Ramaphosa welcomes R1.5-trillion investor pledges

President Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the 5th South Africa Investment conference as a resounding success after pledges to invest in the country apparently shot to R1.5-trillion.

The president revealed the new figures at the closing of the annual conference in Johannesburg on Thursday.

“Having now officially concluded the first phase of our national investment mobilisations drive, we can say this has been a watershed conference.

“We have now reached R1.51-trillion in pledges, overshooting our initial R1.2-trillion target by 26%.

“We have honoured the undertaking we gave the South African people in 2018 that we would attract new investment to our shores, support the growth of local businesses and create more jobs,” said Ramaphosa.

He said the pledges made had exceeded his administration’s expectations as the country was still reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“When we set out on this ambitious path five years ago, none of us could have foreseen that the world would be struck by a deadly pandemic. Nor could any of us have imagined the lingering impact on investment, businesses, jobs, and livelihoods, even years after the existential health threat has passed.

Outlining the pledges made, Ramaphosa said the investments would flow into South Africa’s 21 district municipalities as part of the District Development Model.

“This would in turn make South Africa a successful economic participant in the global village,” he said.

The president said the pledges made over the past five years had begun to bear fruit.

“A few years back Sanral announced at the investment conference their plans to build 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 deeper story about integrated development.

“Iron ore for its construction is being mined in the Northern Cape; transported to KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng to be converted into steel blooms and plates; fabricated in Mpumalanga, and finally, assembled in the Eastern Cape,” he said.

“For each step in an infrastructure development value chain, jobs are created, small businesses and suppliers supported, and skills are imparted. Over the four-year period of our investment drive, we have realised approximately R263-billion in investment for infrastructure development.”

Ramaphosa said these investments were also helping resolve water challenges faced across the country.

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