Local foreign direct investment (FDI) flows reached the US5.9 billion mark in 2011, boosted by American and Chinese investments, according to a UN report on Thursday.
The World Investment Report 2012 was prepared by the United Nations Trade and Development (UNTAD) and was presented to local journalists by the Industrial Development Corporation.
This was a sharp increase compared to 2010, when the country attracted just US1.2 billion in FDI, and the second highest number in Africa after Nigeria.
South Africa's FDI flows in 2011 represented 13.6 percent of Africa's total for last year.
Investment last year had been boosted by three large investments, said Jorge Maia, the IDC head of research.
US retail group Walmart had bought a 51 percent stake in Massmart for US2.4 billion.
China's Jinchuan Group bought base metals company Meterex for US1.3 billion and delisted the company.
Finally, the Chinese Investment Corporation had bought 25 percent of diversified group Shanduka.for R2 billion.
"With the exception of South Africa, Africa's leading recipients of FDI in 2011 were oil and/or gas producers," said Maia, at the report launch.
The report was compiled by the United Nations Trade and Development (UNTAD). The IDC presented the report to local journalists earlier in the day.
Ghana, Congo (Brazzaville) and Algeria rounded out the top five investment destinations.
Maia noted that FDI continued to flow to oil-rich Angola, but divestment and profit repatriations rendered the investment flows negative for this country.
FDI flows into Africa fell for the third consecutive year to reach US42.7 billion in 2011, from US43.1 billion in 2010.
This was largely due to a contraction in investment flows to North Africa, as a result of instability in Egypt and Libya.
This region had traditionally accounted for a third of investments in Africa.
However, FDI flows to sub-Saharan Africa jumped to US36.9 billion in 2011, from US29.5 billion previously.
"The rebound in FDI to South Africa contributed substantially to this recovery," said Maia.
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