President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the inaugural SA investment conference, October 26, 2018. PHOTO: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)

CAPE TOWN - The South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR) on Friday said South Africa needed a readjustment of its policy trajectory if it hoped to attract the investment that will secure the country’s economic future.

"Rather than more deliberation, South Africa needs a reorientation of its policy trajectory if it hopes to attract the investment that will secure South Africa’s economic future,” said Terence Corrigan, IRR project manager.

The South Africa Investment Conference 2018, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, kicked off on Friday at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The three-day summit, which is being attended by business leaders and civil society, aims to raise at least $100 billion (R1.4 trillion) in investment over the next five years.

Corrigan said in a statement that if the investment summit is to be successful and sustainable, it would need to convey a very clear message that South Africa welcomed business, and offered a secure environment in which to operate.

“The IRR warns, however, that the summit will inevitably take place under the shadow of the drive to institute a programme of Expropriation without Compensation (EWC), ostensibly to accelerate land reform. Deep misgivings have been expressed about this by business people, as even government representatives have conceded,” he said.

“It will not be enough for government to offer non-binding assurances, or even to provide a ‘coherent narrative’ or ‘policy certainty’. Policy certainty is an important consideration for investors, but it will be of limited value if the policy itself is counterproductive,” added Corrigan.

“The IRR can confirm, as a result of engagements with local and foreign businesspeople - the degree of concern that is felt at the government’s plans. The sense that the country is on the way to becoming ‘uninvestable’ has been repeatedly expressed,” concluded Corrigan.

- African News Agency (ANA)