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Ramaphosa seeks to bring in R3 trillion at investment conference

The president has appointed a special envoy for this very purpose, maintaining that despite its many economic and labour market challenges, the country remained a viable investment destination.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Wednesday marks the official commencement of South Africa's three-day investment drive led by President Cyril Ramaphosa with an ambitious goal of raking in over R3 trillion in investment commitments.

The president has appointed a special envoy for this very purpose, maintaining that despite its many economic and labour market challenges, the country remained a viable investment destination.

However, the question remains, will this goal be realised and if so, how do ordinary South Africans begin to reap its benefits?

Ramaphosa’s economic advisor Trudy Makhaya said the investment conference would offer the government and business a perfect opportunity to have frank discussions about the country’s standing.

With a packed programme of a variety of subjects including panels on the jobs fund and the fourth industrial revolution among others, the over 1,000 delegates in attendance at this year’s conference will likely enjoy stimulating exchanges.

But when it’s all said and done, the goal of improving the country’s dismal economic growth, which is projected to rise to 0.5% this year and the 29.1% unemployment rate, will hover over whatever positive outlook the government wants to sell to investors.

But as Makhanya explained, the achievements of the past few months since Ramaphosa took office could help the country turn a new page.

“It’s good to also step back and think about where we were a year ago… the mining charter had not been gazetted, Eskom didn’t have a roadmap. We really have come a long way in resolving some of the key policy issues.”

The inaugural investment conference which was held in October 2018 raised $20 billion in investment commitments.

This year’s gathering in Sandton will also interrogate whether business has lived up to these promises.

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