Wednesday, 06 October 2021

Sandton: Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, has unveiled 55 new projects with some 538 500 estimated employment opportunities at the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa (SIDSSA).

Speaking at the symposium held on Wednesday, the Minister said she was presenting the second round of 55 projects for SIDSSA 2021 to raise funding to get these projects into construction.

“The 55 new projects being presented to the market are from various sectors valued at around R595 billion with a funding gap of around R441 billion.

“One of the projects I am very proud being presented this year is the private sector Maitland Metro Precinct Development in Cape Town which is already in construction with the first units expected to be completed in November this year,” de Lille said.

The Minister said that during her visit at the site of this integrated, affordable, well-located human settlements development a few weeks ago, she realised that the teams are moving fast to get the project completed and bring affordable housing to gap the market in Cape Town.

The private sector project will see around 1 200 new residential units being developed for the rental, social housing and FLISP market targeting low to middle income earners.

Progress since last SIDSSA

De Lille said that over the past 15 months good progress has been made with a greater impetus on infrastructure development since the 2020 SIDSSA.

On 23 June 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa held the inaugural SIDSSA where 62 projects were pitched to the market.

These projects form the Infrastructure Investment Plan which was approved by Cabinet in May 2020.

“The projects were pitched to the market at last year’s SIDSSA where we were able to raise R340 billion in funding commitments from the private sector which helped to take the pressure off the struggling fiscus,” de Lille said.

The past year also saw the establishment of Infrastructure South Africa (ISA) headed by Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa as the single entry point for all infrastructure projects in the country.

ISA is the administrative arm responsible for monitoring and tracking the implementation of the projects in the Infrastructure Investment Plan, raising funding and assisting with project preparation to ensure that projects carry less risk upfront.

De Lille said that following SIDSSA last year, they have also operationalised the R100 billion Infrastructure Fund with R10 billion committed from government over a ten-year period as a blended financing instrument to crowd in additional private sector finance to grow the country’s infrastructure programme.

“We have established various governance structures including the Investment Infrastructure Committee which approves the pipeline of projects that lend themselves to blended finance,” she said.

The Infrastructure Fund manages a pipeline of more than R80 billion rand, providing the seed funding for these projects and crowding in investors through blended finance innovative approaches.

To date, the infrastructure investment committee has approved a number of projects that will be funded through the infrastructure fund.

De Lille has called on government and the private sector to work closer together to disrupt the old way of doing things.

“We need to quickly address policy reforms, raise the necessary funding to get infrastructure delivery done right for the sake of our economy and our people who not only need infrastructure in their daily lives but desperately need jobs,” she said.

The symposium will continue tomorrow under the theme: “Quality infrastructure for development, recovery and inclusive growth”.