Gauteng is seeking ways to work with private sector financial bodies to find money for infrastructure projects, says finance MEC Mandla Nkomfe
“The key issue is how the provincial government and the financial services sector could work together to make the Global City Region a globally competitive one,” he told a financial services summit in Johannesburg.
He wanted this region, which includes Johannesburg, Pretoria and Ekurhuleni, to compare with the best financial centres in the world, such as London, New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
It was not necessary to debate which sector — public or private — delivered more effectively, but rather to look at how public-private partnerships could work together to make their nation a winner.
Although Gauteng was South Africa’s wealthiest province, it had a massive infrastructure backlog for historical reasons and due to the large influx of immigrants.
“It is thus faced with major infrastructural pressures leading to demands for new schools, hospitals, roads, electricity, water and sewerage, recreation facilities,” he said.
The private sector was holding huge capital reserves so the key was how provincial government could create the right environment to attract some of this capital to finance projects.
Litha Nyhonya, chairman of Regiments Capital, a sponsor of the summit, said South Africa had around R1.5 trillion available in savings and pension funds.
Of this, about R525 billion was estimated to be in Gauteng.
The summit would look at how government and the financial sector could find new and creative ways to work together to develop infrastructure.
Nkomfe emphasised this would not be another talk shop.
“Let’s ensure that whatever we decide here today it’s something we can implement,” he said.
Gauteng’s infrastructure budget for 2012/13 is R30.19 billion.
Participants in the one-day summit include provincial government, development finance institutions, banks and pension fund managers.