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Ramaphosa’s Bold Vision: South Africa’s Untapped Investment Potential

Published by
WIlliam Dube
  1. President Cyril Ramaphosa aims to showcase South Africa’s untapped potential for investors despite numerous challenges, including economic headwinds, an ongoing power crisis, and skepticism from international institutions.
  2. Ramaphosa remains committed to addressing the energy sector as the country’s top priority, improving electricity reliability while transitioning to renewables and net-zero emissions by 2050.
  3. The president highlighted the progress made in combating corruption and improving the logistics sector, emphasizing port and rail efficiencies as part of the structural reform process.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa remains committed to proving that, despite facing numerous challenges, the nation is still on the path to recovery and offers significant untapped potential for investors. The president acknowledged the doubts raised by investors following the various setbacks South Africa has encountered over the last year, but he remains optimistic about the country’s prospects.

In the face of economic headwinds, an ongoing power crisis, and deep scepticism from international institutions, Ramaphosa believes South Africa is an investment destination with enormous potential. Addressing domestic and foreign investors at the country’s fifth Investment Conference, the president discussed his five-year plan, which aims to attract R1.2 trillion in investment.

Since 2018, South Africa has successfully secured R1.14 trillion in investment pledges, and Ramaphosa is hopeful that the current conference will push this figure even higher. Looking ahead to the next five years, the president has set an ambitious new target of attracting an additional R2 trillion in investments by 2028.

While defending South Africa’s position, Ramaphosa also acknowledged the mismanagement that has plagued the country for over a decade. He cited the global pandemic, social unrest, natural disasters, and a cost-of-living crisis as factors contributing to the nation’s difficulties. Furthermore, the consequences of years of under-investment, mismanagement, and corruption in the electricity, rail, and logistics sectors have exacerbated these challenges.

Despite these obstacles, Ramaphosa remains confident in South Africa’s recovery, stating that the country is on the right path and refuses to be daunted by the challenges it faces. He noted that almost 70% of the projects announced since 2018 have been completed or are nearing completion, with approximately R460 billion of capital invested in various sectors, including new factories, equipment, roads, mines, and broadband infrastructure.

International companies are increasingly turning to South Africa for business process outsourcing, tech start-ups, the automotive sector, green ammonia, green hydrogen, and the construction of mega data centres. The president emphasized the importance of addressing the energy sector, which remains the country’s foremost priority.

Ramaphosa acknowledged the impact of unreliable electricity supply on business and consumer confidence, international perceptions, and investment sentiment. He reiterated the government’s commitment to the Energy Action Plan, which aims to reduce the severity and frequency of load shedding in the short term. Although load shedding remains a challenge in the immediate future, Ramaphosa believes its severity will begin to ease.

South Africa is not only working to improve its struggling coal-fired power stations but also remains committed to a Just Energy Transition to renewables and net-zero by 2050. The president stated that this transition will occur at a pace the country can afford and in a manner that ensures energy security. Ultimately, investment in green energy is expected to significantly boost economic growth.

Addressing issues within the logistics sector, Ramaphosa emphasized the importance of prioritizing port and rail efficiencies as part of the structural reform process. To facilitate third-party access, Transnet is establishing a separate Infrastructure Manager for the rail network. In the interim, Transnet is implementing measures to improve the performance of the freight rail system, including increasing the availability of locomotives for key corridors.

Lastly, Ramaphosa highlighted the progress made in combating corruption, with the South African Police Service, the Special Investigating Unit, and the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate successfully addressing serious cases of state corruption. This progress has resulted in arrests, asset forfeitures, convictions, and the recovery of misappropriated funds. These developments demonstrate South Africa’s commitment to removing itself from the Financial Action Task Force’s grey list.

WIlliam Dube

William Dube is a finance and economic news expert with over 10 years of experience in economic anaylsis, financial product assessment and market analysis. With a numerous certificates from prestigious universities including but not limited to Yale University and the University of Pennyslivenia. William specializes in providing insightful news developments in South Africa and commentary on investment strategies, risk management, and global economic trends. You can contact him on william@rateweb.co.za

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Published by
WIlliam Dube

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