Invest SA aims for billions more in investments

    Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

    Pretoria: Just South Africa broke the record for new investments last year with more R100 billion coming into the country, the government is pushing for more.

    Some days ago, it was announced that the Western Cape province will from next week become another strategic economic region of South Africa, expected to attract billions of foreign direct investments (FDI) to the country.

    This is set to happen when South African President Jacob Zuma officially launches Invest SA one-stop shop in the province next week.

    The launch of the first of three provincial offices of Invest SA will take place at Cape Sun Hotel in Cape Town.

    Business people had informed government on many occasions of the difficulties and delays they incur when having to move from one department or institution to another to obtain licences and other services and government has responded through this initiative.

    While a financial pandemic sweeps over the rest of the world. South Africa set new investment records in 2016, with its private equity funds growing to R103 billion, or 3.2 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), compared to the global average of 2.7 percent.

    According to Investment Network (IN), “The 2010 FIFA World Cup provided even more business opportunities. The Tourism Enterprise Partnership was established in 2008 to facilitate the World Cup and the growth and development of the small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the tourism sector, such as boutique hotels, restaurants, crafters and entertainment facilities.

    South Africa also has a growing film industry. With its beautiful landscapes and low production costs – 40 percent less than in Europe and the US; 20 percent less than in Australia – South Africa has been the location of such recent movies as Blood Diamond with Leonardo DiCaprio, Lord of War with Nicholas Cage, and Tsotsi, which won an Academy Award for best foreign language film in 2006.”
    The aim of InvestSA is to provide strategic guidance, reduce regulatory inefficiencies as well as to reduce red tape for all investors looking to invest in South Africa.

    The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and Western Cape provincial government and the WesternCape Investment and Trade and Promotion Agency (Wesgro) in joint statement this week,
    confirmed that the President will launch the provincial office of Invest SA next Friday.

    The aim of the provincial Invest SA office is to provide strategic guidance, reduce regulatory inefficiencies and reduce red tape for all investors looking to invest in the Western Cape.

    Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies commented that the value-proposition for the provincial one-stop shop (OSS) is the co-ordination and incorporation of the special economic zones, provincial investment agencies, local authorities and the relevant government departments involved in regulatory, registration, permits and licensing matters.

    Davies said, “South Africa has excellent investment opportunities in all sectors of the economy and a host of investment incentives and industrial financing interventions that are aimed at encouraging commercial activity and trade rules that favour a further expansion in South Africa’s burgeoning levels of international trade.”

    President Zuma launched the national Invest SA one-stop shop for investors at the premises of the dti in Tshwane in March.

    At the time, President Zuma announced that government would open three provincial one-stop shops later in the year. These will be known as InvestSA KZN, InvestSA Gauteng and InvestSA Western Cape.

    On Thursday, the dti, together with the provincial government and WESGRO, said the process leading to the launch has been an excellent example of collaboration between different levels of government, with the centre to be jointly operated by the dti with the provincial government and Wesgro.

    President Jacob Zuma formally announced the establishment of InvestSA in the State of the Nation Address.

    And Zuma had also informed business leaders of the initiative in February 2016.

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