World Cup won’t be panacea for our fi­nan­cial woes

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - ISSUES -

ern Cape for more ex­po­sure on the world stage, the event was un­likely to sway the minds of po­ten­tial in­vestors from abroad.

“When an in­vest­ment is made, it’s purely a busi­ness de­ci­sion, in which the cost and qual­ity fac­tors within a cer­tain lo­ca­tion are an­a­lysed to de­ter­mine vi­a­bil­ity.

“The World Cup lasts for only two months, and no in­vestor will put money into a ho­tel or any other in­dus­try without looking at the longter m ben­e­fits. On the other hand, with the World Cup com­ing up, there’s been huge de­vel­op­ment in in­fra­struc­ture, and that is what makes South Africa and the West­ern Cape more at­trac­tive for in­vestors.”

Jo­haar also be­lieved that if the World Cup’s ex­po­sure did lure for­eign in­vestors to the West­ern Cape, it would prob­a­bly be in the hos­pi­tal­ity and in­for ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy in­dus­tries – two of the prov­ince’s strong­est sec­tors.

“Yes, the event will be a cat­a­lyst for in­vest­ment, but in terms of ex­po­sure of op­por­tu­ni­ties, it’s an ex­cel­lent mar­ket­ing and net­work­ing op­por­tu­nity for the coun­try.”

Ernst and Young en­tre­pre­neur­ial di­rec­tor Zanele Xaba was also scep­ti­cal about the event lur­ing for­eign busi­ness in­vestors.

“There will def­i­nitely al­ways be for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment in South Africa but I’m not sure the World Cup will have any ef­fect in in­creas­ing or de­creas­ing that in­ter­est.

“What it will do, how­ever, is mar­ket the coun­try; it will ex­pose South Africa to the world which could have a longterm im­pact in terms of busi­ness re­la­tions.”

She be­lieved that for­eign in­vestors, es­pe­cially large busi­nesses, would not in­vest in South Africa just be­cause of the World Cup.

“For­eign busi­ness­peo­ple who want to be here are al­ready here. There are al­ready many con­cer ns and is­sues among lo­cal en­trepreneurs over how they will strug­gle af­ter the World Cup is fin­ished.”

How­ever, the prop­erty in­dus­try in par­tic­u­lar is looking for­ward to a pick-up in busi­ness this year af­ter at least two years of strug­gle.

In an on­line col­umn, Se­eff Prop­er­ties chair­man Sa­muel Se­eff said the pos­i­tive im­pact of the World Cup may be felt in the prop­erty mar­ket next year.

He said the ex­po­sure may even at­tract for­eign prop­erty buy­ers, recog­nis­ing our “cos­mopoli­tan life­style”.

Re­cently, the agency sold a lux­ury home in Camps Bay to a Euro­pean busi­ness­man for the high­est price ever fetched in the area. The busi­ness­man ap­par­ently bought the home af­ter a visit to Cape Town dur­ing the World Cup fi­nal draw.

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