Team South Africa says it has held fruitful bilateral engagements with economic leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni says South Africa still enjoys a great deal of interest from the international community and this can help galvanise investment and goodwill towards the country.

Addressing a press briefing on the closing day of the WEF meeting in Davos, Mboweni says while Davos provides a good platform for the sharing of ideas and strengthening relationships with global business and government counterparts, no deals are ever signed at the meeting.

“We were tasked with leading the South African delegation to the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum here at Davos to participate in various discussions and debates, conversations. We have put our best feet forward and done things to the best of our advantage. All of us here are meeting with various stakeholders and we can say, without any fear of contradiction, that we have had fruitful conversations.”

Mboweni said businessman Patrice Motsepe’s remarks to US President Donald Trump were not representative of the South African government. At a side event at the WEF, the African Rainbow Minerals CEO told Trump on Thursday that “Africa loves America and its president.”

Mboweni says that Motsepe as an individual has the right to share his opinion with anyone.

“I think he was well within his rights to express his views. He was very clear that he wasn’t speaking on behalf of the South African government. He doesn’t have the kind of arrogance to speak on behalf of the South African government. And he was in a private meeting and they were having private conversation and it is perfectly in his own right. People must leave him alone okay.” Additional reporting by Noma Bolani.

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