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11.10.2019 Business & Finance

South Africa is open for business in African countries

By Lalas M. Awumah
Ms Phumla Williams, South African Cabinet SpokespersonMs Phumla Williams, South African Cabinet Spokesperson

Ms Phumla Williams, South African Cabinet Spokesperson has said South Africa is open for business and would increase all efforts to skyrocket trade with African countries.

She said in an interview with the writer that the recent attack on foreign nationals in the country has been a great concern for government.

She said the criminal actions by a handful of perpetrators are in no way a reflection of the true state of relations between foreign nationals living and working within South African communities.

“South Africa is a multicultural society that promotes interaction among people of different backgrounds.”

She said law enforcement agencies have increased visibility in volatile hotspots, while the South African Police Service will continue to act against any acts of lawlessness.

There will also be ongoing continuous joint inspections by the different law enforcement agencies countrywide to ensure compliance with the laws of the country.

These anti-crime operations have been implemented to create the space for South Africans and foreign nationals to go about their daily lives unhindered.

“We are determined that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, and all who reside here must be free to participate in social and economic activities.

“In advancing Africa let us take hands with each other and Africans elsewhere on the continent to encourage greater social cohesion, trade and investment, nation building and African unity.

“We see South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria as central in their regions with neighbouring countries supporting the value chain with components, technology and services.”

She said it is indisputable that the destiny of African nations are intrinsically linked and “we must work together to grow business, trade and investment on the continent.”

Ms Williams, also the Acting Director of Government Communication and information Systems (GCIS) said the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will go a long way in building a united economic and trade front as it creates the world's largest free trade area once operational.

“South Africa along with Kenya ratified the agreement because we appreciate the potential it has to act as a catalyst to Africa’s economic growth. Through AfCFTA, African nations can expected to benefit from an increase in foreign direct investment, while also gaining access to a broader range of expertise. Together we can tap into the many opportunities created by a single market of goods and services for 1.2 billion people.”

In the spirit of advancing the the AfCFTA, South Africa invites Kenyan businesses and investors to invest in the country. South Africa’s imports from Kenya include tobacco, textile fibres, tea, plastic products and copper.

She said there are also a number of South African companies already operating in Kenya in the pharmaceutical, banking, engineering and retail sectors.

Furthermore, job creation, skills development and technology transfer that often accompany such transactions will be strengthened.

The time is now for a new era of intra-African trade, where African countries no longer look abroad for the products and services. In supporting each other we can establish new industries, create jobs and open up new markets in Africa.

While Toyota SA will initially supply all parts for the Hilux reassembly, it is expected that over time local content such as batteries and glass for vehicles will be sourced from Kenyan companies themselves.

Importantly, the move deepens automotive manufacturing capabilities and expands the sector’s value chain for the East African region and the continent at large. Over the longer term, it can build Kenya’s vehicle assembly industry into a formidable sector.

South Africa supports these continental forays into vehicle manufacturing and envisions a series of regional industries across Sub-Saharan Africa. Similar advances to develop the vehicle manufacturing industry in Nigeria, Ghana and Ethiopia are already underway.

South Africa looks forward to share its expertise with African nations from it successfully attracting a number of multinational automotive producers as part of its Automotive Production and Development Programme.

It promoted the country as an automotive manufacturing hub and South Africa is committed to use the strong relationship it has built to create manufacturing hubs across Africa.

“We see South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria as central in their regions with neighbouring countries supporting the value chain with components, technology and services.”

By Lalas M. Awumah

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