Business

South Africa reveals what it’s doing to ensure business level playing ground, announces date of economic summit

SOUTH AFRICA – The South African government has assured the world, particularly fellow African countries of its commitment to creating a stable, vibrant and investor-friendly environment for investment to flourish.

South African spokesperson, Phumla Williams assured that the country would support foreign companies willing to take advantage of the country’s “many lucrative opportunities through various incentives.”

Williams, who is the Acting GCIS Director-General GCIS assured that the South African government would enhance business environment and develop a sustainable and competitive economy for potential investors. She disclosed that to sustain South Africa’s commitment towards encouraging investment, the government would be holding the South African Economic Summit as from 5 to 7 November this year at the Sandton Convention Centre.

In a statement she personally signed, Williams said the country’s government has put in place measures to reduce the financial costs of doing business.

The statement reads: “Every Rand that is invested in our economy by local and international investors helps create new jobs, expands the local market and boosts economic activity. It sets in motion a new wave of growth that filters across our economy.

“A growing economy provides us with the means to drive back the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality. It is therefore in the interest of every South African to make our country the destination of choice for investors. To attract more investment, government is convening the second South Africa Investment Conference from 5 to 7 November this year at the Sandton Convention Centre.

“It builds on the success of the inaugural conference that was held last year and sends a clear message that South Africa is open for business. Moreover, the conference allows potential investors to engage directly with government and business representatives on new investment opportunities. It is also an opportunity to share progress on our work to unlock growth.

“The first South Africa Investment Conference was attended by investors, business leaders and organised labour representing a range of industries, including mining, forestry, manufacturing, telecommunications, transport, energy, agro-processing, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, financial services, energy, ICT and water.

“During the Conference, investment commitments of R300 billion were pledged by both domestic and international firms. The inaugural conference also kicked off a significant work programme for our
country’s investment institutions such as Invest SA as well as other government departments and entities.

“Through Invest SA we bring together all government services in one place for prospective investors who want to set up businesses. It offers a streamlined registration, administrative and authorisation process to quickly get businesses off the ground.

“Importantly, it is not preferential treatment but rather government helping companies navigate the regulatory framework that often accompany the establishment of new operations.

“In removing barriers to start and operate a business, government is confident that it will enhance the business environment and develop a sustainable and competitive economy.

“The second conference is anchored in a wave of renewal and positive change that is taking place in our nation. We are therefore making a call to international and domestic investors to join in our new momentum.

“In our drive to attract R1.2 trillion in investment by 2023, Government has introduced a number of measures over the last 12 months:

“We have laid the foundation for more investment into the digital economy and telecoms sectors by issuing a policy directive for the release of high demand spectrum, while the Competition Commission has issued its preliminary report on the cost of mobile data.

“We have introduced measures to reduce the financial costs of doing business which includes lower port and rail tariffs. There is progress towards the finalisation of the Mining Charter and the draft Petroleum Resources Development Bill, which will guide development in the country’s oil and gas sector, will soon be tabled in Cabinet for approval.

“Importantly, a process is underway to finalise a critical skills list to attract highly skilled professionals who will help us grow South Africa.”

Williams also disclosed plans to attract more tourists from across the world.

“To attract more tourists government has recently increased the number of countries that will receive visa waivers. To increase investment in infrastructure, government is setting aside R100 billion over 10
years for a National Infrastructure Fund and will be working with private investors and international financial institutions to leverage further finance for infrastructure. There is immense investment potential in economic and social infrastructure. A pilot pipeline for the Infrastructure Fund will be announced at the Investment Conference.

“Through our Public-Private Growth Initiative, we are developing investment projects in over 19 sectors. All of these measures to grow our economy are underpinned by our firm commitment to fiscal prudence, through managing expenditure and debt and increasing the impact of government programmes.

“In growing our economy we understand that our destiny is intrinsically linked to that of the rest of the Continent. We are already working with a number of other African countries to grow business, trade and investment opportunities with the rest of the Continent. The newly launched African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which will come into full effect in July 2020, opens up companies located in South Africa to a market of 1.3 billion.

“Government is committed to creating a stable, vibrant and investor-friendly environment for investment to flourish. We are supporting companies that want to take advantage of our many lucrative opportunities through various incentives.

“South Africa is open for investment and is ready to showcase our new investment prospects in an economy with vast potential. We look forward to welcoming investors from across the spectrum to our second South Africa Investment Conference.”

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