It is increasingly becoming clear that investors are not prepared to invest their money in a country where corrupt political parties put their interests above that of the country,” Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on Trade and Industry says.
Adv. Alberts said in reaction to the Second Reading debate on the Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill that it is incomprehensible that President Jacob Zuma, just like his minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Rob Davies, does not heed the warning signals about investor confidence that are lighting up bright red.
He said other countries are doing everything in their power to lure investors. South Africa does the opposite and put obstacles in the way of investors.
According to Adv. Alberts, the FF Plus was one of the role-players that consistently and sensibly pointed out the dangers to government that this Bill holds and the damage that it could cause the country’s economy.
Two months ago, South Africa’s trade partners in America and Europe openly and un-diplomatically told government that investor confidence in the country is at its lowest ever and that the first incident of expropriation will be the end of investments in South Africa.
These harsh words were spoken two months ago during the public hearings on the Bill at the parliamentary portfolio committee on trade and industry and came from submissions of the American Chamber of Commerce AmCham) and the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in South Africa (EUCCISA).
It was clearly stated that despite the ANC’s promises that foreign investments in South Africa would be protected, the Bill has the opposite as its objective.
Adv. Alberts says it is clear that the ANC did not heed any of the warnings and is stubbornly attempting to pass this Bill.
“The irony in President Zuma’s comment that the ANC is placed before South Africa, is that investors see it in precisely this way. They see that the ANC is of the opinion that investments are not for the benefit of South Africa, but to enrich the ANC.
“In addition it appears that more investors are not only hesitant to invest, they are actively busy withdrawing their funds from South Africa in the form of, amongst others, fund investments and shares. This is one of the reasons why the Rand is performing so poorly.
“South Africa is truly a step away from a fiscal cliff. Investments are evaporating and debt and interest are heaping up. To keep its bloated public service and 18 million grant dependents satisfied, more will have to be taken from a handful of taxpayers.
“This situation cannot continue indefinitely. People from all communities are increasingly turning to the FF Plus for guidance and answers. The ANC may think that it comes first, but the people of South Africa will next year at the polls say who they think are the most important,” Adv. Alberts says.
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