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Tourism a gem of SA economy through business

Mamodima Ndovu

It is common knowledge that South Africa is a tourism gem; however, the world still needs a bit of convincing when it comes to business.

Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo

“Our hospitality is world renowned, with eight UN World Heritage sites. Our cultural diversity is unparalleled. We invite you to South Africa whether for business or for leisure,” said Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo on Wednesday at the annual Rainbow Push Coalition Convention in Chicago, United States of America.

The cause of the convention is to promote education and economic justice around the world.

The Department of Communications stated that despite a slowing global economy and the recent downgrade by the International Rating Agency to junk status, SA remains one of the most promising emerging markets for ‘adventurous’ investors.

Speaking at the convention, Minister Dlodlo only had good things to say about the country. “We are Africa’s most sophisticated and diverse economy, offering a unique combination of highly developed first-world infrastructure, a vibrant emerging market and a young population ripe for skills development and training.”

Dlodlo, however, did not sell Africa short stating that the region is changing and the rest of the world has amended its’ outdated and myopic view of the continent. “The continent now has unlimited potential and a renewed hope for a better future,” said Dlodlo.

Dlodlo also mentioned the 2063 Agenda where the government aims to drive social, economic and political rejuvenation on the continent. ”In 50 years Africa will be a world leader, setting the standard for inclusive economic development, democratic governance, and a just social order,” she said.

Amongst other reasons why global partners should invest in SA, Minister Dlodlo said: “(SA) has sound economic policies. (Government) has created a favorable legal and business environment, and we boast a world-class infrastructure including a modern transport network, sophisticated telecommunications, and superb tourism facilities.”

She added that the cost of doing business in SA is significantly lower with industrial capabilities and cutting-edge technology as well as global competitiveness.

Dlodlo persuaded delegates that SA is conveniently placed at the southern tip of the continent serving as a gateway for easy access to other markets of sub-Saharan Africa.

With the country’s trade reform and strategic alliance, Dlodlo said SA has trading relationships with over 200 countries and territories.

The department also stated that The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) serves as a one-stop-shop for investors with a variety of services and guidance on how to conquer the local market.

During the event, Dlodlo was rewarded with a Leadership and Humanitarian Award from civil rights leader and social justice activist Reverend Jesse Jackson Snr for her outstanding public service to fight poverty in SA.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba in attendance at the Thomson Reuters Economist of the Year award ceremony at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton on Thursday said that lower than expected growth is likely this year.

Following the downgrade and technical recession, SA has a target to achieve 6% growth in order to earn back the trust of international investors.

“If SA is to achieve (this) growth, extraordinary bold decisions that change the economy must be made.” Gigaba added, “We are far from achieving the 5 to 6% growth target we need in order to begin to dramatically reduce poverty, unemployment, and inequality.”

Gigaba welcomed suggestions on how to tackle the current economic challenges.

“We need more proposals on solutions. We are interested in your perspectives and ideas on how best to grow and transform the economy,” he said.

Gigaba concluded with positive highlights such as stronger global growth and commodity prices, improved availability of electricity supply, more favorable climate conditions and improved labour relations which could help achieve a recovery in domestic GPD growth.