Partnerships are key for infrastructure development

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Partnerships between government and the private sector are imperative for infrastructure development, says Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) Minister Sihle Zikalala.

Speaking at a breakaway session on infrastructure at the fifth South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC) currently underway at the Sandton Convention Centre, Zikalala emphasised the importance of partnerships in the development of infrastructure.

“We are in discussion with the National Treasury with regard to the issue of private sector accessing funding,” he said, while also stressing the need to have a discussion to unpack the financing models.

This as the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) is considering hosting a summit with the private sector and relevant stakeholders to discuss infrastructure and financing.

“We need to explore other avenues with the private sector in as far as financing is concerned,” he said on Thursday.

Following Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s Budget Speech earlier this year, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure welcomed the increase in investment for infrastructure projects especially the Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) which were gazetted in July 2020, in line with the Infrastructure Development Act of 2014.

At the time, Godongwana said infrastructure investments lay the foundation for inclusive and sustainable growth and that they address supply-side constraints and expand access to basic services while adding that the public sector is projected to spend R903 billion on infrastructure over the medium-term.

The largest portion of this, around R448 billion, will be spent by state-owned companies, public entities and through public-private partnerships.

In June 2020, Cabinet approved the Infrastructure Investment Plan, a credible pipeline of 62 projects from all three spheres of government, state-owned entities and the private sector.

A number of these projects have been completed and many other projects are in construction and procurement phases.

Delivering the keynote address at the 5th South Africa Investment Conference this morning, President Cyril Ramaphosa said to date, approximately R460 billion of capital has been invested in building new factories, purchasing equipment, constructing roads, sinking mine shafts and rolling out broadband infrastructure.

In 2018, President Ramaphosa announced a target to raise R1.2 trillion in investment over a five-year period. At the conference being held at the Sandton Convention Centre, it was announced that the country had reached the targeted R1.2 trillion worth of investments.

Since 2020, the department has visited many of the SIPs to monitor progress on the work done on the projects.

The department will continue visiting more strategic projects which has been completed in KwaZulu-Natal where a number of bridges have been installed for communities in need since last year. –