JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that government was steadily moving toward its bold ambition to raise R1.2 trillion in new domestic and international investment over the next five years in a bid to grow the economy and create jobs.
Ramaphosa on Wednesday said it had been exactly a year since the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference where local and international investors pledged investments totalling nearly R300 billion.
He said it was gratifying to see the commitments that were made at the conference last year materialising in the form of new factories, new production lines, new products, new services and new jobs.
“Of the 31 projects announced last year eight projects have been realised and completed. Seventeen are in construction or at implementation stage,” Ramaphosa said.
“In total, this represents R238 billion of the investments that were announced last year. This is a phenomenal achievement by those who stood here to announce those investments.”
Ramaphosa was delivering an opening address at the second South Africa Investment Conference in Johannesburg.
He hailed Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa for partnering in the R3.6 billion investment in Tshwane, saying this was a sign of growing investor confidence in the country.
“It is pleasing to see that investors continue to consider South Africa as a country with much to offer and a viable and profitable investment destination," he said.
“As a major boost to manufacturing, localisation and job creation, nine companies have already confirmed their intention to set up factories by January 2021, with some coming on-stream well before this date."
A number of private sector companies and State-owned enterprises had already started making new pledges to invest large sums of money into the economy for the next few years.
Ramaphosa also touched on how the African Continental Free Trade Area was set to benefit the country and boost its trade and economy.
“A few weeks ago we launched the Mara mobile phone factory in the Dube Port special economic zone in KwaZulu-Natal following the commitment that the Mara company made here at last year’s conference," Ramaphosa said.
"Rapid industrialisation is critical if we are to reap the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which entered its implementation phase in July this year."