Devina Haripersad | 10 November 2023
The Minister went out on a limb to salvage SA's investor-confidence despite reservations around bureaucracy, corruption and the energy crisis.
Minister Sihle Zikalala faced gruelling questions from more than 500 global investors about some of the country’s transformation policies such as the BBBEE, localisation and PFMA, which some perceive to be too bureaucratic.
The South African minister of Public Works and Infrastructure was in London this week, where he delivered a keynote address at the Global Africa Trade Conference.
The minister had embarked on a mission to restore investor confidence in South Africa’s economy, despite their reservations around transformation policies and the energy crisis.
“Despite our recent challenges which we are working hard to overcome, such as load shedding, our economy remains resilient and has enhanced reforms, especially on financing large infrastructure projects, where we have opened up space for public-private partnerships,” he said.
He also attempted to assure them that despite its reputation, the country was working to root out corruption. He told investors President Cyril Ramaphosa was leading the charge for a corruption-free government, which honoured agreements and contracts with investors.
“The investor environment is one characterised by a commitment to ethics and running a corruption-free administration. An ethical state is essential to assuring investors that their investment is safe from abuse. In addition, we are very clear about the rules of engagement with no other hidden agendas,” said Minister Zikalala.
Concerning BBBEE, Minister Zikalala upheld the policies as crucial for addressing the economic inequalities in South Africa, a result of its painful history of apartheid.
“Our quest to address the socio-economic imbalances of the past should be no threat to investors but should be part of building a united and democratic South Africa that benefits all its citizens. This is a consensus that we have built as a country that we want to be non-racial, non-sexist and democratic with a prosperous population” said Minister Zikalala.
Zikalala went on to promote South Africa as a preferred infrastructure investment destination, illustrating opportunities for foreign direct investments in mega infrastructure projects in the areas of energy, water transport and logistics, hydrogen, harbours and digital infrastructure.
‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.