Avatar photo

Compiled by Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Power crisis, ICT infrastructure theft threaten SA’s investment gains – Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa said the Investment onference provided a huge boost to the country’s digital economy, but issues were raised by investors

President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa has to resolve the electricity crisis and theft of ICT infrastructure to take advantage of investment commitments made to the country.

The president was addressing the nation in his weekly newsletter “From the Desk of the President on Monday.


Ramaphosa said investments in digital economy have grown exponentially since the last investment conference in 2018, with investment commitments of R200 billion in the country’s telecommunications network by Vodacom, MTN, Telkom, Rain, and Liquid Telecom.

The president said during the 5th South Africa Investment Conference, which was held in Johannesburg last week, announcements by investors took the total amount of investment commitments made over the first five years of the country’s drive to over R1.5 trillion.

“This exceeds the target of R1.2 trillion we set in 2018.”

Ramaphosa said in addition to significant investment commitments in data and telecommunications infrastructure, there were also announcements about investments in the mining, manufacturing, energy, property, logistics, and food and beverages sectors.

ALSO READ: Stage 8 load shedding hits SA and it’s likely to get worse

Digital economy

He said the Investment Conference also provided a huge boost to the country’s digital economy.

“South Africa already has among the highest rates of internet penetration in Africa. According to Statistics South Africa’s 2021 General Household Survey, more than three quarters of households have internet access, 97% of all households have at least one mobile phone, and most people use mobile phones to get online. This includes nearly 60 per cent of rural households.

“Several recent tech surveys indicate that higher speeds and improved mobile and fibre infrastructure are helping to narrow the digital divide. This is the result of stepped-up investment in the digital economy in recent years,” Ramaphosa said.

5G and fibre

Ramaphosa said faster fibre and 5G rollout makes the economy more competitive as more connectivity solutions help businesses emerge and expand.

“The Equiano subsea cable announced at the 3rd South Africa Investment Conference in 2020 was launched by Google last year. We are seeing more investment in data centres.

“In addition to the network providers, Amazon Web Services, Teraco and Dimension Data have made investment commitments of R21 billion in the past five years. Amazon Web Services plans to grow its investment with a further R30 billion in the next six years,” the president added.


However, Ramaphosa said South Africa have to urgently resolve the electricity crisis and the theft and destruction of ICT infrastructure.

“These were among the issues raised by investors and mobile network operators at this year’s investment conference. We are working with business and other social partners to address these challenges and improve the operating environment,” he said.

ALSO READ: Investor calls on Ramaphosa to stick to ‘good commitments’ he made at conference

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits