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Limpopo's economy is both dynamic and diverse. Mining, agriculture and tourism are particularly successful, and form the main economic drivers.

Limpopo has an advantage of location. The province borders both the South African commercial and industrial heartland of Gauteng and the key Southern African Development Community nations, thus providing easy access to South African and African markets.


Buried beneath Limpopo's bushveld lie some of the richest deposits of minerals found anywhere, including the world's largest reserves of platinum group metals, as well as chromium, nickel, cobalt, vanadium, tin, limestone and uranium clay.

Other natural resources include diamonds, gold, coal, copper, iron, lead, antinomy, phosphates, zinc, fluorspar, emeralds, scheelites, magnetite, vermiculite, amosite, andalusite, manganese, silicon, mica, black granite, corundum, feldspar, limestone, graphite, gypsum and salt.


Limpopo is one of the country's richest agricultural areas. The province accounts for a staggering 45% of the $267-million annual turnover of the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market. Subtropical fruit is grown in abundance - mangoes, avocados, papayas, bananas, pineapples and litchis - as well as citrus fruits.

The province grows two-thirds of the country's tomatoes and more than a third of its tea. Other crops include potatoes and other vegetables, coffee, nuts, guavas, table grapes, sisal, cotton, sunflowers, maize and tobacco. Forestry is extensive too, about 170 plantations producing more than 700 000 tons of timber a year.


Limpopo is not associated with heavy industry. However, there is a thriving manufacturing sector that leverages off the wealth of mineral and agricultural resources. Excellent manufacturing opportunities exist in tanning, fruit, vegetable and meat processing, brick, jewellery and furniture making, and industrial chemicals and light to medium engineering.

Private sector investment is also being sought in the manufacturing and utilisation of magnesium oxide, cement, lime-based products, and granite. Plenty of factory space and sound support infrastructure is already in place, making this deal even sweeter.


Not surprisingly, Limpopo draws thousands of local and foreign visitors every year. And equally, the province attracts investors ready to take advantage of the steady stream of eco-tourists. Yet enormous potential still remains for growth in this area:

  • Game farms have become a lucrative business and there is a strong demand from foreign investors.
  • There is plenty of opportunity for the independent hospitality provider interested in opening a smaller game lodge, bed and breakfast, restaurant, or similar business.
  • There are no fewer than 53 state-owned nature conservancies with potential for local and foreign investment in terms of ownership, management and concessionary activity.