South Africa has long been the most attractive destination for FDI in Africa, according to data from greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets. But as Africa develops, companies are increasingly targeting the country as a gateway to other countries on the continent.

South Africa attracted a total of 94 FDI projects in 2010 and capital investment in projects for the first half of 2011 is already 60% of the 2010 total.

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This number looks set to increase following the acquisition of two major local companies by foreign corporations. Turkey-based Arçelik has parted with $324m to purchase Durban-based Defy Appliances and its three major production sites in the country, while US-based Walmart invested $2.3bn for a controlling stake in Massmart, one of South Africa’s leading retailers. Massmart operates stores in 12 countries in Africa and will give Walmart the coverage they need to develop in the African market.