Investment Conference bags R290 billion for SA
The inaugural South Africa Investment Conference has secured nearly R290 billion worth of investment announcements for the country
“This R290 billion is what we have now in our hands and these are in addition to the R400 billion which were received during the investment drive by the special envoys and from various countries during state visits which we still need to button down,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa as he thanked investors.
The President was speaking at the Investment Conference held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Friday. The R290 billion investment brings South Africa one step closer to achieving its target of securing $100 billion in the next five years.
President Ramaphosa thanked the 1050 delegates in attendance for putting their weight and money behind the country’s vision to grow the economy and create jobs.
Among the investments were Sanral which pledged R9.5 billion, R40 billion was committed by NAAMSA, Aspen with R3.4 billion, Vodacom R50 billion, Acwa power R9.6 billion and R29 billion from the New Development Bank.
But the proof is in the pudding, said President Ramaphosa, who told the conference that government would track the impact of the investments and their ability to maximise on job creation.
Thanking investors at the closing of day two of the conference, he said gatherings such as this have changed the tide in the country.
“Through these various conferences, the gulf and the distance that has been there between business and government, and business and labour is reducing. It is through these engagements that we have been able to talk frankly and discuss solutions openly,” he said.
Clearing the path for more investment
In a bid to further draw investments, delegates at the conference entered into breakaway sessions where a total of R10 billion was raised collectively.
During the breakaway session on energy, R1 billion worth of investment in LPG gas pledged by Bidvest.
Delegates not only pledged more money at the sessions but also looked for possible solutions to bureaucratic challenges that might stifle investors.
During the plenary session on agriculture, funding for emerging farmers was noted as critical to ensure growth in the sector. The session also engaged on the need for transformation in the agriculture and fisheries sectors.
With regards to land reform, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana said that the plenary session had stressed that land reform must be undertaken in a manner that does not affect food production.
The need for collaboration between the Agriculture and Water and Sanitation Departments in an effort to assist farmers with access to water was also raised. Delegates lamented the time it takes to secure water use authorisation.
Giving feedback on the plenary session on tourism and film, Minister Derek Hanekom said while delegates agreed that tourism and the film industry have massive investment potential, the challenge of how to translate this potential into numbers remains.
The plenary session gave the thumbs up to the introduction of an online application system and announcement of visa waivers with countries like Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana, Cuba and Iran, as they will boost tourism.
The revision of the unabridged birth certificate policy by Home Affairs – that now exempts foreign nationals from presenting documentation – was also welcomed as a step in the right direction.
In concluding day two of the three-day Investment Conference, President Ramaphosa told delegates that government is in talks to make the conference an annual event.
Statement on the outcomes of the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference
President Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the success of the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference – which has generated announcements of investment of R290 billion – as the beginning of a new narrative on investment in South Africa.
In his closing statement to the conference in Sandton, Johannesburg, President Ramaphosa said the breadth of case studies presented on the performance of current investments and the range of announcements relating to new and expanded investments affirmed that South Africa was a diversified economy that presented great opportunities.
The conference heard investment announcements from companies in mining, forestry, manufacturing, telecommunications, transport, energy, agro-processing, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, financial services, energy, ICT and water.
Prominent among these were the themes of value addition, beneficiation, innovation and entrepreneurship.
President Ramaphosa has also expressed his satisfaction that most of the investments announced during the conference have originated from South African enterprises and entities or multinationals based in the country. This reflected renewed investor confidence in and commitment to South Africa after a period of uncertainty and a slowdown in investment.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee which hosted the South Africa Investment Conference also commended the conference for setting South Africa on a path of economic renewal and inclusive growth.
The conference was an opportunity for both domestic and international investors to identify opportunities in the country.
The South Africa Investment Conference was convened under the theme: “Accelerating Economic Growth by Building Partnerships”, and was attended by leaders in government and business, members of the diplomatic corps, fund managers and entrepreneurs.
The IMC has expressed government’s deep appreciation for the spirit and focus with which investors responded to government’s invitation to the private sector to help the country achieve investment of $100 billion over the next five years.
“We are humbled and inspired by the significant investment pledges that have been made by South African and international investors who consider themselves as partners in our economic renewal and in the development of our society.
“Government will work with all sectors of society to ensure that we repay the confidence expressed in our economy by supporting these investments with our talents, energy and productivity. We are poised for exciting new possibilities in our economy that will unlock opportunities for citizens, communities and businesses, and which will raise the living standards of large numbers of South Africans who have historically been marginalised from meaningful economic participation.”
The announced total of R290 billion in new investments complements the more than US$28 billion in investment pledges that have resulted from engagements between the President and the President’s Investment Envoys in recent months.
The South African Investment Conference is part of government’s broad and targeted strategy of stimulating economic growth and creating jobs. The three catalysts driving the broader strategy in the immediate term are the Economic Stimulus and Recovery Plan, the Jobs Summit and the Investment Conference.
President Ramaphosa will tomorrow, Saturday 27 October 2018, lead conference delegates on a walk in Soweto to showcase the diversity and vibrancy of township economies and enable interaction between investors and the communities who will support and benefit from the anticipated investments.