Photo credit: Devin Lester


Bread is the second most important supplier of energy (kilojoules) in the South African diet after maize products. Apart from bread, bakers also produce other products like biscuits, pies and pizzas.

Local business environment

South Africa manufactured 3 379 669 tons of wheaten products in the year August 2020-July 2021. SA imported a further 28 855 tons and exported 21 909 tons (SAGIS, 2021).

South Africa’s bread basket in the year August 2020 to July 2021 comprised of 48,4% white bread, 50,5% brown bread, 1,1% wholewheat, with a negligible percentage “other”. The units numbered 1 151 301 766 loaves white bread; 1 200 134 344 loaves brown bread; and 25 960 385 loaves wholewheat bread (SAGIS, 2021). This excludes bread baked in the non-commercial sector.

South Africa consumes about 2.4 billion breads per annum or 3.5 million Metric Tons (MT) of wheat and is dependent on imports to meet local demand. More than 80 percent of wheat imports into South Africa enter through the Durban port annually, which caused concern when the July 2021 unrest in KwaZulu-Natal broke out (USDA, 2021).

Source: SAGIS Wheat Forum 28 September 2021 presentation; USDA report “Impact of the Ongoing Civil Unrest in South Africa on Food and the Agricultural Sector

National strategy and government contact

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD)

  • Find the link to the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act, 1996 (Act no. 47 of 1996) , R 884 , Establishment of Statutory Measure in respect of Maize Products and Wheaten Products at and/or
  • Find the regulations relating to the grading, packing and marking of bread wheat intended for sale in the Republic of South Africa (under the Agricultural Products Standards Act, 1990 (Act No. 119 of 1990) here.
  • The document “Guidelines on key requirements for governments markets – bread, eggs and dairy products” can be found on the Directorate Marketing’s web pages on or click here.

Department of Health

  • White and brown bread should be fortified in accordance with the Regulation relating to the fortification of certain foodstuffs, R.7634 of 7 April 2003, under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics & Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act No. 54 of 1972. Find it here.

Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)

National Regulator for Compulsory Specification (NRCS)

  • The NRCS is mandated to regulate products on behalf of government such as vehicle components and others in the interest of public safety and to ensure fair trade. It also regulates all types of perishable goods. This includes the Trade Metrology Act of 1973.

Role players


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Representative Bodies
National Chamber of Milling (NCM) The National Chamber of Milling is a trade association which represents the interests of the South African wheat flour and maize milling industry.
Training, Consulting & Research Service Providers

Further reference:

Companies involved

Training and research

  • Agricultural Colleges like Tsolo Agriculture and Rural Development Institute (TARDI), linked to the provincial departments of Agriculture, do short courses in baking. Find the contact details on the “Agricultural education and training” page.


Websites and publications

Visit the websites listed earlier on this page.

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