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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 July 2018

Saudi Arabia pledges around $10bn investments in South Africa

Cyril Ramaphosa, the nation's new leader looks to drive around $100bn in investments 

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa during his visit to Saudi Arabia explored partnerships in energy and infrastructure. REUTERS
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa during his visit to Saudi Arabia explored partnerships in energy and infrastructure. REUTERS

Saudi Arabia intends to invest as much as $10 billion in South Africa’s economy, with a focus on energy.

The commitment was made during a state visit by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to the Middle Eastern nation, his spokeswoman Khusela Diko said by phone on Thursday. Officials from Saudi Arabia will take part in an investment summit in October in South Africa when they are expected to give more detail about the planned spending, she said.

Mr Ramaphosa is seeking to revive a flagging economy after taking over from Jacob Zuma as the nation’s leader in February and has started a drive to lure $100 billion in investment over the next five years. Business and investor confidence has slumped after an initial boost following Zuma’s resignation.

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“It’s a fantastic commitment from Saudi Arabia, especially coming in the aftermath of the president’s call to have $100 billion of investment,” energy minister Jeff Radebe said during the visit. “Their minister of energy is deeply committed to cooperating with us on the energy side.”

A communique from the official Saudi Press Agency on Friday said the two sides pledged to increase exchange of trade as well as joint investments in economic projects and infrastructure.