The South African medical devices market is worth upwards of R20 billion and spans a wide range of devices, from hypodermic syringes, through Zimmer frames to specialised imaging machinery. It is characterised by high levels of imports and a large number of market participants.
Increased spending on healthcare and government support for localisation will present opportunities for investment in new or expanded local manufacture.
Population growth, increased life expectancy, growing quadruple disease burden and increased domestic healthcare spend due to the gradual introduction of a national health system is expected to spur growth in demand for medical devices.
South Africa’s spend on medical devices per capita is US$24, which is comparable to fellow BRICS countries. However, when compared with more mature markets such as the United States and Germany, where per capita spends stand at US$399 and US$313 respectively, there is certainly abundant room for growth. Local players are likely to take a growing share of the South African market as they move into more high-tech areas.
As evidence that policy is working to spur investment, a R100 million medical textiles and sutures factory is set to be built in the Coega Special Economic Zone.