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BLSA throws weight behind Ramaphosa's R1.2trn investment drive

Apr 19 2018 15:26
Fin24

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s initiative to raise R1trn in new investments over five years could add 4 percentage points to the country’s foreign direct investment, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) said Thursday, as it welcomed the plan.

"If we achieve these figures, I believe we can double our GDP growth, and add 4 % into our foreign direct investment capability," said BLSA Chief Executive Bonang Mohale.

"We believe the target is achievable especially if we support it with much needed structural reform and policy certainty," said Mohale.

Mohale said the organisation which represents 80 of the country’s largest businesses and multinational companies would heed Ramaphosa’s call to "chart a new path” for the economy which has suffered low growth levels in the past few years.

He said business was willing act as a "capable partner in helping to set the country on a new sustainable course towards inclusive growth".

On Tuesday, Ramaphosa announced that government would hold an investors conference, with the aim of generating at least $100bn - or about R1.2trn in new investments over the next five years.

The conference which is scheduled to take place later this year would target local and international investors.

Mohale stressed that the "stubbornly high" unemployment rate in the county was one of the key areas that business has committed in addressing, including the strengthening of state institutions to fight corruption.

The organisation has also raised concern in the governance of state-owned enterprises, which plays a critical role in stimulating the economy.

Public entities like Eskom and SAA  have been hobbled by poor governance and financial losses, with the National Treasury coming to the rescue.

"The state of our public service is worse than what we inherited in 1994, we need to redouble our efforts in state building and put South Africa back on the growth path," he said.

Mohale said BLSA had pledged the services of its members to serve on the board of state enterprises if required, and encourage financial institutions to restructure loans owed by the firms.

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blsa  |  bonang mohale  |  investment  |  economy
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