South Africa: Giving the World a Run for its Money

Despite the headlines, foreign and local investors should not lose sight of the fact that South Africa remains a highly attractive – and sound – investment option. But which sectors offer the best opportunity for international stakeholders?

A long, relentless road to democracy (paved with sacrifice and suffering) means many South Africans tend to be somewhat ‘overcritical’ about issues pertaining to our country’s livelihood. But instead of yielding to the pessimistic rants or gloomy, negative outlooks from the naysayers and doom-prophets, South African should celebrate the fact that our economic outlook looks brighter than ever.

With a growing nation of entrepreneurs and resilient citizens, strong-performing industries and revival of the Rand (including the global economy) are grounds for optimism. Africa is still considered the continent of the future – destined for massive growth and expansion in coming years – and South Africa – the gateway to that market – remains an attractive and viable destination for foreign and local investment.

No country is devoid of challenges and South Africa is no exception either. However, we’re a country with incredible potential. Those who’ve managed to see the investment opportunity through the noise of politics and other socio-economic issues have been well rewarded in the past. Will history repeat itself? We think so…

The Global Investment Trends Monitor of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reports that South Africa experienced a 38 percent increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in 2016, translating to $2.4 billion (R31.15 billion). More than 2 000 European companies operate within South Africa and have created more than 350 000 jobs. The EU also contributes about R1.5 billion to infrastructure development for domestic and regional programmes.

Paul Boynton, CEO of Old Mutual Investment Group agrees that South Africa offers an ideal investment environment for foreign and domestic investors. “South Africa has generally been a good performer in the market and it remains a great investment destination. We believe that South Africa will continue to offer return that’s globally competitive.”

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