The Department of Trade Industry and Competition (the dtic) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is part of the World Bank Group, have signed the second phase of their Cooperation Agreement. The Acting Director-General of the dtic, Ms Malebo Mabitje-Thompson, and IFC’s Regional Director for Southern Africa, Ms Claudia Conceicao signed the agreement at the dtic Campus in Pretoria yesterday. The agreement outlines areas of cooperation in the form of technical advisory services.

The IFC, in partnership with Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), has over the years collaborated with the dtic, the Presidency and various public and private stakeholders on a range of reform initiatives to improve the business environment, enhance private sector competitiveness, and support investment generation into South Africa.

The cooperation agreement is not unique to the dtic. In March 2019 an agreement of the same nature was signed between the two parties. The first phase agreement entailed a mutual collaborative effort towards South Africa’s reform agenda on the improvement of the business climate.  This included technical information pertaining to the development action plans, communications strategy and the promotion of peer-to-peer learning. As part of the implementation of the the agreement the dtic received advisory services related to investment promotion, investment strategy and investment climate reform.

The implementation demonstrably yielded quantifiable investments and tangible results such as the flagship development of the Bizportal and the City of Johannesburg’s online construction permitting system.

Similarly, the agreement signed yesterday cements a long-standing relationship and encompasses critical areas of cooperation on renewable energy licensing, country investment strategy and a more investor-friendly regulatory environment.

To date investment generation into the local component manufacturing capacity for renewable energy generation, as well as the establishment of an Energy One Stop Shop (EOSS) have been implemented. The EOSS is assigned to streamline the licensing regime for Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers.

The second phase entails technical advisory support for:

  • Delivery on the country investment strategy and coordinating mechanism for its operationalisation.
  • Enabling eco-system for foreign direct investment generation into renewable energy.
  • Streamlining of licensing for independent power producers and supporting investors through the establishment of the energy one stop shop to alleviate South Africa’s energy crisis.

Malebo Mabitje-Thompson said: “The signing of the Cooperation Agreement is a welcomed step in the department’s drive to promote inward investment, job creation, localisation and economic growth and development.”

Ms Conceicao, stated: “Signing this agreement represents an important milestone in IFC’s partnership with the government of South Africa, alongside SECO. This new phase of our cooperation agreement will further support South Africa’s initiatives particularly in the renewable energy sector, creating a more conducive environment for private sector investment and contributing to sustainable economic growth and development.”

According to SECO, South Africa is a priority country for Switzerland’s Economic Cooperation and Development. SECO’s current country strategy (2021-2024) foresees a budget of CHF 55 million (approximately R1.1 billion at current exchange rate). It aims to support a competitive economy and enable sustainable growth.

The agreement is part of a joint effort by the IFC and SECO to facilitate a more pragmatic approach to investment climate reforms. It builds on the first phase of the programme, which focused on improving competitiveness and enabling sustainable growth through a conducive investment climate, and the dtic remains a key government stakeholder in achieving these objectives.

Switzerland remains committed to supporting this important work, which is in line with the South African government’s call for greater private sector participation in power generation and transmission.

The Acting Director-General of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Malebo Mabitje-Thompson, and International Finance Corporation’s Regional Director for Southern Africa, Ms Claudia Conceicao during the signing of the Cooperation Agreement at the dtic Campus in Pretoria.

Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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