South African President Cyril Ramaphosa declared himself in economic “repair mode” at a major investment conference last month as the country raised a total of Sh5.5 trillion from investors to help haul itself out of recession.
The former union leader, who inherited a mismanaged economy from the scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma earlier this year, wants Sh10 trillion of new investments over the next five years.
Investment commitments of almost Sh2 trillion were made at the conference, Ramaphosa said.
He had already secured pledges for some Sh3.5 trillion, mainly from China, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Ramaphosa has made reviving the economy a top priority since assuming power in February, but has been hampered by fiscal constraints and infighting in the ruling African National Congress.
He is looking at investments in sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and energy, which he says “will give the country a lift.
“We have witnessed today the beginning of a new narrative about investing in South Africa,” he said at he conference. “Today I can say the investment strike is over.
Several companies across various sectors made the pledges, including Anglo American (AAL.L), one of the world’s largest commodities miners, which said it would spend Sh500 billion in the country over the next five years.
South Africa’s association of car makers, which includes Nissan, Volkswagen and Isuzu said its members would invest more than Sh400 billion over the next five years, while Telecoms firm Vodacom pledged to invest Sh340 billion over the same period.
Investors welcomed Ramaphosa’s rise to the presidency due to his strong ties to the business community. Since then, however, the economy has sunk into recession and faced a series of downbeat data, including from a suggested expropriation-without-compensation land policy. (