South Africa commenced its second Investment Conference from 5 to 7 November 2019 at Sandton Convention Centre. The inaugural investment conference is provided to unlock investment opportunities for both domestic and international businesses. Investors had the opportunity to engage with government and business leaders on the prospects of investing in South Africa.
It received nearly R290 billion in investment commitments from companies in mining, forestry, manufacturing, telecommunications, transport, energy, agro-processing, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, financial services, energy and ICT. This year’s conference was held under the theme “Accelerating Growth by Building Partnerships”. South Africa aims to attract R1.2 trillion in new investments for over five years.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has also dispatched four special envoys to engage both domestic and foreign investors. These envoys will take our investment story, which includes new opportunities in the green economy, oil and gas, shipbuilding, oceans economy and renewable energy to global investors.
The world’s largest dissolving pulp producer, Sappi, announced it would spend R14 billion on its various plants across the country. The company’s Chief Executive Steve Binnie said: “We have made great progress – at about 40% – and expect to complete at around September next year. This year, we want to make a commitment that over the next five years, Sappi will commit a further R14 billion in our four plants across South Africa.”
Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW South Africa, speaking on behalf of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), announced an R6 billion 10-year Automotive Transformation Fund, an initiative between the organization and the Department of Trade and Industry. “This is on top of the R14 billion we have already pledged. The Fund is designed to support the participation of the Black and historical disadvantaged people and communities in the automotive industry. This will result in more jobs in South Africa – and obviously transformation” said Abbott.
The Chairperson of the Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour, Mandla Rayi said “this drive led by the President is most welcomed and indicative of the commitment investors have in our country. Investments made will surely impact positively on our unemployment crisis and would bring about stability to southern Africa and the continent”.