LONDON, (The Southern African Times) – It was as much about the numbers as the mood. Investor confidence in SA inc as an attractive investment destination was on full display at the recent 4th SA Investment Conference (SAIC) hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
New investments to the value of R332 billion pledged at the conference takes the President’s haul to R1.14-trillion since he announced an ambitious goal in 2018 to raise R1.2 trillion over five years. It’s almost certain that the President will achieve this target at next year’s investment conference.
Against the backdrop of a devastating Covid-19 pandemic, slow economic growth and an energy crisis exacerbated by Eskom’s incapacity to meet rising demand, Ramaphosa maintained an upbeat tone. “I am not here to pretend that these challenges are not real,” said the President. Ramaphosa was however quick to assure that government was doing its best to address the country’s challenges.
The South African Business Abroad Chairman Mr Xolani Xala was present and said he was honoured and proud to celebrate a staggering total amount of R774bn in investment commitments for South Africa. SA is two thirds of the way to reaching its target of R1.2-trillion and well on track. He urged UK businesses to further expand their investment in South Africa due to its historical ties as well as ensuring that a broad based strategy towards South African and UK employment can be birthed.
To illustrate a few of the projects that were announced previously and are now completed:
The company made a pledge of R3.4 billion at the 2018 investment conference that has now been fully executed and has provided Africa with much its first vaccine manufacturing capability (for the J&J vaccine) with an estimated 160 million doses that have been produced in South Africa.
The company has also built Africa’s first anaesthetic production facility, producing propofol under the brand name Diprivan, for the domestic market and exports.
The company pledged R10 billion during the 2018 investment conference. An additional R3 billion was added to this total amount subsequently when the scope of the investment project was widened.
This investment resulted in the local production of the new C-Class sedan from June 2021. The new C-class will be produced in three locations globally: Buffalo City in South Africa, Bremen in Germany and Beijing in China.
The C-class vehicle made in South Africa will be exported to over 100 countries.
WE have been advised that the investment will add approximately 597 new direct jobs with a further 2 000 in the value chain.
V M Automotive
In 2019, VM Automotive announced, R 426 million in a component plant in East London. VM Automotive, a 100% black owned company that will form part of the suppliers into the C-class Mercedes.
At the 2019, Investment Conference, Toyota South Africa announced a R2.43 billion investment (subsequently increased) to produce a new generation model, that will also have a hybrid vehicle variant. The Corolla Cross is the first generation of commercial-scale hybrid electric vehicle to come off the South African Assembly line on the 26th October 2021. The Cross will be exported to more than 40 countries
across Africa. South Africa is one of six global locations for the production of the Corolla Cross. The other locations are: Thailand, Taiwan, Brazil, Japan, North America and China. More than 600 parts in the new vehicle will be produced locally.
In 2018, P&G made an announcement of R300 million to expand their facility in Kempton Park to introduce two additional plant lines. The new facility has been in production since late 2019 and created 90 jobs. The products are exported into the neighbouring SADC countries.
P&G made a further investment pledge of R250 million at 2020 at the investment conference to expand their manufacturing facility and the warehouse.
In 2018 In2Foods announced an investment of R241 million. Located in the ORT SEZ the In2Foods has built a state of the art 22700 m2 fresh food facility which is described as the largest in the southern hemisphere and the second largest CO2 refrigeration facility in the world, and created 600 jobs. The new facility will producing 2000 litres of soup and 10 000 pan cakes per hour.
In2Foods will increase the exports of fresh products from OR Tambo International and is a largest supplier to Woolworths for fresh and prepared foods.
In 2020, German company Dr Oetker announced R 200 million investment in a new food manufacturing plant in Selby Johannesburg.
The new plant has been completed, creating 80 new jobs expanding capacity at Dr Oetker for frozen pizzas and ready made meals supplying to the major retail chains.
In 2018 announced a R1billion investment in a LPG storage facility in Richards Bay. The 22 600 ton LPG storage facility has been commissioned and is the region’s largest import terminal.
Other investments close to completion:
A number of additional investments are ready to be officially launched in the next four months, some by March 2022.
Sappi: Expansion of Sappi Saiccor Mill announced in 2018 for R7,7 billion. Capacity for dissolved pulp will be expanded by 110 000 tons to 890 000 tpa.
Corobrik: Announced in 2019, an investment of R 800 million to build a state of the art brick manufacturing facility. Capacity will be expanded 100 million bricks a year currently producing 50 million bricks at Carltonvillie, Driefontein plant.
Isuzu: Launch of the of R1.2 billion plant for the D-Max bakkie in Gqeberha.
Renergen: Completion of the phase 1 of the R 700 million announced in 2019 in Virginia, Free State. Commercial operations will start in April 2022 to produce liquid helium and liquefied natural gas.
Sandvik Miniing: Announced in 2020 for R 287 million expansion of remanufacturing and warehouse facility in Kempton Park.
Dimension Data: R 875 million Data Centre in Johannesburg announced in 2020.
The government will also use this conference to highlight the opportunities and potential trade and economic benefits that the continent stands to gain from an accelerated adoption of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
By any measure, AfCFTA is the largest free trade area in the world, given the number of signatory and participating countries. In addition, Africa offers investors access to a market of more than one billion people with a gross domestic product that exceeds $2.6 trillion. Through AfCFTA, historic trade barriers are coming down, and soon economic activities will be conducted seamlessly across the entire continent.