Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu addresses the Brand South Africa 2019 Nation Brand Forum in Sandton. Mthembu said the country’s art, sports and culture had rescued and positively profiled the country internationally, which he said also needed to be accompanied by more practical solutions. GCIS

Johannesburg - Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu has blamed persistent incidents of impropriety and violence for the country’s difficulty in attracting investment and potential foreign investors.

Mthembu was delivering the keynote address at Brand South Africa’s 4th national brand forum in Sandton on Monday.

Mthembu said all sectors had to jointly use South Africa’s membership and participation in multilateral forums to improve the country’s image, and by extension, the attitude of those who were looking for investment destinations.

“The low levels of economic growth and unemployment which have recently escalated to an alarming 29% require the government and all stakeholders to come together to forge a new economic path for the country,” he said.

Mthembu said President Cyril Ramaphosa was currently scrambling for investment but some of the developments in the country had sought to worsen the country’s brand and outlook.

“In achieving a coherent nation brand we cannot turn a blind eye to the recent acts of violence and against women.

“As a nation, we must strongly condemn anything that seeks to break down the foundation it took us to build our country.”

He continued: “It is for this reason that the government established a multi-pronged approach to deal with corruption and state capture through, among others, the Public Audit Amendment Act which gives the Auditor-General of SA the powers to act against officials who are found in the wrong.

“We have also established a series of commissions to unearth the allegations of state capture,” Mthembu said.

With the second annual SA investment conference scheduled for next month, Mthembu said all sectors had a duty to ensure that the country’s brand and image was restored in order to woo potential investors who were sceptical of SA.

“We want people of the world to fall in love with South Africa and to invest with us.

“Several pledges were made last year by domestic and international investors to the tune of R300billion with the aim of reviving the country’s economy,” he said.

Ramaphosa is on an ambitious drive to attract R1.3trillion in investment into the country in the duration of his five-year term in office.

Mthembu said the country’s art, sports and culture had rescued and positively profiled the country internationally, which he said needed to be accompanied by more practical solutions.

“South Africa is on a journey of transformation to eradicate inequality, unemployment and poverty.

“For the sake of social cohesion, inclusive growth and an innovative society, we must all commit to elevating the nation brand identity at every opportunity granted to us,” he said.