Fin24

No quick money in infrastructure - Nene

2012-08-21 13:44

Johannesburg - Private investment in infrastructure should not be viewed as a quick way to make money, Deputy Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Tuesday.

"Infrastructure development should not be seen as any easy way to make money out of government," he told the Banking Association's summit in Johannesburg.

Instead this investment should be considered a long-term investment that would provide steady returns.

He said the private sector also needed to take on risk when investing in public projects.

"While private sector investment is vital, we must always ensure the risks and benefits are shared fairly between the private and public sectors," he said.

Nene called on the banking sector to lend its skills to infrastructure development as the South African public sector was short of the skills necessary to handle large projects.

"Many of these skills exist in the banking sector. We should not let these skills go to waste."

South Africa is embarking on a massive infrastructure roll-out, having earmarked R3.2 trillion in projects between now and 2030. Government needs help to raise this funding.

The state-led infrastructure plan was announced by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation address in February.

It lists 17 projects across energy, transport and logistics infrastructure, schools, hospitals and nursing colleges.

Nene is a member of the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission.


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