President Cyril Ramaphosa Picture: @CyrilRamaphosa/Twitter
President Cyril Ramaphosa Picture: @CyrilRamaphosa/Twitter

Ramaphosa’s investment envoys dismayed over riots in KZN, Gauteng

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Aug 5, 2021

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Pretoria – The financial heavyweights appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to head up South Africa’s ambitious investment drive have expressed dismay over the recent spate of riots and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Ramaphosa held a virtual meeting on Wednesday with the Presidential Special Envoys on Investment “to discuss the economic environment and measures being taken to improve the investment climate” in South Africa, according to acting Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale.

“The envoys expressed their concern regarding the recent violence, destruction and loss of life in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng. The envoys stressed the importance of restoring stability and rebuilding investor confidence following these events,” said Seale.

In April 2018, Ramaphosa appointed former finance minister Trevor Manuel, former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas, executive chairperson of Afropulse Group Phumzile Langeni, chairman of Liberty Group Jacko Maree, as the president's special envoys on investment.

In 2019, the additional envoys - former justice minister Jeff Radebe, former trade and industry minister Derek Hanekom and late former deputy minister of small business development, trade and industry and tourism Elizabeth Thabethe - were appointed “to promote South Africa as an investment destination, facilitate resolution of administrative hurdles to investment and engage both domestic and foreign investors on the opportunities that exist in the country”.

The investment envoys are Phumzile Langeni, Jeffrey Radebe, Derek Hanekom, Mcebisi Jonas, Trevor Manuel and Jacko Maree.

Seale said the investment champions urged that local government capacity be strengthened, to ensure consistent and reliable service delivery, which is a precondition for investment.

“The envoys welcomed the progress in economic reforms, notably in the energy sector, and emphasised the need for speedy implementation of these reforms and other commitments.

’’In the envoys’ assessment, the increased pace of Covid-19 vaccinations is gratifying and, together with the reforms, lays the basis for increased economic growth and job creation,” said Seale.

“The discussion also highlighted the opportunities presented by the just energy transition backed by global climate finance commitments, as government prepares for the COP26 climate conference.”

Last month, the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces witnessed a trail of destruction and looting of shops for several days in violence that started off as protests against former president Jacob Zuma’s imprisonment.

The former president handed himself over to authorities to start serving a 15-month jail term contempt of court as ordered by the Constitutional Court.

This stems from Zuma last November walking out from a sitting of the commission probing state capture during his term in office.

His move was in reaction to commission chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s rejection of Zuma’s demand that he recuse himself over his alleged bias. Zuma subsequently defied court orders to return to the commission and testify.

His jailing has angered his supporters, who say Zuma has been politically targeted.

African News Agency (ANA)

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