President Cyril Ramaphosa met on Tuesday with Chief Executive Officers of commercial banks and leaders of development finance institutions to assess progress in efforts to intensify infrastructure investment.
In his address to the meeting, held at Tuynhuys in Cape Town, Ramaphosa said infrastructure played a significant role in a country’s economic welfare.
During his state of the nation address last Thursday, Ramaphosa reiterated that infrastructure development was at the centre of government’s inclusive growth and job creation agenda.
“This meeting is extraordinary in that it brings together, for the first time, government, financiers – including multilateral development banks and development finance institutions – organised business and infrastructure-oriented industry players under one roof to discuss public sector infrastructure in a meaningful way,” he said.
“I have previously described infrastructural investment as a critical driver of future growth in an economy that has been stuck in a low-growth trajectory for the past ten years.”
He said multilateral development banks, development finance institutions (DFIs) and the private sector all have a critical role in financing infrastructure.
“The rapid deterioration of municipal water infrastructure such as waste water treatment works and water treatment plants undermines the economy and threatens access to basic services,” he told the meeting.
Ramaphosa said addressing barriers to infrastructure investment is critical to achieve the required growth.
“Firstly, the creation of technical and financial engineering capacity. Secondly, we need to develop a detailed Infrastructure Investment Plan. Thirdly, we need to initiate policy and regulatory reforms,” he said.
Ramaphosa also said the recently-established Investment and Infrastructure Office in the Presidency will spearhead the revision exercise with a view to ensuring better coordination and alignment and positioning the Presidency as the strategic centre for investment and infrastructure in the country.