PPPs welcome in South Africa economic plan

Increased private investment in energy, transportation and water is a key component of the country's economic reform plan through 2030.

The South African National Planning Commission released its blueprint for economic reform in the country through 2030, a scheme that hinges on public-private partnerships (PPPs) for renovations across energy, transportation and water resources.

The commission, led by Trevor Manuel, Minister in the Presidency for National Planning, seeks to abolish poverty and quell inequality there in less than two decades, an aggressive plan for a nation with an unemployment rate of 25 percent and roots in apartheid. 

The commission's proposal is an outline for infrastructure reform across the energy, water and transportation sectors. In order for development to occur, the commission is calling on the industry to lean harder on PPPs to right a wavering policy ship that under-prioritised infrastructure spending.

Even with the involvement of private capital, the reconstruction of South Africa’s infrastructure will be no easy task. According to the report “infrastructure is poorly located, under-maintained and insufficient to foster higher growth” as is.

The commission is calling on the government to shape public policy in such a way that unblocks private investment and paves the way for higher capital inflows to occur.  One of the hopes is that the involvement of private investors will breed transparency and disclosure, which would then in turn attract greater sums of capital to the region. 

According to research firm Research and Markets, South Africa's infrastructure programme calls for an investment of $116 billion in capital.