Carol Paton Writer at Large
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

Cabinet ministers preparing for next week’s investment conference are confident that “substantial” announcements will be made to provide SA with a much stronger investment pipeline.

When he came into office in February, President Cyril Ramaphosa set the goal of attracting $100bn in new investment over the next five years. The conference is seen as an important part of the process and aims to showcase SA and enable easy connections to government by prospective investors.

Most of the biggest JSE firms have committed to participating in the conference, as well as the entire asset management and savings industry, economic development minister Ebrahim Patel said at a briefing in Cape Town on Thursday. Foreign firms from 25 countries had also indicated they will attend, among them 27 Fortune 500 companies.

Ramaphosa’s economic advisor Trudi Makhaya said that a scorecard is being developed to track the $100bn target.

In an interview on Thursday, trade and industry minister Rob Davies said he anticipated that “things will be different this time”. “We have greater credibility around the story that SA is turning a corner. What we will see is a substantial increase in the pipeline. The figures are still being worked on but they represent a significant increase from what we have over the past few years. The conference has provided a point of focus and quite a few investors want to make their announcements at the conference.” 

Sectors include manufacturing, digital technology, infrastructure, agro-processing and mining, said Davies.

Patel said that the government’s strategy to unblock investment has four dimensions: improving the investment environment through providing policy certainty in key areas; increasing spending on infrastructure, which has been in decline; skills development; and addressing governance failures, particularly at state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Makhaya said that the conference had helped government to think about our investment mobilising infrastructure as well as which sectors could be highlighted.

Invest SA, under the department of trade and industry, has established three one-stop shops for investors where all the government services from company registration to work permits are housed under one roof.

PatonC@businesslive.co.za

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