Strikes won't perturb UK investors

2012-10-11 16:18

Cape Town - Serious investors would not be put off by labour unrest in the mining sector, visiting United Kingdom business secretary Vincent Cable said on Thursday.

"Major UK investors have pointed out that they are not fazed by some of the recent developments like the strikes around the mining industry, the tragic events," he said after meeting Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies in Cape Town.

"South Africa has got a lot of fundamentals attractive to investors and their perspective has not been altered by what's been happening recently."

Cable said Britain had the largest stock of private investment in South Africa and recent events would not change that.

Investors understood there were deep social economic problems which originated from the apartheid era and that these needed to be dealt with sensitively.

Cable said there was no need to attach too much importance to "short term events".

He said while the value of investments in South Africa had slowed down, the number of projects being invested in was increasing rapidly.

"Instead of capital intensive projects in mining, you [are] getting a lot of IT and service-based investments... so the overall investment climate remains positive."

Cable moved to re-assure investors that South Africa's investment regime was a good one.

"The assessment of serious investors is that South Africa is an open economy and it approaches foreign investment in a positive and welcoming way."

Davies concurred, although he expressed concern about South Africa's downgrading by international rating agencies.

He sought to assure Cable that the government was dealing with both the causes and consequences of unrest at mines which had led to the international headline-topping Marikana tragedy in August.

"A lot of work is going on in government to address underlying factors and rebuild confidence in the labour relations regime in the country," said Davies.

He said many business people around the world were not taking a dim view and recognised that Africa was the next growth frontier.

"The prospects here are extremely bright, and it's very necessary for companies who want to be part of that prosperity that's going to unfold on [the] continent to continue investing in South Africa."

  • simon.stamp.98 - 2012-10-11 16:39

    Who paid for his ticket to get here? Obviously when a wage settlement is reached, the mines salary bill will sky rocket. When production is back to normal again the Gold and Platinum price will drop to before the strikes levels. So the profitability of the mines will be seriously affected, so will be investors interest in mining shares. Then the mines have accepted a situation where the workers can basicaly demand anything they can think of (with enough violence)they will get it.

      lerato.kay.3 - 2012-10-11 17:08

      These guys are serious businessmen and believe you me, they know far more better than you; that's why they are rich!

      Johann Enslin - 2012-10-11 18:26

      Far more better? My dear, when the profit goes, they go.

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-11 16:46

    Investment? Surely he means SA still has a lot for the British to loot?

  • lerato.kay.3 - 2012-10-11 16:55

    Its a pity that local pessimists don't see our competitive advantage, there it is in your faces UK business secretary Vincent Cable confirming that SA is lekker!

  • koos.v.merwe.5 - 2012-10-11 17:02

    Vince Cable is an idiot! Yes, in the short term foreign investment in SA is still looking strong but it is SA's mining sector that provided the most valuable long term investment opportunities. Investment in IT etc. is not a good long term option. Our services will always be undercut by the Chinese and Indians who have a far better educated and cheaper workforce. Which poses another threat to the South African and African economy as a whole, the Chinese are buying out the continent and will most probably end up offering our resources at lower prices, acting as the middleman taking all the profits.

  • bruce.wilson.313 - 2012-10-11 17:24

    investors will put money in where ever they can make a buck, they couldnt care if the country was burning and falling apart around them as long as the chance of a profit is good they will take that chance. but they will run just as quickly if the profits start to dry up and leave the locals stuck with the mess.

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-11 17:28

    Investment? Surely he means SA still has a lot for the British to loot?

  • david.christianson1 - 2012-10-12 12:29

    This man is a liar or an idiot. Or both

  • yvonne.joseph.1612 - 2012-10-13 10:36

    This poor dumbo, trying to curry favour with the ANC. Give it time - hope he has heavy investments in this country that will dwindle to nothing

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