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A vastly improved economic and political landscape across Africa has secured a favourable foundation for the continent’s continued growth, but corporates and industry have to ensure capital flow to ensure the future of work, says Marcel Ley, Regional Manager of Victaulic South Africa. A resurgence in the local economy on the basis of favourable international investment has ensured that industries such as mining and renewables will remain major contributors in attracting business to sub-Saharan Africa, he believes.

Positive outlook for mining and renewables

“Political unrest and poverty have long since played a role in the potential financial stability and investment opportunities of a nation. Zimbabwe, in particular, has played a catalytic role in the exposure of investment and business opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, with current president Emmerson Mnangagwa continuously emphasising the fact that Zimbabwe is ‘open for business’, and that he would ease local ownership rules and re-engage lenders such as the IMF,” Ley says.

This year’s IMF Regional Economic Outlook highlighted a strengthening macroeconomic outlook for sub-Saharan Africa. The report predicted expectant growth from 2.7% in 2017 to 3.1% in 2018, reflecting domestic policy adjustments and a supportive external environment, including continued steady growth in the global economy, higher commodity prices, and accommodative external financing conditions. The favourable investment conditions of the region were also emphasised during the recent investment summit hosted by South African president Cyril Ramaphosa.

The investment summit saw a great many companies pledging investment into South Africa. Omeng these were Anglo American, who pledged an investment of R71.5-billion into the country over the coming five years. Vedanta, another mining multinational with operations in South Africa, guaranteed R21.4-billion towards the country’s metal industry. Ivanplats, the local subsidiary of Canadian mining company Ivanhoe Mines, promised R4.5 billion in investment in the local economy.

“While the mining sector may have experienced a slight investment slump over the past few years, I am confident that this fresh investment may well result in a resurgence on the sector. Although the resurgence in mining is reassuring, as an industry, mining must ensure that it remains a sustainable enterprise in the manner in which it operates, ensuring that safety and cost containment are key elements to guaranteeing that the investment was worth the buck,” Ley says.

“As a technology provider in the mining sector, we see a number of opportunities that exist across the various divisions, ensuring that safety and underground effectiveness play pivotal roles in ensuring even greater investment.”

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