There has been a pullback in funding infrastructural projects in South Africa and the continent at large, this is according to Mohan Vivekanandan, General Executive for Strategy, Development Bank of Southern Africa.
Infrastructure in Africa and globally is used to stimulate growth, development and employment creation.
The current harsh economic climate facing many African countries has hampered investment in infrastructure projects as most governments are having challenges dealing with fiscal deficits.
Dependency on the under strain commodities is one reason economies have taken a knock and seen a reduced investment in this space.
“When countries are struggling, infrastructure is one of the areas that get to be affected first,” Vivekanandan said.
Vivekanandan added that, China that has been successful with infrastructural investment, has largely been benefiting from state-driven effort, calling for collaborative efforts between the state and private sector.
He also said there was need to learn from the success South Africa had experienced in areas such as the inclusion of the IPPs in the energy generation. He added these successes could be replicated in other sectors.
“In South Africa for example, in the telecoms infrastructure has been private sector driven, the same with renewable energy where the country saw over 200 billion rand of private sector investment,” said Vivekanandan.
“There is need for a solid and capable government to act as an offtake, in South Africa’s energy space for example, Eskom has acted as an offtake.”