SA investment in Africa on the increase

8 February 2012

South African direct investment in Africa has increased at four times the rate of the country’s overall foreign direct investment since 1994, according to the latest South Africa Survey, recently published by the SA Institute of Race Relations.

According to the survey, total South African direct investment in Africa increased from R3.8-billion in 1994 to R115.7-billion in 2009, or by 31 times.

“Over the same period, total South African foreign direct investment stock in all countries increased from R67.7-billion in 1994 to R535.7-billion in 2009, or by eight times,” the Johannesburg-based institute said in a statement this week.

The data, sourced from the South African Reserve Bank, shows that the United Kingdom is the single biggest recipient of all South African foreign investment, accounting for 38% of all South African foreign assets.

“However, much of this is in the form of non-direct investment, including portfolio investment, and long- and short-term loans” the institute said.

“Only 13% of South African investment in the UK is direct (investment by South African residents in undertakings in which they have individually or collectively at least 10% of the voting rights).”

By contrast, the survey shows that 76% of all South African investment in Africa is direct investment.

Lucy Holborn, research manager at the institute, said that while South African investment in Africa accounts for only 8% of all South African investment outside the country, “the trend over the last 15 years shows that it is growing at a much faster rate.”

SAinfo reporter