Infrastructure Dialogues 2014

Localisation: Driving Industrialisation through the National Infrastructure Plan:

Localisation, the topic of the 30th Infrastructure Dialogue, is a topical focal point of various high-level discussions on infrastructure development in South Africa. The subject is currently debated by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), with this engagement involving all government departments responsible for infrastructure in the country. The dti too submitted a proposal to fast-track local procurement while National Treasury recently hosted a workshop on the topic.


This Infrastructure Dialogue brought together a panel of speakers from government, the Industrial Development Corporation and the Black Business Council. These experts provided critical insight into, and unpacked the challenges and opportunities associated with driving industrialisation and localisation through infrastructure development.



Financing Public Infrastructure:

The question surrounding how South Africa, a country engaged in a trillion Rand infrastructure programme, will fund and finance its public infrastructure build programme given the state of the economy, unemployment and fiscal capacity, was debated from an original perspective at this Infrastructure Dialogue. Potential solutions to the big picture problem, as well as new challenges came to the fore through a focus on a case study around financing student accommodation. This case study depicts the full spectrum of bases needing to be dealt with in a financing public infrastructure in the South African context. It represents economy of scale, requires public funds 2 and has an active infrastructure mechanism. Based on this, issues of funding responsibility, ability and allocation together with the critical question surrounding affordability were put on the table.


The Dialogue took the format of a plenary discussion, which began with brief introductions from four panel members, setting the scene and leading the dialogue. Geci Karuri-Sebina, Executive Manager at South African Cities Network opened the Dialogue with a word of welcome and introduced Richard Goode of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) as the facilitator of the session.