Agro-processing (i.e. food, beverages and tobacco) contributed R66.6bn to the country’s GDP in 2008, which is 17.3% of the total amount generated by the manufacturing sector. The direct contribution of agro-processing to the GDP was 3.2%, making it the third-largest contributor after chemicals and metals.
According to Statistics South Africa (StatisticsSA), around 207 000 people are employed in agro-processing, which is 16% of the total employment figure for the manufacturing sector and 2.5% of the total employment figure for the economy.
The agro-processing sector contributes about 4% to the total South African exports. (Source: the dti)