South Africa is open for business and hopes to attract billions of rands worth of investment during the second annual South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC).
Speaking ahead of the upcoming second conference, minister of Trade & Industry Ebrahim Patel said that over the past year, the government has made steady progress on making it easier to do business in South Africa through InvestSA by focusing on factors which contribute to the country’s improved competitiveness.
“According to the 2019 World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index, released last week, South Africa ranks number 1 out of 141 nations in budget transparency, which is an illustration of the robust and transparent political governance system of the country,” he said.
“South Africa’s macro-economic environment has proven resilient as have its institutions of governance, which continue to advance the interests of good governance and democracy.”
According to the WEF, ‘budget transparency’ assesses the amount and timeliness of budget information that governments make publicly available.
The group assigns countries a transparency score on a 100-point scale using a subset of questions that assess the amount and timeliness of budget information that governments make publicly available in eight key budget documents in accordance with international good practice standards.
The eight key documents are:
- Pre-Budget Statement;
- Executive’s Budget Proposal and Supporting Documents for the Executive’s Budget Proposal;
- Enacted Budget;
- Citizens Budget;
- In-Year Reports;
- Mid-Year Review;
- Year-End Report;
- Audit Report.
While the WEF report shows that South Africa still has a number of areas that it needs to work on – including the murder rate and government regulation – Patel said that government was working hard to attract investors.
Announced in 2018 by President Cyril Ramaphosa, the SAIC seeks to mobilise R1.2 trillion in new investments by 2023.
The first South Africa Investment Conference was held in October 2018, where R300 billion was committed for investment in South Africa by local and international investors.
He noted that the inaugural investment conference attracted R300 billion in investment commitments from local and international investors.
“The three main sponsors of this year’s South Africa Investment Conference all made pledges at the inaugural Investment Conference in 2018,”he said.
“Naspers pledged R4,6 billion, Vodacom committed R50 billion and Anglo American made a pledge of R71,64 billion.”
Patel said that more than 1 500 delegates from across the globe are expected to attend this year’s conference, which will be held from 5-7 November at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
“In the last year since the first Conference, government has worked to improve the business and investment environment,” he said.
“The SAIC 2019 will again showcase South Africa as an investment destination and present a pipeline of investment projects in several sectors,” said Patel.
“This is an ideal opportunity for government, local and international businesses to partner on new projects which can further position the South Africa as a centre of innovation and investment growth.”