President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday said South Africa has been invited to attend the upcoming G7 summit in Canada, after a seven-year absence in the economic forum of some of the most powerful nations in the world.
Addressing a gathering of professional and academics in Johannesburg, Ramaphosa described the invitation as a sign of renewed confidence in the country.
“Very soon we will be travelling to the G7 in Canada. We have been invited after a seven-year lull. They said to us, come and talk about South Africa,” said Ramaphosa.
“We have decided that we are going where the money is, we are going there to drive investment,” he stressed.
The G7 consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and the US. The summit, which is attended by heads of state and investors, will be held on June 8 to 9 and a few guest countries are usually invited to attend.
Ramaphosa said South Africa would use the opportunity in particular to invite investors to inject capital into the ailing mining sector.
Uncertainty over Mining Charter
The sector is currently battling the effects of low demand and the policy uncertainty brought by the Mining Charter, which is currently under review.
The controversial charter is aimed at addressing historic economic imbalances in the sector through increased participation of black people in the industry.
Ramaphosa has voiced his support for the charter but admitted that the uncertainty brought by the proposed mining regulations is affecting business.
“We are determined to improve conditions of doing business in the country, and improve policy certainty as we wrap up the Mining Charter.”
Mining is one of the key pillars of the economy, and the sector has over the last few years been shedding jobs in the face of reduced output and falling commodity prices.
In April Ramaphosa announced a plan to raise $100bn in investment over the next five years, in a bid to boost the economy and create jobs.
Using the theme “thuma mina” or send me, Ramaphosa invited professionals to actively participate in government’s efforts aimed at unlocking investment and growth, including discussion around the contentious land debate.
He said the expropriation of land policy would be used as a tool to unlock growth and create investment.
“We need to unlock the value of land which has been held in minority hands since the days of coloniliasation. That alone should inject growth to the economy.”
Ramaphosa also stressed the importance of the role of state-owned entities, which he said are rooted in corruption and hindering the process of building a capable state.