By Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe
South Africa has proven itself to be a investment destination which consistently attracts some of the world’s top businesses to its shores. Recently a number of high-profile international brands have announced their expansion into the country.
Their decision to invest in a country is not simply decided on the roll of a dice. Decisions are always deliberate and calculated solely on the potential for growth and receiving solid returns.
South Africa has on a number of occasions consistently come out on top as the investment destination of choice. This is a strong vote of confidence in the economy and our future economic prospects.
It demonstrates that government is hard at work to support the economy and is a solid signal to rating agencies that our investment grade status is solid.
Recent investments include Dursots & All Joy Tomato’s investment of R100 million in a processing plant near Tzaneen. The company uses South Africa as a base to export 25 per cent of its products to the Middle East, China and the rest of Africa.
US coffee franchise Starbucks also entered the South African market and plans to open more than 20 stores across the country. It follows other global fast food brands such as Burger King and Krispy Kreme.
In another exciting investment in the automotive sector, Japanese car maker Toyota plans to build its new Toyota Hilux and Fortuner at a manufacturing plant in Durban. BMW has begun construction of a new, state-of-the-art body shop as part of a massive R6 billion investment in the country.
These investments should not come as a surprise given our stable democracy, sound financial system and highly regulated banking sector. Investors are supported by world-class infrastructure, exciting innovation, research and development capabilities and an established manufacturing base.
These investments also bear testament to government’s commitment to provide an environment that is conducive for business to flourish.
We are supporting companies which want to take advantage of opportunities within the country. Our 12i Tax Allowance Incentive Scheme helps investors with their capital investment and training for new industrial projects.
Through our Clothing and Textiles Competitiveness Programme 22 new factories have opened and 68 000 jobs have been safeguarded in the clothing, textile, footwear and leather industry.
The Automotive Production and Development Programme has attracted investment of R25 billion over past five years making the country an automotive manufacturing hub.
South Africa is also a frontier for new sectors of investment such as the green economy, oil and gas, shipbuilding and the oceans economy. Through our Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme the country has emerged as one of the biggest markets in the world for renewables.
At the same time government is working hard to address the constraints in the economy and create the necessary environment to ignite growth through the implementation of the country’s Nine-Point Plan.
As part of the plan, we are taking the lead in developing economic infrastructure by investing in electricity, bulk water, ports and rail.
This investment will continue through these difficult economic times so that we maintain our competitive advantage and continue to attract investors. It will keep the country on course to take advantage of the next up-cycle in the world economy.
Government is doing all it can to draw in more investors so that it can grow employment, reduce poverty and turn the economy around.
We believe that these investments contribute significantly to our national goals of rapidly growing the economy and support socio-economic development. They begin a cycle of employment and consumer demand.
The responsibility however to create the environment that attracts inward investment is not government’s alone. South Africans as a shareholders in the country have a vested interest in promoting the country in a globally competitive environment.
We must should never lose sight of the positive attributes that make our country an investment destination of choice. Let us use every opportunity to profile South Africa and share our lucrative investment offerings with the world.