July 27, 2018 / 11:38 AM / 2 months ago

Chinese investors plan $10 bln metallurgical complex in South Africa

* South Africa’s Ramaphosa on investment drive

* Xi made state visit ahead of BRICS summit

* Project to produce alloys including stainless steel

By Alexander Winning

JOHANNESBURG, July 27 (Reuters) - Chinese investors signed agreements to build a $10 billion metallurgical complex in South Africa during President Xi Jinping’s state visit this week and hope to start construction next year, an executive involved in the project and a provincial official told Reuters.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said at a joint news conference with Xi on Tuesday that China had committed to invest $14.7 billion in the South African economy, but neither leader mentioned the $10 billion complex.

Ramaphosa is on a mission to kick-start economic growth after a decade of stagnation and is targeting $100 billion in new investment over five years.

The complex, which is still in the planning stage and envisages building a stainless steel plant, a ferrochrome plant and a silicomanganese plant, is a much-needed vote of confidence in the sputtering South African economy.

Editing by James Macharia and Jason Neely

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