25 JANUARY 2019
President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured the international community and potential investors that South Africa is on a path of renewal and growth as the country strengthens partnerships and collaboration domestically and internationally for inclusive economic growth and development.
President Ramaphosa provided this assurance at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, where he led the participation of Team South Africa comprising government, business and labour.
President Ramaphosa concluded his Working Visit to Switzerland yesterday, Thursday, 24 January 2019, and embarked on a State Visit to the Republic of India where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has honoured President Ramaphosa with the designation Chief Guest for India’s 70th Republic Day celebrations which will take place this coming weekend.
The State Visit will also entail focused engagements on the strengthening of relations between South Africa and India in a broad range of sectors involving cooperation between the two governments and between the private sectors in the two BRICS member states.
With regard to the World Economic Forum, the 2019 deliberations among global leaders in government, business and civil society focused on the theme “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
The Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum was a platform for South Africa to contribute to global debates and to help shape responses to challenges in the global economy, while presenting South Africa as an investment destination, trade partner and advocate of multilateralism that is undergoing a process of renewal and growth.
President Ramaphosa participated in various high-level discussions and held discussions with global leaders of government and the corporate sector.
President Ramaphosa and Team South Africa drew international attention to the turnaround unfolding in South Africa after nearly a decade of economic stagnation and political paralysis.
A central element of the turnaround is the pursuit of higher levels of domestic and international investment, especially in key industrial sectors and technology, and the skilling of the labour force for the demands of the digital economy.
Providing potential investors of South Africa’s enhancement of the investment climate, President Ramaphosa pointed out that government has:
- finalised the Mining Charter, following consultation with business, labour and communities, which has reduced much of the uncertainty that has held back mining investment;
- concludes 27 outstanding power-purchase agreements with independent power producers, which will create an estimated 61,000 jobs and enable investments of around R56 billion;
- outlines the process for the allocation of broadband radio spectrum;
- ensured a sustainable approach to energy planning by updating the Integrated Resource Plan for consideration by Parliament;
- revised the Public Procurement Bill to allow small, township and rural firms to participate more effectively in public procurement;
- established a panel to advise government on measures to effect fair and equitable land reform that will increase agricultural output and create employment.
In addition, the President said the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture was unearthing important information about the nature and extent of state capture. This would assist South Africa in ensuring that nothing of this nature was allowed to happen again and that those responsible were held accountable.
In line with the WEF 2019 theme, the President said that there was an opportunity to harness the power of innovation to transform the South African economy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “Given the country’s medium level of economic sophistication and diversification, there is wide scope for adapting foreign technologies and turning private R&D into a more powerful driver of corporate profitability and economic growth. We are implementing reforms to increase investment in mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure, through strengthening competition among internet service providers, and improving the quality and reducing the price of ICT services.”
Government and social partners will in due course reflect on the WEF deliberations and identify the opportunities the country can pursue and the challenges it has to address, based on the global debates at Davos.
Issued by the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa