AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
DESPITE the devastation inflicted by COVID-19 on its economy, South Africa remains an attractive destination and has over R773-billion in investments to prove this.
This was the strong message from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation address delivered last night.
Ramaphosa said the country’s third South Africa Investment Conference, held in November last year, raised R108 billion in additional investment commitments.
“Together with investment confirmed from the two previous investment conferences, we have now received R773-billion in investment commitments towards our five-year target of R1.2-trillion. Firms have reported that some R183-billion of these investments has already flowed into projects that benefit the South African economy. This shows that our country is still an attractive investment destination for both local and offshore companies.
“We have worked to facilitate investment by increasing the ease of doing business, including by making it easier to start a business. In the past year, more than 125 000 new companies have been registered through the BizPortal platform, completing their registration in just a matter of hours from the comfort of their homes or offices. We are making it easier for business to do business,” Ramaphosa said.
He said SA’s government would continue to work with the private sector to create a conducive environment for them to be able to create jobs.
“Our compact with the private sector is underpinned by a clear commitment to grow our economy and to create jobs. However, the public sector has a responsibility to stimulate job creation both through its policies and through direct job creation opportunities,” he added.
Ramaphosa also disclosed that a total of 430 000 “job opportunities” had been supported throug the Presidential Employment Stimulus project, which is one of the most significant expansions of public and social employment in South Africa’s history.
He said a further 180,000 opportunities were currently in the recruitment process.
“These opportunities are in areas like education, arts and culture, global business services, early childhood development, and small-scale and subsistence farming. It involves environmental programmes such as the clearing of alien trees, wetland rehabilitation, fire prevention and cleaning and greening across all municipalities. These programmes are about real lives and real livelihoods.
“Nearly half a million people are now receiving an income, developing new skills and contributing to their community and the country’s economy.
We will continue to support employment for as long as it is necessary while the labour market recovers, even as we work to promote stronger and more resilient growth in the private sector,” Ramaphosa said.