Purpose-led Economics

Navigating the post-lockdown South African economy

The South African economy was negatively affected in 2022 by the global fallout from the Ukraine-Russia conflict, experiencing elevated inflation, rising interest rates, and slower economic growth. The economy also experienced a further increase in electricity load-shedding. However, there were also positive points to note, including some recovery in the labour market and improvement in the country’s fiscal situation.

Challenges and opportunities in 2023

The economic situation at the start of 2023 remains challenging. While headline inflation peaked late last year, South Africa has seen a further deterioration in electricity security. The country is expected to see a slowdown in economic and employment growth during 2023 alongside headwinds faced in the domestic and international economy.

Despite these challenges, South Africa offers a large market opportunity: a population of more than 60 million people, a sophisticated financial system, well-established manufacturing sector, a century-long legacy of commodity exports, highly innovative companies, top quality universities, and some of the most beautiful tourist attractions in the world.

Alongside previously unimagined challenges, local businesses are also seeing new opportunities open up in 2023. However, as in many emerging markets, finding value and solutions in South Africa is now more challenging than ever. Understanding the local economic and political context is imperative in grasping the reshaped long-term opportunities that the country offers domestic and international investors.

South Africa is also still a competitive gateway into the rest of the continent. PwC has a wide network of experts across the continent who understand the intricacies of Africa’s economies. Many of the challenges seen in South Africa — and the solutions that we offer to our clients at the southern tip of the continent — are used to answer important questions elsewhere in Africa.

Issues you may be facing

  • Slow domestic market growth
  • Elevated producer and consumer price inflation
  • Deteriorating electricity security 
  • Industry-specific policy uncertainty
  • Long-term structural challenges (e.g. demographic change)
  • Climate change

How we can add value

Our team of experts are helping clients with a variety of services as they navigate the South African economy.

Measure your impact on the economy

Measure your impact on the economy and society

  • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Just Transition

  • Economic Impact Assessment (EIA)

  • Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA)

  • Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA)

  • Total tax contribution

  • Localisation calculations

Make decisions about risk and investment

  • Macroeconomic and political research

  • Market entry analysis

  • Country and industry risk assessments

  • Commercial due diligence assistance

Plan for future economic scenarios

  • ESG scenario planning 

  • Economic and political scenario planning

  • Industry and macroeconomic modelling

  • IFRS 9 audit assist

Contact us

Lullu Krugel

Lullu Krugel

PwC Africa ESG Platform Leader, Strategy& and Chief Economist, Strategy& South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 82 708 2330

Dirk Mostert

Dirk Mostert

Associate Director, Strategy& South Africa

Tel: +27 21 529 2106