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Source: South Africa News Agency

Multinational and local businesses have arrived at the second South African Investment Conference bearing gifts that will tingle the country’s investment prospects.

Heeding President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call and reassurance that South Africa was open for business, several companies this morning took turns to avail a combined R133 billion to be ploughed into the country’s stagnant economy.

The figure adds to the R300 billion investments announced at last year’s first SA Investment Conference, in which the President announced his intention to attract R1.2 trillion over five years. More investments are expected before the close of today.

Shortly after President Ramaphosa’s address this morning, businesses took turns at the podium announcing investments.

First on stage was B Braun, a German medical and pharmaceutical device company, pledging to invest R300 million on a greenfields plant. Jens Papperitz from the company said the project was at an advanced stage.

“The factory is quite high up and we expect to go online early next year. This plant will create hundreds of direct jobs and will create significant opportunities for export,” he said.

He added that 80% of the plant’s content will be sourced and built locally.

Not to be outdone, the world’s largest dissolving pulp producer, Sappi, announced it would spend R14 billion on its various plants across the country. This investment was above the R7.7 billion investment in Umkomaas, in KwaZulu-Natal, announced at the inaugural South African Investment Conference.

“We have made great progress – at about 40% – and expect to complete at around September next year. This year, we want to make a commitment that over the next five years, Sappi will commit a further R14 billion in our four plants across South Africa,” said Steve Binnie, the company’s CEO.

New industry entrant Discovery Bank soon followed suit, announcing it would be investing R1.4 billion on its venture.

Led by Ambassador Norio Maruyama, the Japan-SA Business Forum committed to invest R20 billion over three years throughout Africa. Last year, Japanese companies made investment commitments of R6.8 billion to help build productive capacity and support foreign direct investment. 

Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW South Africa, speaking on behalf of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), announced a R6 billion 10 year Automotive Transformation Fund, an initiative between the organisation and the Department of Trade and Industry.

“This is on top of the R14 billion we have already pledged. The Fund is designed to support the participation of the Black and historical disadvantaged people and communities in the automotive industry. This will result in more jobs in South Africa – and obviously transformation.”

MTN CEO Rob Shuter announced that the company would invest R10 billion a year over the next five years.

Other investments announced this morning included:

  • Toyota (R2.43 billion)
  • VM Automobile (R426 million)
  • Agricultural Developmental Agency (R12.9 billion)
  • Renergen (R700 million)
  • New Development Bank (R23 billion)
  • Transnet (R22 billion)

– SAnews.gov.za

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