South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is spearheading a drive to attract US $100 billion in new investment into his country as he seeks to bolster its economy, which is on the rebound following years of stagnation.
Ramaphosa announced the push on Monday in the latest sign that he is intent on following through his pledges to create jobs and address years of economic mismanagement.
The 65-year-old was sworn into office on 15 February following the resignation of Jacob Zuma.
His administration has already replaced the boards of a number of state companies beset by governance and financial woes.
Ramaphosa named former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas, former Standard Bank Group Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Jacko Maree and Astrapak Ltd. Chairwoman Phumzile Langeni as “investment envoys.”
He also appointed Makhaya Advisory Chief Executive Officer Trudi Makhaya as his economic adviser. South Africa will hold an investment conference in the fourth quarter, he said.
“The reason for putting together a top team like this is to enable us to go out like a pack of hunting lions,” Ramaphosa told reporters in Johannesburg. “We are unleashing this pack of lions to go and hunt down those investments for us.”
Total fixed investment in South Africa declined to about 19 percent of gross domestic product last year, from 24 percent in 2008, with foreign direct investment dropping to 17.6 billion rand ($1.47 billion) from 76 billion rand over the period, government data shows.
The World Bank said last week that it sees South Africa’s economy growing 1.4 percent this year, up from 1.1 percent estimated in January.