Cape Town’s strong skills base enables it to be flexible, responsive and innovative in response to ever-shifting technology possibility frontiers.
The electronics sector, although relatively small, is an important contributor to foreign exchange earnings through both exports and FDI. In 2016, the sector contributed ZAR884 million to the Cape Town economy.
Cape Town has a strong company representation across the following clusters: satellite technology, circuit board and contract manufacturing, audio-visual product manufacturing, including televisions, telecommunications and medical technology
Competitive advantages of the Electronics industry in Cape Town
- There is a prevalence of innovative design thinking and strong systems integration.
- There is good access to skilled engineers required within the sector.
- There are established African export markets for electronic products and good infrastructural connectivity to these markets.
- It is relatively easy to export products from Cape Town.Cape Town is considered a comparatively low cost destination for consumer electronic manufacturing.
- In a 2014 study by FDI Benchmarking, Cape Town ranked 11th in terms of quality but first in terms of cost, meaning it was the cheapest of the benchmarked countries to set up a consumer electronics manufacturing plant.
- Cape Town has an historical advantage for companies in space technology due to the national space programme facility (Houwteq) being previously located in Grabouw. This has resulted in an agglomeration of space technology skills in Somerset West.
- The business environment is perceived to be safer, based on a perception of lower crime levels in Cape Town.