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Davos comes to Sandton

Top local and global investors to attend presidential Investment Summit.
The summit is part of a comprehensive drive to improve economic growth that started with Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address in February. Source: Moneyweb

Next week about 1 000 investors will attend President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Investment Summit where they will interact directly with regulators and cabinet ministers in an effort to unlock large amounts of money to get the South African economy going.

According to economic development minister Ebrahim Patel, who briefed the media in Pretoria on Thursday about the upcoming event, business people will make a number of announcements during the event about significant investments and commitments for further investments.

Patel says a third of the delegates are foreigners from at least 25 different countries.

He says the event, which starts the day after finance minister Tito Mboweni’s medium-term budget policy statement on Wednesday, October 24 and will conclude on Saturday, will consist of a series of working sessions. It will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre.

There will be two plenary sessions addressed by Ramaphosa and 20 different activities where attendees will work out what must be done to unlock investment. He said 50 experts will be speaking and leading the discussions.

Chinese business magnate, investor and philanthropist Jack Ma will give the keynote address at the gala dinner on Friday night.

Patel says Ramaphosa will deal with the land issue during the summit and explain the processes and timelines to investors. He adds that South Africans, as well as the investment community, needs finality on the matter, and the government wants the investment community’s support in dealing with it.

Government will also ensure that providers of infrastructure like Transnet and Eskom will be present to hear what obstacles they should address directly from decision makers in business (CEOs and board chairpersons).

Patel says the summit will focus on agriculture and agro-processing, mining and mineral beneficiation, manufacturing, transport infrastructure, water infrastructure, tourism, and creative industries, information and communication technologies (ICT) and venture capital and entrepreneurship.

He says the larger JSE-listed companies that have registered for the summit represent a market capitalisation of R6.5 trillion and virtually the entire South African fund management community, representing R7.7 trillion in assets under management, will also be present.

As to the international presence, 27 Fortune 500 companies with a combined market capitalisation of $4 trillion have confirmed their attendance, and three of China’s top four banks will also be present. Patel says they will have the opportunity to interact directly with cabinet ministers.

Multinational companies that will attend include Airbus, Huawei, Nestlé, General Electric, Siemens, Mitsubishi, and Johnson & Johnson.

Patel says there are at least 40 large national investment conferences every year around the globe and South Africa will now enter this competitive environment by showcasing the opportunities it offers, including its ability to act as a springboard into Africa.

He says the idea is to drill down to practical matters that are stumbling blocks to investment and to find ways to remove them.

He says government wants to reposition itself by improving the efficiency and speed of economic service delivery.

The summit has focused government’s attention on getting things done.

Patel says he often marvels at the way the World Economic Forum in Davos always offers the easiest opportunities “to get to people you need to meet” and says this summit will do the same for South Africa and business people interested in investment in the local economy.

He emphasises that the summit is part of a comprehensive drive to improve economic growth that started with Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address in February. The drive includes many engagements he has had with business people in South Africa and abroad, as well as the recent Jobs Summit.

Progress will be closely monitored after the summit, and according to Patel, government is currently considering an active web-based report-back system.




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ANCs horrific track record of under-delivering makes me cynical that this will have much impact.

I must recognise that this is a step in the right direction – the conversations alone will help ministers understand what global investors want e.g. property rights (non-EWC) are an absolute non-negotiable prerequisite before any of them before they spend more money growing their operations in SA.

Cyril certainly talks better than Zupta, let’s see if he can actually deliver.

We have had four presidents since 1994.

Three were excellent except for the last ex-president, he nearly bankrupted the country, waiting to see when he leaves for Dubai to use his mansion.

President Ramaphosa is doing a lot of excellent work, it will pay off soon.

Thus the score card is 75%?

This has to be a wind up surely – maybe you haven’t looked at or noticed SA Inc’s share price ; the exchange rate. It tells the true storey; not political self-congratulation and media rubbish. But as an example maybe you see Mbeki sending 350 000 SA citizens to an early death was “excellent”?

With all the looting, state capture, alleged politicians corruption and colluding (yes even with the “Russians”) there is NO ONE BEING CHARGED!

Would you invest in a country that is as hazardously inept and run by people who have been on the job training for 24 years??

Terrible audits, missing money and to end my point V.B.S. Stealing the money from the poorest of the poor.

“Come invest in South Africa, but first you have to give me 30% of your business and employ my uncle and cousins on your board. The rest of your employees must meet our employment guidelines and we’ll tell you how much you can and cannot pay workers. Sounds attractive doesn’t it?”

