Special Envoys on a mission to net $100bn in investment.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Special Envoys on Investment to spearhead an investment drive with a target of US $100 billion over the next five years.
“With the investment envoys, we are unleashing a pack of lions tasked with hunting down investment for us,” said the President.
The President’s Special Envoys on Investment include finance heavyweights such as former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, former Finance Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas, the executive chairperson of Afropulse Group, Phumzile Langeni and chairman of Liberty Group and former CEO of Standard Bank Jacko Maree.
The President made the announcement at a briefing at OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng ahead of his departure to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.
Through the investment drive, which will culminate in an Investment Conference in August or September 2018, the investment envoy will see to it that concrete investment opportunities are created.
“The Investment Conference, which will involve domestic and international investors in equal measure, is not intended merely as a forum to discuss the investment climate. Rather, we expect the conference to report on actual investment deals that have been concluded and to provide a platform for would-be investors to seek out opportunities in the South African market.
“We are determined that the conference produces results that can be quantified and quickly realised,” said the President.
President appoints economic adviser
President Ramaphosa used the platform to announce his appointment of Trudi Makhaya as his economic adviser, with her first task being the coordination of the Special Envoys.
“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Trudi Makhaya as my economic adviser. Among her immediate responsibilities will be the coordination of the work of these Special Envoys and a series of investment roadshows in preparation for the Investment Conference,” said the President.
The appointment of the investment envoy is in line with the commitment made by the President during his maiden State of the Nation Address in February to increase investment and boost the country’s economy.
The Special Envoys, whose remuneration will be sourced from government, will jet set to major financial centres in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas to meet with potential investors.
A major part of their responsibility will be to seek out investors in other parts of Africa.
“This is part of a broader push by government to advance economic integration in the Southern African region and across the continent. The envoys and government departments will work in unison and will report to the President. The two are mutually inclusive,” said President Ramaphosa.
The President said he and his team of envoys will use of opportunities such as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to meet with several major global companies to brief them on recent developments in the country.
“We will be communicating a clear and consistent message that South Africa is an investment destination with significant unrealised potential,” said the President.
In a bid to cut the red tape and attract investors, the President said work is underway to rationalise and streamline investment regulations and reduce the cost of establishing and running businesses.
“Through the more effective use of industrial incentives, Special Economic Zones and local procurement requirements, we aim to increase investment in manufacturing and related sectors.
“We are creating more opportunities for new market entrants through our competition policy, preferential procurement measures and expanded support to small and medium-sized businesses,” said the President.