LETTER: Many promises, but few actions taken to improve SA

LETTER: Many promises, but few actions taken to improve SA

17.2.2020

LETTER: Many promises, but few actions taken to improve SA

Promises of reforms made by the government have failed to materialise

SA investment conditions remain dire 16 February 2020 - 19:14 We have heard many promises and plans from politicians in the past two years to the effect that reforms are coming, that SA will become investor-friendly, that things will be turned around. The reality is far from those lofty promises and plans. On February 11, Business Day reported that the Investec Property Fund was set to “increase its offshore exposure to warehousing and distribution centres used for online shopping and manufacturing as SA investment conditions remain dire”. What is the goal of any investment? To obtain a solid return on that investment. Given the difficulties in SA, it seems the Investec Property Fund has decided that the pan-European logistics platform is the more rational route for investment. Expropriation without compensation is the biggest threat to the economy. It has not even been implemented yet and it is already destabilising the property market and banks, and presents a serious threat to investment. Add to this National Health Insurance (NHI), for which there is zero room in the budget, talk of using pension funds to bail out Eskom and the incredibly restrictive labour legislation (such as the minimum wage) and the economic scenario looks bleak. As usual, the blame will be placed on the shoulders of the companies that leave: how dare they, they have a duty to provide jobs. Those words of outrage crash against the harsh, jagged rocks of reality. Investment cannot be assumed as a given. Countries must be attractive to investors to show they are serious about growth. SA has done little to change course and therefore has little to show its citizens and prove to the world that this is a place where they will be safe should they invest. When reality signals to people that they can live better elsewhere many will leave, and this should come as no surprise. Christo Hattingh Johannesburg JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Send us an e-mail with your comments. Letters of more than 300 words will be edited for length. Send your letter by e-mail to Read more: Business Day

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