JOHANNESBURG -  The SA Investment Conference which began today, 5 November and will run until Thursday, 7 November in Sandton, kicked off with a welcome reception at Summerplace in Hyde Park.

Later today, where various global and local business leaders, ministers and presidents of various countries will set the tone for this much needed investment conference, following the warning from the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, that South Africa are faced with growing debt, low economic growth and job losses.

Stavros Nicolaou, board member of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), said that the country needs new investments, not only ‘maintenance investments. 

Nicolaou pointed out that “investments follow confidence”, and that is what Government needs to fix. 

The questions are what kind of company will invest in a country faced with issues such as energy, water a high crime rate and difficulty doing business in?

Matthey Parks, Cosatu Parliamentary Commentator, pointed out in an interview on SABC, “There are many opportunities for global investors, such as tourism, agriculture, renewable energy, locally produced solar panels and electric cars”. 

Parks continued to say “South African businesses must be more patriotic and invest back in our own industries such as manufacturing plants”. 

Nicolaou is confident that the tide is turning. “Yes, we should reduce our debt levels and get on a growth trajectory, the economy should grow at 3% and we have the potential to achieve this if driven by domestic and international investments. SA needs a singular focus, what is what the President aims to achieve with regular weekly Monday meetings between business, labor and government.”

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE