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Article by: Megan Wait
Published: 23 May 2012
|Public−private partnerships form part of infrastructure plans – Gigaba|
Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Wednesday that private−public partnerships and public−public partnerships would form part of government’s infrastructure investment plans.
Speaking at fourth Tshwane International Trade and Infrastructure Investment Conference, in Pretoria, he said that government would spend R3.2-trillion on 17 strategic integrated projects (Sips).
“We are looking into establishing an infrastructure fund, but we will need public−private partnerships, as well as public−public partnerships, with institutes such as the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Industrial Development Corporation. We need to unlock the balance sheet of the private sector,” Gigaba said.
He highlighted transport, energy, water, social infrastructure and other economic infrastructure as some of the most important projects.
“One of the biggest challenges on the African continent is that there is a lack of transport infrastructure development, which also does not allow intra-African trade. Most of the rail infrastructure on the continent moves from the mining centres to the ports, which addresses itself to the historic patterns of colonial economic relations, where the continent was merely the producer and supplier of raw commodities.
“In the process, we became the labour of the world, the supplier of raw commodities of the world, and we only related with these primary commodities when we bought them back as beneficiated products. But we have moved past this and are now looking at expanding our infrastructure projects,” he said.
President Jacob Zuma announced the 17 Sips earlier this year.
Also speaking at the event, City of Tshwane executive mayor Kgosientso Ramakgopa said that Pretoria was the next great hub of development for South Africa.
“The city is growing at an exponential rate and we have committed to create 375 000 jobs by 2015.
“We have devised an agenda to progress the city’s social and economic development, which is based on seven pillars of service delivery, including to amplify the provision of municipal services and infrastructure; to accelerate economic growth, job creation and social development; to strengthen participatory democracy; to build sustainable communities with clean, healthy and safe environments, as well as integrated social services; to promote sound governance; to ensure financial sustainability; and to intensify organizational development and transformation.
Ramakgopa also promised that the city would provide greater transparency so as to attract more investors. “We will put our money where our mouths are,” he quipped.