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APO International

Cape Town Infrastructure Report Launched at Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium of South Africa (SIDSSA) Masterclass

todayMarch 18, 2024

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Principal Professional Officer for the City of Cape Town Caley Green announced the launch of the city’s 2023 Infrastructure Report at a Masterclass during the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium of South Africa (SIDSSA) on March 17.

Evaluating the city’s bulk infrastructure from the past year, the updated report builds on its predecessors by focusing on infrastructure across five sectors, including energy, solid waste, water and sanitation, human settlements and transport. According to Green, “The report provides an update on the bulk infrastructure pipeline of projects assessed in the first report. This new report addresses areas of greatest need and highest demand.”

The Masterclass was led by South Africa’s Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Sihle Zikalala and a panel of experts who called on investors and role-players to support an infrastructure-led economic recovery plan in South Africa. 

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://SIDSSA.org.za/.

During the Masterclass, speakers provided insight into the challenges and opportunities within the country’s infrastructure sector. With a focus on infrastructure investment planning, the session explored South Africa’s strategy to build state capacity while delivering an aggressive development program and closing the infrastructure investment gap.

“We recognize the importance of this masterclass…” stated Minister Zikalala. “This crucial session marks the beginning of the SIDSSA, which in its third year continues to be a platform to bring together think-tanks like yourselves and critical role-players in the infrastructure investment space.”

The Western Cape government has put a jobs growth and development strategy in place, which is aimed at enabling a R1 trillion economy by 2035. The seven-point plan focuses on short- and medium-term growth based on the need to sustainably enable the economy, drive energy security, ensure access to water and boost resilient investment.

“We must move away from typical thinking around public works within the government space,” stated Director-General for the Western Cape Government Dr. Harry Malila. “We cannot just focus on repairing hospitals and schools; we need to take an economic approach and venture outside of our comfort zone.”

Showcasing South Africa’s plan to develop its local content capacity and advance national development goals, local industrialization, skills development, job creation, youth employment and regional economic integration were highlighted as key areas to ensure the implementation of a resilient infrastructure strategy.

“We aim to implement the objectives of the National Skills Development Plan 2030 to increase the number of people that obtain critical or scarce skills needed, and to build the capacity of the construction sector to be economically sustainable and globally competitive,” stated CEO of the Construction Education and Training Authority, Malusi Shezi.

In response to the country’s strategy to incentivize infrastructure investment, it was noted during the masterclass that South Africa needs to implement a deliberate effort to mitigate capacity constraints and inefficiency to ensure project completion. This was highlighted as a requisite to attain investor confidence and promote localization and private sector participation in the country’s infrastructure sector.

“We have a structural issue in terms of the quantum of infrastructure investment in this country,” stated Development Economist and Senior Lecturer at Stellenbosch University Dr. Nthabiseng Moleko. “We have to shift production towards production sectors. The key priority for that is infrastructure. We have to align investment and enhance the localization of these investments.”

Negligence in infrastructure maintenance has resulted in a lack of confidence in the sector. As such, improved governance, administration and capacity building were highlighted as solutions to addressing infrastructure challenges in South Africa.

“Overall investment has been on a downward trend since 2010 and started picking up in 2022. Despite the overall decline, private sector capital investment continued to grow faster than public sector investment. Yet, much faster growth is needed to expand the economy and reduce unemployment and end poverty,” stated Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency CEO, Mapatane Kgomo.

SIDSSA 2024 is organized by the Investment and Infrastructure Office under the Presidency, in collaboration with the Association of African Exhibition Organizers. The National African Federation for the Building Industry joins as an association partner, while the Development Bank of Southern Africa is the official sponsor of the event. The Masterclass on Sustainable Infrastructure Development is held in collaboration with the National School of Government.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Energy Capital&Power.

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