Pledges at the annual South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC) over the past four years have exceeded President Cyril Ramaphosa’s target of R1.2 trillion in investments by R306 billion – overachieving the target by 26%.
This was announced by the President during his closing address of the 5th SAIC held recently.
The President says the achievement was “stellar” in the face of all the challenges the country faced, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Having now officially concluded the first phase of our national investment mobilisations drive, we can say this has been a watershed conference.
“We have honoured the undertaking we gave the South African people in 2018 that we would attract new investment, investments that were much needed in our economy. We would attract all those investments from overseas and our internal companies to support the growth of local businesses and create more jobs.”
According to President Ramaphosa, government set out an ambitious path five years ago not knowing that the COVID-19 pandemic would cause turmoil in the world economically.
“For us to have been able to meet our five-year target despite the major challenges and disruptions, including the pandemic, is no mean feat. It is a stellar achievement. We should all be proud of having achieved this,” he says.
President Ramaphosa emphasised that these investment commitments will go a long way in stimulating economic activity, creating jobs and developing critical infrastructure in many regions across the country.
Over the past four years, at least R263 billion has been raised for infrastructure development programmes.
“A number of these investments aren’t only bringing much-needed economic activity to these localities, they are also supporting our overall national development goals. Infrastructure development is one of the key areas of focus to drive economic growth and is the flywheel that drives economic growth.”
He made an example about the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) who made a pledge at the conference a few years ago which were now bearing fruits.
“A few years back SANRAL… announced at the Investment Conference their plans to build the Msikaba Bridge, the longest and highest cable-stayed suspension bridge in Africa. On a superficial level, this bridge connects the peoples and economies of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. But it is a far deeper story about integrated development,” he says.
The President added that the success of the investment conference was because of deepened collaboration between government and the private sector.
“As government and the private sector, we have proven ourselves capable of moving forward together, of working in unison in pursuit of the common good. We did so exceptionally during the pandemic. We have done so with this investment drive, and now aim to replicate this collaboration as we address challenges with energy and logistics.”
President Ramaphosa called on investors to recommit ourselves to the common good that is South Africa's development.