SA Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies. PHOTO: ANA
SA Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies. PHOTO: ANA
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies said on Wednesday there was optimism around the country's growth prospects, partly helped by a more stable political outlook after the ruling ANC's December conference.

Davies, who is in Davos, Switzerland, as part of the South African delegation to the World Economic Forum (WEF), told the African News Agency (ANA) in an interview that there is "improved investor sentiment and our task now is to build on that".

He cited two key contributing factors, the first being a higher level of growth in the world economy as part of a cyclical upturn.

"This won't resolve our problems, or issues, but will mean the external environment is less challenging, less difficult," he said.

"Secondly, we have gone through the ANC (African National Congress) conference, and there is an outcome and there is an optimism that results from that, and I think the political stability issue is looking more positive.

"There are signs that there is improved investor sentiment and our task now is to build on that."

The ANC's December conference elected former businessman and South Africa's deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to lead the party, a move largely cheered by local and foreign investors.

Davies cautioned, however, that the optimism would not automatically "translate into higher levels of investment, or indeed, the structural changes we need to bring about in our economy in terms of moving towards more value added activities". 

"But it creates an environment in which we can actually channel more effectively our efforts to deal with challenges of creating more jobs and creating more investment in order to move our economy forward," he said.

- African News Agency (ANA)