by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH Africa has raised just over R770 billion (US$5,1 billion) in investment commitments to the country since the first Investment Conference in 2018.
This is over 64 percent of the country’s ambitious drive to raise R1,2 trillion in new investment over a period of five years.
President Cyril Ramaphosa disclosed the figures in his weekly newsletter on Monday.
The fourth South Africa Investment Conference would have been held this month but the government has moved it to March next year due to several other events taking place at this time.
These include the just-ended local government elections, the COP26 climate conference and the Intra-African Trade Fair, which starts in Durban next week.
“Another important reason for holding it next year is that there will be far greater COVID-19 vaccination coverage by then, making both travelling and gathering easier,” Ramaphosa said.
He added, “Although the fourth Investment Conference has been held over by a few months, our ambitious investment drive continues,” he said.
Ramaphosa said even amid the challenging economic environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which was exacerbated by the violence and destruction that occurred in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July, companies continued making good on their commitments and to look for other investment opportunities in South Africa.
Two weeks ago, Ramaphosa attended the launch of Toyota’s expanded production line in eThekwini, which will produce South Africa’s first locally-made hybrid car.
This investment was the result of a R2,4 billion commitment the company made at the 2019 South Africa Investment Conference.
Also in KwaZulu-Natal, Tetra Pak is expanding its operations with an investment of R500 million.
Aspen Pharmacare recently launched its R3,4 billion expansion, which it announced at the 2018 Investment Conference.
The World Health Organization also chose South Africa to host an mRNA vaccine manufacturing hub with the Biovac Institute, which is a public-private partnership with government.
The 25 preferred bidders in the fifth round of our Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme are together expected to invest around R50 billion into the economy.
South Africa recently secured an initial commitment of around R131 billion to fund a just transition to a low carbon economy by investing in renewable energy, green hydrogen and electric vehicles.
– CAJ News