Municipalities everywhere are always faced with the need to develop in order to provide those that live in it a better life. There is a need, however, for various investors and stakeholders to invest in these projects, and DBSA is one of the banks that is passionate about the betterment of municipalities. In this article, we will take a look at how DBSA helps in the development of municipal infrastructure, the benefits of having these developments and how various stakeholders can also lend a helping hand.
Infrastructure Development And Why It Is Important
In order to benefit the industrial sector of the economy, which is viewed as an engine of economic growth, a well-industrialised economy is required to have enough infrastructure. Many regions in Africa face challenges with their infrastructure development because a lot of buildings are either outdated, completely torn to pieces or aren’t sustainable. This puts the lives of many in danger and threatens the economies of these regions. To invest in infrastructure development means to want to see Africa’s regions become more advanced in order to compete on the global scale as well as become developed countries themselves. Great and sustainable infrastructure also ripples into:
- Creating accessible water facilities
- Better working roads
- Health and justice facilities
- Sustainable livelihoods through agriculture
- Giving the environment a greener transition
Countries that have sustainable infrastructure are proof that not only is it possible, but it is also important to manage climate change and give people a better state of living.
As a development bank, DBSA creates comprehensive infrastructure plans and municipal assessments during the planning stage. It offers advice on infrastructure planning as well. Our customers are middle-class, under-resourced municipalities in South Africa. The following elements are included in project preparation:
- Project identification
- Feasibility analyses
- Technical help
- Financial structuring
- Project preparation funding and being the lead arranger.
The services offered by DBSA include debt, mezzanine financing, restricted non-recourse loan, vanilla and boutique financing alternatives. Municipalities, SOEs (State-owned Enterprises), PPPs (Public-Private Partnerships), and the private sector are clientele in South Africa. In the rest of Africa, clients include SOEs, PPPs, sovereign governments, and private businesses.
The Need For More Stakeholder Involvement
While DBSA is doing the work to bring African countries to a developed state, there is a lot of work that needs to be done. While municipal grants play a role in helping out, it is often a time-consuming process to get the grant approved, and some municipalities need to be developed as soon as possible. Investors looking to create a better economy for African regions can look into creating municipal infrastructure planning and financing to help the municipalities in need. If there is more money and resources being poured into creating better municipalities, it becomes more likely that those municipalities will, in turn, have sustainable economies, and the chances of the people living there having better lives are elevated.
Want To Get Involved? Consider Collaborations
If you want to work to better a community or municipality, you have to be open to working with various stakeholders, as well as the people in those municipalities. The last thing you want as a stakeholder is to bombard a municipality with changes. In African countries, it is common for people to respond to changes in a negative way by either protesting or demolishing these buildings, and as an investor, you understand how expensive and dangerous that can be.
Accountability Has To Be There
DBSA’s success may be based on our competence, but the fact that we have people ensuring that the projects we are investing in come to fruition is what sets us ahead of the curve. It is important to have audits and check-ins with the people who are responsible for the infrastructure development of the municipality you are working with. This helps you reach deadlines as well as curb exploitation, fund mismanagement, and any illegal activities, and doing this can be as easy as finding an audit firm to work with from the get-go.
From the planning stage to execution, municipal infrastructure development is a ‘hands on deck’ type of project that you need to fully commit to. Your work will help many people gain a better life. We know this because of our collaborations and projects and because we care about the lives of disadvantaged people. We all can lend a hand.