Of South Africa's provinces, the Western Cape makes the third-highest contribution to South Africa's GDP. Hardly scarred by mining, tourism is perceived as the most important growth force in the Western Cape.
An exciting development is the emergence of an information communication technology cluster.
The head offices of all but one of South Africa's petroleum companies are located in Cape Town. Cape Town is also home to the head offices of South Africa's insurance giants and national retail chains.
The largest portion of the country's publishing and printing industry is situated in Cape Town.
The official unemployment figure for the Western Cape, 18%, is substantially lower than that of most parts of South Africa.
In the past Epping, Parow, Retreat and Montagu Gardens have been the core industrial areas. As a spin-off of the massive Saldanha Steel project, the Saldanha-Vredenburg area is emerging as a new industrial area.