How DBSA plays a role in South Africa’s sustainable infrastructure development

The South African economy has declined in the past few years, resulting in downgrades by credit rating firms. Of course, there are many factors that contribute to the downfall of a country’s economy, such as the high rate of unemployment, lack of appropriate technology and the inadequate access to finance or labour regulations. This also results in low levels of technical and entrepreneurial skills, inequality, and the lack of access to infrastructures such as transportation and school buildings. 

Whether it’s the lack of it or unfinished, poor and damaged infrastructure, it’s a concerning issue that needs urgent actionable remedies. The government seeks collective assistance from both the public and private sectors. And as the Development Bank of Southern Africa, it is our responsibility to carry out and deliver developmental infrastructure in regions that are in need. 

We strive to improve the quality of life for different communities through the development of social infrastructure. We also play a pivotal role in creating a positive impact on economic growth through investing in infrastructure and regional integration. 

Infrastructure is the lifeline of our economy, and a lot of economic development depends on adequate, functioning infrastructure. We have, since inception, engaged in various negotiations to help accelerate the implementation of infrastructure development programmes in sectors such as education, health and housing, as well as assist with various municipal programmes. However, one of our biggest challenges we spearhead is bottleneck funding. 


Our role in infrastructure development in South Africa

Our programmes have thus far facilitated various investment opportunities which have gained successful outputs. This approach has been fully focused on the water, sanitation, electricity, roads, housing, and information and computer technology sectors. 

We have covered infrastructure projects which addressed the capacity and bottleneck constraints in the following areas; bulk water, transportation and logistics, power and energy, telecommunications, and liquid fuels such as oil and gas. We have leveraged multiple investments for social infrastructure projects aimed at addressing backlogs and expediting the delivery of essential social services in communities in need. 

We’ve expanded our investment support to non-municipal infrastructure including bulk water, higher education, student accommodation project funding implementation support for the construction and maintenance of houses, schools and health facilities. We have also provided financing and implementation support to several local municipalities in the water and sanitation electricity roads and housing areas. 

The future of infrastructure development for the growth of the economy 

There are promises that point out to new initiatives which have the potential to make adequate funding available to push infrastructure development forward. The initiative outlines the importance of strengthening the macroeconomic framework to deliver low borrowing costs. It is also set up to open up markets to trade with the rest of the world and to restructure state-owned enterprises as well as to modernise network industries.