Cape Town – The rise of right-wing nationalism in Europe as well as Britain’s vote to leave the European Union makes South Africa a far more attractive investment destination, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in London on Thursday.
Speaking to Bloomberg TV, Gordhan argued against seeing South Africa as politically unstable for investment purposes by turning the argument around.
“These things are all relative,” he said. “When you have the extreme uncertainty of right wing populism and other political developments in the European context, then we actually look relatively stable and a good place to be in.”
He said there were three reasons why South Africa was an attractive investment destination.
“I think post last Thursday, South Africa is an excellent place to put your money,” he said.
“Firstly, because South Africa has the best business infrastructure on the African continent.
“Secondly, because we have many South African firms that have an excellent penetration in the African market.
"And thirdly, because Africa for the next 20 years is the world’s future in terms of growth, in terms of demand, in terms of the demographic dividend …”
He said new forms of experimentation, reindustrialising the continent and exploring its natural advantage in agriculture made Africa a wise investment move.
“So, if you take a long-term view, South Africa is an excellent place to be in,” he said, adding that the business leaders he met in London were not pessimistic about South Africa’s prospects.
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When Gordhan was asked if he would get arrested over the Sars investigative unit, he again turned the questioning around
“So you’ve just had a whole tumultuous development in Britain,” he said. “Who can give you the assurance who the next prime minister is going to be in this environment. We all thought it was going to be Boris Johnson …
“Each of our countries will have developments that might be of one concern or another. For example, the world will be very concerned if Mr (Donald) Trump is your next president in the United States and what policies might actually emerge from there.
“I think your emphasis is a bit misplaced. I am in the job. I have the confidence of cabinet. I am in the job because the president requires me to be in the job.”