Open­ing doors for investors

Public Sector Manager - - Contents - Writer: SAnews

Gov­ern­ment is mak­ing in­vest­ing in South Africa as seam­less as pos­si­ble

Gov­ern­ment is forg­ing ahead in its pur­suit to elim­i­nate the red tape hin­der­ing po­ten­tial investors from gain­ing ac­cess to the South African econ­omy.

Speaking at the launch of the Gaut­eng In­vest SA One Stop Shop (OSS) re­cently,Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Rob Davies said through the open­ing of In­vest SA of­fices across the coun­try, gov­ern­ment seeks to make in­vest­ing in South Africa as seam­less as pos­si­ble.

“We seek to smooth the way for investors and ease any reg­u­la­tory hur­dles they have to go through and shorten time­frames for de­ci­sions and make sure they have a good ex­pe­ri­ence in in­ter­act­ing with the dif­fer­ent parts of gov­ern­ment,” said the Min­is­ter.

The launch of the Gaut­eng of­fice is the third In­vest SA pro­vin­cial of­fice to be opened in the coun­try. The KwaZulu-Natal OSS opened its doors in Novem­ber 2017 while the Western Cape's OSS opened in Septem­ber.

Re­duc­ing red tape

The aim of the In­vest SA ini­tia­tive is to pro­vide strate­gic guid­ance, re­duce reg­u­la­tory in­ef­fi­cien­cies and re­duce red tape for all investors look­ing to in­vest in South Africa. It is ex­pected to pro­mote both for­eign and do­mes­tic in­vest­ment.

Gov­ern­ment launched the na­tional OSS of­fice at the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try's premises in Tsh­wane in March 2017. Since then, 624 in­vestor con­sul­ta­tions were held and 21 reg­u­la­tory is­sues were dealt with.

“This has fa­cil­i­tated a num­ber of in­vest­ments,” said the Min­is­ter, who launched the Gaut­eng In­vest SA of­fice along­side Pre­mier David Makhura.

He said it was gov­ern­ment pol­icy to im­prove the in­vest­ment cli­mate in South Africa and there were a num­ber of di­men­sions to this ini­tia­tive.

Some of the steps gov­ern­ment has taken to tackle this is­sue in­clude the ap­point­ment of the Eskom board in Jan­uary as well as the re­new­able en­ergy power pur­chase agree­ments that were signed by En­ergy Min­is­ter Jeff Radebe in April.

In ad­di­tion, through the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try's flag­ship In­dus­trial Pol­icy Ac­tion Plan (IPAP), gov­ern­ment has iden­ti­fied op­por­tu­ni­ties for investors in dif­fer­ent sub sec­tors of the coun­try's value-added econ­omy.

This year will see the depart­ment launch the 10th it­er­a­tion of the IPAP. The in­dus­trial pol­icy ac­tion plan is cen­tral to gov­ern­ment's in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment which seeks to en­cour­age and up­grade value-added, labour-ab­sorb­ing in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion and di­ver­sify the econ­omy.

In­creas­ing for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment

Pre­mier Makhura said the prov­ince is keen to in­crease its level of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment (FDI).

He said the OSS was housed at the Gaut­eng In­vest­ment Cen­tre which was launched in 2013.

“Be­tween 2014 and the end of 2017 there have been more than 200 FDI projects that have come into our prov­ince,” said the Pre­mier, adding that some of the in­vest­ment came as a re­sult of na­tional ef­forts and some through the Gaut­eng In­vest­ment Cen­tre.

“We are also for­tu­nate that the to­tal value of FDI that came into the Gaut­eng econ­omy be­tween 2014 and 2016 ran up to R69 bil­lion,” said the Pre­mier.

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