Max­imis­ing po­ten­tial


The in­creased in­ter­est has sig­nif­i­cant ad­van­tages if the South African au­thor­i­ties can bal­ance labour reg­u­la­tion and eco­nomic growth. The ad­van­tages will ex­tend to other African coun­tries as in­vestors be­gin ex­pand­ing their in­vest­ments. “For­eign di­rect in­vest­ment is al­ways good for an econ­omy and is of­ten a cat­a­lyst for growth,” Mat­lou says.

The trend is dou­bly im­por­tant when the state of global econ­omy is not par­tic­u­larly healthy and for­eign in­vestors are dif­fi­cult to come by. “We are see­ing a lot of in­vest­ment from China through­out the African con­ti­nent. Marsh in Jo­han­nes­burg has sec­onded a ded­i­cated em­ployee from China to as­sist th­ese clients in Africa. Min­ing is a cap­i­tal in­ten­sive in­dus­try, so in­ter­na­tional in­vest­ment is pos­i­tive, es­pe­cially when a lot of in­vestors are be­ing cau­tious,” says March.

How­ever, King warns that there are sev­eral things that need to be done to en­sure that South Africa is seen as an at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tion from which in­vestors can ex­pand into Africa. “Un­less South Africa can achieve good rates of eco­nomic growth, painful tax in­creases are on the way. It is im­por­tant that the coun­try puts up an open-for-busi­ness sign to for­eign in­vestors and ad­dresses the fac­tors that make it unattrac­tive as an in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion,” he con­cludes.

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