Johannesburg — SOUTH Africa, the continent’s most advanced albeit struggling economy, will this week seek to secure R1,2 trillion (US$77,8 billion) in additional investments over the next five years.
This will be under the aegis of the third South Africa Investment Conference, which President Cyril Ramaphosa will preside over.
The president is buoyed by South Africa being adjudged the second most attractive location for business process outsourcing for the third year in a row.
The country is also positioning itself as a hub for digital services and is already a preferred energy investment destination.
On Monday, writing in his weekly letter, Ramaphosa disclosed that about 175 delegates would attend in person from listed companies, emerging firms and entrepreneurs, business associations, labour and government.
This is to allow for social distancing.
In previous years, more than 1 500 delegates attended the SA Investment Conferences.
An additional 1 000 online delegates from different parts of the world have registered to date.
The president said the conference would demonstrate that South Africa remained an attractive investment destination, and would show the progress the country was making to improve the business climate.
“It will build on the positive momentum in investment in the years before the onset of the COVID pandemic,” Ramaphosa stated.
He said foreign direct investment flows into South Africa, for example, rose sharply from R26,8 billion in 2017 to R70,6 billion in 2018.
Over the last ten months, the pandemic forced many promising investments pledged at previous conferences to be scaled back or put on hold.
However, these investments only amount to about one-tenth of the total investment commitment of R664 billion.
“Most of the investments are going ahead,” Ramaphosa stated.
Of the 102 projects announced at the last two investment conferences, 12 are in the early stages of implementation, 19 have been launched, and 44 are currently under construction or being rolled out.
“This year’s conference is about implementation, and on turning commitments into brick and mortar projects in our cities and towns,” Ramaphosa stated.