President Cyril Ramaphosa. File picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS.

Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa is adamant that the economic success of the country was highly dependent on all social partners committing themselves to transformation and national development.

Ramaphosa was speaking in the Union Building on Thursday when he hosted a delegation of the Black Business Council (BBC) led by their president Zandile Zungu.

The meeting is initiated by the BBC.

Ramaphosa said his government was aware of the challenging economic climate and the urgency with which the government has to improve the business and investment climate, create jobs and improve the living conditions of South Africans.

“It is therefore encouraging that the business sector, particularly black business, is keen to engage with government. 

“Our success as a country depends on bringing all social partners together, and on using all available platforms for engagement,’ he said.

The Black Business Council is an influential voice in articulating the position of the business community around key national economic issues saying it has to be commended for its “enduring commitment” to be partners in driving economic transformation and national development.

“We have just concluded the second South Africa Investment Conference, which resulted in R363 billion in investment commitments.

“As we look set to reach our goal of securing R1.2 trillion in investment over five years, what was most encouraging was that domestic investment in our economy is on the rise.

“At the inaugural Investment Conference in 2018, local companies committed in the region of R157 billion. This year, they committed just over R262 billion,” Ramaphosa said.

He said the local business investment is showing that “local business confidence is slowly but surely returning.”

“Of course we welcome foreign direct investment, but it is our local businesses and industries that we really want to see ploughing capital back into our economy.

“Local businesses must be at the forefront of our national investment drive,” Ramaphosa said.

He said when local businesses reinvest in the  economy, it gives confidence to foreign investors that South Africa  is a good place to bring their money.

“What this trend signals is that our economic reform agenda is gaining traction. It suggests that there is less reticence in the local business community to commit capital to new operations or to expand existing operations,” he said.

He said his government has worked consistently to address the concerns of business. 

Political Bureau