DBSA’s social infrastructure sector’s mandate includes the funding of projects and transactions in the education sector.
DBSA’s social infrastructure sector’s mandate includes the funding of projects and transactions in the education sector; these include those which are both private – and public sector led. These are projects under the regulation of the Departments of - Basic Education (DBE) as well as Higher Education and Training (DHET). While the Departments remain the custodian of the provision of Education Services in the country, the DBSA seeks to collaborate in solving pressing issues confronting the Departments. DBSA through its various Divisions has identified a number of infrastructure capacitation and funding engagements which comprised of:
- DHET’s SHIPMO
- DBSA’s ASIDI Programme
- DBSA’s SAFE Programme
Funding opportunities exist for both public and private sector led projects and transactions in the following areas:
- on and off-campus student housing
- funding for the construction of primary and secondary school as well as institutions of higher learning
- online learning platforms
One of the identified issues in the Education sector was the lack of available student housing in the higher education sector. As such, DBSA convened private and public stakeholders to find a solution for the identified 500,000 bed backlog in the country. Major institutions and private sectors collaborations were held and DBSA developed a financing structure that resulted in the development of the Student Housing Infrastructure Programme (SHIP).
Student Housing Infrastructure Programme
The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has prioritised the acceleration of the rollout of much needed student housing infrastructure in the public higher education sector. Students, particularly those attending previously disadvantaged institutions are living in poor and unsafe conditions located in dismal parts of downtown metropolitan areas, informal settlements or areas that are a great distance from their campuses. Some on-campus residences are overcrowded and dilapidated. These conditions hamper students’ ability to succeed academically, which has far reaching economic consequences.
The objective of the Student Housing Infrastructure Programme (SHIP) is to address the acute backlog of student housing across the South African higher education section through the following initiatives:
- support and implement a funding model
- catalyse private sector investment into the sector
- standardise the procurement method and building standards of student housing infrastructure, to lower transaction and building costs
The 4th Industrial Revolution has paved the way for further investments in this sector. In particular, The Department of Basic Education (“BE”) and the Higher Education Departments (“DHET”) have set themselves ambitious targets in line with the 4IR in improving ICT infrastructure and relying thereon as a teaching and assessment aid.
The department is expected to continue to focus on improving school infrastructure. With the identification that Early childhood Development significantly contributes to improved education capability and economic benefits in the future. However, the lack of implementation capacity at the majority of the institutions has resulted in some delayed roll-out of capital infrastructure projects. Along with the Infrastructure Delivery Division (IDD) DBSA, seeks to facilitate the roll out of schools and facilitate maintenance of the ECD centre and schools across the country.