Time to stop, says Limpopo investment driver

Selby Makgotho

Selby Makgotho

Joe Mathebula, the man who is leaving the helm of parastatal Trade and Investment Limpopo (Til) next month, believes more foreign investment is ready to flow into the province.

Mathebula has been Til's chief executive for five years. The parastatal has been involved in creating investment and trade opportunities.

The province has attracted investments worth more than R70billion since his appointment.

"The perception before was that Limpopo was remote, hot, dry and poor. Owing to our efforts to reposition the province, those perceptions are gone," said Mathebula.

"Everyone today speaks of Limpopo as an area worth visiting. The huge investment flows have attracted business people from abroad," he said.

Mathebula said Limpopo's growth was a result of the shared commitment by the provincial government and Til's staff to see the province develop.

"Investment promotions are in my blood. I am happy to have been part of a platform to provide Limpopo with investment opportunities," he said.

"The process of bringing investment into the province saw people from troubled backgrounds ascending the economic ladder."

Mathebula joined Til in 1998 as a marketing executive. He was promoted to chief executive in 2002.

But his involvement in developmental issues started in 1996 when he played an advisory role in the amalgamation of the Northern Transvaal Development Corporation.

He was also a member of the steering committee that organised the first economic conference in Limpopo.

In 2003 he was appointed convenor of the International Investment Conference in Polokwane.

Mathebula rose to political prominence in the 1990s when he chaired the ANC Youth League in the then Northern Province.

In 2001 he was a member of Limpopo's interim ANC leadership after the disbandment of the party's executive.

"These were huge responsibilities that exposed me to leadership challenges. Though it was not easy, today one is able to look back and smile," he said.