The total value of investment commitments made at the second instalment of the South Africa Investment Conference tally up to R363 billion, president Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday.
This, the president highlighted, is 17% higher than the R300 billion in investments made at the conference’s debut in 2018 where the president announced his intention to attract R1.2 trillion over five years.
With South Africa’s unemployment rate sitting at a staggering 29.1% according to Statistics South Africa, president Ramaphosa said the newly announced investments are set to create 412,000 direct jobs over the next five years.
“We are immensely encouraged as South Africans by the investment commitments made. We believe that those investments will boost the economic growth of the country and will create many new jobs,” said president Ramaphosa.
He was speaking at the second round of investment announcements made on day two of the investment conference underway at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
“We have received indications of a further R8 billion in planned investments that are subject to either regulatory or company board approvals and therefore we have not named the companies here today,” said the president.
Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Donald Mbuyisa Mgojo announced a whopping R20 billion investment.
According to the mining company’s CEO, of the R20 billion worth of investment, R11 billion has been spent.
“With this a lot of jobs have been created. Approximately 10,000 direct and indirect jobs have been created. We have also spent about R500 million in community infrastructure with the local government,” said Mgojo.
National development finance institution, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) also threw its weight behind the biggest investment drive – pledging R18 billion worth of investments.
IDC CEO Tshokolo Petrus Nchocho said the investments will be rolled out throughout the course of the next 12 months.
International brewer Heineken solidified its investment into the country with the announcement of a R1.48 billion investment. The beer brewing company will channel the investment into three projects, with the first being the extension of its brewer facility in Sedibeng.
“The second will be to buy land in order for us to build a solar plant. The plant will be operated by a local company and we, as Heineken, will enter into a power purchasing agreement with them,” said Heineken SA Corporate Affairs Director Millicent Maroga.
Lastly, Heineken said a share of the R1.48 billion will be used for the extraction of groundwater. Maroga explained this would help to reduce the amount of municipal water used at the brewing facility.
Alive to the water scarcity challenges in South Africa, Maroga said Heineken is also in the process of building a water reclamation plant to treat wastewater which can be used for non-brewing activities.
Other investments were announced by:
- French businesses, Total, Alston, Limagrain, Air Liquide, amounting to R20 billion;
- Corobrik, amounting to R800 million;
- Clover, amounting to R1.16 billion;
- Kerry, amounting to R600 million;
- Tera, amounting to R3.3 billion.
Winding up the second round of investment announcements, an elated president Ramaphosa said the investments demonstrate that South Africa is poised for growth in the future.
“The commitments made today are numerous and diverse. These commitments are a reflection of the diversity of opportunities in the South African economy.
“While there has been demonstrable interest in mega-projects, investors are also focusing on smaller, but employment-intensive projects. This is aligned with our broader strategic vision of catalysing economic activity in our districts, municipalities and provinces,” said the president.
He said the investment drive is taking place in tandem with a range of economic developments – from the opening up of special economic zones to reviving industrial parks, to supporting community business centres, to creating digital hubs and small business incubators, and to supporting entrepreneurship activities.
President Ramaphosa said the investments were a clear vote of confidence in the South African economy and a response to what it can offer.