Building a resilient economy

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, says the second Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium of South Africa (SIDSSA21) is intended to contribute to industrialisation and job creation as envisaged in the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

“The interventions identified will boost demand and ensure effective coordination of all infrastructure players and it will also formalise systematic engagements of all the role players. It is envisaged that these interventions will contribute to building a resilient economy by accelerating the delivery of infrastructure,” the Minister said on Wednesday.

He was addressing a media briefing on SIDSSA21 where he unpacked the thematic focus areas of the symposium and, by extension, the 2021 infrastructure pipeline.

“The SIDSSA21 is focused on three focal areas as they have critical relevance to our country and to sustainable infrastructure delivery, namely development, which relates to development and delivery of infrastructure and the development of our people through infrastructure delivery,” the Minister said.

The symposium will also focus on the recovery of the economy through infrastructure delivery as well inclusive growth, which relates to redressing spatial imbalances between urban and rural areas through infrastructure delivery programmes.

“The entire population should be included in the benefits associated with the infrastructure investment and subsequent gross fixed capital formation,” he said.

Since SIDSSA20, government has embarked on visits to all nine provinces to ensure that the infrastructure pipeline of the country includes all the provincial infrastructure priorities as well.

“Our plans today will speak of the key progress and success areas, which further boosted the funding and investment case for the projects. One of these projects was South Africa’s emergence as a global exporter of green energy with major investment support from Sasol and Anglo American giving boost to the country’s green hydrogen projects.”

Water infrastructure projects with the potential of achieving savings in excess of R400 billion and massive job creation possibilites are also set to benefit from the infrastructure initiative.

“Transport programmes like the N2 Wild Coast development, which brings development, and job opportunities are also involved.

“The programme also covers 18 long-standing strategic integrated projects focusing on social and economic infrastructure to assess progress and apply remedies where necessary to fast-track their implementation,” Gungubele said.

Areas the symposium will tackle are on increasing infrastructure funding in the face of low economic growth, limited private sector participation and constraints on public borrowing as well as the role of investment attraction and retention strategies, regulatory reforms and critical skills.

Digital enablement also features on the agenda and delegates will take a look at the socio-political factors that impact on infrastructure provision and maintenance.

The two-day symposium is organised by the Investment and Infrastructure Office in the Presidency.

It is taking place under the theme: “Quality infrastructure for development, recovery and inclusive growth”.

The Minister said the symposium is preceded by a series of targeted engagements aimed at soliciting important feedback from financing institutions on potential projects for showcasing at the symposium on funding in the short to medium term.

“The sessions are also able to give an indication of projects that will still need project preparation,” he said. –