Johannesburg: Reuters – Chinese investors signed agreements to build a $10 billion metallurgical complex in South Africa during President Xi Jinping’s state visit this week and hope to start construction next year, an executive involved in the project and a provincial official told Reuters.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said at a joint news conference with Xi on Tuesday that China had committed to invest $14.7 billion in the South African economy, but neither leader mentioned the $10 billion complex.
Ramaphosa is on a mission to kick-start economic growth after a decade of stagnation and is targeting $100 billion in new investment over five years. The complex, which is still in the planning stage and envisages building a stainless steel plant, a ferrochrome plant and a silicomanganese plant, is a much-needed vote of confidence in the sputtering South African economy.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Tuesday that China was considering a metallurgical project in a special economic zone (SEZ), but he did not reveal the scale of the project or timeframe.
The executive involved in the project, who did not wish to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said memoranda on the complex were signed before Xi and Ramaphosa gave news conference on Tuesday.
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