Investment Conference: Hundreds of billions of rands already pledged

Several companies made major investment announcements during President Cyril Ramaphosa's Investment Conference, called to rally investors to plough money into the country’s ailing economy.

These include Sappi (R7.7bn), Mondi SA (R8bn), Rain (R1bn), Mara (R1.5bn), mining company Vedanta (R21.4bn), Ivanplats (R4.5bn),  AngloAmerican (R71.5bn), Bushveld Minerals (R2.5bn), Naspers (R6bn) and Mercedes Benz SA (R10bn), among others.  

Comprehensive details of where and over what period of time these all these funds will be invested are still to be announced. Fin24 will update the list as more information becomes available. 

The inaugural summit, which is being attended by local and foreign business leaders, is part of Ramaphosa’s drive to attract $100bn in investment into the country over the next five years.

In his opening address, Ramaphosa said there was a need for South African companies to "lead the investment charge” and , demonstrate that they have confidence in the SA economy and in "its ability to deliver decent and reliable returns".

"Today, a number of local and international companies will make announcements on investments to expand existing operations in the country or establish new ones," said Ramaphosa.

"In addition to the announcements that will be made at this conference we have received investment pledges from a number of countries."

Following his appointment in February, Ramphosa announced a bold plan of boosting the economy through foreign investment and selected a team of special investment envoys tasked with selling the country abroad.

"I call upon South African companies to engage with our investment envoys on their investment plans, including capital expenditure programmes, so that we can have a better idea of what the future portends for our country on the economic growth landscape," said Ramaphosa.

South Africa’s economy has been struggling with low growth levels over the last decade, making it difficult to arrest high levels of unemployment and inequality. The economy slipped into recession in the second quarter, while key industries have been shedding jobs.

In September, government announced a stimulus package aimed at boosting the struggling economy. The Investment Conference follows a Jobs Summit called by government earlier this month, where a raft of development enhancing measures were announced, including the ramping up of infrastructure development and a fund to assist black entrepreneurs.

Ramaphosa stressed that government has placed economic growth and job creation at the centre of the national agenda.

Government officials  and representatives of local companies would hold engagements with investors to discuss investment opportunities in sectors such as mining, tourism and manufacturing.

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