South Africa has signed a $10-billion (about R133-billion) investment agreement with Saudi Arabia, as part of President Cyril Ramaphosa's push to bring in $100-billion worth of investment in the next five years.
According to TimesLive, energy minister Jeff Radebe said on Thursday that part of the Saudi deal will be a R12-billion renewable energy deal with a Saudi Arabian company. Radebe is reportedly part of a delegation accompanying Ramaphosa to Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Radebe reportedly said the renewable energy deal will see investment from the Saudis in the solar and wind energy sectors. The countries also agreed to cooperate in the defence sector, he reportedly said.
South Africa imports about 47% of its oil from Saudi Arabia, Fin24 reported. Pretoria reportedly regards the Arab kingdom as a strategic partner in the Middle East.
According to MoneyWeb, more details about the investment will be revealed during an investment summit in October, which the Saudis will attend.
In April, Ramaphosa announced his drive to attract $100-billion in investment. He appointed former finance minister Trevor Manuel, former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, Astrapak Ltd. chairperson Phumzile Langeni and former Standard Bank Group Ltd. chief executive officer Jacko Maree and as "investment envoys."
Bloomberg reported that Ramaphosa said at the time:
"The reason for putting together a top team like this is to enable us to go out like a pack of hunting lion. We are unleashing this pack of lions to go and hunt down those investments for us."
In June, South African stakeholders, business leaders, 24 Cabinet ministers and the World Economic Forum met in Johannesburg to share ideas on how to attract this investment, according to the Mail & Guardian. At the time, then-finance minister Nhlanhla Nene said there had already been commitments by Mercedes-Benz and Old Mutual to invest in the country.
"On Monday we welcomed Old Mutual back into our shores, which will bring about $10-billion and that reduces the target to $90-billion," he reportedly said.
The head of the WEF in Africa, Elsie Kanza reportedly told the media: "We stand behind President Ramaphosa as he seeks to build a new dawn of national renewal."