World Economic Forum

calvinBy Calvin Augustine 

Governments, civil society and business leaders from across the world had converged on the Swiss town of Davos-Klosters last month for the 54th World Economic Forum to examine the current changing global landscape.  

The meeting was convened under the theme: “Rebuilding Trust” and assessed how best the global community could come together to deal with the world’s most pressing challenges.

South Africa’s delegation was led by Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana. As a country we valued the opportunity presented by the WEF meeting to be part of the global solutions and to share our own experiences.

Our country has participated in the forum for a number of years in pursuit of solutions to issues facing not just the world at large but also the country itself. Importantly, the WEF meeting allowed us to position our country as an attractive investment destination to business sector leaders. 

We shared with investors from across the world the many profitable opportunities that are available in South Africa. Government also presented a growing range of developments within the country that global investors would find significant. 

It included the acceleration of economic reforms in sectors affected by regulatory uncertainty to unlock greater investment. In April last year, all that hard work came to fruition when South Africa concluded the first phase of its five-year investment mobilisation drive surpassing its investment target by 26 percent. Over the period, the country reached a total of R1,51 trillion in investment pledges. 

Government and business have once again tapped into the power of partnerships to address some of our country’s most pressing challenges in energy, transport and logistics, and crime and corruption. Organised business under the auspices of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) is working together with government towards removing obstacles to inclusive economic growth and job creation. 

Government is committed to reduce load shedding, transform the electricity sector and achieve long-term energy security. The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy released the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2023) that sets out how we seek to ensure security of electricity supply. At the heart of the plan is our commitment to move to a greener and more sustainable energy supply that will fundamentally change the country’s energy future.

The country is addressing the challenges in freight rail through reforms and interventions detailed in a roadmap for the freight logistics sector. Work is underway between the various departments under the guidance of Operation Vulindlela to revitalise our rail freight sector. 

Our country has the potential and means to be amongst the world’s most vibrant economies. Our engagement at WEF showed to that world and investors that we are a nation on the rise. 

Calvin Augustine is Deputy Director: Communication Resource Centre