Cyril flays corruption in Africa
First Africa Investment Forum launched in Joburg
The African continent should rid itself of the scourge of corruption if it wants to attract billions of dollars worth of investments.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said this while delivering a keynote address at the welcome dinner of the first Africa Investment Forum in Sandton last night. The conference, which ends tomorrow, has brought together 20 heads of state and 1 500 delegates from the continent with the aim to network and cut business deals. “We have to develop sound policies, improve governance and deal decisively with the scourge of corruption that continues to dog our beautiful continent,” said Ramaphosa.
“The convening of the Africa Investment Forum is but one of the many means by which we as African leaders seek to develop our continent, improve the conditions of her people and enhance her prosperity.
“In this we know we can count on the domestic and international business and investor community to work with us, side by side.”
The president also lamented that there were concerns that barriers to entry were high, regulatory red tape was overly burdensome and that governance challenges make investing in African economies risky.
“It should not be difficult to do business in Africa, and yet, as investors often tell us, it has been.
“Providing policy certainty and consistency is critical if we are to realise the levels of investment we seek,” he said. Speaking at the same forum earlier, Gauteng premier David Makhura said the provincial government was in talks with several businesses to open new businesses in the townships in order to create jobs. In turn, he said, the government will reward them with land so that they can build their factories.
“We will incentivise business by giving them land which they can lease. Already, we are in talks with several businesses, including call centres,” Makhura said. “Those that we spoke to are excited. The task team that we have put together to release land is tracking land that is available for use.”
He said government needed to work closely with business because its fiscals were shrinking, “that is why there is a need to look at private sector to fund government projects”.
Makhura said business people have raised concerns about safety and security if they move their operations to townships. “Crime is a concern for business... but very soon, we will be unveiling new leadership of police for the province. “We are now having a hearing from the police minister about the need to fight crime... ” he said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.