MESSAGE Investment, a key lever for driving sustainable economic development Investment as a key factor in encouraging sustainable economic development was the theme of the second annual Eastern Cape Investment Conference held at the International Conference Centre in East London in October 2022. sectors. These included: manufacturing – Lisen Bitumen; primary agriculture – Al Mawashi; ICT and digital services – Google South Africa, Mercedes-Benz South Africa ICT Hub; automotive – Isuzu, Mercedes- Benz, Orion Engineered Carbon; renewable energy – SunFarming, Hive Energy, Seraphim, Bushveld Electrolyte; agro-processing – Twizza; film – Survivor; aquaculture – Zwembesi, KingFish Enterprise; economic infrastructure - Transnet, SANRAL. The following new investments were unveiled: • Shoprite distribution centre, R1.5-billion • Tshedza Pictures, R85-million • Transnet Port of Ngqura, R1.59-billion • Benteler, R168-million • SunFarming, R500-million • Mhlobiso Concrete, R9.5-million • Toyota Material Handling, R60-million • Sanaha Property Developments, R542-million • Sanral, R7.23-billion • Aqora Lithium Battery, R34.4-billion Preparing the way for investment. A concerted infrastructure drive to improve connectivity in the Eastern Cape includes the N2 Wild Coast road and the Msikaba Bridge. Credit: SANRAL The conference was a resounding success with new investment projects amounting to R46.08- billion being announced and recently-launched investment projects in the province profiled. Speakers included Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane and a number of investors who spoke about their experiences in investing in several transformative The one-day event was presented in a hybrid format, offering in-person and virtual participation for private and public sector participants. Public sector infrastructure investment projects that further enable the Eastern Cape investment environment were also showcased. The Conference prioritised sectors and industries that are poised to better transform the structure of the economy towards inclusive development. The Conference showcased the advances the province has made with regards to investor coordination and facilitation across provincial, district and local spheres. EASTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2023/24 12
Focusing on targeted sectors allows the province to demonstrate investment projects in the implementation and planning phase, detail the investment landscape for niche investment projects and encourage domestic and international investors to partner with the Eastern Cape province on investment projects. Investment project showcasing was presented across the following sectors: • Manufacturing • Primary agriculture • ICT and digital services • Automotive • Renewable energy • Agro-processing • Film • Aquaculture • Economic infrastructure During the time in office of the current administration, the sixth administration, a cumulative investment total of R171.45-billion has been achieved. This has resulted in the creation of 21 664 direct jobs opportunities. This cumulative investment total from 2019 to 2022 is derived from: • Private sector investments: R7.51-billion • Public sector investments: R22.8-billion • Private sector investments (January to October 2022): R95.06-billion • New investment announcements at conference: R46.08-billion The objectives of hosting a Provincial Investment Conference are to: • Position the Eastern Cape as an attractive investment destination. • Attract quality greenfield and brownfield investment projects into the Eastern Cape. • Coordinate investment attraction efforts across spheres of government in the province. • Direct investment into strategic and labourintensive sectors to address under investment. • Promote investment facilitation and aftercare services offered to investor community in the province. • Strengthen the Eastern Cape investment project pipeline. For additional information on the Provincial Investment Conference please refer to; https://easterncapepic.co.za/ From contacts to contracts: the Eastern Cape is perfectly placed Extract from a recorded message to the conference from President Cyril Ramaphosa. President Cyril Ramaphosa. Credit: AfDB Your conference is taking place at a time of unparalleled multidimensional crisis. The Eastern Cape is perfectly placed to attract new investment in old and news sectors of our economy. This province is the land of enormous opportunity. It is the heartland of our country’s automotive industry, which is a major contributor to our nation’s exports and GDP. The Eastern Cape has two Special Economic Zones at Coega and East London, which attract strategic investment into the province. This is supported by a concerted infrastructure drive in the province. I have seen impressive progress with the N2 Wild Coast road and Msikaba Bridge. Upon completion, these projects will bring immense benefit to the provincial economy, and indeed will impact positively on the lives of the citizens of this province. The province has been hard at work to improve efficiency at the ports. These are signs of the provincial government hard at work with Transnet to make the Eastern Cape an efficient and costeffective place to do business and to support manufacturers to get their goods to market. The Eastern Cape has also shown potential as a destination for renewable energy. Earlier this year, Department of Mineral Resources and Energy announced a R3-billion investment in the Eastern Cape. We trust that delegates to this conference will explore some of the abundant opportunities in agriculture and agriprocessing as well as in the expanding field of cannabis cultivation and the Oceans Economy. The Eastern Cape is one of the country’s most biodiverse regions; places like the Wild Coast attract tourists from all over the world. It is hoped this conference will discuss ways to attract more investment in tourism services and infrastructure. Given all this positive environment, our expectation for this investment conference is very high. Let us come together to turn pledges into reality. I hope we can move from contact to contract.