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Overview of the Steel Industry in South Africa and How to Buy Steel?

Flag of South Africa


Brief introduction of the country

  • South Africa has three capitals:
    • Pretoria (Executive)
    • Cape Town (Legislative)
    • Bloemfontein (Judicial)
  • It has a population of 60,041,994.
  • The total area is 1,221,037 km2.
  • The official languages of South Africa are:
    • Afrikaans
    • English
    • Zulu
    • Xhosa
    • Venda
    • Southern Sotho
    • Tswana
    • Tsonga
    • Swathi
    • Northern Sotho
    • Ndebele
  • The currency is South African Rand.


Economic statistics of the country

South Africa is the 2nd largest economy in Africa and 33rd in the world. It has a GDP of $351.4 billion. The largest industries of South Africa are:

  • Mining
  • Textile
  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing
  • Iron and steel
  • Automobile manufacturing
  • Machinery


Economy breakdown

  • Agriculture 1.88%
  • Industry 26%
  • Services 61.2%


Main Importers of South Africa’s Goods

  • China 10.7%
  • Germany 8.0%
  • United States 7.0%
  • United Kingdom 5.2%
  • Japan 4.8%


Main Exporters to South Africa

  • China 18.5%
  • Germany 9.9%
  • United States 6.6%
  • India 4.9%
  • Saudi Arabia 4.2%


Steel Use in South Africa

SouGiven the economic growth of South Africa, it is an attractive country for steel trade. South Africa's steel industry is diverse and includes steel for:

  • automotive and transport industry
  • mining industry
  • construction industry
  • agricultural industry.
  • The steel sector contributes to about 1.5% of GDP in South Africa.


  • Automotive and Transport Industry
  • Automotive industry of South Africa produces more than half a million units each year. It is a key consumer of steel. 28% of stainless steel is consumed by the automotive industry. Common applications include transmission towers, transport containers, railway freight and passenger cars etc.

  • Mining Industry
  • Steel has many applications in the mining industry because of being inexpensive and its qualities of being long-lasting, strong but light, and corrosion resistant. It is used in the mining industry of South Africa to make heavy mining machinery, tools, and mining site structures.

  • Construction Industry
  • 50% of overall steel consumption in South Africa is by the construction industry. It is the backbone of the construction industry. It is used in buildings and infrastructure because it binds well with concrete and is strong and cost effective.

  • Agricultural Industry
  • Steel is widely used in the agricultural industry for making structures like barns and greenhouses. It is used to make solar power and water reticulation systems. Moreover, it is also used for the making of farming and harvesting equipment like tractors etc.

Seaports and Trading Hubs of the Country

South Africa is accessible by both land and sea. For international trading, the main seaports are:

  • Port of Durban
  • Port of Richard’s Bay
  • Port of Saldanha
  • Port of Cape Town
  • Port Elizabeth
  • Port of East London
  • Port of Ngqura



For importing the good, Camasteel uses the largest port, the port of Durban.

What Steel does South Africa Import?

According to the latest trade data, South Africa imports $466 million in flat rolled products of steel and $55 million in bars and rods of steel. They include steel such as:


What Regulations are there on Importing Steel to the Country?

Import tariff is tax applied on all imported goods and services. Different rates of tax are applied to different products and services. When the products to be imported have been identified, details can be given to South African Revenue Service (Customs), who will advise on the applicable tariff and duty.

Why should South Africa Import Steel?

1. Availability -- The local steel industry has fixed capacity and some customers require steel in an efficient manner. It is highly in demand by the construction industry. Due to the immense increase in the demand of steel, it is necessary for South Africa to import it in order to cater to the country’s needs.

2. High Steel Cost – Due to the domestic competition and high costs of production, steel is more expensive to buy locally than it is in the world market. South Africa spent about $600 thousand on iron and steel in the previous years but due to increase in demand in 2020 about $1 million was spent on the import of iron and steel.

3. Steel Quality – While a majority of international steel suppliers have good company reputations and quality, some small local producers can have diverse steel quality. Local steel suppliers do not have good reputations and are generally not trusted much due to the low quality of their products. Therefore, in order to get superior quality products that meet their high standards, internationally acclaimed suppliers are the best option.

Where can I Buy Steel for South Africa?

Camasteel has been exporting steel to clients in South Africa. If you are looking to import steel in bulk and achieve cost-savings, then look no further because Camasteel provides superior quality products at reasonable costs. Feel free to contact us at [email protected] or WhatsApp us at +86-131-2037-9271 for a FREE quotation.
We also ship worldwide; for other countries, check out our experience here: