Cape Town - South Africa and Saudi Arabia have created a joint
holding company that could see at least R20bn being invested in
business opportunities, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on
He said the Saudi Arabian SA Holding (Sasah) investment
company would spend the initial capital on feasibility studies for
investment in South African agriculture and Saudi Arabian mining and
"Saudi Arabia has identified gold mining and other base
materials. They've chosen not to exploit those previously... but are
now moving towards expropriation and looking at South African technology
and expertise," Davies said.
The middle eastern country was also looking at
investing in South African agriculture for food security and stimulating
local job creation.
As a first option, it could be a major shareholder in
joint ventures, entitled to free 5% equity in projects
initiated and promoted by it.
It would also act as a "government endorsed"
facilitator for businesses looking to invest in large-scale projects in
their counterpart countries.
Davies said he was hoping investment by Saudi Arabian
companies in South Africa would run "into tens of billions of rands" in
the next few years.
Saudi Arabia-SA Business Council chairperson Iqbal Surve
said the Saudi Arabian crown prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz had formally
endorsed the holding company.
"We are ready to tango and waiting for South Africa to
join the dance as well."
He said that if the company was successful,
South Africa could benefit from investment through Saudi Arabia's
sovereign wealth fund, "one of the wealthiest in the world".