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Gauteng explores funding models

May 17 2012 16:05 Sapa

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Johannesburg - Gauteng is seeking ways to work with private sector financial bodies to find money for infrastructure projects, finance MEC Mandla Nkomfe said on Thursday.

"The key issue is how the provincial government and the financial services sector could work together to make the Global City Region a globally competitive one," he told a financial services summit in Johannesburg.

He wanted this region, which includes Johannesburg, Pretoria and Ekurhuleni, to compare with the best financial centres in the world, such as London, New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

It was not necessary to debate which sector - public or private - delivered more effectively, but rather to look at how public-private partnerships could work together to make their nation a winner.

Although Gauteng is South Africa's wealthiest province, it has a massive infrastructure backlog for historical reasons and due to the large influx of immigrants.

"It is thus faced with major infrastructural pressures leading to demands for new schools, hospitals, roads, electricity, water and sewerage, recreation facilities," he said.

The private sector is holding huge capital reserves, so the key is how provincial government could create the right environment to attract some of this capital to finance projects.

Litha Nyhonya, chairperson of Regiments Capital, a sponsor of the summit, said South Africa has around R1.5 trillion available in savings and pension funds.

Of this, about R525bn is estimated to be in Gauteng.

The summit would look at how government and the financial sector could find new and creative ways to work together to develop infrastructure.

Nkomfe emphasised this would not be another talk shop.

"Let's ensure that whatever we decide here today it's something we can implement," he said.

Gauteng's infrastructure budget for 2012/13 is R30.19bn.

Participants in the one-day summit include provincial government, development finance institutions, banks and pension fund managers.

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