President Cyril Ramaphosa and key members of his Cabinet and Team SA met behind closed doors on Tuesday evening to put the finishing touches to their international investment pitch at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Team SA faces a series of key engagements on Wednesday, including bilateral meetings, a press conference before global media and a Country Strategy Dialogue on South Africa.
Ramaphosa arrived in Davos late on Tuesday afternoon and immediately met with the likes of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and other members of the economic cluster, as well as International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
Presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko said the message that the country is bringing to WEF is that South Africa is on “a path of renewal and a path of growth”.
“Remember when we came here last year there was a lot of uncertainty back home in terms of, firstly, just our leadership, in terms of the challenges we were facing in our state-owned enterprises and general governance,” Diko said.
“We come here much stronger, we have very positive messages we can share, and these come as a result of the work that has been done over the last year,” Diko added.
The 2018 gathering in Davos took place amid growing calls for the ruling African National Congress and just-elected party president Ramaphosa to deal decisively with then head of state Jacob Zuma, who was seen as a major impediment to investment and growth due to myriad corruption and state capture scandals and the hollowing out of key state institutions.
Diko said: “So the reforms we have undertaken to ensure that we get our state-owned enterprises back on a path of good governance – whether it is at Eskom, or dealing with the challenges at the South African Revenue Service and our criminal prosecuting authority, where a new leader is going to be starting on the 1 February – mean we do have those good stories to tell.”
She added that South Africa also approached the annual gathering of the world’s political and business elite “armed with a lot of certainty around our policy areas, whether it is around the mining charter, whether it is around our energy resource plan – and really those are the messages that the investor community wants to hear”.
According to Diko, Ramaphosa and his Cabinet members and other key stakeholders were finalising the programme of action and highlighting the areas that Team SA needed to focus on.
She said the country-specific dialogue would be looking at the strengths South Africa has and seek to build on the pledges already made.
“We are looking for investment, not for investment’s sake, but investment to ensure that we create jobs in South Africa, really selling SA and the abundant potential that the country and our people hold.”
– African News Agency (ANA)