South Africa’s infrastructure programme is a key pillar of the President’s economic recovery plan but no significant government-led infrastructure project has been initiated since 2018. In October 2021, CDE convened a workshop with leading people from the financial sector and the senior government officials to identify ways to accelerate progress.
The private sector is willing and able to participate in well-designed, state-led infrastructure projects, but there are no projects coming to market
Government talks about the arrival of scores of projects. It would be far better to decide on four to five projects to kickstart investment and partnership. These projects must appeal to private investors, which means risk-related returns on capital for depositors, shareholders, pensioners and policy holders.
There is an enormous focus on projects developed by the state, but considerable infrastructure could be built by the private sector if critical policy changes were made
Construction “mafias” are a big hurdle preventing increased private sector investment. These groups demand significant portions of project contracts, and if thwarted resort to violence and intimidation. They are criminals who deserve the full force of the law if we want to encourage investment.