Ramaphosa's Investment Conference may lead to 165 000 jobs - PwC report

President Cyril Ramaphosa's Investment Conference, which took place in Sandton last month and garnered nearly R290bn in investment pledges, may create and sustain 165 000 direct and indirect jobs over five years, according to a PwC report published on Thursday. 

PwC estimated that some R338bn would be added to SA’s GDP between 2019 and 2024, thanks to these pledges by business. The state, meanwhile, may benefit by gaining R59bn in additional revenue through the collection of direct and indirect taxes over the next five years. 

In the longer term, between 2025 to 2035, some R133bn could be added to total government revenue. 

PwC noted that its analysis was based on the assumption that all investment pledges would be forthcoming. And while Trade and Industry Minister Rob Minister Davies has said the pledges were "firm commitments", PwC said its rosy projections could change if the investments didn't materialise. 

"Investment pledges will only translate into actual investments if a supportive business environment, policy certainty and political stability are in place," stated the study’s authors. "This analysis is based on the assumption that all investment pledges, amounting to R284.6bn, are translated into real investments."

Ramaphosa announced the investment conference during his maiden State of the Nation Address in February. 

The president declared the conference a success, after major companies committed to invest billions in SA's economy. The largest single pledge came in the mining sector, with AngloAmerican committing to invest R71.5bn over five years. This will chiefly be used to sustain current operations by prolonging the lifespans of certain mines, rather than create new jobs. 

The conference formed part of Ramaphosa's plan to attract some $100bn in new investments in SA over the next five years to kick-start the country’s lagging economy, which slipped into a technical recession after two successive quarters of negative economic growth. 

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