Ramaphosa affirms investor confidence in South Africa

Ramaphosa affirms investor confidence in South Africa

South Africa has undoubtedly had many challenges in its economy throughout the years. The State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Cape Town last night reflected on the achievements of government since 1994.

The SONA coincides with the 30 years anniversary of South Africa’s freedom from the apartheid era that barred black people from participating in business and from obtaining management and executive positions. Ramaphosa said since 1996 to 2016, the number of black people holding executive management positions has increased almost five-fold.

This, according to the President, is an indication that the work place is transforming and the economy of the country is well on course to equality.

“We have introduced laws and undertaken programmes to enable black South Africans and women to advance in the workplace, to become owners and managers, to acquire land and build up assets,” said Ramaphosa.

State capture hurt the economy of the democratic country, with billions of Rands being lost to corruption; however, assuring investors and South Africans, Cyril Ramaphosa said his administration has been at pains to stop state capture, dismantle the criminal networks within government and ensuring that those involved face the law as their first priority. He told the nation that his administration had to do that to restore state institutions and rebuild the economy.

“More than 200 accused persons are being prosecuted. More are under investigation. Stolen funds are being recovered. Freezing orders of R14 billion have been granted to the NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit for state capture-related cases, and around R8.6 billion in corrupt proceeds have been returned to the state.

A restored and revitalised SARS has collected R4.8 billion in unpaid taxes as a result of evidence presented at the Commission, while the Special Investigating Unit has instituted civil litigation to the value of R64 billion,” said the President.

Ramaphosa told the nation and the business community that his administration has worked had over the five years to revive South Africa’s economy following 10 years of stagnation, protecting the economy from both domestic and global shocks.

Since the dawn the of democracy, according to Ramaphosa, South Africa’s economy is three times larger than it was 30 years ago, with the number of the employed population having grown from 8 million in 1994, to 16.7 million to date.

“Over the last two years, the number of jobs being created has been increasing every quarter, and we now have more people in employment than before the pandemic. Yet, our unemployment rate is the highest it has ever been. Even as employment is growing, more people are entering the job market each year than jobs are being created,” he said.

“We have laid a foundation for growth through far-reaching economic reforms, an ambitious investment drive, and an infrastructure programme that is starting to yield results,” continued President Cyril Ramaphosa.

According to the President, investor confidence in South Africa is high and investors still find the country attractive despite challenges of load-shedding, corruption and high rate of crime. He told the nation that companies continue to invest in the country, more and more factories are being launched, production is being expanded and thousands of farm lands are being planted.

A stable and consistent power supply in the country is vital to the country’s economy, alongside good road infrastructure and logistics. South Africa cannot successfully compete in the global economy with such hindrances. The country is losing billions a day due to load-shedding, mismanaged ports, dilapidated or vandalized rail infrastructure.

“We are on track to resolve the most important constraints on economic growth by stabilising our energy supply and fixing our logistics system. As these obstacles are removed, the true potential of our economy is unleashed,” affirmed Ramaphosa.

Despite all the challenges, South Africa managed to attract a number of companies to invest in the economy and create the much need jobs for the natives.

“We raised R1.5 trillion in new investment commitments through five South Africa Investment Conferences, of which over R500 billion has already flowed into the economy,” said Ramaphosa.


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