Phumla Williams: South Africa hosts investment conference

South Africa is already working with a number of neighbouring countries to grow business, trade and investment, writes Phumla Williams. File picture: Katlholo Maifadi/GCIS

Phumla Williams is the spokesperson of the South African Government and director-general of the Government Information and Communication System. Below is the details she has provided on the investment conference to be hosted by South Africa.


South Africa will this year continue with concerted efforts to attract new investments
into the country to help revive the economy and boost socio-economic development.
One of the major events is the fourth South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC) to
be hosted in Johannesburg on 24 March 2022, which forms part of our investment
drive to attract R1.2 trillion over five years.

This ambitious investment initiative began in 2018 and has already attracted R770
billion in commitments across a wide range of economic sectors. The government has
placed investments at the heart of its efforts to achieve its national goal of economic
reconstruction and recovery.

New investments stimulate economic activity in South Africa and also hold enormous
benefits for Southern Africa as a whole. The country is an economic hub and
gateway into Africa for various markets and business opportunities, including
attracting potential investors and tourists alike.

Many multinationals investing in South Africa also use the country as a base to serve
their customers in Africa and in particular the southern region. As a relatively stable
country with a technologically advanced telecommunications network and a secure
banking system, South Africa provides support to these global companies so that
they can take advantage of opportunities in the country and the region.

South Africa’s regional partnerships include participation in the Southern African
Development Community, the Southern African Customs Union and the new African
Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The AfCFTA makes trade between African countries easier by providing new export
opportunities for Southern African products and services to member countries which
trade with each other without tariffs or other hindrances.

South Africa is already working with a number of neighboring countries to grow
business, trade and investment. This regional partnership provides a gateway for
potential foreign and intra-African investments in the continent.

The country continues to relax cross-border financial regulations and tax
requirements to enable local businesses to expand into Africa to support continental
growth. Similar support measures apply to foreign companies which use South Africa
as their regional headquarters to invest in African countries.

Since South Africa’s future is intrinsically linked to that of the continent, the country
continues to play an integral role in Africa’s advancement and remains dedicated to
Africa’s prosperity.

Recent investments in South Africa which hold enormous benefits for the region and
the rest of the continent include the multibillion-rand investment by US-based health
technology company NantWorks in a new vaccine manufacturing facility in Cape Town.

The state-of-the-art facility places Africa at the forefront of genome research and is
expected to produce a billion doses of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) vaccine
a year by 2025 for the continent. The investment also supports African scientists
expanding genomic sequencing in their home countries through the Centre for
Epidemic Response and Innovation’s Genomics Africa Fellowship Africa Program.
Other investments include Toyota South Africa’s expansion of its production line to
produce South Africa’s first locally made hybrid car. This investment was the result of
a R2.4-billion commitment made by the company at the second SAIC in 2019. It has
already created 575 new jobs at the plant and a further 1 200 new jobs have been
created in supplier companies.

Aspen Pharmacare also launched its R3.4-billion expansion, which it announced at
the first SAIC in 2018, turning its manufacturing facility into one of the largest global
manufacturing hubs for general anesthetics. The facility, which has been upgraded
with high-technology equipment and manufacturing systems, has the infrastructure
to produce over 100 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Despite the most challenging economic environment in the past two years owing to
COVID-19, investments in the country have been able to bolster the energy,
telecommunications, water and ports and rail sectors. By lowering the cost of doing
business in South Africa and encouraging greater private investment in infrastructure
development, government aims to advance the country’s transformational and
deliberately pursue its developmental agenda.

Progress has also been noted in the establishment of 13 special economic zones
across the country. They provide investors with targeted investment incentives,
preferential tax rates and export support, as well as an attractive manufacturing base
for companies seeking to supply both local and international markets.

As the most diversified economy in the continent, South Africa remains committed to
playing an integral role in the region’s industrialisation, particularly to aid its recovery
from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is indisputable that a thriving regional economy
after the pandemic holds the aspirations and dreams of all citizens. Countries in the
region have the potential and resilience to emerge stronger by mobilising industrial
sectors to rebuild their respective economies.

Meanwhile, South Africa cordially invites all potential investors from the region to
participate in the upcoming fourth SAIC as we partner in a collaborative approach to
build a stronger local and regional economy.