JOHANNESBURG: As South Africa’s growth is projected to shrink by almost 8 per cent in 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government was prioritizing economic reform and mass investments in infrastructure.
“Over the next four years we hope to unlock 1 trillion rand (62.4 billion USD) in infrastructure investment,” said the President at the Infrastructure South Africa Project Preparation Roundtable and Marketplace on Tuesday.
He said his government was ready to rebuild the economy and welcome new investment after the pandemic’s devastation, Xinhua reported.
“Key priority intervention is promoting aggressive infrastructure investment and supporting its delivery, the pandemic severely disrupted economic activity,” he noted.
Ramaphosa said the infrastructure investment would focus on different areas ranging from large scale building projects to maintaining existing infrastructure.
“Throughout, our focus is on catalysing job creation and ensuring that local businesses benefit,” he said.
The President said that multilateral development banks and other commercial institutions have expressed interest in infrastructure development.
“Each of these areas is vital to the rejuvenation of our economy, reducing the cost of doing business and improving the country’s competitiveness,” he added.
Jannie Rossouw, head of School of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, said “these infrastructure projects could have a positive impact on the economy in the next coming years especially if the private sector is allowed to fully participate.”
He added that the projects must be bankable and profitable especially for the private sector.