Ramaphosa, the infrastructure backlog is so large that SA requires private sector assistance.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has stated that even if the government spends all of its resources on infrastructure development, the backlog is so large that it will take billions of rands and decades to complete without private sector participation.

On Thursday morning, Ramaphosa delivered the keynote address at the 2021 Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium for South Africa (SIDSSA).He informed those present that the government was increasing infrastructure expenditure as a “flywheel” for South Africa’s economic revival. For a decade, South Africa’s economy has been bogged down by slow growth, persistent unemployment, the impact of last year’s ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, and the blows from July’s upheaval.

Ramaphosa has announced actions to address the latter two concerns, including financial resources for enterprises and assistance to households. However, in recent years, his State of the Nation Address has emphasised the government’s ambitions to invest in infrastructure.

Ramaphosa reminded delegates that the government was expediting the establishment of the National Water Resource Infrastructure Agency as well as the assessment of the Raw Water Pricing Strategy in order to ensure effective pricing and cost-effective tariffs.

“Another key thematic focus area of SIDSSA 21 is to bridge urban-rural divide through infrastructure. With a rural population of around 18 million, it is vital that we increase fixed capital investment in rural areas,” said Ramaphosa.

Story By: Norvisi Mawunyegah