This country needs more jobs, and more investment is needed to create those jobs. I suspect this economic reality will resonate with all parties, from the Freedom Front Plus to the EFF. However, an apparent lack of cohesion between the Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry may be stifling investment instead of promoting it. The government’s main incentive tool for promoting investment in industry — apart from the large targeted programmes for the automotive industry and for black industrialists — is a programme with the unimaginative name of 12i. The 12i scheme was introduced in 2010 and was due to have expired in December 2017. Companies need to have their projects approved by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies to qualify for the incentive. Davies can approve projects whose value collectively adds up to R20bn. The incentive cuts the tax paid by the investor, so with corporate tax at 28%, the government would forego tax income of R5.6bn if all the projects that Davie...

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