Cape Town’s Top Industries And Commercial Areas

Cape Town’s reputation as South Africa’s best run and most promising business city remains unchallenged as the quality of infrastructure, services, and human capital outpaces that of other provinces.

In addition to traditional industries, like food and beverages, manufacturing, tourism, and agriculture, the Western Cape is rapidly developing its high tech industries and business outsourcing sector to attract a huge amount of foreign and local investment.

In this article we take a closer look at the key industries that are contributing to the Mother City’s success and the commercial areas that are home to her most successful enterprises.

Business is booming in Cape Town

Anyone who comes to the Cape regularly for business or pleasure can’t help noticing how much the city has grown over the past decade.

Whether it’s the CBD’s massive transformation with a brand new skyline rising up in the Foreshore or the impressive growth in Century City and Durbanville, the signs of serious property investment by the private sector are clear to see.

Far from being a temporary trend, the growth and success that Cape Town is experiencing has been many years in the planning.

The local government’s initiatives to clean up the city and raise the standard of service delivery to some of the highest in the country, along with the superb level of human resources and talent produced by UCT and Stellenbosch University, have fostered an environment that is perfect for growth and investment.

With over R3.6 billion in new property investment logged in 2022, the economic benefits of Cape Town’s stability and strong economy are starting to roll in.

In addition to growing impressively, Cape Town’s local economy has also developed and diversified greatly in recent years.

  • The city’s Digitech industry, which is home to some of the most dynamic tech start-ups on the continent, as well as the wave of Business Process Outsourcing and call centres now based in Cape Town have shifted the city’s economy onto a high-tech growth path.
  • The tech industry, which typically employs people at a higher salary level and provides employment opportunities for young skilled workers, is now complimenting the traditional manufacturing sector to create a service driven economy with an excellent future outlook.

The top industries in Cape Town

As Cape Town’s economy transforms rapidly, the city’s list of major industries is constantly changing.

Here are the top industries in Cape Town at the time of publication and the key takeaways investors and business semigrants need to know about each of them.


Cape Town remains South Africa’s best known and loved global tourist city.

After a lull caused by travel restrictions during the pandemic, Cape Town International recorded 1.4 million visitors in the first half of 2023 with many tourists deciding to stay longer as digital nomads and others joined the wave of semigration to the city.

The host of luxury accommodation options, mixed with Airbnb’s and guest houses, provide accommodation at every price point with many hotels being incorporated in mixed use development that include premium residential and commercial property units.

These developments are extremely popular with visitors and would-be migrants since they provide everything an entrepreneur and their family need under one roof.


Cape Town’s manufacturing sector has always been a strong engine of growth and employment.

The industry continues to produce high-quality goods including clothing, processed food items, metal products, and marine manufacturing including shipbuilding.

In recent years, following global trends, the economy has shifted slightly away from manufacturing to embrace modern industries with a strong tech focus.

With high-tech manufacturers like Panasonic basing their R&D centres in the city, we look forward to seeing a rebirth of manufacturing focused on electronics and technology products.


The Silicon Cape industry which is home to innovative start-ups and medium sized IT companies has put Cape Town on the map as one of Africa’s foremost technology hubs.

From digital marketing and web design studios to software developers and app creation companies focusing on the consumer and business markets, the city’s highly skilled tech experts help their clients to stay competitive in the evolving online realm.

The Mother City has the largest number of registered IT companies of any metro in the country, and with semigration from other provinces continuing at a rapid pace we expect this trend to accelerate.

Green tech

The Atlantis Green Tech Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Is home to another fast-growing modern tech industry.

The Cleantech sector is rapidly producing solar power and other technologies needed to transform South Africa’s fossil fuel dependent energy landscape and creating skilled jobs in the process.

The old Atlantis, which was better known for fishing boats than high-tech factories, is rapidly giving way to a technologically advanced hub of innovation, which is set to transform the economy of the West Coast. As the area develops, investment opportunities in industrial and commercial property are presenting themselves on an almost monthly basis.


Cape Town’s economy continues to expand and one of the major drivers of growth is the services industry.

Workers who once wore hardhats or factory overalls now work in comfortable offices and retail spaces where they serve customers at a high level and enjoy increased earnings as a result.

The impact of Cape Town’s service economy can be seen strikingly in the CBD where high-rise buildings are appearing at a rapid pace.

The city’s new office towers are home to legal practices, wealth management consultancies and other financial services, and a host of professional consulting businesses from accounting to import export management and specialised marketing agencies.

Top industrial and commercial areas in Cape Town

If you’re looking to relocate your business to the Mother City, these up-and-coming areas are perfect for property investment and rentals.

Click the links below to view some of our premier listings.

The CBD. The heart of Cape Town’s traditional business community and a hive of new construction activity as its remarkable transformation continues.

Milnerton. At the crossroads of the northern and southern suburbs, this area offers a range of commercial and warehousing spaces with central access to all parts of the city.

Century City. The most modern and recently planned urban space in Cape Town – home to high tech companies, consultancies, and premium retail outlets.

Parow. One of the most stable markets in the northern suburbs with excellent value and a range of commercial buildings.

Airport Industria. A thriving light industrial zone with easy access to Cape Town International, this area is booming thanks to warehousing and online retail.

Find your new Cape Town Commercial Office or Industrial Space with us

The Commercial Space team is pleased to offer its decades of collective experience in negotiating office and industrial rentals in all parts of the Cape peninsula.

To find your ideal office space, contact us today.

Photo by Leo Moko on Unsplash