Investment conference shows confidence in SA's economy

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu says the recent investment conferences signal a strong vote of confidence in the South African economy.

Addressing reporters at a Post Cabinet briefing on Thursday in Pretoria, the Minister said Cabinet has reflected on the positive outcomes of the South African Investment Conference (SAIC) and the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) held from 5 to 7 November and from 11 to 13 November, respectively.

“R363 billion worth of investment commitments were announced at South Africa’s second SAIC and about US$40 billion worth of investment commitments were announced at the AIF,” he said.

Mthembu said the paper and pulp giant Sappi and brewing giant Heineken were amongst several other companies to pledge billions of rands.

Last year, the first investment conference netted commitments worth R300 billion and drew pledges from, amongst others, international e-commerce giant Amazon, Aspen Pharmacare and Rwanda-based technology company, Mara Corporation.

“All these investment commitments continue to confirm that President Cyril Ramaphosa remains on course on the planned investment target of R1.2 trillion over five years,” he said.

In the past week, the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (SEZ) announced investments that are expected to attract about R3.6 billion and create 6 700 direct jobs.

“Ford SA, which will operate from this SEZ, plans to increase production of its Ranger bakkie from 520 to 720 vehicles per day for both international and domestic markets.

“The Japanese company, Isuzu, also announced a R1.2-billion investment into its local production in Port Elizabeth, which will boost the economy of the Eastern Cape,” the Minister said.

He said Cabinet has expressed deep appreciation and thanked all investors and participants for another successful investment conference.

Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) Summit

Meanwhile, Cabinet has welcomed the outcomes of the 11th BRICS Summit which took place in Brasilia, Brazil, under the theme: “Economic Growth for an Innovative Future”.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and other BRICS leaders also interacted with the BRICS Business Council to strengthen and promote economic, trade, business and investment ties amongst BRICS members.

“Cabinet welcomes the adoption of the BRICS Summit Declaration by Heads of State,” the Minister said.

He said the declaration involves a commitment to combat under-invoicing of imported goods, and measures to boost global demand and growth.

“It further cements efforts to further our cooperation on topics, which include investment in e-commerce and micro, small and medium enterprises.”

South Africa’s BRICS membership strategically positions the country towards increased trade, investment, tourism, capacity-building, skills and technology transfers, which are key in the country’s drive to address the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality. –