There was an upbeat atmosphere at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s fourth investment conference in Sandton on Thursday that was very different to the rather lukewarm response to it on the outside.

It’s not too hard to understand the lukewarm, even negative, response to yet another conference, even one as well attended and well orchestrated as this one was. When Ramaphosa launched his investment drive soon after he became president in early 2018, he put the spotlight back on the crucial role of investment, especially private sector investment, in driving growth and job creation. He targeted R1.2-trillion in new investment over five years...

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