Nissan’s announcement that it is to invest R3bn in an expansion of its SA operations with the production of the Navara has been widely reported and welcomed. Not least by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is keen to demonstrate that his investment drive is leading to real results, not just pledges. However, as trade and industry minister Rob Davies noted at the Nissan launch, none of this would have been possible without investment incentives. A long-overdue government incentives review, the report on the evaluation of government business incentives, was adopted at the pre-election cabinet meeting. It notes: “Overall the evaluation was not able to comprehensively test whether the system of incentives is achieving its outcomes and having the desired impact. Thus, based on the available data the extent to which these incentives have made a meaningful contribution to reducing overall levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment in SA is uncertain. This is partly because there are many ...

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