Zuma: South Africa ‘open for business’
South Africa remains open for business and is an attractive destination for investments despite the current energy challenges, says President Jacob Zuma.
Addressing a business delegation at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos Switzerland, the President said some areas of the South African economy require more effort – especially the energy sector.
“Our electricity infrastructure was never designed to serve an expanded citizenry. Last year we expanded electricity provision to 11 million households. In the past six months of the year we reached more than 100,000 homes.”
“We will build on the successful renewable energy procurement programme to ensure that we have a reliable, flexible, clean and cost competitive electricity generation mix,” he said.
Apart from Medupi, Kusile and Ingula, government had procured 4,000 megawatts from the Independent Power Producers. To date, 923.18 megawatts have been connected to the national grid.
President Zuma also said the country was committed to achieving 5% growth by 2019 for the country to create jobs. “Our target to attract investments for the year 2013-2014 was R50 billion. We have achieved an investment pipeline of R60.5 billion of potential investment projects – both domestic and foreign.
“This indicates that our country remains an attractive destination for investments. South Africa remains fully open for business.”
“We have added the blue economy in the past year, through Operation Phakisa National Development Plan delivery programme aimed at unlocking the potential of the country’s oceans.
To further boost industrialisation and manufacturing, the country has introduced 10 Special Economic Zones (SEZ), which will help create new industrial hubs and clustering value chains.
Zuma told the meeting that progress has been made on establishing the Tripartite Free Trade Area which includes the Southern African Development Community Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, and the East African Community.
The programme is expected to create a market of $2.6 trillion, with a combined population of 600 million people, about two thirds of Africa’s total population.
“There are many opportunities in South Africa. We believe the goals that are outlined in the National Development Plan are achievable,” he said.