Discussion Paper of the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein) and the EU Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Southern Africa on the occasion of the visit of the South African President Jacob Zuma to Germany on 10 November 2015.
Executive summary: South Africa is Africa’s leading economy. The Republic at the Cape is the most important investment destination for Europe and Germany equally. At the same time, this is true for the importance of Europe from a South African point of view. Hence, the business partnership is mutually important for Europe and South Africa.
In the two past decades, the Republic of South Africa has made considerable contributions to the stability and economic progress in Africa. Nonetheless, the country is still facing the challenges of the social and economic injustices and inequalities originating from the Apartheid regime.
South Africa’s frontrunner status as the industrial power on the African continent however appears to fade. During the past ten years, the country has moved from rank 28 to rank 73 in the “Doing Business Report” of the World Bank. The World Bank and other international organisations have observed inter alia deficits in the areas of power supply, education and employment.
In summary, European and German companies call on the South African Government to improve its current investment policy framework for domestic and international firms. On the other hand, it is Europe’s and Germany’s responsibility to support this development.