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Ramaphosa: SA a viable, profitable investment destination

President Cyril Ramaphosa said that South Africa's capacity was in the form of its people, natural & mineral resources, world-class infrastructure and a well-regulated financial and banking sector among other things.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the second South Africa Investment Conference in Sandton, Johannesburg on 6 November 2019. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa said that South Africa was a viable and profitable investment destination that had a lot to offer.

Ramaphosa was addressing the second investment conference under way in Sandton on Wednesday.

He said that South Africa's capacity was in the form of its people, natural & mineral resources, world-class infrastructure and a well-regulated financial and banking sector among other things.

However, the president did not shy away from some of the structural problems that continued to haunt the country.

"Despite significant progress over the past 25 years, the legacy of our divided past has left many of our people without good skills, without assets and without jobs. All of these factors have in many ways combined to exacerbate the poverty and the inequality that we see in our country."

The conference was part of government's efforts to raise R1.2 trillion in new investment over the next four years to address low economic growth and reduce unemployment.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ramaphosa said that of the 31 projects which represented R238 billion in investment announced at last year’s investment conference, eight had been realised and completed.

He explained that 17 projects were in the construction and implementation phase.

He described as "gratifying" to witness the commitments of the inaugural conference materialising in the form of new factories, production lines, services, products and jobs.

"And we do this not as a gimmick, we do this after close and deep collaboration with the various companies. Last year, as I said, we sought to raise R300 billion and we did and almost R240 billion of that is now committed and is now working. The other portion is going through the regulatory hoops."

Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel said gains had already been made through investment pledges made by local and international businesses at last year’s investment conference.

He was also speaking at the second investment conference that officially commenced in Sandton.

Over R300 billion in investment commitments were made last year with major companies such as Aspen promising to invest R3.3 billion in manufacturing while mining giant Anglo-American committed R14.4 billion.

Patel explained that many companies had already gotten various projects off the ground.

“There are many many others like yesterday’s sod-turning at the Tshwane auto hub or the opening of the In2Foods facility at the OR Tambo SEZ or the opening of the Procter & Gamble factory last Friday. Today is also about the future.”

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