Five years since the first South African Investment Conference (SAIC) was held, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister, Ebrahim Patel has reflected on the progress made since the conference was first held.
This conference marks the final leg of the current investment drive to attract R1.2 trillion over five years.
Patel delivered welcoming remarks on Thursday at the fifth SAIC currently underway at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Welcoming delegates, Patel said this conference marks the end of one stage of the journey that started in April 2018.
The Minister said that the country had to navigate many challenging events since 2018 in its efforts to reach the R1.2 trillion target set in 2018.
He said the country did so while also faced with debilitating and sharp energy shortages.
“This conference brings the first public in person engagement of the cabinet delegation with investors since a number of cabinet members were appointed by the President.
“We will host a number of panel discussions of the range of issues relevant to investors, policymakers and we will have a clean recession on the great opportunity on the African market that can be unlocked through the African Continental Free Trade Area, which is our pivot to African led growth," he said.
Patel told delegates that within a few hours, a number of pledges will be made by investors for new investments in the South African economy.
He said the pledges will focus on sectors that drive innovation and pledges that will seek to plug the gap in South Africa's energy supply, among others.
He also welcomed small businesses “who provide important services to communities and large businesses who employ millions of citizens.”
He further welcomed more than 200 international delegates from 40 countries across the world who include investors from 10 other African countries.
Minister Patel told investors and delegates that South African wants the investments to expand businesses and employ young South Africans.
“Last year, South Africa achieved a record performance, exporting R2 trillion worth of goods representing almost 1/3 of our Gross Domestic Product.
“We want all of your money to be invested to build new factories, to expand mines, to develop more agricultural lands, to obtain machinery and to employ young South Africans,” he said. –SAnews.gov.za
Source: Government of South Africa