We see infrastructure investment as a critical enabler of growth and job creation‚ and are therefore consolidating government infrastructure spending into a single Infrastructure Fund. We intend to use that fund to leverage investments from development finance institutions‚ multilateral development banks‚ asset managers and commercial banks.
A dedicated team will oversee the implementation of an extensive infrastructure programme covering areas like water‚ transport‚ energy‚ telecommunications and social infrastructure. Despite the challenges of the present‚ our economy has several fundamental strengths that make it a suitable destination for investment. South Africa has established a diversified manufacturing base that has shown its resilience and potential to compete in the global economy.
Yesterday I had occasion to open the R1-billion Gibela passenger train manufacturing factory in this province. The investment is a collaboration between Alstom from France and a local consortium made up of black businesses and the community. The factory employs 800 workers‚ of which half are women. We applaud this investment as it confirms South Africa’s manufacturing capability.
Multinationals with a presence in South Africa cite numerous advantages‚ from excellent financial systems to world-class infrastructure. South Africa is a regional manufacturing and services hub on the African continent‚ and‚ for many companies‚ serves as a base to export products globally.
We have done much work in recent years to improve investment incentives‚ establishing‚ for example‚ several special economic zones across the country‚ each having unique offerings for investors.
These include ready infrastructure for business development‚ reduced costs for key inputs such as land‚ water and electricity‚ and reduced corporate tax rates. We are determined that our economic policy must facilitate inclusive growth. Given our country’s history of dispossession and the continued economic exclusion of millions of our people‚ we have a responsibility to bring all our people into the economic mainstream.