Huge investment in infrastructure projects for the energy, water, transport, information and communications technology (ICT), agriculture and housing sectors will be at the heart of South Africa’s economic recovery plan following the Covid 19 pandemic.
Cyril Ramaphosa spoke on Tuesday at South Africa’s first Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium (SIDSSA).
More than 600 government, private sector representatives, as well as local and international development banks and financiers attended the symposium, which was partly physical and partly online.
Ramaphosa said, among other things, the SIDSSA program, led by Dr. Kgosientso Ramokgopa, head of investments and infrastructure in the presidency, has assessed about 276 infrastructure projects for their sustainability over the past five months.
Financing has already been obtained for some, but according to Ramaphosa more money is still needed for others.
The projects will be funded by commercial, mixed and state funding.
“The SIDSSA process has prioritized key network industries for investments, especially for energy, water, transport and ICT.
“We decided to include agriculture because of its job creation capacity. The agricultural processing opportunities it provides can lead to the renewal of rural economies.
Integrated human settlements are another focus area.
According to Ramaphosa, proposals from private developers for sustainable and resilient infrastructure projects will also be further encouraged.
He says countries worldwide are now looking at infrastructure as one of the key sectors to stimulate their economic recovery.
“Infrastructure investments provide economic benefits in the short and long term. In the short term, it creates jobs and economic activity such as roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, power stations and many others that are being built. ”
According to Ramaphosa, the government must also invest in infrastructure to enable construction companies in particular to speed up job creation. This will also stabilize and restore government finances.
The government, in turn, will also put in place the necessary policies and policy security to improve economic recovery.
Ramaphosa said transformation would also be a priority for the SIDSSA program to ensure that previously disadvantaged people form part of the entire value chain for the projects.
Corruption will also be eradicated.