Manufacturing is the single largest economic sector in Mpumalanga and is the third largest provider of formal jobs after agriculture and mining. In 2009, manufacturing represented 17.7% of Mpumalanga’s gross geographic product (GGP), a figure that is slightly lower than in previous years.
The wood industry in Mpumalanga is comprised of forestry, logging, saw milling and planning of wood and related services. The Province is at the forefront of the country’s manufacturing capability in areas such as sawn timber, particleboard, furniture, kitchen cupboards and manufactured wood products for the building industry, such as paneled doors and windows. Pulp and paper dominate exports, while the balance comprises sawn lumber, value-added solid wood products, wood chips and wattle extract. The major export markets are the Far East and Europe, where the United Kingdom is a significant customer.
Paper manufacturing incorporates pulp, which is also a major export commodity; and coated and uncoated papers; paperboard; corrugated board and containers; together with other articles from paper and paperboard. Downstream, the packaging, printing and publishing sectors are well developed with good growth potential.
This sector of the industry has sought foreign markets to ensure continued growth. In addition, good progress has been made in linkage to other sectors.
Mpumalanga Province is the manufacturing base for iron and steel (90% of country’s carbon steel, all stainless steel). Their products are sold as slab, hot rolled, coil and plate and cold rolled coil and sheet. Among their customers are some of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial, engineering, automotive and consumer goods.
South Africa’s chemical industry is of substantial economic significance to the country, contributing around 5% to the gross domestic product (GDP) and approximately 25% of its manufacturing sales. South Africa is a world leader in coal based synthesis and gas-to-liquids (GTL) technologies.
In Mpumalanga, Sasol (Pty) Ltd dominates the chemical sector of the Province.
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