President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

The government must untangle its “regulatory logjams” if SA is to fulfil its potential as a destination for foreign investment, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday.

He said the launch of a Tshwane special economic zone (SEZ) for the motor industry, offering tax breaks and employment incentives to investors, proved that when obstacles are removed, SA is an international investment destination of choice.

President Ramaphosa is continuing an investment drive aimed at securing funds worth R1.2 trillion. Business Day TV spoke to Colin Coleman, MD of Goldman Sachs SA about whether the current investment climate makes that target more difficult to achieve.

The SEZ is the result of co-operation between national government, provincial and local development agencies, and the Ford motor company.

The first phase of the R3.5bn SEZ, adjacent to Ford’s Silverton vehicle assembly plant in Tshwane, is already sold out. Tenants will be local and international companies supplying components and services to the plant. Most will be existing suppliers relocating to the greenfields site. Ford Southern Africa MD Neale Hill said it should be operational from 2021.

Ramaphosa said unnecessary obstacles are often put in the way of foreign investors. For example, it could take up to three years for a new factory to clear regulatory hurdles for water supply. In future, this should take no longer than three months.