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SA hosts third investment conference

South Africa hosted its third South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC) this week under the theme: “Investment in a post-COVID environment – consolidation and reconstruction”.

This year’s conference shifted focus from new investment pledges towards delivery of existing commitments.

It also concentrated on progress made in implementing policies to improve the investment environment, said a statement from government.

The conference took place as the country emerges from the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic which had a drastic impact on the economy.

There was a sharp drop in fixed investment activity, disruption in production and a prolonged decrease in demand for many service industries, the statement noted.

Government said the pandemic is expected to impact global foreign direct investments with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (ECD) forecasting a more than 30 per cent contraction in global foreign direct investment.

The third South Africa Investment Conference took the format of a hybrid event with a hub-and-spoke satellite approach. While the main event was held in Gauteng, the following provinces will focus on specific sectors;

Eastern Cape (Automotive industry), KwaZulu-Natal (Maritime & energy), Mpumalanga (Agriculture), North West (Mining), Western Cape (Agriculture & technology), Northern Cape (Renewable energy), and

Free State (Mining and agriculture).

According to government, the conference remains a key initiative to maintain and enhance our country’s economic outlook.

“We are implementing an Economic Recovery Plan that will focuses our nation’s efforts on new sources of growth as we work to rebuild the economy.

It fast-tracks urgent structural reforms, expands our mass employment programme and facilitates large-scale infrastructure projects to lead our recovery, the government statement indicated.

“Through the recovery plan we will implement measures to promote localisation, small business development and enhance regional and continental trade.”

Government said it expects its macro-economic interventions to help restore financial stability through better revenue collection, fiscal prudence and managing the public sector wage bill.

It added its agreement with social partners on an ambitious social compact for economic recovery provides a strong foundation to rebuild the country’s economy.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said government is redoubling efforts to secure energy supply and grow the agricultural sector to ensure food security.

He noted some sectors will take on a new significance such as creating an industrial base that generates jobs and building a greener economy that opens new fields for entrepreneurs.

“We will focus on reviving the tourism sector to boost economic activity and grow employment across the country.

Empowerment and transformation in ownership patterns will be fast tracked as we further consolidate the role of small businesses and cooperative across the economy,” he added.

By: Staff Reporter