JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa hosted his 3rd Investment Conference in Johannesburg on Wednesday where he attracted noteworthy investments that total over US$7 billion (R109 billion). This brings the cumulative total amount of investments for all three investment conferences to just over US$50 billion, more than half the US$100 billion (R1,2 trillion) target his administration had set to attract in investments over 5 years.
Some significant investment pledges in renewable energy were made with SOLA pledging R400 million and Sola Africa pledging R170 million. This above the noteworthy investments pledges in infrastructure (which include renewable energy projects) by Industrial Development Corporation for R8 billion, Old Mutual R3,6 billion, Sanlam R7,25 billion and New Development Bank’s R32 billion. Chemicals giant Sasol also pledged R5.4 billion towards clean fuels in their Secunda plant.
COVID-19 affect the Investment conference
A total of 50 companies pledged to invest in South Africa at this year’s Investment Conference. This is noticeably lower than last year’s Investment Conference which was held under conducive conditions without the inconvenience of the Coronavirus pandemic affecting the attendance.
“The world is still very much in the throes of a devastating pandemic that has thrown global markets into disarray. Tough decisions have had to be made on investments, on expansion and on entry into new markets.It is therefore significant that you have all come here both in person and virtually to show that this is a country you believe in and want to see succeed,” said South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa.
Renewable Energy to dominate the energy mix
Speaking at the Investment Conference, the South Africa Minister of Energy, Gwede Mantashe emphasised the Pretoria government’s commitment towards reducing carbons emissions in the economy by moving towards a energy mix dominated by renewable energy.
“If you look at what we are implementing, we have opted for a mixture of technologies and a mixture of sources of energy. We are making provisions for that. You will also notice that we have undertaken to give the biggest growth allocation to renewable energy to show our commitment to move from high carbon emissions to low carbon emissions.”
Mantashe further reiterated the previous announcements by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the South African government has undertaken the procurement of an additional 2 000 megawatts of energy to ensure that power supply is secure and that the country represents an investable destination.