Saudis to in­vest R133bn in SA en­ergy

Cape Times - - FRONT PAGE -

SAUDI ARA­BIA will in­vest at least $10 bil­lion (R133bn) in South Africa, mostly in the en­ergy sec­tor, in­clud­ing build­ing oil re­finer­ies, ac­cord­ing to Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesper­son, Khusela Diko.

The move is part of Ramaphosa’s drive to at­tract $100bn in in­vest­ment to boost the ail­ing econ­omy.

The pledge was made by Saudi Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man dur­ing an of­fi­cial visit by Ramaphosa and gov­ern­ment min­is­ters to the oil-pro­duc­ing na­tion. De­tail on the projects will be given dur­ing an in­vest­ment sum­mit ex­pected to be held this year, said Diko.

“Most of it will be in the en­ergy sec­tor – in­clud­ing build­ing re­finer­ies, petro­chem­i­cals and re­new­able en­ergy.”

Ramaphosa was on a one-day state visit to Saudi Ara­bia.

He was sched­uled to travel to the United Arab Emi­rates, the Pres­i­dency said.

“The pur­pose of the state visit to the King­dom of Saudi Ara­bia is to as­sess the sta­tus of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, while fo­cus­ing pri­mar­ily on strength­en­ing eco­nomic link­ages be­tween South Africa and Saudi Ara­bia, par­tic­u­larly in terms of in­creas­ing in­ward in­vest­ment and di­ver­si­fy­ing the trade re­la­tion­ship.”

South Africa im­ports about 47% of its oil from Saudi Ara­bia and re­gards the coun­try as a strate­gic part­ner in the Mid­dle East.

The coun­try is also a large in­vestor in South Africa, es­pe­cially in the area of re­new­able en­ergy.

To­tal trade amounted to just more than R55bn last year.

“The state visit will also present an op­por­tu­nity for South Africa to in­crease co-op­er­a­tion with Saudi Ara­bia in light of the coun­try’s new strat­egy for Africa,” said the Pres­i­dency.

“The pres­i­dent will also use the op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss the up­com­ing in­vest­ment sum­mit and in­vite busi­ness and gov­ern­ment del­e­ga­tions from both coun­tries to the sum­mit,” said Diko.

Ramaphosa has promised to re­vive the econ­omy and crack down on cor­rup­tion since be­com­ing pres­i­dent in Fe­bru­ary and af­ter win­ning the lead­er­ship of the gov­ern­ing ANC last year.

Pic­ture: Kpano Tlape/GCIS

STRENGTH­EN­ING TIES: Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa meets Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man in Jeddah dur­ing his state visit to the King­dom of Saudi Ara­bia.

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