SA on track for 2nd Investment Conference

Preparations for the second South African Investment Conference are underway and over 1 000 delegates have already confirmed their attendance ahead of the meeting of investors in Sandton next month.

Trudi Makhaya, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s economic advisor, said this on Tuesday when she, alongside Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel, briefed the media on preparations for the conference at the Imbizo Media Centre in Parliament, Cape Town.

More than 1 500 delegates from across the globe — including leaders from local and international business, government and the investment community are — expected to attend this year’s conference.

The conference will be held from 5 – 7 November 2019 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

“Facilitations have been underway to prepare for the second annual investment. As we speak, we have just over 1 030 confirmed delegates and we are quite close to reaching the registration cut-off point,” Makhanya said.

The Investment Conference supports South Africa’s investment drive, which seeks to mobilise R1.2 trillion in new investments by 2023.

The first South Africa Investment Conference was held in October 2018, where R300 billion was committed for investment in South Africa by local and international investors.

The three main sponsors of this year’s South Africa Investment Conference, who also attended Tuesday’s media briefing, all made pledges at the inaugural Investment Conference in 2018. Naspers pledged R4.6 billion, Vodacom committed R50 billion and Anglo American made a pledge of R71 billion.

Makhaya said the conference will be themed across several key areas, with one of the themes aimed at positioning South Africa for investment. She said a document outlining South Africa’s value proposition has been created accordingly.

While Alibaba founder Jack Ma headlined last year’s investment conference, Makhaya said an announcement about this year’s main guest speaker would be made at a later stage.

The President will host a dinner for investors ahead of the opening session, several sessions and panel discussions have been scheduled covering several topics, including a session on impact investing.

Last year’s conference saw the President taking a walk in Soweto while interacting with local entrepreneurs. Makhaya said this year’s sidelines programme would take the same approach. However, instead of a walk, a session is being arranged between the President and township entrepreneurs at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus.

SA records best FDI inflows in five years

Minister Patel said, meanwhile, that ever since the first investment conference was held last year, some progress has been made as some pledges have since translated into work being done to either initiate, complete or expand projects in the manufacturing space.

This includes the Nissan Navara project, with Nissan South Africa announcing a R3 billion investment that will see them build 30 000 Navara pick-up trucks per year from 2020.

This has led to investment inflows of R7 billion — the best in South Africa in five years.

Patel said following the President’s State visit to Japan in August 2019, an agreement was reached to establish a Japan-SA Investment forum to allow government leaders and investors from both countries to engage in a meaningful manner.