Delegates at SA Investment Conference. PHOTO: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)

JOHANNESBURG - Paper and timber companies Sappi and Mondi on Friday announced multi-billion rand investments into South Africa to support goverment efforts at reigniting economic growth.

 Sappi chief executive Stephen Binnie said the world's largest producer of dissolving pulp would plough R7.7 billion into its Durban mill.

"This investment is going to give us an opportunity to grow our capacity for dissolving pulp," Binnie said. "We have a world-class operation in South Africa, and we are able to make a competitive, value-added product."

About seven percent of global textiles come from dissolving pulp.

"We contribute about one percent of South Africa's exports from our mill down in Durban," Binnie said on the sidelines of the inaugural South African Investment Conference. 

"We have opportunities to grow further and it is very beneficial for the South African economy because we are using South African raw materials, South African labour, and it is all being exported."

Mondi South Africa chief executive Viv McMenamin said the packaging and paper group would invest R8 billion into the economy as it tries to help make a better South Africa by "reaching across the table".

"We earn about R4 billion every year for South Africa from exports from Mondi in KwaZulu-Natal. We have got a 25-year partnership with WWF around water, we've got a 15-year partnership with government around land reforms. And we have been invested in this country now for 50 years," McMenamin said.

"Mondi in South Africa is only 10 percent of a global conglomerate which is one of the best performing paper and pulp companies in the world."

- African News Agency (ANA)