Mkhize woos UK investors

2013-05-02 00:00

PREMIER Zweli Mkhize is hunting for investors in Britain and wants companies there to also boost KwaZulu-Natal’s small business sector.

He told The Witness from London last night that bilateral discussions were on the cards.

“We have found that there are companies that are interested in supporting the small business sector and offer financial services. These are the companies we will be pursuing discussions with.”

The KZN government was invited by Brand SA to be part of the South African delegation to the Times Africa CEO Summit to discuss investment opportunities in the province.

The visit coincided with the announcement this week that Britain was cutting development aid to South Africa from 2015.

“We went because they [Brand South Africa] needed us to talk about investment opportunities in KZN and the country.

“We met big groups of investors, some are top investors in South Africa, which are involved in insurance, mining, retail and financing.”

Some of the companies included Old Mutual, SAB Miller, Anglo-American, Glencore, Bain Capital, Rio Tinto, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Bank.

Mkhize said a large number of the investors already did business with South Africa and owned significant shareholding in local companies.

“Their interest is to be reassured South Africa remains a leading destination where they can come to invest and want to know about opportunities in KZN.

“They want to know about the National Development Plan, infrastructure development programmes and whether we have enough skills. These are the things we have been explaining to them,” he said.

Mkhize said that during the talks he had marketed the province hard.

“We were indicating that as part of the efforts to grow trade in Africa, KwaZulu-Natal offers assets that will actually connect most of the east and west coasts because of our big goods port and infrastructure that goes to southern Africa.

“It means that we remain a strongly competitive part of the country that offers opportunities for investment, particularly if they want to trade with Africa, and there are strong incentives to be based in KwaZulu-Natal.”

Mkhize said he had highlighted the province’s infrastructure programme, especially the expansion of Durban harbour that offered huge opportunities if investors wanted to trade with Africa.

“I did not need to tell them much about KZN because many were aware … the province offers opportunities and the government is strong, efficient and effective.”

Mkhize returns to South Africa tomorrow.

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