Play your part to boost investment in South Africa


“Every citizen has a part to play in boosting the investment profile of South Africa Inc,” writes Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe as Team South Africa joins the discussion at WEF Davos. “Through your words and actions today you can support our declaration to the world that South Africa is open for business.”

Miners Radebe articleWorkers at an Anglo American mining facility. South Africa’s mining industry attracts significant foreign direct investment into the country. (Image: Brand South Africa)

Minister-in-the-Presidency-Jeff-RadebeMinister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe

South Africa Inc is open for business and offers investors an array of lucrative opportunities. This week we will share these opportunities with the world at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

President Jacob Zuma is leading the South African delegation to this high-profile gathering to reaffirm our investment profile to the world’s top social, political and business leaders.

The annual WEF meeting brings together heads of state and government, captains of industry, international investors and thought leaders who shape the global agenda.

South Africa’s presence at the WEF meeting is critical to grow our reputation as a global investment and business destination. It is an opportunity to share with the world our vision for the future and new developments within the country.

While the events unfolding in Davos may seem distant, every South African, as a shareholder in South Africa Inc, has an important role to play in promoting the country in a globally competitive environment.

Our actions on the home front are currency to Team South Africa’s work in Davos. It can help advance our international image and help develop a positive mindset among South Africans and the world.

When South Africa prospers we all stand to benefit, and so should all rally behind the country. We must show a common front as international investors seldom give a country the benefit of the doubt, as they focus more on factors that create risk.

Through the National Development Plan we have a clear vision of what needs to be done. The government is fast-tracking its implementation over the next five years through the Medium-Term Strategic Framework.

The economy has been declared an apex priority. We are investing heavily in infrastructure such as electricity, transport, water, roads, schools and hospitals to build a platform for faster, more inclusive economic growth.

The government is targeting the productive sectors of manufacturing, mining and agriculture. It is also opening new areas of economic growth, such as the oceans economy, green economy and shale gas exploration.

Through the first phase of Operation Phakisa, we are tapping into the ocean economy, which has the potential to contribute R177-billion to the gross domestic product and create over 1-million jobs by 2033.

Our transport sector is being transformed with a R53-billion investment from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa to locally manufacture 500 commuter trains over the next 10 years.

There is also a new framework for special economic zones that allows for targeted incentives, logistics improvements and active partnerships between businesses, municipalities and development agencies.

These initiatives present opportunities for local and international investors to partner with the government and take the economy forward.

Global companies based in South Africa are supported so that they can take advantage of our opportunities and help us promote job creation and a better life for all. Ultimately our aim is to reduce poverty, unemployment and inequality.

South Africa is a strategic entry point for investors interested in Africa. We are a key economy on the continent and play an integral role in Africa’s advancement.

The government is encouraging local businesses to expand into Africa to support continental growth by relaxing cross-border financial regulations and tax requirements.

Similar support measures will apply to foreign companies wanting to invest in African countries using South Africa as their regional headquarters.

South Africa is also championing infrastructure development in Africa through the continental north-south rail and road links, as part of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

The project will improve the pan-African rail and road infrastructure, with a strong focus on the North-South Corridor linking Durban and Mombasa in Kenya. It is creating new investment opportunities for companies to expand trade and invest across borders.

In support of the work of Team South Africa in Davos, we can all highlight our strong investment credentials.

According to a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Regulatory Restrictiveness Index published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, South Africa ranks amongst the most open jurisdictions for FDI in the world.

Over the last five years South Africa accounted for the bulk of new investment projects in Africa from the US, European Union countries, China and India.

Last year, the AT Kearney Foreign Direct Confidence Index ranked South Africa 13th out of 25 leading economies, moving us up two places from 2013. South Africa ranks higher than countries such as Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Every citizen has a part to play in boosting the investment profile of South Africa Inc. Through your words and actions today you can support our declaration to the world that South Africa is open for business.

This article originally appeared in The Star on 22 January 2015.