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the national economy
employment by industry
employment by occupation
Gauteng employment & unemployment
national unemployment
the skills challenge
improving education
decent work
decent work who?
decent work where?
the spatial economy


The region of cities and towns in and around Gauteng is the economic hub of the country. As gold mining and associated activities flourished in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and as people from all over the world flooded in to make their fortunes, South Africa’s economic centre of gravity shifted rapidly away from coastal cities such as Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban. Today, Gauteng produces about 34% of national Gross Value Added. When the municipalities around Gauteng are included, the wider city-region makes up 42% of the South African economy. In various ways the region is also an international economic force, and is a ‘global' city-region. Johannesburg alone was estimated to have the 40th largest urban economy in the world in 2009 when measured on a purchasing power parity basis.

Despite its weight, the Gauteng city-region’s economy presents many challenges. These include: very high unemployment levels; unbalanced growth, in the sense that jobs that are being created are often not matched to the skills that workers currently possess; unequal spatial access to economic opportunities; a weak ‘culture of entrepreneurship’; and the need to ensure that future growth is ‘green growth’ to ensure the region’s long-term sustainability.

While much progress has been made by government to restructure the economy to address these challenges, there is still a long way to go.
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