It’s an ambitious target, but let’s hope it’s a realistic one. President Cyril Ramaphosa has set himself the target of winning SA $100bn in new investment over the next few years. In recent weeks, we have seen $10bn from Saudi Arabia, matched by the United Arab Emirates with a further $10bn and, most recently, the Chinese with $14.7bn. Mercedes-Benz and Sappi have also announced billions of rand in expansion, but others are hesitating. Many are waiting for legislative clarity, especially in the automotive and energy sectors, with misgivings also around the Mining Charter and land expropriation. The effect of these challenges should not be underestimated, as they do affect the manufacturing value chain. So, where should the president’s planned investment bonanza be targeted?

Billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe told a Brics meeting recently that the government should go the extra mile by extending bigger tax benefits to manufacturing. "A step further involves introducing tax...

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