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South Africa attracted R64.3-billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) between 1 April and 31 December 2015, the first three quarters of the financial year – surpassing its target of R45-billion by almost R20-billion.
This was announced by Minister Siyabonga Cwele, chair of the International Cooperation, Trade and Security cluster, during a media briefing in Cape Town last week. South Africa, he said, remains a competitive investment destination, despite a troubled global economy. “For citizens, the investment means an opportunity to work, to develop their skills, earn a sustainable income and feed a family,” Cwele said. He said South Africa continues its engagements with the European Union (EU), its largest trading partner and foreign investor. “Over 2 000 EU companies are operating within South Africa and have created over 350 000 jobs. The EU also contributes about R1.5-billion to infrastructure development for domestic and regional programmes through the Infrastructure Investment Programme.” In 2015, South Africa exported goods worth more than R216-billion to the EU. Half of the exports were manufactured products.
Tourism essential to growth
Cwele said tourism was a vital sector of the economy, contributing about 9% to South Africa’s gross domestic product. “The country received 8 903 773 foreign tourist arrivals during 2015, generating a significant revenue contribution to the economy,” he said. He added that more than 1.6-million local and international tourists visited Kruger National Park last year. A range of skills development programmes have been launched to unlock the full economic potential of tourism, Cwele said. “These include training 577 young people as chefs this year, instructing 300 youths in the art of serving wine expertly as professional sommeliers and teaching unemployed graduates to become food safety assurers, who ensure that the food served at our establishments is stored, prepared and served safely.” He said the Department of Tourism was implementing revised Tourism Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Codes of Good Practice. “The black ownership target has been set at 30%, which is higher than the target in the generic codes of good practice to assist in our efforts to drive transformation in the sector. To address women empowerment, this 30% must consist of 50% women.”
Source: South Africa.info reporter