Nedbank's chief executive Mike Brown with Pepper.
JOHANNESBURG - Nedbank has launched the Investing in South Africa initiative to woo investment into the country on the back of the renewed business confidence.

Goolam Kader, the managing executive at Nedbank Business Banking, said the time was opportune for businesses to invest and to shy away from the “wait and see” approach of the past few years.

“The Investing in SA initiative is on the back of the renewed business sentiment we are witnessing in the country at present.

"The initiative is about putting the conversation to our clients and saying that we are potentially entering a new growth phase,” Kader said.

“Now is the time to tell businesses to unlock their working capital, because there are opportunities to do so, and to employ more people. The small businesses also have a critical role in growing this economy.”

The bank last month committed R3.4million to an enterprise development initiative with non-profit Fix Forward aimed at developing the entrepreneurial skills of 100 trade people in the greater Cape Town area and Gauteng.

Brand South Africa in collaboration with Business Leadership SA is running a six-week campaign to position South Africa as in ideal investment destination.

The CEOs Know Campaign features chief executives from multinational corporations based in South Africa who share insights on the value of their respective organisations’ investment in the country.

Dave Mohr, chief investment strategist at Old Mutual Multi-Managers, said the euphoria gripping the country would require an acceleration in fixed investment spending, specifically by businesses, since the public sector faces major funding challenges.

“Real fixed investment spending by business grew 0.9percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, which is clearly pretty anaemic. However, the trend is heading in the right direction and there is significant scope for improvement,’’ Mohr said.

Nedbank chief executive Mike Brown said in an open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa, following his election as ANC president in December, that the bank looked forward to engaging him and addressing the pressing needs facing the country.

And in his State of the Nation address last month, Ramaphosa said the government would organise an investment conference in the next three months, targeting both domestic and international investors to market the compelling investment opportunities to be found in the country.

Kader said it was important for the government to provide further clarity on what land expropriation without compensation would entail.