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Trade & industry minister Ebrahim Patel’s contention that Pepsico’s purchase of Pioneer Foods illustrates that empowerment demands are not a hindrance to investment seems rather like doggedly seeing a silver lining where storm clouds are looming large (“PepsiCo deal shows BEE does not faze investors, says Ebrahim Patel”, March 9).

Welcome though it is, this investment needs to be seen in the context of the overall failure of the country to attract and retain anything like the scale of investment SA so desperately needs. The reality is that SA’s shortcomings are illustrated by what the country is failing to attract, and what it is losing. In 2019 SA saw a net sale of R114.2bn in equities and R22.1bn in bonds by foreigners. In 2018 the equivalent outflows were R53bn and 108.6bn respectively...

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