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Keynote address by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Limpopo Provincial Investment Conference

Programme Director,
Premier of Limpopo, Mr Chupu Mathabatha,
All other dignitaries, Ministers, MECs and leaders of business,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured to have been invited to participate in this inaugural Limpopo provincial investment conference. 

This important conference forms part of our national effort, which we announced in 2018, to attract foreign and domestic investment amounting to R1.2 trillion of investment over five years. 

The conference draws together investors from across the country, from across the continent and the world seeking opportunities for new and further investment in the beautiful province of Limpopo.

And there are many. 

Limpopo is endowed with vast mineral deposits and is blessed with fertile soil. It is also a place of immense scenic beauty, numerous heritage sites and other natural wonders.

While they seek sustained returns as investors on their investments, they are also looking to become partners in our journey towards sustainable and inclusive development.

We are very clear that the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality will only be effectively addressed through higher levels of inclusive economic growth. 

For Limpopo, this requires increased investment in critical areas of the provincial economy, especially in areas such as mining and mineral beneficiation, agriculture and agro-processing, as well as tourism. 

These industries have tremendous potential to attract large and sustained capital investments to the province.

Investment should contribute to the development of integrated industrial value chains that generate sufficient and significant added value for the economy as a whole.

The value chains create further opportunities for the emergence of more small, medium and micro enterprises. 

These industries will play a key role in the future growth and development of the economy of Limpopo with huge potential for exploration, production and beneficiation. 

The other added advantage as these opportunities come to the fore is that Limpopo is home of a number of well-educated people, skilled people and young people who are ready and willing to work and to acquire the necessary skills to work in these industries.

As government, we are working to improve the investment climate and reduce the cost of doing business.

This is a priority of our Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, which we announced last October to set the economy of our country and indeed the province on a path of accelerated growth and employment creation. 

We are undertaking far-reaching structural reforms in the energy, transport and water sectors – all of which are important for the industries with the highest potential for growth in Limpopo.

We have already taken several steps to achieve security of electricity supply for the whole country.

This includes the restructuring of Eskom into separate entities for generation, transmission and distribution. This will stabilise the company’s financial position and improve the performance of Eskom’s power plants.

We have also created the conditions for a rapid increase in generating capacity through opening further bid windows for our renewable energy programme and increasing the licensing threshold for embedded generation projects to 100 MW.

These will lead to significant investment opportunities in the field of energy, and we have already received a lot of interest in this regard.

To support industry, we continue to make improvements in the turnaround time for the issuing of water licenses. 

One used to wait for up to three years to get a water licence, and we are now reducing that quite substantially.

We are in the process of establishing a National Water Resource Infrastructure Agency.

We are also increasing capital investment in our ports and freight rail infrastructure, and are making progress in increasing the efficiency and competitiveness of our ports.

Work is underway to enable greater private sector participation in the country’s rail and port infrastructure while maintaining public ownership of these valuable national assets.

Our National Infrastructure Plan aims to support the integration of African economies and the development of intra-Africa regional value chains. 

Investing in Limpopo is therefore very strategic because the province shares borders with three of our neighbouring countries: Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. 

This means that the province is positioned as a gateway to a potential market of 300 million people just in the Southern African Development Community region. 

Limpopo is open for business – in mining and mineral beneficiation, agriculture and agro-processing, renewable and alternative energy, and information and communications technology.

As a country, we have a favourable tax regime to ensure decent returns, a sophisticated financial sector to manage complex transactions and an independent judiciary able to enforce legal provisions and contracts.

We have a youthful and resourceful population, with proven capabilities in a wide variety of industries.

The investment commitments that will be made at this conference will be part of the broader efforts to stimulate, enhance and boost economic activity.

Investors must see themselves as our partners, with whom we want to work towards economic reconstruction and recovery.

I have no doubt that a number of investors will see not only the beauty of this province, but the great potential this province has – great potential for profit and great potential for partnership

Premier Mathabatha, I wish you and all the participants of this conference a great success as you mobilise the investments that must come to our province in Limpopo.

Let us all grow Limpopo together. Let us all grow South Africa together. 

I thank you.