President Cyril Ramaphosa with Japan's ambassador-designate to South Africa, Norio Maruyama. The President witnessed the signing ceremony of Agreements to promote Investment at the second South Africa Investment Conference held from 05 to 07 November 2019 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Photo: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa with Japan's ambassador-designate to South Africa, Norio Maruyama. The President witnessed the signing ceremony of Agreements to promote Investment at the second South Africa Investment Conference held from 05 to 07 November 2019 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Photo: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS
Minister Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel and Japan's ambassador-designate to South Africa, Norio Maruyama signing  Agreements to promote Investment at the second South Africa Investment Conference. Photo: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS
Minister Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel and Japan's ambassador-designate to South Africa, Norio Maruyama signing Agreements to promote Investment at the second South Africa Investment Conference. Photo: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS
Photo: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS.
Photo: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS.
Photo: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS
Photo: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS
Photo: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS
Photo: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

CAPE TOWN – Multinational and local businesses at the 2nd South African Investment Conference took heed of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for investment and availed a combined  $13.5 billion (R200 billion) to be ploughed into the country’s stagnant economy.

This year’s conference, a key milestone in the country’s bold ambition to raise R1.2 trillion in new domestic and international investment over the next five years, is held under the theme “Accelerating Growth by Building Partnerships”.

The president witnessed the signing ceremony of agreements to promote after his opening address. The investments announced included:

  • Toyota (R2.43 billion)
  • VM Automobile (R426 million)
  • Agricultural Developmental Agency (R12.9 billion)
  • Renergen (R700 million)
  • New Development Bank (R23 billion)
  • Transnet (R22 billion)

German medical and pharmaceutical device company, B Braun, pledged to invest R300 million on a greenfields plant. Jens Papperitz from the company said the project was at an advanced stage. “The factory is quite high up and we expect to go online early next year. This plant will create hundreds of direct jobs and will create significant opportunities for export.”

The world's largest dissolving pulp producer, Sappi, announced it would spend R14 billion on its various plants across the country. This investment was above the R7.7 billion investment in Umkomaas, in KwaZulu-Natal, announced at the inaugural South African Investment Conference.

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.”

New industry entrant Discovery Bank announced that it would be investing R1.4 billion on its venture.

Led by Ambassador Norio Maruyama, the Japan-SA Business Forum committed to investing R20 billion over three years throughout Africa. Last year, Japanese companies made investment commitments of R6.8 billion to help build productive capacity and support foreign direct investment.

Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW South Africa, speaking on behalf of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), announced a R6 billion 10 year Automotive Transformation Fund, an initiative between the organisation 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.”

MTN chief executive Rob Shuter announced that the company would invest R10 billion a year over the next five years.

The Chairperson of the Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour, Mandla Rayi, said on Wednesday the Investment Conference was a timely intervention that would have a positive impact on unemployment and economic growth.

“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,” said Rayi.

Rayi said a functioning South African economy would bring about stability to southern Africa and the continent. 

Such is the significance of this investment conference.

BUSINESS REPORT