SA Quarterly Capital Expenditure Declines in Q1 2024

  • Q1 2024 capital expenditure on new assets totaled R83.2 billion, down 12.4% from Q4 2023.
  • Year-on-year, capital expenditure increased by 2.8%, with notable growth in construction and IT equipment.
  • Plant, machinery, and equipment dominated spending, constituting 62.4% of total expenditure in Q1 2024.

The total capital expenditure on new assets for Q1 2024 was R83 158 million, a 12.4% decrease from Q4 2023.

Capital Expenditure Overview

The latest data indicates a significant decline in quarterly capital expenditure (QCE). For the quarter ending March 2024, the total QCE on new assets was R83 158 million. This represents a 12.4% drop compared to R94 931 million in the previous quarter.

CategoryQ1 2024 (R million)Q4 2023 (R million)% Change
Total QCE on New Assets83 15894 931-12.4%
‘Other’ Assets-27.6%
Buildings and Improvements-21.7%
Computer Software-13.6%
Plant, Machinery and Equipment-11.8%
Construction Works-9.8%
Vehicles and Other Transport Equip.-6.7%
Computer and IT Equipment+4.4%

Sector Analysis

Decreases were widespread across multiple sectors between Q4 2023 and Q1 2024. The largest drop was in the ‘other’ assets category, down 27.6%. Buildings and improvements followed with a 21.7% decrease. Computer software fell by 13.6%, and plant, machinery, and equipment saw an 11.8% reduction. Construction works decreased by 9.8%, and vehicles and other transport equipment dropped by 6.7%. The only sector to see an increase was computer and IT equipment, which rose by 4.4%.

Year-on-Year Comparison

On a year-on-year basis, total capital expenditure on new assets increased by 2.8%. The largest annual growth was in construction works, which surged by 123.2%. Computer and IT equipment also saw a substantial rise, up by 32.0%. Computer software grew by 1.9%, and plant, machinery, and equipment increased by 1.5%. However, there were significant declines in other areas. Buildings and improvements fell by 23.5%, vehicles and other transport equipment dropped by 16.5%, and ‘other’ assets decreased by 2.8%.

CategoryQ1 2024 (R million)Q1 2023 (R million)% Change
Total QCE on New Assets83 158+2.8%
Construction Works+123.2%
Computer and IT Equipment+32.0%
Computer Software+1.9%
Plant, Machinery and Equipment+1.5%
Buildings and Improvements-23.5%
Vehicles and Other Transport Equip.-16.5%
‘Other’ Assets-2.8%

Sector Contributions

Plant, machinery, and equipment were the largest contributors to total capital expenditure in Q1 2024, making up 62.4% of the total. This was followed by vehicles and other transport equipment at 10.3%. Construction works contributed 8.1%, while ‘other’ assets accounted for 6.3%. Buildings and improvements made up 5.6%, computer and IT equipment 4.8%, and computer software 2.5%.

CategoryContribution to Q1 2024Contribution to Q4 2023
Plant, Machinery and Equipment62.4%62.0%
Vehicles and Other Transport Equip.10.3%9.7%
Construction Works8.1%7.9%
‘Other’ Assets6.3%7.6%
Buildings and Improvements5.6%6.2%
Computer and IT Equipment4.8%4.0%
Computer Software2.5%2.5%


The data for Q1 2024 shows a notable decline in capital expenditure on new assets compared to Q4 2023. However, there is a positive year-on-year growth. The biggest annual gains were seen in construction works and computer and IT equipment. Despite the quarterly decrease, plant, machinery, and equipment remain the dominant categories for capital expenditure.

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