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South Africa Debuts Plan for $133 Billion Infrastructure Project

Proposed projects could create more than 1.8 million jobs and have received support from the World Bank and AFDB.

South Africa just like many other African countries including Nigeria are faced with an Infrastructure deficit leading to inadequate power supply, inadequate and in some cases lack of water supply from the government.

The COVID-19 may have exposed the decay of health infrastructure across Africa as the whole world zoomed into the health sector. In some countries such as Nigeria this led to health infrastructure fund.

In South Africa,  Ramaphosa previously announced a 500 billion-rand package to boost the economy, but has changed cause stating that it won't be enough to boost the economy.

In an unprecedented move, South Africa’s government unveiled a plan to raise 2.3 trillion rand ($133 billion) in a new infrastructure investment over the next decade that could create more than 1.8 million jobs and revive an economy damaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at the launch at Pretoria, President Cyril Ramphosa said

"Gross domestic product is expected to contract at least 7% this year and the advent of the disease has made the need for the investment all the more urgent" It’s won backing from development finance institutions and ground needs to be broken as soon as possible, he said.
“We have placed infrastructure at the center of the stimulus our economy needs to achieve a sustainable recovery,” Ramaphosa said. “In the long run, infrastructure investment increases the capacity of the economy, reducing the cost of transport and the capacity and reliability of key services like electricity and municipal services.”

Projects under consideration include:

  • 71 housing projects with a projected investment value of 1.4 trillion rand that could create 370,000 jobs
  • 25 energy projects that could generate 270 billion rand in investment and support 260,000 jobs
  • 33 agriculture projects worth 28.5 billion rand that could create an 93,300 jobs
  • 65 transport projects worth 294 billion rand that could support 298,000 jobs
  • 42 water and sanitation projects, with a projected investment value of 170 billion rand that could create 96,000 jobs.
  • Seven digital infrastructure project, which could generate 108 billion rand’s worth of investment and support 707,000 jobs.

African governments must rethink programs and policies to prioritize programs that can shore up the economy following the COVID-19 crisis.