Ramaphosa gets boost to R1.2 trillion investment drive

The African Development Bank has committed to investing $2.8 billion (R42.5 billion) in South Africa over the next five years, says president Akinwumi Adesina.

Addressing the South African Investment Conference in Johannesburg on Thursday (24 March), Adesina said the funding will be used to support both public and private sector investments in the priority areas of agriculture, renewable energy, youth employment, and health.

South Africa’s government had previously borrowed R5 billion from the AfDB to help soften the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The group has also provided support to several of South Africa’s struggling state-owned companies, and is currently preparing a loan package to assist Eskom transition to renewable energy.

“We will now move to support the drive towards renewable energy strongly in South Africa as you drive towards net-zero emissions,” Adesina said.

The South African Investment Conference is part of an initiative by president Cyril Ramaphosa to raise R1.2 trillion in new investment over five years.

Despite the impact of the pandemic, by the time of the third South Africa Investment Conference in 2020, the country had raised a total of R774 billion in investment commitments, the president said on Thursday.

“We are two-thirds of the way to reaching our target. Of the R774 billion committed, around R316 billion has so far been invested.

“Of the 152 investment pledges, 45 projects have been completed. A further 57 are under construction. Fifteen have been put on hold, in several cases due to the impact of the pandemic.”

The investments that have been realised since our first conference have created job opportunities, increased localisation and expanded local value chains, he said.

“They have brought skills, technology and know-how into our economy. Whether it is a young person employed in a data centre, a worker at an auto plant, or a small business supplier to a renewable energy plant, these investments are changing people’s lives.”

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Ramaphosa gets boost to R1.2 trillion investment drive