Taking 30% and after that strikes. No thanks.

Wonder if SARS’s Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane will be there to explain government ‘reposit[ioning] itself by improving the efficiency and speed of economic service delivery’?

This presidential investment summit actually is quite offensive. The foreign investors will experience this invitation as an insult to their intelligence.

Say I invite you to a braai, I tell you that my house is open to everyone that wants to braai, but you should bring your own. When you arrive, I go through your cooler-box and take 30% of your beverages and meat for my family. I don’t have anything to braai or to drink, so I rob my guests. Then I prohibit you from barbecuing your own meat, you have to allow my family members to do the actual grilling, because they never had the opportunity before. Here you have “previously disadvantaged” people burning your meat, drinking your beer and eating your food, while they abuse you as a WMC and threaten to take the rest of your food and beverages without compensation. Then I force you to give 1% of your food to my mother-in-law, and to build her a Wendy-house in the backyard.

When you get upset, I try to calm you down with the commitment not to steal from you again while you visit me. Once empowered, always empowered. I will only steal from you once. The next moment my neighbor jumps over the fence and steals your watch and cellphone at gunpoint.

What will you tell your friends? You will tell your friends that a braai at my house is a horrible, barbaric experience, to be avoided at all cost. You will realize that you were invited to an ambush.

So this is what this presidential investment summit actually is – an invitation to an ambush.

Mr Sensei

Its truly confusing to me how you are an investment professional.

Or you write the worst while getting the lion share form the system.

Dazee: I think Mr Sensei just prefers to do business “in the open” as we all should.

@Dazee. What Sensei is trying to convey, is that SA it not truly “free” with respect to the business environment. Too many matters that hobbles businesses to expand. (if I start mentioning…the electronic page will be too short 😉

Yes, one commend the efforts by the president and his team to attract foreign investment…but such Summits would not be necessary in the first place, IF govt created favorable conditions to remove the shackles for the business community.

> Sensei. I could not have described the Presidential Investment Summit as a comparison any better than you have done. It is exactly like that. In fact, it may even be worse than that because the SA government do not tell you upfront what you cane expect. Much like Auctions in SA, the stool pigeons will be hidden in the crowd in full force. There is also the fact that if South Africa is declared ‘Junk Status’ as is expected from Moodys soon, then many investors and also most countries in terms of their solvency regulations and rules on off shore investing, will be forced to sell of their South African government bonds. Including Bonds from SOEs’. That of course will not go down very well, and those investors who pull out will be labelled by the fashionable term ‘racist’. As the money flows out of SA, the Rand will crash and those on or below the breadline will be joined by many more who fall into that sad category.

Mr Dazee, I am honoured to invite you to a braai at my place sir. Bring your own, my family can’t wait……and my mother-in-law is waiting for her wendy-house. I drink shiraz..

Lank,lank gelede “davos” ‘n land vol geleenthede….?

SAPS are doing a terrible job of protecting foreign visitors from being robbed at our hotels. Let’s hope they can now up their game.

….or up the ransom price.

Lets face it- there is not going to much investment. Who in his right mind is going to invest in this cANCerous society..? What there could be, is ‘investment’ in the form of loans. And here we should be asking what the terms of such loans are going to be..?

The head of IT at SARS will be providing the entertainment as well as handling technical issues as they relate.

Will the International Press ask our President about Farm Murders?

Our precious Squirrel will simply evade the question.

Davos in Sandton? There goes the neighborhood.

Maybe I am cynical – celebrity overpaid hired help, academics & politicians twitting to the media and their followers about whatever they are being paid to pump this week.

It’s a game of “find the sucker”. be it a taxpayer or shareholder because they are going to get screwed over, in my view of course.

One has to commend the president and his team for trying to attract foreign investment.


You see, IF our ANC govt (instead) had the vision and leadership decades ago to be business friendly / pro-business / curbing power of unions & labour law / reduce SARS & govt red tape / racist rules for business owners / not support calls for ‘WMC’ etc / reduce tax rates / corruption…(…the list is longer..besides everyone KNOWS the solutions) i.e. to generally ensure that an environment is created for business to expand/flourish, IT WON’T BE NECESSARY TO HAVE SUCH A SUMMIT IN THE FIRST PLACE!

But no, the ANC chose to hang on to populism instead…(otherwise, they may not be in power today(?)

One of the pillars that was needed was to truly uplift the education for the masses, but not even that was tangibly achieved since 1994. Their teachers have a low education level. For me, the future of SA is “certain” clear as day.

End of comments.





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