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Aerospace Sector

Information about the Aerospace Sector in South Africa.

The South African aerospace industry is both successfully integrated into the national industrial landscape and globally competitive and strives to be a preferred choice for aerospace-related solutions on the African Continent.


The South African aerospace industry is active and vibrant and can demonstrate a long and proud history of aerospace innovation, research, development, and manufacturing. The sector annually invests R1.7 billion in own technology development/R&D as well as provides meaningful skilled employment opportunities to an estimated 15 000 engineers, technicians, and artisans. The industry consists of 120 well established local companies and state-owned entities employing over 5000 specialists, scientists, engineers, artisans, and technicians1 .


Many South African aerospace companies are single source suppliers of components and assemblies. In addition, South Africa also has a long track record of producing full aircraft and complex aircraft systems from helicopter to general aviation aircraft. South Africa also has a very mature research and development agenda through which the country has become a globally recognized leader in key technological.


Furthermore, the aerospace industry also covers commercial and military aviation; air traffic management; aircraft materials, ports and components; systems manufacturing; integration; propulsion avionics; sensors; ICT systems; maintenance, refurbishment and overhaul; and research and technology2 .


Within this sector, it is worth mentioning the Aerospace Industry Support Initiative (AISI)3 , a government-funded initiative with a specific aim of improving the local South African aeronautics, defence and space industry and enabling the defence industry to participate and compete globally4 .

There exist four programmes within AISI: Supplier development; Sector strategic support initiatives; Industry development and technology support; and Coordination, promotion and awareness.


More than 100 companies are active in the South African aerospace sector. Their activity amount to an export of R3-billion annually (€200 million) and employ more than 3000 people in high skill jobs. Most of the activity related to Aerospace in South Africa is concentrated in Gauteng and Cape Town Region, together amounting to 90% of the total Aerospace activities of the country.

If you are interested in entering South Africa's aerospace market or Italy's aerospace market, if you want more in-depth research into the aerospace sector in both South Africa and Italy or want market entry services for another particular sector please contact


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