Pretoria — South Africa attracted R64.3 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the first three quarters of the current financial year, surpassing the target of R45 billion, says Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele.
Addressing media on Tuesday, he said South Africa remains a competitive business and investment destination, despite challenges in the global economy.
"For citizens, the investment means an opportunity to work, to develop their skills, earn a sustainable income and feed a family," Minister Cwele said.
He was chairing the International Cooperation, Trade and Security cluster media briefing, which was held in Cape Town.
Minister Cwele said South Africa continues with its engagements with the European Union (EU), which is its largest trading partner and foreign investor.
"Over 2 000 EU companies are operating within South Africa and have created over 350 000 jobs.
"The EU also contributes ... about R1.5 billion to infrastructure development for domestic and regional programmes through the Infrastructure Investment Programme," he said.
In 2015, South African exports to the EU amounted to more than R216 billion, half of which were manufactured goods.
Tourism contribution to the South African economy
Minister Cwele said tourism was still a vital sector, with it contributing about nine percent to the Gross Domestic Product.
"The country received 8 903 773 foreign tourist arrivals during 2015, generating a significant revenue contribution to the economy," Minister Cwele said.
Last year, more than 1.6 million local and international tourists visited Kruger National Park.
A number of skills development and capacity building programmes are underway to unlock the full potential of the country's tourism sector.
"These include training 577 young people as chefs this year, instructing 300 youths in the art of serving wine expertly as professional sommeliers and teaching unemployed graduates to become food safety assures, who ensure that the food served at our establishments is stored, prepared and served safely," Minister Cwele said.
He said the Department of Tourism is implementing revised Tourism Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Codes of Good Practice.
"The black ownership target has been set at 30 percent, which is higher than the target in the generic codes of good practice to assist in our efforts to drive transformation in the sector.
"To address women empowerment, this 30 percent must consist of 50 percent women," Minister Cwele said.