prizes but also to watch the action unfold.
In South Africa, the value of the eSports industry is set to more than double between 2019 and 2023. Mass smartphone adoption has also created and advanced a competitive national space for the iGaming industry. Now, top-class new casinos are regularly opening up to offer a ZA-tailored offering of entertainment, which includes being able to use the rand, claim bonuses in rand, and the option to try games for free. Mobile app games have also been growing in popularity across the country, with revenue in the segment set to reach ZAR 849bn this year.
An ever-adapting yet most ancient industry
Long cited as one of the key industries for growth opportunity in South Africa, the country is gearing up to increase its agricultural exports by triple come 2030. Consumption continues to rise in Asia and across sub-Saharan Africa, allowing the growth to occur. To aid this growth, technology is being implemented across the board, delivering many useful pieces of analysis and solutions to one of the oldest practices of humankind.
Drones and satellites are being used a great deal to help farmers acquire geographic information, localizing the specific requirements of any given set-up to cut costs and ramp-up productivity. GPS-based apps have also been adopted to provide vital information, such as by monitoring crops, navigating machinery, analyzing the soil, and even making it possible to work at night or through adverse weather.
South African agriculture businesses are also getting help from foreign organizations to help implement new technological practices to enhance the productivity of their operations. This has most recently proven to be the case in chicken farming, with the US-based World Poultry Foundation supporting the build and understanding of a chicken house built with the latest in poultry management technologies implemented.
Successful and progressing businesses are leaping at the opportunity to incorporate new technologies into their practices, helping them grow at an even faster rate – advice that should be taken on by just about every business in South Africa.