South Africa is set to commit US $7bn over the next decade towards towards the building and operation of key infrastructure assets in the country.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, confirmed the reports and said the fund has been dubbed as “a central pillar of the Budget and of reprioritisation” which aims at bringing in the private sector and the development finance institutions.
“In several instances, the private sector will be responsible for the design, build and operation. Projects based on rural roads and water would be prioritised,” said the Finance Minister.
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The Minister also highlighted four key areas of focus for better infrastructure which include; to create a sensible project pipeline, focus on streamlining the law to make it easier to build, better information while the fourth being “to actually build”.
During 2019/20, US $45m was allocated to the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the Government Technical Advisory Centre and the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission to strengthen project preparation in this context and on a sped-up basis.
Management of the grant system
So far, government is working on a wastewater treatment facility works in the Vaal river area, a solar water geyser programme and student accommodation. The local government infrastructure grant system had been reviewed and reforms are being implemented to consolidate a number of grants, differentiate better between urban and rural challenges, as well as to use grants to renew infrastructure and provide incentives to improve asset management and maintenance.
Additionally, the national management of the grant system would also be strengthened, which would involve the clarification of the roles of national departments, thereby improving oversight and advisory capacity, and streamlining reporting requirements.
The government also intends to draw on private-sector funding and expertise to help solve public infrastructure challenges, particularly at municipal level.