18 October 2018
Members of the media,
I am pleased to announce that President Cyril Ramaphosa will be hosting the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference on 25-27 October 2018. The theme of the conference is ‘Accelerating Growth by Building Partnerships’.
The Investment Conference follows a commitment made by the President during the State of the Nation Address in February this year. The aim of the conference is to market the compelling investment opportunities in our country so as to encourage investments and create jobs.
The current negative economic climate – characterised by a technical recession worsened by rising oil prices, tense relations between US and major economies, and weakening investor sentiment towards emerging economies – has made it even more important to take steps to reinvigorate the economy.
This conference is a key milestone in the country’s bold ambition to raise at least US$100 billion in new investment over the next five years and one of a series of initiatives being undertaken by government to ensure economic recovery and growth, and to create jobs and prevent further job losses.
In April this year, President Ramaphosa appointed four investment envoys: former Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel; the former Deputy Minister of Finance, Mcebisi Jonas; businesswoman, Phumzile Langeni; and veteran businessman, Jaco Maree.
In September, in response to negative growth in the first half of the year, President Ramaphosa announced a stimulus and recovery plan to ignite economic activity, restore investor confidence, prevent further job losses and create much needed jobs.
Through the stimulus and recovery plan, Government is introducing immediate economic reforms to provide policy certainty and unlock growth in key sectors. Some of the reforms include a review of regulations on the travel of minors, expanding the list of countries not requiring visas for travel to South Africa and implementation of electronic visas.
The revised Mining Charter has been finalised after widespread consultation with communities, labour and industry players. Government has decided not to proceed with the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act Amendment Bill and intends to draft separate legislation for the oil and gas industry. Government is reviewing various administrative prices, starting with electricity, port and rail tariffs.
Government has gazetted for public comment the proposed Policy and Policy Direction to ICASA on licencing of unassigned high demand spectrum. The policy is meant to open the process of allocation of radio spectrum to enable licensing.
The Investment Conference builds on the recent Presidential Jobs Summit, where labour, business, government and the community constituency adopted a ground breaking Framework Agreement to prevent further job losses, create jobs and support companies in distress. The Framework Agreement serves as an enabler for the creation of an estimated 275 000 additional jobs annually, especially for the youth.
Over the past six months, the President’s investment envoys have engaged in over 150 dialogues with the both domestic and international investors. These interactions have helped to facilitate open communication on the investment climate and on the opportunities for investment that could be unlocked through partnership.
The investment envoys have met with local and international business leaders individually, through business associations and foreign missions. These engagements have achieved three broad aspects critical to achieving our objectives for the investment drive:
The Investment Envoys have contributed to an ‘issues log’, which is a collation of proposals on how government can re-orient policy to stimulate economic growth and increase investor confidence. Government has already established an inter-ministerial committee that is working around the clock to leverage this feedback to improve the ease of doing business;
An investment pipeline has been collated, which is a collection of projects that either have a funding gap or have been delayed due to red tape or administrative delays. Some of these projects will be showcased at the Investment Conference for consideration by investors;
The investment envoys, together with InvestSA, have facilitated the resolution of specific issues related to regulatory permits or licenses, delayed decision-making, work visas and guidance regarding B-BBEE equity equivalent requirements.
Through this initiative a total of 45 bankable projects will be announced which are ready for implementation. These projects are in manufacturing, green economy, infrastructure, agro-processing, minerals beneficiation, mining, oil and gas, and property development. The projects are projected to be to the value of R150 billion.
It is against this backdrop that President Ramaphosa has extended invitations to a select number of CEOs, investors and leaders of civil society to provide a platform to showcase growth and investment prospects in an economy with vast potential and enormous resources. At least one thousand delegates are expected to attend the conference.
Government will use the opportunity to engage with investors and share the progress it is making in its journey towards political and economic recovery. This requires strengthening the credibility of our public institutions and unlocking the latent potential and innovative spirit of South Africa’s economy.
On 26 October, President Ramaphosa will open the conference, followed by a presentation of a case for investment in South Africa. The presentation will be followed by the announcement of bankable projects and then plenary will break into commissions around agriculture, agro-processing, mining and manufacturing, transport, energy and water.
The conference will be preceded by a series of networking events on 25 October, including a networking cocktail, a performance at the Theatre on the Square and an art exhibition.
On 27 October 2018, President Ramaphosa will lead a walkabout along Vilakazi Street in Soweto with both investors and the general public. The aim of the walkabout is to showcase the vibrancy of the township economy. The investors will thereafter have an opportunity to hold business-to-business and business-to-government bilateral meetings.
Government calls upon all sectors of society to rally behind this bold initiative to stimulate economic growth and create jobs for all in our communities.
Issued by: Economic Development Department