'These aren't new investments, it's repackaging for PR purposes,' says Gqubule

At the South African Investment Conference on 6 November, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that there was an investment commitment of R363 billion to create jobs.

The gathering was part of the president's investment drive to improve the country's economic growth and deal with a 29.1% unemployment rate by raising R1.3 trillion.

RELATED: 'These investments are not fluff, this is actual money that has been pledged'

That conference was followed by the Africa Investment Forum which commenced on 11 November until 13 November.

The Africa Development Bank says 52 deals worth $40.1 billion secured investor interest compared to $37.8 billion last year.

RELATED: Africa Investment Forum secures deals worth $40.1bn

Are investment gatherings a good way to drive investment into the country or are they just gimmicks?

Eusebius McKaiser facilitates a discussion with Industrial Development Corporation investment programme lead Anthony Costa and Centre for Development and Economic Transformation founder Duma Gqubule.

When Ramaphosa was appointed president in early 2018, announced in his first state of the nation an intention to drive investment for economic growth and job creation in South Africa. Shortly after he committed to hosting an investment conference by August or September 2018 and as it happened the first one was in October.

Anthony Costa, Investment programme lead - Industrial Development Corporation

The conference was part of Ramaphosa's plans to drive investment, he explains.

He says investment conferences are a common occurrence internationally.

Gqubule says he often speaks about the five gimmicks of Ramaphosa's new dawn.

There were two that relate to jobs and three that relate to investment. The two that relate to jobs are the YES Programme and the Job Summit. I have shown that YES hasn't even created enough, it was supposed to create three million jobs over three years, it is at 18 months and it has only created 25,000 jobs.

Duma Gqubule, Founder - Development and Economic Transformation

He says the Job Summit was supposed to create 275,000 jobs, however, the number of unemployed people increased to half a million and 5,000 people lost their jobs.

My problem is that the government is counting projects that would have happened anyway, counting old investments as new investments. What we are likely to see is that the president will meet his target of R1.3 trillion but we might see a decline in investment in the economy. These aren't new investments, it's repackaging for PR purposes.

Duma Gqubule, Founder - Development and Economic Transformation

Costa says the is fixed investments that take place annually.

The question we should ask is would companies continue to invest without these investment drives by the president?

Anthony Costa, Investment programme lead - Industrial Development Corporation

Listen below to the full conversation:


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