SA’s R2.3trn infrastructure plan to kick-start employment growth

By Antony Sguazzin

(Bloomberg) — South Africa’s presidency has designated the country’s priority infrastructure projects, paving the way for the beginning of private investment in a 2.3 trillion rand ($138 billion) program over the next decade.

The Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission Council issued a list of projects ranging from key water supply and irrigation developments to energy, roads, housing and fish-farming plans.

While to date most infrastructure has been funded by the state, the country is now saddled with debt and the coronavirus outbreak has limited the amount of money available for investment. The government is now seeking funds from development finance institutions, mulitilateral institutions and private pension funds.

The announcement is a first step in getting the drive, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa last month, going. In total 276 projects have been earmarked for potential investment.

Still, many of the projects have been planned for years and are fraught with problems.

“The gazetting of the list is welcome but seems to lack any detail at all and we still await a policy statement,” said Peter Attard Montalto, the head of capital markets research at Intellidex. It’s unclear how they can be invested in, he said.

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