SA keen to attract investment

Thursday, November 24, 2022

While the South African economy has experienced various challenges, including electricity shortages, work is underway to ensure that the country attracts investment.

“While there are many attractions and huge potential for investors in South Africa, there are a number of constraints on economic growth and social development. For more than a decade, South Africa has been confronted with a shortage of electricity,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The President made these remarks at the SA-UK Business Roundtable in London on the second day of his two-day State Visit to the United Kingdom, on Wednesday.

“We have taken urgent steps to remedy this dire situation by significantly and rapidly increasing the construction of new generating capacity.
We have accelerated the procurement of renewable energy and have removed many of the regulatory hurdles to greater private investment in embedded generation,” he said adding that government is working closely with Eskom to improve the fleet of the utility’s power stations.

The UK is the largest foreign investor in South Africa while several South African companies have a presence in the UK.

He said that government is also undertaking far-reaching reforms to improve the capacity and competitiveness of railways and ports, to open up the telecommunications industry and to improve the supply and pricing of water.
Mechanisms like the Infrastructure Fund have been established to leverage funding from various sources, including the private sector, for substantial infrastructure investment.
In addition, decisive measures to tackle crime and corruption have been taken with law enforcement agencies being rebuilt and being provided with the resources needed to prosecute those responsible for the criminal capture of state institutions.
South Africa is also strengthening the ability of the police and other security services to respond to economic crimes, such as extortion and damage to infrastructure.
“It is important for the South African government to understand the issues, concerns and expectations of British companies and business leaders. We are therefore keen to hear from you on what we can do to encourage you to increase your investment in South Africa,” said the President.

Exports from South Africa to the UK are estimated to support 134,000 South African jobs.

“Bilateral trade is at its highest yet, with goods and services worth £10.7 billion being traded between the United Kingdom and South Africa in the 12 months ending in June this year,” he said.

Meanwhile, a number of UK companies have attended the annual South Africa Investment Conference that the country has held since 2018 - during which significant new investment commitments were made. 

President Ramaphosa added that South Africa which has free trade agreements with the United Kingdom and European Union, has over the past four years, been putting in place an African Continental Free Trade Area that will connect 55 national economies and more than 1.3 billion people.
“The legal instruments have been completed and countries and customs unions are now finalising their tariff offers, with the intention that trade would commence next year.”

With the UK being the largest foreign investor in South Africa, “it is our intention and our ambition to substantially increase the value and diversify the composition of both trade and investment,” said President