READOUT: Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo’s Travel to South Africa

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PRETORIA – From March 11-15, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo traveled to South Africa to advance the U.S. – South Africa economic relationship, foster investment in the next generation of South African entrepreneurs and leaders, advance the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), and increase collaboration on illicit finance issues. He met with government officials as well as business leaders, students, artists, and the next generation of South Africa’s workforce in the Western Cape, Gauteng, and North West provinces.

In remarks to the business community in Johannesburg, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo noted that “South Africa’s greatest resource is the creativity and ingenuity of its people.” To that end, the Deputy Secretary met with a variety of South African business leaders to gain their perspectives on increasing investment in the country and on the continent.

In Cape Town, the Deputy Secretary met with financial executives, investors, and independent entrepreneurs to hear about the challenges and opportunities they face. He also visited Philippi Village, a community hub and business incubator. There, he met artists, creators, and entrepreneurs who have launched micro and small businesses, creative brands, and artistic pursuits in the local community. In Johannesburg, Deputy Secretary toured Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, where over 4 million young South Africans are connected to job and earning opportunity through the mobile platform SA.Youth. He also met with the next generation of talented students at the African Leadership Academy, where he attended the annual Entrepreneurial Festival competition.

South Africa’s prosperity is important to the region and the globe, and the U.S. Treasury wants to be a partner in increasing the dynamism of the South African economy and delivering prosperity to its people. In particular, the transition to clean energy should create jobs and economic opportunity for South Africa, given the global need for so many of the critical minerals that can be found in country.  

Deputy Secretary Adeyemo visited the Sibanye-Stillwater platinum group metals (PGMs) mine in Rustenburg, where he observed the capital investments, workforce development, and infrastructure needed to power responsible sourcing and processing of these minerals. South Africa is home to 89 percent of global PGM reserves; PGMs accounted for 9.7 percent of South Africa’s total exports in 2023, and one quarter of PGM exports went to the United States.

The Deputy Secretary also toured the Cape Town factory location of Ener-G-Africa, a company producing solar panels and affordable, energy-efficient cookware to fill critical gaps for consumers in sub-Saharan Africa.

With government counterparts, the Deputy Secretary discussed ways to deepen economic ties between the two countries, particularly through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and by working with the over 600 American companies with a presence in South Africa. The United States is South Africa’s third-largest trading partner and a major destination for South African investment, and South Africa is the United States’ largest trading partner in Africa. Because of AGOA, over $3 billion of South African exports to the United States entered duty free last year.

The Deputy Secretary’s government meetings included Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana, Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel, South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago, Deputy Minister of Finance David Masondo, and Eskom CEO Dan Marakone and Board Chairman Mteto Nyati. These meetings covered key priorities for unlocking the potential of the South African economy.

Additionally, in meetings at the National Treasury , the Deputy Secretary and other senior U.S. officials participated in two technical gatherings: one focusing on South Africa’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) regime and combatting illicit finance, and one building upon the work of the U.S.-South Africa Task Force on Combating the Financing of Wildlife Trafficking. Participants discussed the importance of strong AML/CFT compliance and combatting corruption to attracting investment.

At the conclusion of his trip, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo noted that the U.S. and South Africa remain intrinsically linked through shared fundamental values and offered support for growing economic opportunities between the two democratic countries.

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Official news published at https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy2191

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