Ramaphosa sends lions and tigers to hunt for overseas money

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: GCIS

It’s jungle fever‚ Ramaphosa style.

The “buffalo” is deploying “lions” and “tigers” to lure domestic and international investors‚ aiming to raise $100-billion (R1.2-trillion) for South Africa in the next five years.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a high-profile investment campaign on Monday evening‚ with former finance minister Trevor Manuel and former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas headlining a team of envoys to sell South Africa to the investor community.

The envoys‚ which Ramaphosa said will be his team of “hunting lions”‚ also includes former Standard Bank CEO Jacko Maree and businesswoman Phumzile Langeni.

The envoys will report directly to the president and their work will be coordinated by Ramaphosa’s new economic advisor‚ economist Trudy Makhaya.

The president said the team had “extensive networks across major markets”. He said their job would not be to manage the work of government departments but to travel the world to target would-be investors.

“We are using the pincer movement; lions on one side and leopards (ministers) on the other‚” Ramaphosa said.

The drive will culminate in an investment conference to be held in August or September 2018. He said this conference would not be a mere talkshop‚ but was expected to report on actual investment deals that have been concluded and to provide a platform for would-be investors to seek out opportunities in the South African market.

The president made the announcement before jetting off to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.

“We will use this opportunity to meet with several major global companies to brief them on recent developments in the country and on our assessment of the economic challenges‚ risks and opportunities.

“After several difficult years‚ South Africa is emerging as an increasingly attractive destination for investment‚” said Ramaphosa.

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