The stakes are high ahead of the second instalment of the South Africa Investment Conference, with South Africa hoping to mobilise for more investment towards its target of R1.2 trillion in new investments over the next five years.
In its inaugural year, the conference attracted R300 billion worth of investments to the country’s shores - a significant feat that proved the resilience of the country’s economy and the confidence by both domestic and international investors.
The second offering of the investment drive will take place from 5 to 7 November 2019, at the Sandton Convention Centre, to be presided over by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
In his State of the Nation Address in June, President Ramaphosa said of the R300 billion investments secured, just over R250 billion worth of projects have entered implementation phase.
To assist the country’s ailing economy, the President also appointed investment envoys to root out investment opportunities.
“At a time of uncertainty, the work of the investment envoys has built important bridges between government and the business community.
“From their feedback, it is clear that much more still needs to be done to improve the investment climate,” said the President during the SONA.
This includes reviewing the way government coordinates work to resolve challenges faced by investors and reforming investment promotion policy and architecture.
In line with this, good progress has been made through the Public-Private Growth Initiative, which is being championed by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Roelf Meyer and Johan van Zyl.
The private sector committed to invest R840 billion in 43 projects over 19 sectors and creating 155 000 jobs in the next five years.
In discussions with business, government committed to remove the policy impediments and accelerate implementation of these projects.
President Ramaphosa has said government is urgently working on a set of priority reforms to improve the ease of doing business by “consolidating and streamlining regulatory processes, automating permit and other applications, and reducing the cost of compliance”.
With infrastructure as a catalyst towards investment, government highlighted that it will prioritise infrastructure with its first step being the institutionalisation of the Infrastructure fund.
The fund was first announced in 2018 with government setting aside R100 billion to seed the Infrastructure Fund.
At the June SONA, President Ramaphosa said government was working to institutionalise the fund, which will be managed by the Development Bank of Southern Africa, with the newly configured Department of Public Works and Infrastructure playing an oversight role.
The Fund includes a special package of financial and institutional measures to boost construction and prioritise water infrastructure, roads and student accommodation through a more efficient use of budgeted money.
The second offering of the Investment drive will see government take stock of the progress made on investment and galvanise for more investment. – SAnews.gov.za