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Pretoria – President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday said his government is working on improving the investment climate and reducing the cost of doing business in South Africa.
“This is a priority of our Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, which we announced last October to set the economy of our country and indeed the province on a path of accelerated growth and employment creation,” Ramaphosa addressed the inaugural Limpopo provincial investment conference.
“We are undertaking far-reaching structural reforms in the energy, transport and water sectors – all of which are important for the industries with the highest potential for growth in Limpopo. We have already taken several steps to achieve security of electricity supply for the whole country.”
He said that included the restructuring of Eskom into separate entities for generation, transmission and distribution. This, Ramaphosa said, will stabilise the company’s financial position and improve the performance of Eskom’s power plants.
“We have also created the conditions for a rapid increase in generating capacity through opening further bid windows for our renewable energy programme and increasing the licensing threshold for embedded generation projects to 100 MW. These will lead to significant investment opportunities in the field of energy, and we have already received a lot of interest in this regard,” said Ramaphosa.
The president said investing in Limpopo province “very strategic” because the province shares borders with three of South Africa’s neighbouring countries – Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
“This means that the province is positioned as a gateway to a potential market of 300 million people just in the Southern African Development Community region,” said Ramaphosa.
Addressing delegates including Limpopo Premier Chupu Mathabatha, Ramaphosa said he was honoured to have been invited to participate in the inaugural Limpopo provincial investment conference.
“This important conference forms part of our national effort, which we announced in 2018, to attract foreign and domestic investment amounting to R1.2 trillion of investment over five years,” said Ramaphosa.
The conference drew investors from across the country, from across the continent and the world seeking opportunities for new and further investment in “the beautiful province” of Limpopo.
“Limpopo is endowed with vast mineral deposits and is blessed with fertile soil. It is also a place of immense scenic beauty, numerous heritage sites and other natural wonders. While they seek sustained returns as investors on their investments, they are also looking to become partners in our journey towards sustainable and inclusive development,” said Ramaphosa.
“We are very clear that the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality will only be effectively addressed through higher levels of inclusive economic growth.
“For Limpopo, this requires increased investment in critical areas of the provincial economy, especially in areas such as mining and mineral beneficiation, agriculture and agro-processing, as well as tourism.”
He said these industries have “tremendous potential” to attract large and sustained capital investments to the province.
Ramaphosa said the investment commitments that will be made at the conference will be part of the broader efforts to stimulate, enhance and boost economic activity.
“Investors must see themselves as our partners, with whom we want to work towards economic reconstruction and recovery. I have no doubt that a number of investors will see not only the beauty of this province, but the great potential this province has – great potential for profit and great potential for partnership,” he said.
African News Agency (ANA)