COVID pandemic has not affected pledges made at last investment summit – Patel

The government has set a target of R1.2 trillion in investment for the next five years, with pledges amounting to R664 billion so far.

FILE: Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel addresses a media briefing in Pretoria on level 3 lockdown regulations on 29 May 2020. Picture: @GCISMedia/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel on Monday said the COVID-19 pandemic had not affected the investment pledges made by businesses in the past two years.

Patel addressed reporters on the preparations ahead of the third investment conference, which is expected to be held in two weeks.

The government has set a target of R1.2 trillion in investment for the next five years, with pledges amounting to R664 billion so far.

Patel explained government’s goals for this year’s conference: “This conference is an opportunity to assess what progress we’ve made with getting that R664 billion from an idea in the mind of an investor,” Patel said.

Presidency Economics advisor Trudi Makhaya said the president would use the platform to discuss infrastructure as the key element that underpins economic growth among other issues.

“There will also be a panel on land reform and unlocking agricultural value chains. We have seen some steps in the land reform process in terms of releasing land [and] the sector itself thinking about a potential development agency that’s run by the sector,” Makhaya said.

Over 1,000 prospective investors had already signed up for the conference, which would be held both virtually and in person at the Sandton Convention Centre.

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