Early this month saw the minister of finance Mr Pravin Gordhan leading a delegation of business leaders, leaders of labour and senior government officials on an outreach mission to New York on 04 - 05 October around a theme "SA Tomorrow Investor Conference" which is on its fourth year running, aimed at showcasing South Africa, its institutions and South African companies to investors in the United States and to reassure them that "South Africa is still open for business". The concern has been the broad manner in which Africa is covered, generally focusing on socio-economic turmoil and perceived political strife on the continent as a whole, missing the investment opportunities that countries such as South Africa presents.
In the past the conference focused on attracting broad audience including institutional investors in the equities and fixed income space as well as US corporate and wealth managers. However, this time around, the Minister of Finance specifically conducted meetings with US investors that are already invested in South Africa, as well as those that are interested in investing in South Africa ranging from sectors such as renewable energy, telecommunications and information communications technology, infrastructure and logistics to manufacturing in general.
One of the key takeaways from the minister's engagements is that government and stakeholders have made significant progress in keeping the momentum on reforms on the labour market, improving the performance of state owned companies, supporting small businesses as drivers of employment creation, regulatory framework, and the steps to achieve more supportive business environment. These were steps announced in his 2016 Budget commitments, the implementation of which remain on track ensuring that the country remains attractive for investment resulting in business flourishing, creating new jobs and ensuring inclusive growth for citizens.
Earlier on Monday the Rand surged against the dollar after the National Prosecuting Authority announced that fraud charges have been dropped against finance minister Pravin Gordhan. The rand traded 2.47% stronger against the US currency. The Minister had during the visit early this month in a Bloomberg TV interview referred to the allegations as "political mischief", and that should not distract from the strong institutions and robust legal framework, well-developed and deep capital markets, sound infrastructure, established macroeconomic policy credibility that the country boost of.