Chinese investors wary of SA red tape – official

Jun 22 2018 – Fin 24
Chinese investors are concerned about the lengthy lead time it takes for South Africa to conclude investment deals and turn around projects, a top leader in the National Planning Commission said on Wednesday.
According to Tshediso Matona, head of the National Planning Commission secretariat, the complexities associated with multi-approval plans have been singled out as a major disincentives by Chinese investors looking invest in the country.
“The Chinese investors have repeatedly raised [the] concern that South Africa always takes a long time to make decisions when it comes to investment projects,” said Matona, during a Vision 2030 forum to discuss the National Development Plan (NDP).
“The Chinese have deep pockets, but these are the disincentives they have raised.”
The National Planning Commission developed the NDP. The NDP outlines the long-term vision and strategic plan for the country’s economic growth. The government’s blueprint is aimed at stimulating growth and address inequalities and unemployment by 2030, through partnerships between the public and the private sector.
The plan was adopted by Cabinet in September 2012.
Matona said infrastructure development was one of the key priorities of the NDP, and that fresh approaches were needed in project management in order to address the current fragmented regulatory framework.
The former CEO of Eskom said projects such as rail, road and energy infrastructure would benefit from improved and innovative implementation strategies.
He said he was encouraged by the private sector’s willingness to support the NDP, but urged the government to demonstrate decisive leadership in driving the plan.
“Government must demonstrate political commitment and leadership to really drive the plan, because we can’t expect the private sector to work with a plan that they don’t see as having [the] full backing of the state,” said Matona.
Matona also lamented the poor economic growth rate, saying it would take a great deal of work to achieve the estimated 1.5 % rate for 2018.
The two-day Vision 2030 Summit, which is attended by business and government leaders, is aimed at coming up with practical solutions to drive the plan.

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