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Global companies in South Africa - Suedafrika Wirtschaft
South Afrika - alive with possibility

Global companies in South Africa


Since democracy returned South Africa to the world in 1994, global companies have been flocking here to take advantage of the country's vast investment potential.

The year 2005 shattered all records on the JSE, South Africa's stock exchange, in a boom fuelled by foreign investors buying up R50-billion in local shares, setting a 10-year high for international investment in the exchange.

Nearly 20 years after abandoning apartheid-era South Africa, multinational banking giant Barclays returned in 2005 with a massive R30-million purchase of a majority stake in Absa, one of the country's big-four banks. The historic deal was the biggest single foreign direct investment in South Africa, ever.

German motor manufacturer BMW opened its Rosslyn assembly plant near Pretoria in 1994. The company recently announced a further investment of R2-billion in the facility, allowing it to produce 60 000 units a year - and increasing its South African export capacity to R50-billion over the lifecycle of future models.

The world's largest communications company, Vodafone, announced in November 2005 that it is to increase its stake in South African cell-phone company Vodacom to the tune of R16-billion.

Other major multinationals with major operations here include Volkswagen, General Electric, Acer, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, EDS Corp, Hertz, Levi Strauss, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Indian giants Mittal and Tata.

In the words of Jim Myers, chairman of Blackstar Managers: "The sophisticated business environment of South Africa provides a powerful strategic export and manufacturing platform for achieving global competitive advantage, cost reductions and new market access."