Naspers heeds Ramaphosa investment call, injects R4.6bn in SA

JOHANNESBURG — The Investment Summit, being held in Sandton, is starting to prompt local businesses to join their international counterparts in injecting much-needed cash into the SA economy. One company to heed the call is the country’s biggest by market value and importance, Naspers. It’s great to see the newspaper publisher turned global internet giant inject at least R1.4bn into other tech companies in SA with the remaining R3.2bn going to its own companies. – Gareth van Zyl

By Renee Bonorchis

(Bloomberg) – Naspers Ltd. said it will spend about R4.6 billion ($314 million) on new and existing technology companies in South Africa, a sign of support from the media and internet giant as the country seeks to woo fresh investment.

Africa’s biggest company by market value will put R1.4 billion toward local start ups, with the balance going to Naspers units including online retailer Takealot and delivery service Mr D Food. Cash for new businesses will come from an initiative called Naspers Foundry, the Cape Town-based firm said in an emailed statement on Friday.

A logo sits on display inside the headquarters of Naspers Ltd., at the Media24 Ltd. office complex in Cape Town. Photographer: Halden Krog/Bloomberg

The announcement comes during South Africa’s first investment summit, which started in Johannesburg on Thursday. President Cyril Ramaphosa is seeking to attract about $100 billion into the economy, which hasn’t expanded at more than 2 percent annually since 2013. In his budget speech this week, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said government debt would peak later and at higher levels than previously forecast, while state revenue was lower than expected. The rand plunged.

Naspers began as a local newspaper company just over a century ago, and has grown into a global owner of internet and technology companies with operations in more than 120 countries. It’s most successful investment was a 2001 backing of Chinese startup Tencent Holdings Ltd., now the Asian country’s largest company with a market value of HK$2.5 trillion ($319 billion)