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Unique investment opportunities in South Africa, despite challenges

Brand SA research GM Shamiso Hlatshwayo speaks to Creamer Media at Mining Indaba about some of its objectives. Video & Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

8th February 2023

By: Donna Slater

Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

     

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Despite several ongoing challenges, South Africa has untapped potential and investment opportunities, Brand South Africa (SA) research GM Shamiso Hlatshwayo has said.

Speaking to Creamer Media at the Investing in African Mining Indaba on February 8, she revealed that Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa was running a major campaign – Believe in SA ­– which was intended to remind investors that South Africa had unique opportunities for investors.

Hlatshwayo noted that challenges, such as loadshedding, also presented investment opportunities for investors to “come in and to find creative solutions on how we can charge a new energy future”.

“. . . topical issues that are being discussed at the Mining Indaba include, obviously, green energy as well as the just transition. South Africa really is strategically placed to be one of the regional leaders in creating a green energy future that comprises of renewable energy and a whole host of other green energy initiatives,” she said.

One of the most important roles that Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa had in terms of the Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan was that it addressed investment promotion, particularly in the realm of reputation management, noted Hlatshwayo.

“As the custodian of the South African national brand, it is particularly important for us to plant the seed in investors’ minds about what [opportunities] South Africa [presents],” she said.

Hlatshwayo pointed out that many regions in the world tended to occupy a place in the public imagination, and that Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa was trying to make the country’s investment case known, internationally.

For instance, she said, most people might think about engineering precision when thinking about a country like Germany, or about the “American dream” in respect of the US.

“Those are important aspects that are deeply embedded in people’s minds when they think about a particular country.

“It is the same with investment promotion, where we have to remind international investors, new and existing, about South Africa’s [uniqueness], and the exciting investment opportunities that it presents for them,” said Hlatshwayo.

“South Africa is open for business,” she stated, adding that South Africa is also a country that provides a blank canvas for investors, with a lot of opportunities, such as recreating legacy systems, potentially with a regionally-focussed plan, or to introduce a series of systems that could be a blueprint for the future.

Meanwhile, Hlatshwayo pointed out that the Mining Charter was one of the most important documents governing South Africa’s mining sector.

“It is primarily based on seven key aspects which speak to the likes of transformation, inclusive growth and beneficiation,” she said, adding that these three factors were particularly important in the conversation around junior mining during the Mining Indaba.

“Junior miners are a particularly important aspect for the Mining Charter in the sense that it is giving previously disadvantaged individuals access to the mining sector,” said Hlatshwayo.

However, she noted that because South Africa’s mining sector was vast and had many larger players, junior miners may find themselves “a bit short-changed at times”.

“With the likes of the Mining Charter, and the various other policies that support those junior miners, the ultimate objectives of our junior miners programme is to show the world that if you empower people, if you include people, and if you transform existing forms of trade or commerce or sectors, then you open up a new pathway to change people’s lives,” said Hlatshwayo.

Improving people’s lives was particularly important, as the world faced issues of inclusivity and transformation.

“South Africa is one of those countries [which has] taken that, particularly, quite seriously in terms of creating new ways of doing business that seek to include people that were previously not included.

“We believe that is how we are going to do change the lived realities of millions of people in our country,” she concluded.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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