A great variety of industries is carried on, the chief being the manufacture of semolina and other farinaceous foods, confectionery, preserved fruit and jams, chemicals and rubber goods.
The chief exports, not all products of the province, are coal, wool, mohair, hides and skins, wattle bark, tea, sugar, fruits and jams. The import trade is of a most varied character, and a large proportion of the goods brought into the country are in transit to the Transvaal and Orange Free State, Natal affording, next to Delagoa Bay, the shortest route to the Rand.
The agriculture of the republic supplies the material for several important industries, including the production of sugar, beer and spirits, starch (120 factories), syrup, glucose, chicory, coffee substitutes from rye and barley, jams. Alcohol and spirits are distilled in 1,100 distilleries employing 18,000 workmen and producing annually some.
The chief are tanning, fellmongery, wool-washing, bacon-curing, flour milling, brewing, iron-founding, brick-making, soap-boiling, the manufacture of pottery, candles, cheese, cigars, snuff, jams, biscuits, jewelry, furniture, boots, clothing and leather and woollen goods.
Most fruit essences now employed in confectionery are artificially prepared oils, especially is this the case with cheap confectionery (jams, marmalades, &c.) in which the artificial fruit esters to a large extent replace the natural fruity flavour.