Bloomberg has released a new graph detailing the top contributors of foreign investment in South Africa.
The graph – which is based on Reserve Bank data – shows that the UK (R519.4 billion), the Netherlands (R346.3 billion), and Belgium (R285.7 billion) were the biggest foreign investors as at the end of 2017.
The graph is especially pertinent as the UK, USA, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland were drawn into this spotlight this weekend after the Sunday Times reported that the five countries had written to President Cyril Ramaphosa that foreign investment is at risk because of the country’s failure to prosecute people for government corruption.
The countries called for a ‘clear, unqualified and manifest political commitment to the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and to honest and ethical business practices’.
The countries said that they were also concerned about the challenges of foreign investment, referring to the ‘constant changes of the goalposts’ in the regulatory framework for mining, BEE targets and intellectual property rights.
While the South African government did not comment on the contents of the memorandum, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation did issue a statement on Sunday (3 February), criticising the countries for departing from diplomatic practice in issuin the memorandum.
The heads of the countries’ diplomatic missions met with department Director General Kgabo Mahoai, where the parties agreed that “proper diplomatic channels and protocols will be followed” in future, the department said in a statement distributed Monday.