28 January 2019

South Africa: Luring Investors, Ramaphosa's Other State Capture Battle

analysis

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has spent the past fortnight wooing investors at Davos and in India as part of his attempt to persuade the world that money spent on South Africa is safe once more. As his performance in Delhi showed, talking business to business people is something Ramaphosa is very good at. And that's fortunate because it's also clear that the legacy of State Capture means he has his work cut out for him.

One of the quirks of India's Sunday newspapers are the pages of classified ads devoted to finding matrimonial matches. Here, the parents of single men and women seeking spouses will buy space to sing the praises of their offspring to the world.

"Highly respectable family invites proposals for their only son, 37 yrs, 6'1, handsome, CEO," runs one typical advert.

"Seeking fair, beautiful B.Tech/MBA/Dr girl from a high-status cultured family."

In January, Team SA has been carrying out the diplomatic equivalent of publishing one of those marriage ads in the Indian Sunday newspapers. To Davos and Delhi, officials have lugged suitcases filled with pamphlets extolling the virtues of South Africa as an investment destination.

In 20 bullet points, the pamphlets list all the factors...

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