China's President Xi Jinping and President Cyril Ramaphosa leave the stage at a Business Forum organised during the 10th BRICS summit on July 25, 2018 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Image: GULSHAN KHAN / AFP

President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa is being "recalibrated" to be attractive to local and international investors in a bid to stimulate economic growth and job creation.

Ramaphosa made the remarks during an address at a breakfast meeting with a South African business leaders on Sunday in the Chinese capital of Beijing.

The president is in China as part of a state visit hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping who paid a similar visit to South Africa in June for the recent Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) summit.

Ramaphosa said his government needed to provided not just "policy certainty but policy consistency" to investors in order to attract much-needed foreign direct investment.

"We're recalibrating in many ways, we're sharpening our messages to enhance investment to come our way," said Ramaphosa.

"One of the key issues that faced us was the issue of policy certainty which many possible investors wanted clarity on. We're working through that, we're working through all the issues that have been raised with us, to make sure that we not only have policy certainty but policy consistency. This is something has slipped through our fingers in the past few years where we have lost our shine, but we're regaining that shine."

" We surprised the world by resolving the apartheid problem, we will surprise the world once again by resolving this problem "
- President Cyril Ramaphosa

The South African economy has taken a battering in the last few years as the previous administration, under former President Jacob Zuma, dithered on key policy issues affecting crucial sectors of the economy such as mining and energy. Meanwhile state-owned entities were plagued by allegations of corruption and financial mismanagement.

South Africa also recently grabbed the attention of the international community with its parliamentary process to amend section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation, in a bid to change patterns of land ownership.

Ramaphosa said he was confident that "we will surprise the world" in resolving the emotive issue of land as South Africans are "becoming more rationale" in discussing mechanisms to resolve land reform and redistribution.

"I have no doubt that South Africans will step up to the plate to resolve it, like we resolved the apartheid problem. The apartheid problem was once thought to be the most intractable problem in the whole world and people thought that South Africa would engage in a civil war that would tear the whole world nation apart.

"We surprised the world by resolving the apartheid problem, we will surprise the world once again by resolving this problem that largely gave rise and birth to the apartheid system that engulfed us over many years."

Ramaphosa said Xi Jinping has been supportive on the issue of land reform in their previous discussions. Th two leaders were due to hold further bilateral talks on Sunday.

Beijing and Pretoria were also due sign new trade deals that would see more Chinese companies coming to invest in the South African economy.

Ramaphosa said he would be presenting to the Chinese "a book of investable projects" in South Africa.

Sandile Zungu, the president of the Black Business Council, and Sipho Pityana of Business Unity South Africa, are among the business leaders that are in China with Ramaphosa.

South African companies such as Standard Bank, Nedbank, Discovery and Naspers are operating in China and local businesses hope to make further investments in sectors such as manufacturing, agro-processing, mining and technology.

Ramaphosa has also been joined by former finance minister Trevor Manuel, former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe and several cabinet ministers.

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