NBF CEO, Peter Varndell on alignment of purpose between government and business in relation to infrastructure projects in South Africa

As part of the South African Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, 276 projects (valued at more than R2.3 trillion) were identified at the President’s inaugural Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa. Following on from this, the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission Council has gazetted ±60 Strategic Integrated Projects.

In response, the NBF and long-term co-hosting partner Nedbank, organised a virtual Nedbank-NBF Networking Forum themed, ‘Public-Private Engagement to Facilitate a More Structured and Enduring Relationship with the Private Sector in Support of the Infrastructure South Africa (ISA) Initiative.’

The event, which was hosted on Tuesday, 4 May 2021 featured high profile speakers, Honourable Patricia de Lille, Minister of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure and Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa, Head of Investment and Infrastructure Office and ISA in the Office of the Presidency.

NBF CEO, Peter Varndell set the scene, outlining key focus areas of consideration inn relation to infrastructure projects in South Africa. His presentation focused on:

  1. Private sector support in developing ISA’s internal capacity to bring the requisite skills into government and ensure delivery of this critical programme.
  2. Ensuring appropriate planning, governance and accountability mechanisms are in place that include business champions in the decision-making processes.
  3. Sensitisation of infrastructure procurement frameworks that enable public-private partnerships and unlock new funding mechanisms for major infrastructure investment.
  4. Private sector support for building ISA’s capacity to prepare and package projects.

ISA has been created as a single-entry point for all the projects in the country’s Infrastructure Investment Plan. ISA will be responsible for the exploration of government utilisation of the country’s substantial immovable asset register. As such, both government and the private sector have a vested interest in the execution of the ISA initiative. Its success will hinge on collaborative efforts to unblock and unlocking funding as well as the creation of a conducive environment for infrastructure investment.

During the meeting, senior-level business executives participated with an intent to share current efforts being taken by the private sector to participate in ISA activities as well as provide a potential public-private partnership model to adopt for government and business collaboration on ISA activities.

To access Peter Varndell’s full speech from the event, kindly click the link below:

Speech Peter Varndell ISA event

Private sector presentation on a possible model for public-private partnerships (local example – SWPN model):

SWPN Overview

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