Home National Presidency Dismisses Concerns Over BHP Billiton’s Proposed Anglo American Takeover

Presidency Dismisses Concerns Over BHP Billiton’s Proposed Anglo American Takeover

by Central News Reporter
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Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya

In a recent media briefing in Pretoria, Presidential Spokesperson Vincent Magwenya quashed the circulating narratives that BHP Billiton’s interest in Anglo American, excluding its South African assets, reflects a diminished confidence in investing within South Africa. This clarification comes amid rising speculation and various analyst comments suggesting that the move might signal a broader disinterest in the South African investment landscape.

Anglo American, notable for its operations in mining diamonds, Platinum Group Metals (PGM), and iron ore in South Africa, finds itself at the centre of this proposed corporate maneuver. However, the Presidency has strongly refuted the idea that this indicates any form of negative sentiment towards South Africa’s investment potential.

Magwenya was keen to emphasise that the narratives portraying this business decision as a lack of faith in South Africa are misplaced. “The notion that BHP Billiton’s commercial strategy equates to a non-supportive environment for investors is one we outright reject,” he stated, addressing the media on Monday.

Pointing towards efforts to improve the business climate in the country, the spokesperson highlighted the government’s proactive measures in partnership with the business community. A significant move in June 2023 saw President Cyril Ramaphosa, alongside Cabinet members and key business figures, agree on a collaboration aimed at revitalising the economy and enhancing countrywide confidence in South Africa’s trajectory.

This partnership has identified tackling load shedding, challenges in the freight logistics sector, and overcoming the hurdles of crime and corruption as key priorities. These concerted efforts have borne initiatives like the Joint Initiative on Crime and Corruption (JICC) which aligns with the government’s actions to clear South Africa from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) greylist. Additionally, restructuring at the helm of crucial law enforcement institutions signifies the government’s dedication to combatting crime and fostering a positive investment climate.

Further, Magwenya underscored successes such as the recruitment of over 20,000 police officers, significant advances in prosecuting corruption cases, and the recovery of billions in stolen funds as proof of the government’s commitment to creating a safe and ethical investment environment.

The SA Investment Conference hitting R1.5 trillion in investment pledges over five years was cited as a testament to the continued investor confidence in the country. “President Ramaphosa deems it encouraging that both local and international investors remain optimistic about South Africa’s prospects, as showcased by their ongoing investments and the exceeding of set investment goals,” Magwenya added.

He concluded the briefing by urging the investor community to draw confidence from the tangible progress being made in addressing key issues. This progress, according to the Presidency, is a clear indicator of a maintained and growing momentum towards enhancing South Africa’s appeal as a prime investment destination.

The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa
The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa

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