Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa is pushing for more investments as the country wants to get the economy back on track.
He said there was a huge appetite from investors to pump their money into the economy.
Ramaphosa was speaking on the second day of the South Africa Investment Conference on Wednesday. This is the third investment summit to be held by the president in an effort to boost domestic and international investment in the country.
This year's conference is crucial as the country faces its most challenging year because of the coronavirus pandemic — which has left many businesses struggling to survive, the economy battered and unemployment on the rise.
Ramaphosa said as the country embarks on a reconstruction and recovery plan, the aim should be ensuring that the economy recovers and that it performs better than before.
He used the tale of a phoenix rising from the ashes as an example of how resilient the country was and what it could achieve.
The president said at the start of the first summit, in 2018, the aim was to attract over R1.2 trillion in investments. He said between 2018 and 2019, over R600 billion in investments came through.
Ramaphosa said this year's conference should aim to solidify those commitments and ensure they are realised. He said those pledges should translate into factories, infrastructure projects, news and new forms of economic activity.
He said a total of 102 projects had been committed to invest in various sectors of the economy.
Ramaphos said R172bn had been spent on some of the projects, with the ICT sector seeing R31bn investment, the automobile sector seeing R33bn and the mining and mineral sector receiving about R63bn in investment injection.
However, some 10% of the projects have been halted because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ramaphosa said.
He said there was still large appetite to invest in South Africa and that over 50 companies would be signing pledges for investment in SA this year. He said the commitments should be seen as compacts between the companies, shareholders, stakeholders and communities.
He said the pledges should translate to productions, manufacturing and employment opportunities.
"This is the time to invest. Make sure you have your cheque books with you because we want your investments to stay in South Africa," Ramaphosa said.