Davies: Investment Summit pledges are the real deal

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the investment pledges made by companies at the Investment Summit in Johannesburg were firm commitments that would be injected into the economy.

Various local and international companies on Friday morning revealed investment plans totalling R134bn.

"These are firm investment commitments, not just pledges," said Davies, adding that more companies were due to reveal more plans before the end of the summit.

"A number of business leaders have stood up before the president and made these commitments, and I do not think they would go back on their word," Davies added.

Davies said government was serious about addressing concerns around policy certainty and creating an enabling environment for business development. 

The R71.5bn investment plan by Anglo American [JSE:AGL] is likely to be the biggest single investment announcement of the summit. The mining giant said it planned to stimulate economic growth of the regional economic towns where it operates, such as Limpopo and the Northern Cape. Part of Anglo’s investment would go towards the development of its Venetia diamond mine.

Davies said investment deals worth $35bn had also been concluded during bilateral engagements with countries in the Gulf, Japan and the Middle East. The bulk of the funds were directed to state-owned entities.

While the first round investments was dominated by local firms, British Entrepreneur Ashish Thakkar, who is the founder of Mara Group, said his company plans to invest in a mobile phone manufacturing facility to service the growing use of smartphones in the continent.

Mercedes Benz South Africa said its R10bn would be used expand its car assembly plant in East London, in a plan that was announced earlier this year.

The leader of Business Leadership South Africa, Bonang Mohale, lauded the plans announced by business as a "step in the right direction", emphasising that government must foster confidence in the economy by removing red tape that hampers investment.

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