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Private sector infrastructure aid needed

May 24 2012 11:04 I-Net Bridge

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Johannesburg - SA needs to find innovative ways to encourage private sector participation in infrastructure development in order to increase the level of private sector investment in the local economy, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba says.

Government has identified R3.2 trillion for 17 key infrastructure programmes around the country.

He said that while some of the money was available for this infrastructure roll-out programme, much still needed to be funded.

"The government has identified various funding models including the possibility of an infrastructure fund, public-private partnerships, public-public partnerships, and other models in order to unlock the balance sheet of the private sector," he said.

Gigaba noted that in July, President Jacob Zuma was due to host an infrastructure conference outlying government's plans to get buy-in from the private sector, as well as identifying areas for public-private participation.

Lack of infrastructure has often been indicated by leaders as the one of the key challenges to intra-Africa trade. Intra-Africa trade is said to be at a mere 12%.

The continent was in dire need of further investment, Gigaba said, particularly within transport and energy infrastructure.

"However, it is crucial that we also change Africa's relationship with the world as a producer and supplier of commodities towards a new position where we also add value and participate in value-added trade," he said.

Gigaba said it was not viable to simply invest R3.2 trillion in establishing the road, rail and energy infrastructure that was needed, without also ensuring the development of related jobs and skills via the rollout of such programmes.

malusi gigaba  |  sa economy  |  infrastructure


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