SA Investment Conference turnaround strategy
This year’s South African investment conference focused on the positive steps government is taking to improve the investment environment. President Cyril Ramaphosa opened with the announcement of his bold vision to raise R1.2 trillion to improve the country’s low economic growth and deal with the 29.1% unemployment rate.
This event took place on 6 November 2019, at the Sandton Convention Centre, under the title “Accelerating Economic Growth by Building Partnerships”. It was a privilege and a truly unique experience to participate in this dynamic platform where government engaged with local and international investment communities to promote investment in our country.
Representatives from diverse industries, such as clothing and textiles, automotive, gas, plastics, renewable energy, agriculture, and the high-tech industries, all pledged their commitment to growth and innovation.
It was an immense honour to address the second South Africa Investment Conference on behalf of the Atterbury Property Fund.
Investment in real estate – particularly in property development – is, by its nature, a long-term investment. To commit to investing in a locality, a region or indeed a country means having unwavering faith and confidence in its future.
Atterbury Property Fund currently have projects in the pipeline, over the next 5 years, totaling an investment of R8,7 billion. These comprise 9 separate projects to be rolled out in 4 major metros, namely: City of Tshwane, City of Johannesburg, City of Ekurhuleni and City of Cape Town.
We believe that these projects will significantly boost the local economies and, most importantly, create much needed jobs.
In keeping with the theme of this conference – “Accelerating Economic Growth by Building Partnerships” – I believe that it is the responsibility of the private sector and government to work together to ensure that real investment in South Africa and its economy becomes a reality.
We, the private sector, have a duty to lead the way by pouring our resources and skills into the economy. We look forward to government facilitating our efforts and accelerating and enhancing our investments by proactively engaging with us in various ways, including assisting with – and, where possible, expediting – regulatory approvals and permits, as well as reducing policy uncertainty.
As published in the South African online, other companies that stepped forward to pledge towards establishing business in South Africa were:
- NAAMSA (National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa): R6-billion towards the automobile industry;
- MTN South Africa: R10-billion per annum on capital investment, assisting with the rollout of digital infrastructure and connectivity, and the building of properties for use across 21 countries.;
- New Development Bank: R23-billion;
- Agricultural Development Agency: R12.9-billion over the next five years, creating an opportunity for the emergence of new farmers, helping 450 000 people in rural communities, and creating 300 000 potential job opportunities;
- VM Automotive: R426-million;
- Toyota South Africa: R2.4-billion towards a new passenger car model that will go into production in Durban by the end of 2021;
- Sappi: R14-billion in their plants across the country;
- Discovery Bank: R1.4-billion;
We have full confidence that government will collaborate with us in our efforts to jump-start our economy. This conference is but one example of the growing bond between government and business.
At this point I am reminded of a profound quote from the classic tale, the Lord of the Rings, written by a famous son of our soil J.R.R Tolkien, which goes: “It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish”.
We can wallow in the negativity that pervades popular opinion or we can break the shackles of conventional wisdom, take our fate into our own hands, and give our all in our efforts to build a better future for all South Africans.