‘Buffalo’ lets ‘lions’ and ‘leopards’ loose to lure investors

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

It is jungle fever‚ Ramaphosa-style. The “buffalo” is deploying “lions” and “leopards” 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 last night‚ 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‚ who Ramaphosa said would be his team of “hunting lions”‚ also include former Standard Bank chief executive 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 adviser‚ economist Trudy Makhaya.

Ramaphosa said the team had extensive networks across major markets.

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‚” he said.

The drive will culminate in an investment conference to be held in August or September.

Ramaphosa said this conference would not be a mere talk-shop‚ but was expected to report on actual investment deals that had been concluded and provide a platform for would-be investors to seek out opportunities in the South African market.

He 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,” Ramaphosa said.

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

– TimesLIVE