This report focuses on the manufacture of edible salt in South Africa, including the state of the industry, the factors that influence its performance and continental and global production information. Official information on the size of the industry and other data dates back to 2017 and 2018, the last time the department issued statistics. There are comprehensive profiles of 13 companies in the sector, including major players such as Cerebos and Salt Refiners and Packers. Other profiles include Velddrift Salt Company, which supplies Khoisan Trading with brine and produces coarse salt and Upington Super Salt.
Manufacture of Edible Salt
Manufacturers of salt in South Africa continue to struggle to compete against cheap imports, mainly from Botswana and Namibia. These imports, as well as increasing input costs and the exchange rate, have resulted in the number of local salt producers decreasing from 86 to 17 in the past eight years. According to the Department of Mineral Resources, less than 50% of the country’s salt consumption requirement is produced locally. Only 12% of the salt produced is used in the food industry, with the bulk being used in the industrial sector in areas such as petrol refining, petrochemistry, animal feed, the production of cooling brines and other applications.
Opportunities for SMMES And Artisanal Products
Abundant salt reserves and growing demand create further opportunities for increased supply of salt. The extreme dryness of the Northern Cape makes it ideal for salt production. Small scale operators with an area of 1.5ha or less can apply for a mining permit, which is less onerous than a mining right, and the Department of Mineral Resources has committed to supporting black-owned junior mining companies. A number of producers are taking advantage of demand for artisanal products including Khoisan Trading, which said its salt is the only hand-harvested natural unrefined solar salt, Oryx Desert Salt, which said its salt is 100% pure, crystal-white, natural desert salt and Baleni Sacred Salt, which harvests salt using 2,000-year old techniques.