PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday evening that South Africa would host a major investment conference in August or September, which would aim to raise over R1trn in new investments over five years.
“The investment conference, which will involve domestic and international investors in equal measure, is not intended merely as a forum to discuss the investment climate,” said Ramaphosa, according to his prepared notes.
He was speaking at OR Tambo International Airport, before leaving for a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.
“Rather, we expect the conference to report on actual investment deals that have been concluded and to provide a platform for would-be investors to seek out opportunities in the South African market. We are determined that the conference produce results that can be quantified and quickly realised.”
Ramaphosa said government hopes that the conference would generate at least $100bn – or about R1.2trn -in new investments over the next five years.
“Given the current rates of investment, this is an ambitious but realisable target that will provide a significant boost to our economy.”
The president first referred to plans to hold an major investment conference during his maiden State of the Nation Address in mid-February.
Ramaphosa also unveiled the names of four ‘special envoys on investment’, who he said would spend the next few months engaging both domestic and foreign investors around economic opportunities in SA.
They are former minister of finance Trevor Manuel, former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas, executive chair of the Afropulse Group Phumzile Langeni, and chair of the Liberty Group and former Standard Bank head Jacko Maree.
“They will be travelling to major financial centres in Asia, Middle East, Europe and the Americas to meet with potential investors. A major part of their responsibility will be to seek out investors in other parts of Africa, from Nairobi to Lagos and from Dakar to Cairo,” he said.
The president also named businesswoman Trudi Makhaya as his economic adviser. Makhaya holds a number of degrees in business and economics, including from Oxford University and the University of the Witwatersrand.
Ramaphosa said that Makhaya would coordinate the work of the four special envoys and organise a series of investment roadshows in preparation for the conference.
According to Makhaya’s website, she has served as an adviser and angel investor to a number of companies, and has held non-executive directorships at Vumelana Advisory Fund and MTN South Africa.
She has also held management or consulting roles at Deloitte South Africa, Genesis Analytics, AngloGold Ashanti and the Competition Commission.