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    Tuesday, March 19, 2024

    R233 Billion Project Pipeline in Construction, Says SA Deputy President at SIDSSA Dinner

    Speakers during the SIDSSA 2024 Stakeholder Dinner emphasized government accountability, private sector opportunity and a future-oriented approach to infrastructure development.

    Paul Mashatile, Deputy President, South Africa

    South Africa’s Deputy President Paul Mashatile announced that the country currently has R233 billion worth of infrastructure projects currently in construction, with R170 billion worth in the procurement phase and R10 billion completed. Speaking during the Stakeholder Dinner at the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium of South Africa (SIDSSA) on March 18, Deputy President Mashatile underscored the significant opportunities on offer for the private sector in the infrastructure space.

    With government seeking to close the infrastructure investment gap, mobilizing private-led investment has emerged as a top priority. The Deputy President highlighted that through platforms such as SIDSSA, government can connect private investors to strategic projects, ensuring development leads to job creation, industrialization and long-term economic growth.

    “The activities of the symposium today have set the tone for government accountability, as shown during the media briefing this afternoon as well as through collaboration and partnerships, and through the memorandum of understanding signed between government and private sector partners. Most importantly, this symposium sets the tone for collaboration and cooperation in the continent,” stated Deputy President Mashatile.

    Taking place on March 17-19 at the Century City Conference Center, SIDSSA brings together key stakeholders in South Africa and across the continent with the aim of driving infrastructure development. SIDSSA 2024 serves as a crucial platform for discussions and partnerships in the infrastructure investment landscape, with a focus on accelerating economic activity through strategic infrastructure plans. Energy Capital & Power – the leading investment platform for the African energy sector – is a media partner for this important platform. For more information, visit https://SIDSAA.org.za.

    Uniting regional government, global partners and private investors, SIDSSA 2024 brings together critical role-players in the infrastructure investment space, who are galvanized around a key goal of accelerating an infrastructure-led economic recovery plan. The event serves as a springboard for collaboration in Africa.

    According to Sihle Zikalala, South Africa’s Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, “We have gathered here from all over the world to learn from each other on what we can do better to unleash a continental wide infrastructure development. We have often said Africa must be connected from Cape to Cairo, and we believe that we should lead the way to connect Africa.”  

    To bolster infrastructure development, significant levels of capital are required – both in South Africa and regionally. Institutions such as the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) offer the finance needed to get large-scale projects off the ground.

    The project pipeline, according to Zodwa Mbele, Group Executive: Chief Financial Officer at the DBSA, “was also dependent on institutions like the DBSA who were expected to provide and unveil the pipeline to the potential investors. It's very important that we get [projects] off ground and make sure that the infrastructure is developed because we also know that infrastructure is a [catalyst] for economic development.”

    As such, South Africa’s infrastructure development will largely center around public-private collaboration. John Humphrey, the UK’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, explained that “partnership and collaboration sit at the heart of the UK approach to infrastructure globally, and that's why we're here today, to support the South African Government's National Infrastructure Plan and the priorities outlined in President Ramaphosa's recent address to the nation, including job creation, economic growth, solving the energy crisis, and improving public services.”

    Closing off the evening, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Bernice Swarts underscored that, “Getting construction projects off the ground to build social and economic infrastructure is fundamental in building the Africa we want, improving services and creating jobs.”

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