SA under pressure to invest trillions in infrastructure development
South Africa needs to invest $464 billion (R6 trillion) by 2040 in the water and electricity sectors to plug its infrastructure investment gap and address economic and population growth between now and 2040.
This was revealed in a G20 Global Infrastructure Hub (GI Hub) report‚ covering infrastructure investment needs globally and individually for 50 countries and seven sectors.
This means that the country has to fast-track its efforts to create a conducive environment to attract investment‚ otherwise it will not be able to meet its United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Between now and 2040‚ the country’s Gross Domestic Product is predicted to increase by 40% as its population increases by only 16%.
“Without a doubt the government is not doing enough (to ensure the country meets its infrastructure investment goals) … a very clear and simple example‚ is what is happening at Eskom and that has a negative impact on economic activity in South Africa‚” said Roodt.
Meanwhile it remains to be seen whether South Africa will meet the SDGs of providing universal access to drinking water and electricity by 2030 as entities tasked to ensure government reaches its target have been fingered in corruption scandals.
Two weeks ago the Sunday Times reported how the power utility had only enough cash to last for the next three months – but still wanted to bonuses to be paid to axed CEO Brian Molefe and suspended acting chief executive Matshela Koko.
Eskom has been at the centre of the Gupta leaks that have exposed how the controversial Gupta family and its associates have exercised their influence over the power utility and ensured that its businesses were awarded multiple lucrative tenders worth hundreds of millions.
GI Hub chief executive Chris Heathcote said: “Outlook is a comprehensive and detailed analysis of infrastructure investment need.
“It tells us three key things‚ how much each country needs to spend on infrastructure to 2040‚ where that need is for each infrastructure sector‚ and what their gap is‚ based on their current spending trends.’’ Roodt said the government did not necessarily have to invest more in infrastructure but had to bring the private sector on board.