JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised investors that South Africa will intensify its efforts to improve the ease of doing business after raising a third of his ambitious target to attract R1.3 trillion of investments over the next five years.
Local and domestic investors announced they would pump R290 billion into the economy in response to Ramaphosa’s investment drive that was announced in April.
“We will sharpen our investment mobilisation tools,” he told 1300 local investors at the Presidential Investment Summit in Johannesburg on Friday.
He said announcements were expected to lift the economy and create jobs amid a stubbornly high unemployment rate and weak growth prospects. He also said the country would position itself to become a preferred investment destination.
“We have already started to turn the pledges into commitments and we are working to ensure we resolve whatever blockages stands in the way of this,” he said.
Runaway corruption, state capture and policy uncertainty have rattled investments.
Ramaphosa said the rift between business and the government had been addressed.
He reminded local and international investors why South Africa was a compelling investment destination, and ensured investors that despite the land expropriation debate, their money was safe.
He said the R290bn was in addition to the R400bn which had been received during the investment drive by special envoys and from various countries during state visits.
Some of the investments include R71.5bn that will be invested by Anglo American and Vedanta Resources’ R21.4bn towards a zinc smelter in the Northern Cape.
International packaging group Mondi pledged R8bn while its competitor Sappi pledged to invest R7.7bn.
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa committed to R40bn over the next five years, with a focus on creating jobs.
The Rwanda-based technology company Mara Corporation said it would invest $100million in South Africa to make affordable hi-tech smartphones.
Another company that is investing is the South African National Roads Agency, which said it would spend R9.5bn on a project in the Eastern Cape, creating 8000 permanent job opportunities and between 16000 and 20000 indirect jobs.
On Thursday, Ramaphosa opened the R1bn Gibela passenger train manufacturing complex in Gauteng, a collaboration between Alstom from France and a local consortium made up of black businesses and the community.
Earlier this month, Ramaphosa hosted an investment summit where 275000 jobs were promised, following various agreements between business, labour and government.
The government last month announced a R400bn infrastructure fund aimed at stimulating the economy.
Ramaphosa is leading the cleaning up of state-owned enterprises, having requested former SA Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane to say why he should not be fired, following damning findings and recommendations of the Nugent Commission.