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North West Economy

image courtesy of iran-daily.comThe economy of the North West Province is dominated by the platinum mining sector, followed by finance, services and trade.


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Brief overview of the North West Province economy

Spanning a land area of approximately 105 076 km2, the North West Province covers 8.6% of the national land area and is home to 7% of South Africa’s people with a population figure of 3.6 million. The platinum-rich North West employs 10.8 % of the national share, contributing approximately 5.7% to the nation’s production. The buying power in the area is not to be ignored with 5.4% of South Africa’s spending power being located in the North West Province (Source:  IHS Global Insight’s Index Regional Explorer, 2013.)

Being largely a rural province, the North West is not densely populated (34 people per km²), especially when compared to the national population density of 43 people per km².  A significant exception in the province is the platinum-rich Bojanala Platinum District where the population density is almost double that of the national population at 85 people per km².

The economic structure of the North West Province is significantly different to the national structure, based on data recorded between 2007 and 2012. The most pronounced changes were an increase in the share of the mining sector and a decline in the agricultural, manufacturing, trade and transport sectors. The North West is ideally located and positioned for agriculture and mining, and its economy shows a high concentration of Mining and Government Services sectors compared to the national picture. The composition of the North West Economy is as follows: 44% in the Primary Sector, 7% in the Secondary Sector (with manufacturing contributing 3% and electricity 1% ) and 49% in the Tertiary Sector.

The graph below compares the North West to South Africa in terms of the provincial share of key economic sectors. (Source: IHS Global Insight Regional Explorer, 2013).


NWP Economy - Broad Economic Sectors 2013

As the graph above indicates, the North West Province’s economy is heavy reliant on the mining sector.  As part of his vision to diversify the provincial economy, North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo announced the strategic economic focus called ACT – Agriculture, Culture and Tourism – as part of ACTION – Agriculture, Culture and Tourism with Investment through Organised Networking – to diversify and grow the economy of the North West Province.

For more data and clarity on the North West province economy, contact the NWDC’s Research and Development unit at +27 (0)14 594 2570

  • USD 13.224
  • GBP 16.920
  • EUR 15.550
  • SGD 9.71
  • PLAT $964.75
  • GOLD $1,285.95
  • Oil $51.59
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