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IPW: South Africa to boost private sector engagement, while the UK and Singapore collaborate on aviation

18 April 2023

In this week’s Infrastructure Policy Watch, South Africa highlights value of private sector partnerships, and a UK-Singapore collaboration boost.

IPW: South Africa to boost private sector engagement, while the UK and Singapore collaborate on aviation
A bilateral Singapore-UK agreement will see both countries collaborate towards more innovative, sustainable air travel. Image credit: Shutterstock

South Africa’s minister of public works and infrastructure emphasises the value of partnerships in infrastructure development

Sihle Zikalala, South Africa’s public works and infrastructure (DPWI) minister, has encouraged partnerships between government and the private sector.

The South African government is currently “in discussion with the National Treasury with regard to the issue of private sector accessing funding”, he said at the fifth South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC).

To complement this, DPWI is contemplating a summit with the private sector and relevant stakeholders to unpack different financing models.

This comes following Enoch Godongwana’s 2023-24 budget speech earlier this year, during which the finance minister emphasised the importance of investing in infrastructure.

As infrastructure investments “lay the foundation for inclusive and sustainable growth; address supply-side constraints; and expand access to basic services”, the South African government aims to develop its portfolio of infrastructure projects.

To achieve this, it needs to leverage private sector resources to strengthen state capacity to amplify infrastructure delivery.

Over the medium term, the public sector is projected to spend R903 billion on infrastructure.

Like many other countries, South Africa is attempting to attract more private sector investment to accelerate its infrastructure development. The greatest challenge in this is creating an interactive space for private sector stakeholders and senior government officials to boost collaboration.

The ICE’s view

The ICE’s view: The challenge of establishing a strong relationship between government and the private sector is recognised by the ICE-led Enabling Better Infrastructure (EBI) programme.

EBI provides advice on creating a robust enabling environment for national infrastructure planning. It encourages governments to focus on developing a framework for the use of private-public partnerships (PPPs).

The South African government should continue to prioritise strengthening its connections with the private sector to achieve its investment aims.

Singapore and the UK will collaborate to prepare the aviation sector for the future

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA) are set to step up collaboration in five key areas:

  • aviation safety
  • sustainability
  • training
  • innovation
  • horizon scanning to “better position their respective aviation sectors for the future as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic”

This plan evolved from the second Singapore-UK Bilateral Aviation Steering Committee, co-chaired by CAAS director general Han Kok Juan and UK CAA chief executive officer Richard Moriarty, on 27 March 2023.

To further advance sustainable aviation, the organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding that will make air travel more sustainable in both countries.

On innovation, the two government bodies have agreed to “share experience and information on the use of technology, innovation, and research and development to redesign airport processes to enhance productivity and user experience”.

The ICE's view

International collaboration and knowledge sharing have the power to reveal new ways of working.

The ICE is exploring this concept through its EBI project, which held the first ‘Country Talk’ of its new webinar series in February 2023.

This highlighted the principle of learning from others and demonstrated how Hong Kong’s national infrastructure strategy aligns with EBI guidance.

  • Adina Nembhardt, EBI programme researcher at ICE