President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the formation of a ‘dream team’ to help attract $100 billion in new investment into the country’s economy.
In a statement released on Monday evening (16 April), Ramaphosa said that new investment was a necessary condition for the growth of South Africa’s economy and the creation of jobs on a scale that will significantly reduce current levels of unemployment.
“Investment in our economy has declined in recent years,” said Ramaphosa.
“While total fixed investment in our economy stood at 24% of GDP in 2008, it has declined to around 19% last year. The National Development Plan says we need to increase this to at least 30% of GDP by 2030,” he said.
“Economic conditions in the country are changing, however, and we are determined to work with all social partners to seize the opportunities that are opening up for greater investment and faster growth.”
The investment drive will culminate in an Investment Conference to be held in August or September 2018, which Ramaphosa said will report on actual investment deals that have been concluded and to provide a platform for would-be investors to seek out opportunities in the local market.
“We are aiming through the Investment Conference to generate at least $100 billion in new investments over the next five years. Given the current rates of investment, this is an ambitious but realisable target that will provide a significant boost to our economy,” he said.
In preparation for the Investment Conference, Ramaphosa said he had decided to appoint four ‘Special Envoys on Investment’, who will spend the next few months engaging both domestic and foreign investors on the opportunities that exist in this country.
“These are people with valuable experience in the world of business and finance and extensive networks across major markets,” Ramaphosa said.
The envoys include:
- Trevor Manuel, former minister of finance,
- Mcebisi Jonas, former deputy minister of finance,
- Phumzile Langeni, executive chairperson of Afropulse Group and a non-executive director of several leading South African companies,
- Jacko Maree, chairman of Liberty Group and former CEO of Standard Bank.
“A major part of their responsibility will be to seek out investors in other parts of Africa, from Nairobi to Lagos and from Dakar to Cairo,” Ramaphosa said.
“This is part of a broader push by government to advance economic integration in the Southern African region and across the continent.”