WITH THE State of the Nation Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa tonight, one can hope there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.
And for City of Joburg that light has shone with Chinese businesses that will invest millions into the City.
This was confirmed by the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Economic Development, Lawrence Khoza this week, that a Chinese company Didi Chuxing (DIDI) plans to invest R150 million as financial relief to the municipality and its residents.
DIDI confirmed its interest in setting up its first base in Johannesburg with plans already under way and hope to expand further into the South African market and eventually the African continent.
MMC Khoza said this partnership will facilitate skills transfer through job creation, flagship training programs, internships and scholarships for students in engineering and finance field.
“The City of Joburg is the commercial centre not only for the country but the African continent at large. Therefore it’s of great importance in attracting digital business investments into the city because we are a city that thrives in providing sustainable economic opportunities for Joburg residents.
“We are rolling out a digital system which seeks to create opportunities to people who have lost hope especially during these trying times, this will be our way to reach out to the ordinary resident in order to improve their standard of living while providing adequate and effective service delivery,” said MMC Khoza.
DIDI will also partner with the municipality to roll out Covid-19 vaccine at a discount to Joburg residents. Besides planning to invest multimillion dollars into the City, DIDI also expressed interest to offer software solutions focused on signaling systems.
Such an investment comes at a time when the World Investment Report 2020 estimated a decrease of up to 40% in foreign direct investment (FDI).
MMC Khoza said this means the City’s quest of creating a conducive environment for businesses is noticed by investors. He said the biggest challenge is to see projects taking off, and that Joburg wants to be one of the metros that attract and implement investment aggressively.
Weeks ago, there were reports that investors were no longer considering Joburg for investments opportunities due to crime, grime and filth strewn all over but this has changed the hearts of Chinese.
The planned investment in the continent is expected to be between $60m and $80m, starting in October 2021
“This will define and set us aside as we partner with investors like DIDI, who will bring with them a world-class team to the City of Joburg, which will ensure that together we deliver a world-class African business to the people of Johannesburg and the African continent,” MMC Khoza added.