President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is hopeful that the investment coming into the country through the Fourth South African Investment Conference will assist in creating employment for many destitute citizens.
Earlier the conference, being held in Sandton, saw protests by workers who were allegedly retrenched by dairy group, Clover.
Thousands of workers downed tools in protest over the job cuts at the begging of the year. Unions have accused the company of reneging on its promise to create over 500 jobs over five years after being acquired by a group of investors led by an Israeli-based Central Bottling Company.
Speaking to the SABC at the conference, President Ramaphosa says, “Of course the workers at Clover, they have a dispute with their employer and there will always be disputes with employers and employees and we have a fairly sophisticated and a very mature labour legislation dispensation that deals with that. And the reason we put those laws in place is because we anticipate it – that there will be disputes like retrenchments and dismissals that need to be dealt with in terms of the framework that we put in place.”
SA dealing with corruption and crime
Addressing the delegates at the conference, Ramaphosa assured potential investors that South Africa is dealing with corruption and criminality.
The one-day summit is part of a five-year plan to attract R1.2 trillion worth of investment into the country by the end of 2023.
The President says R770 billion had already been pledged since the inaugural conference in 2018. He encouraged potential investors to become part of South Africa’s growth story.
“As we continue along the path of reconstruction and recovery, I call on all investors, entrepreneurs, and business people to be part of this journey. As investors, you need to know that your investments are secure, that the operating environment is stable, and that you are supported by policy certainty and regulatory safeguards.”
He assured them that their investment will be secure in South Africa as law enforcement agencies are beginning to function optimally again.
“Many companies represented by many of you here will come forward to make new investment commitments. They will do so because they see opportunity in this country. They see beyond the difficulties and challenges. They see reform and progress. They see an open society that has enabled us to weather many storms. They see a strong and vibrant democracy, diverse media, and an active civil society. They see durable institutions, an independent judiciary, and the rule of law. After a decade of state capture, they see a country that is confronting corruption and criminality, and that is rebuilding its law enforcement agencies and strengthening the capacity of the state.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa opens the SA Investment Conference 2022:
SA on track to meet its investment target
The President says South Africa is two-thirds away from reaching its target of new investment worth R1.2 trillion into the country.
Since launching the Investment Conference in 2018, more than R770 billion in commitments have already been recorded. Ramaphosa says the country is well on track to meet its target.
“Despite the impact of the pandemic, by the time of the 3rd South Africa Investment Conference in 2020, we had raised a total of R774 billion in investment commitments. We are two-thirds of the way to reaching our target. Of the R774 billion committed, around R316 billion has so far been invested. Of the 152 investment pledges, 45 projects have been completed. A further 57 are under construction. 15 have been put on hold, in several cases due to the impact of the pandemic.”
Several companies have also made commitments on Thursday. The US-based subscription streaming service Netflix has pledged R929 million in investment while Anglo American pledged another R10 billion.
President Ramaphosa will close the gathering late in the evening with Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel expected to give a tally of all pledges. Additional reporting by Ntebo Mokobo