Almost a quarter of South Africa’s R340 billion worth of strategic infrastructure projects have been delayed or put on hold.

This is according to Standard Bank Group.

The South African Government adopted a National Infrastructure Plan in 2012. With the plan, the government aims to transform the economic landscape while simultaneously creating significant numbers of new jobs, and strengthening the delivery of basic services. The plan also supports the integration of African economies.

These investments would improve access to South African healthcare facilities, schools, water, sanitation, housing and electrification. Investment in the construction of ports, roads, railway systems, electricity plants, hospitals, schools and dams would contribute to faster economic growth.

The government announced 62 energy, water, sanitation and other projects, known as SIPs. While eight have been completed and 40 are underway, 14 are behind schedule, the bank said in a May 25 report that monitors their progress.

The SIPs cover social and economic infrastructure across the country and have 5 core functions:

  1. to unblock opportunities
  2. transform the economic landscape
  3. create new jobs
  4. strengthen the delivery of basic services
  5. integration of African economies
The SIPs comprise 5 geographically focused SIPs, 3 spatial SIPs, 3 energy SIPs, 3 social infrastructure SIPs, 2 knowledge SIPs, 1 regional integration SIP, and 1 water and sanitation SIP.

The rollout of one project – a plan worth billions of dollars to build 2 000 megawatts of new power generation as quickly as possible – has been held up by court cases and state-owned Eskom, the report said.

The delay comes as South Africa heads for a record year of disruptive power outages because the utility is unable to meet demand. 

Other SIPs have been put on hold due to funding gaps, according to the bank. Similarly, a R4 billion initiative for The South African National Space Agency to develop a Space Infrastructure Hub has made no progress, it said.

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