The EU–SADC economic partnership agreement (EPA) came into force in October 2016 and offers South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Mozambique a number of tariff preferences in the EU market. These preferences become more significant the more processed a product is. The tariffs are supported by liberal rules of origin, and the implementation of the agreement will also be supported by EU development cooperation. However, South Africa does not fill the quotas it is awarded under the agreement and still struggles in some instances with standards certification. This policy briefing explores some of the reasons for this and makes recommendations on how the EU and South Africa could promote agriculture and agro-processing in the country, which will have a direct positive impact on women and youth employment and ultimately poverty alleviation.