South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses a press conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday. PHOTO: GCIS
DAVOS – President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister of Trade and Industry (DTI) Rob Davies, Maria Ramos, Absa Group chief executive and Adrian Gore, Discovery Group chief executive, expressed their excitement about domestic and foreign investments in South Africa today at the Absa Davos Investment Summit early this morning in Davos. 

“We lost our way in the last couple of years, South Africa lost the confidence of global and local investors and if there is no confidence, investors will simply invest elsewhere. Reasons for this was political instability and policy uncertainty and inconsistency” said Ramaphosa.

“But, we are turning this around. South African is on a renewal path where policy certainty and consistency shall be at the order of the day. The new Government is an enabler and facilitator, and I invite all role-players to participate in creating a conducive climate for investments”, he stated. The government will host summits and conferences to engage with stakeholders, summits such as the investment and job summits with the intent to collaborate and engage can only yield in great results, the President assured delegates and participants. 

Davis explained the important role of the DTI in assisting companies to open office and start businesses in SA, in addressing policy issues, the successful establishment of the One-Stop-Shop Invest SA initiative, the range of tax incentives and the role out of the Special Economic Zones across the country. 

“There is definitely a turnaround in the SA investment climate; foreign direct investments grew from $1,3bn to more than $7bn between 2017 and 2018 according to a recent UNCTAD report. 

Ramos, host of the Absa Davos Investment Summit, opened the session stating that “the investor’s mood at WEF last year was one of optimism, but this year, the mood is cautious; we have a lot to build on” she said. 

“But there is no doubt that the pace of change across many countries in Africa is accelerating with exciting growth opportunities emerging. Wherever you look across our continent, you see it. It is a great place, in fact, the best place, to do business in the world". 

Gore warned delegates that South Africa lost R1tn in investments over the past 9 years, but stated that he is extremely positive about investment opportunities in SA. 

"Discovery will invest substantially in South Africa in the years to come. He is concerned that there are too little quality data available for investors to make informed investment decisions. “But, the risk is volatility. More so, the reality is that if people are negative, opportunities are under-prized".