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Follow the discussion on Summit TV (DStv channel 412)
June 21 at 8.20pm; June 22 at 8.30am and 9.30pm
There are lively debates springing up all about South Africa, driven mostly by single issues and aimed at influencing public opinion. The Business Day Dialogues series is much broader in scope than these current debates, and aims to influence policy as well as the man and woman in the street.

Each Dialogue consists of an in-depth, two-hour panel discussion with expert speakers on a specific topic, hosted by Peter Bruce, editor of Business Day. The discussion is streamed live over the internet and recorded on video. A print supplement is then published, along with an online special report, that includes a transcript of the discussion, video clips and reports on the debate and related topics written by Business Day journalists. The debate is also broadcast on Summit TV.


The government has announced large capital infrastructure investments worth more than R1-trillion in the next decade — some estimates top R3,2-trillion over the next 20 years or so. The Cabinet has launched the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission, whose responsibility is to oversee the 20-year infrastructure pipeline and integrate national, provincial and local government to drive development and growth.

The commission has identified 150 strategic integrated projects (SIPs) that seek to advance rail, road, port, dams, energy transmission and electricity distribution, communications and broadband, as well as schools and hospitals. For example, state-owned companies are expected to play a crucial role, with Transnet’s seven-year plan backed by a R300bn investment whereas Eskom is driving a R440bn power infrastructure build programme.

South Africa should use these programmes to expand the economy, build local manufacturing and supplier industries, and develop new enterprises along with critical skills among engineers, artisans, technicians and technologists. Critically, it also needs to create much-needed jobs, to help close crippling inequality and poverty gaps. However, capital-intensive investment projects are challenging and don’t always bear the desired fruits. In environments with rapidly shifting market dynamics, these investments are even more challenging.

On Tuesday, June 12, a Business Day Dialogue featured a range of CEOs and top officials from parastatals and other companies discussing the key challenges of infrastructure development in South Africa.

Who influenced the debate?

Commissioner on National Planning Commission in the Presidency
MD, Accenture South Africa's Resources Industry Group
CEO, Aveng
Partner, Brunswick; Business Day columnist
CE, Accenture Southern Africa
Group executive, development planning, Development Bank of Southern Africa
Finance director, Eskom Holdings
CEO, Industrial Development Corporation
General secretary, Black Business Council


Quest for common ground in infrastructure spending

Much detail needs to be fleshed out over South Africa’s proposed multitrillion-rand infrastructure programme

Planning and co-ordination key to SA's new infrastructure

How will South Africa pull off 17 strategic investment projects, made up of 645 district projects in various stages of planning?

Substantial scope for private sector in infrastructure plans

Potential for private sector involvement in financing, building and maintenance expected to be huge

Administered prices threaten SA infrastructure build

Prices of electricity, steel and fuel - major inputs in the infrastructure projects - have been rising above inflation

Infrastructure build: balancing the partnership equation

Public-private partnerships need to be refashioned in the face of the government's new infrastructure drive

SA's infrastructure wish-list has to be pared for success

R3,2-trillion list is still subject to feasibility studies, sequencing and financial planning

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Background reading

Zuma outlines infrastructure plans

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma on Wednesday outlined the structure of the presidential infrastructure co-ordination committee, describing it as an "important tool" for government's ambitious build programme.

Zuma does not rule out politically linked infrastructure tender bids

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has refused to rule out companies linked to the investment arms of political parties from participating in or bidding for tenders in South Africa's massive infrastructure build programme.

Transnet able to fund 70% of planned infrastructure drive

TRANSNET would be able to fund 70% of its planned capital investment over the next seven years from operating cashflows, the parastatal's acting chief financial officer Anoj Singh said on Tuesday.

State bid to speed up infrastructure

SHORT-term planning and political uncertainty could slow down its R800bn infrastructure spending plan, the government admits.

RON DERBY: Infrastructure spending a hostage to party cliques

WHEN the African National Congress (ANC) recalled Thabo Mbeki in 2008, the development of several projects was frozen by the new powers in the party's headquarters.

EDITORIAL: Infrastructure not a silver bullet

SO MUCH is now riding on state infrastructure spending as the solution to everything from SA's chronic unemployment problem to ending endemic poverty and easing the skills shortage that it is going to come as a shock to many in the government that there is no silver bullet for unemployment.

New infrastructure plan aims to transform SA's cities

A NEW infrastructure programme to transform South Africa's cities was officially launched on Friday.

Patel scores PR points for state's infrastructure schemes

NOT CAST IN STONE: The business case must be developed for the  government's infrastructure projects, says minister. THE TIMES

ECONOMIC Development Minister Ebrahim Patel put the government's ambitious infrastructure programme on show last week at a conference on infrastructure and development hosted by his department.

Infrastructure lagging - Motlanthe

THE pace of infrastructure development is lagging behind what the country needs, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Friday.

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