Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas. Picture: THE HERALD
Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas. Picture: THE HERALD

President Cyril Ramaphosa is hoping a revitalised relationship between business and the government would enable SA to raise $100bn worth of investment over five years.

On Monday he announced the appointment of special investment envoys to work at convincing investors of SA’s potential.

They are former finance minister Trevor Manuel, former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and business representatives Jacko Maree and Phumzile Langeni.

The envoys will report directly to the president and their work will be coordinated by his new economic adviser‚ economist Trudi Makhaya.

Speaking ahead of a trip to London for the Commonwealth heads of government meeting, Ramaphosa said coupled with the implementation of the necessary economic reforms, the new investment campaign would position SA as a desirable investment destination with significant unrealised potential.

“There are low levels of growth ascribed to a number of reasons,” the president said. “There has been a lack of investment and a lack of confidence in the economy.”

Since 2008, foreign direct investment (FDI) in SA has fallen from 24% of GDP to 19%. The aim of the envoys is to work at pushing up FDI to reach 30% of GDP in line with the National Development Plan.

“We have a better story to tell,” Ramaphosa said, citing progress in stabilising state-owned entities, addressing governance issues at the South African Revenue Service and finalising the Mining Charter.

Apart from targeting foreign investment, the envoys would work at convincing local companies that are sitting on large reserves on their balance sheets, to invest, said Ramaphosa.

The drive will culminate in an investment conference to be held in August or September.

menons@businesslive.co.za