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Pledges worth R134bn committed at investment conference

Corporations from South Africa and offshore have committed to invest in the country to the tune of R134-billion with the aim of reviving the country’s economy.

The investments were announced at the inaugural investment conference at the Sandton Convention Centre on Friday which was attended by over 1 000 delegates.

In April this year, government embarked on an ambitious drive to raise $100-billion in new investment over five years to ensure that the economy grows.

READ MORE: Land provision critical to addressing inequality — Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa said this was done with the “understanding that no meaningful growth and no significant job creation would be possible without a massive surge in productive investment”, during his keynote address.

The investments announced on Friday stem from the work done by a special presidential envoy that travelled worldwide to secure funding to bring back into the country.

The envoy is made up of former finance minister and chairperson of Old Mutual Emerging Markets Trevor Manuel, former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, former Standard Bank chief executive Jacko Maree and businesswoman Phumzile Langeni. Ramaphosa’s economic adviser Trudi Makhaya also plays a role on this team.

Anglo American pledged to invest R71-billion. Chief executive Andile Sangqu expressed optimism in the future of the economy, especially in the mining sector.

“Mr President, we are encouraged by the Thuma Mina call which will build a better South Africa for all. We have heard your clarion call. We are proud to announce our investment commitment. We pledge to invest $6-billion between 2018 and 2022 on sustaining the lives and our mining operations in South Africa,” he said.

Pulp and paper company Sappi pledged R7.7-billion into its Durban mill over a period of six years. Chief executive Steve Binnie said the money would allow the company the “opportunity to build capacity to dissolve pulp” which he described as the “fibre that ultimately goes into the manufacture of textiles”.

Another packaging and paper company, Mondi, pledged an R8-billion investment. Chief executive Viv McMenamin said the corporation is proudly South African and wants “to be part of building” the country.

Metals and mining company Vendata Resources announced a pledge of R21.4-billion while Bushveld Minerals and Ivanplats pledged R2.5-billion and R4.5-billion respectively.

Other companies that also announced their pledges to invest are car manufacturer Mercedes Benz which will commit R10-billion into its Eastern Cape plant, internet and media group Naspers (R6-billion), Mobile network Rain (R1-billion) and Uganda-based smart phone producer Mara (R1.5-billion).

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