Gigaba: We need better rail infrastructure and cheaper electricity

Malusi Gigaba . Exploring all options. IMAGE:TREVOR SAMSON
Malusi Gigaba . Exploring all options. IMAGE:TREVOR SAMSON

Rail and electricity capacity are key sectors earmarked for infrastructure development by government‚ Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Thursday.

Gigaba told the publication that southern Africa lost about 2% of annual GDP growth due to a lack of infrastructure capacity‚ and that investment in these key areas would benefit business and allow for greater economic growth.

“We need to continue improving our rail capacity and reduce the tariff and administrative costs for electricity‚ ports and rail‚ so that we can ensure greater uptake by business‚ including small enterprises and emerging black businesses‚” Gigaba said.

He was speaking at the first African Round Table on Infrastructure Governance in Cape Town‚ where over 100 delegates from across the continent and other key global institutions‚ such as the World Bank‚ met to discuss infrastructure development on the continent.

“We need sustainable and affordable low-cost electricity capacity‚ and moving forward we need to expedite our broadband connectivity‚ so that we can make it easy for small businesses and township businesses to do business‚” Gigaba said.

The conference was being hosted by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and aimed to offer insights‚ new ideas‚ and solution-focused tools that help improve the governance of public investment in order to deliver essential services and goods‚ “with direct and indirect benefits for the economy and society as a whole”.

In Sub-Saharan Africa only 35% of the population had access to electricity‚ and access to modern transport declined in the region over the past 20 years. Less than 25% of the population still lacks access to safe water.

DBSA President Patrick Dlamini believed that the figures masked a fundamental need that could be met through good governance.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.