President Cyril Ramaphosa, currently in London for the Commonwealth Summit, said he was confident he could attract more than $100-billion [~R1.2-trillion] in investments – in an ambitious strategy to revive SA's economy.
"I'm approaching it with a private-sector lens. When I was in the private sector, you built a book – and that's how I'm approaching it. I want to build a book of investment," Ramaphosa told the Financial Times on Wednesday.
"My main blueprint is to get investments going, because one of the reasons we are in this low-growth environment is lack of investment, both internal and external," the president said.
I say, 'Hell, we need the money' – and I am going to ensure that we get the conditions that are suitable for our needs
Ramaphosa asserted that state-owned enterprises could raise up to $40-billion [~R480-billion] to invest over the next five years without borrowing from government – this comes after rating agency Moody's kept South Africa's credit rating at investment grade.
"I may be short-changing myself when I say $100-billion," he said, but identified the potential available to investors by emphasising the amount of money Beijing was ready to invest in South Africa – citing a $10-billion [~R120-billion] dam in Eastern Cape.
"I say, 'Hell, we need the money' – and I am going to ensure that we get the conditions that are suitable for our needs."
We are not going to go for a smash-and-grab. We are seeking to create a very good, solid and durable environment for investment
He also touched on land expropriation without compensation, which is still a contested issue. He said addressing the wound caused by land hunger must not threaten business investments and the white minority.
"We are not going to go for a smash-and-grab. We are seeking to create a very good, solid and durable environment for investment."
That could only be achieved through inclusive growth, responding now to people's "yearning for land" would ensure against "policy mishaps" in future.