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CAPE TOWN — Unlike with President Ramaphosa’s predecessor, we can be far more confident that the Saudi’s promised investment will go where it’s supposed to. Already securing one tenth of his target of $100 billion invested in our economy over the next five years is a highly encouraging start and will go a long way to building confidence. If the trend continues and a vote-strengthened Ramaphosa administration can draw firmer boundaries with health and education sector unions while addressing other contributors to dismal outcomes in those undergirding areas, we could see global investor confidence grow by undreamt-of margins. It’s just the kind of news a currently flat-lining economy and ensnared political milieu needs. It would literally re-energise the country, one can only pray via cost-effective and pollution free power generation. Further detail is eagerly awaited. – Chris Bateman
The commitment was made during a state visit by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to the Middle Eastern nation, his spokeswoman Khusela Diko said by phone on Thursday. Officials from Saudi Arabia will take part in an investment summit in October in South Africa when they are expected to give more detail about the planned spending, she said.
Ramaphosa is seeking to revive a flagging economy after taking over from Jacob Zuma as the nation’s leader in February and has started a drive to lure $100 billion in investment over the next five years. Business and investor confidence has slumped after an initial boost following Zuma’s resignation.
“It’s a fantastic commitment from Saudi Arabia, especially coming in the aftermath of the president’s call to have $100 billion of investment,” Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said during the visit. “Their minister of energy is deeply committed to cooperating with us on the energy side.”