Pretoria – National Treasury has budgeted R987.4bn for infrastructure over the next three years, with investments set to be made in energy, transport and telecommunications.
This is according to Treasury’s medium-term budget, which outlined how government plans to prioritise infrastructure investment to ease bottlenecks and boost growth.
“Continued investment in energy, transport and telecommunications will boost internal and external trade efficiency. Efforts to expand co-investment with the private sector, alongside a series of other NDP (National Development Plan) reforms ... will build confidence and encourage job creation,” said Treasury in its mini budget statement.
Infrastructure projects to receive boosted investment range from a R26bn upgrade in telecommunications infrastructure to a gas-to-power programme that will procure 3 726MW.
The focus on infrastructure investment comes amid a downward revision of South Africa’s growth estimate; National Treasury has revised South Africa’s growth forecast for 2016 from 0.9% to 0.5% as part its medium-term budget statement.
And infrastructure is just one of the areas holding the country back, said Treasury.
“The main obstacles to economic activity are found within the domestic economy,” it said.
“They include infrastructure bottlenecks, low levels of competition in certain markets, a volatile labour relations environment, regulatory constraints and red tape, inefficiencies in state-owned enterprises, and uncertainties in the policy environment."