Five Facts on the South African coatings market

While Africa is a much smaller coatings market than Europe or Asia, it has been developing into an emerging market. One of the most important consumers of paint on the continent is South Africa – we have compiled five facts about the South African market.

Five Facts on the South African coatings market. Image source: ink drop -

The African market consists of a great number of countries that have rather small paint and coatings markets. In addition to Egypt, South Africa is among the biggest and most influential markets in the region even though it is only the fifth largest country by population on the continent.

However, South Africa has the second highest GDP on the continent only topped by Nigeria which has a vast export business of oil. In 2019 South Africa’s GDP was estimated at EUR 306 billion.

Market size

One of the largest consumers of coatings on the African continent is South Africa. The market has a total volume of 324.000 litres which accounts for a value of EUR 780 million.

*estimated figures for 2018


Market split

One of the most important industries in South Africa is the automotive industry, making it an attractive market for automotive coatings. However, the complete industrial coatings sector only makes up for about 22 % of the coatings market, while decorative coatings account for 78 %. Generally, the architectural coatings industry has been growing in many of the African countries over the past years.


Market structure

Over the last decades, European coatings companies have been increasingly investing in Africa, with South Africa being one of the countries that has seen the most investment. The country is home to around 320 manufactures of coatings and around 10,000 people are employed in the sector.


Market share

The paints and coatings market in South Africa is shaped by bigger companies as the ten top companies make up for around half of the total sales of coatings.    


Market characteristic

Another characteristic of the South African market is that although the sales are cyclical during the year, the largest volume of sales take place in the final quarter of the calendar year.


Further reading

Safic-Alcan opens South African subsidiary

Five facts about powder coatings

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