President Cyril Ramaphosa is “very pro business” and recognises the importance of this in attracting investment, says businesswoman Phumzile Langeni.

Durban – President Cyril Ramaphosa is “very pro-business, very pro-capital” and recognises the importance of this in attracting local and international investment, according to businesswoman Phumzile Langeni.

Langeni, who is the executive chairperson of Afropulse, is part of the Presidential Special Envoy for Investment announced by Cyril Ramaphosa on 16 April.

Together with Mcebisi Jonas, Trevor Manuel and Jacko Maree, Langeni has been tasked with attracting $100 billion in new investments over the next five years in order to boost South Africa’s economy and create employment.

“The president is very pro-business, very pro-capital. This is really furthering the bedrock of South African economic policy. It is not any different. And we do need to be pro-business because in the absence of being pro-business our ability to attract local and international investment will be curtailed,” she said.

Presidential Special Envoy for Investment, Phumzile Langeni, on why there is “renewed optimism” in South Africa. Video: ANA

“But being pro-business does not in any way mean that it is pro-business at the exclusion of what is for the greater good of South Africa as well as society."

She was speaking at the Oyster Box in uMhlanga on Monday at a Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) event to provide feedback on the one hundred billion dollar investment target. 

Ramaphosa, who has a union background, is often accused by labour of being too pro-business, and by business of being too pro-labour.

Langeni said it was to be expected that labour would have differing views to business and, to some extent, government. 

“For us to succeed, all the key players – labour, business, and government – have got to come together and reach a place where we are all singing from the same hymn sheet.”

There was a need for a trade off, she said, “Everyone must give something and everyone will lose something as part of driving our story forward.”

Langeni said while it had been assumed that the objective of the envoys was to raise money from foreign investors, they were also focusing on investment from the local economy.

“The key aspect of our task is also to create awareness about the changes in the South African economic as well as political domain. And also to promote South Africa as an investment destination, not only to international partners, but also to our local partners,” she said.

African News Agency (ANA)