Theresa May Ramaphosa

(@PresidencyZA / Twitter)

Theresa May admits she’s a fan of Ramaphosa’s “ambitious” investment drive

Cyril Ramaphosa’s attempts to raise $100 in foreign investment has certainly got British PM Theresa May onside.

Theresa May Ramaphosa

(@PresidencyZA / Twitter)

If you could bottle Cyril Ramaphosa’s charm, you’d have one hell of a product on your hands. The president has won more international acclaim on Tuesday, thanks to visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May.

The pair concluded their trade talks with a media briefing. Cyril did the bulk of the speaking, informing the assembled media and the watching eyes of Britain that South Africa is very much open for business.

How did the UK and SA talks finish?

He talked up the potential for a strengthened relationship between the two countries; something that May was also keen to emphasise during her whistlestop tour of Africa. She next heads to Kenya on Wednesday, before visiting Nigeria 24 hours lates.

Ramaphosa assured investors that the time to invest in SA is now:

“We are improving the investment environment by, among other things, ensuring policy certainty and consistency, improving the performance of state-owned enterprises and consolidating fiscal debt.”

“We are encouraged by the fact that the UK is one of the largest foreign investors in the South African economy with more than 650 British firms present in the market.”

“This means that there are many British business leaders who have a good understanding of the South African market and recognise its potential, and who are also able to identify constraints to growth and development.”

Theresa May on “ambitious” Cyril Ramaphosa

That ol’ Cyril magic was in full flow, as his measured speech hit all the right notes. However, he didn’t just impress his target audience. As their talks came to an end, Theresa May had the last word. She admits that the “scale” of Ramaphosa’s investment plan – which aims to raise $100 billion – had won her over.

“I was struck by the scale of ambition laid out by Cyril Ramaphosa. Only private sector investment can help unlock the employment industry. The UK is well-placed as a country ready to start investing. In fact, many British business figures will be interested in attending the SA Investment Conference in October.”

“I also welcome your comments on land reform – which I’m sure many investors will be pleased to hear.”

Nice one Cyril. Now if you could just drop the petrol prices, boot out the remaining corrupt members of the ANC, get GDP moving in the right direction again and find a way to make data cheaper, we might just be able to bring Ramaphoria back. You know, for old times’ sake.