By Nhlanhla Mnisi, Researcher, Helen Suzman Foundation. 1. A paradox of sorts exists in the South African construction sector, as seen in the collapse of large construction firms, yet there is a housing backlog amounting to around 2.3-million units. The April 2019 water infrastructure data indicate significant provincial infrastructure delivery disparities. It is a big task. Notably, bulk of infrastructure in South Africa is old and collapsing faster than planned and is presently failing to meet increased demand for services. Leaving no one behind: AUNSDG operational guide for UN country Teams. It is therefore necessary that national water infrastructure investments and policies be directed towards prioritising rural provinces and areas to avoid geospatial disparities in infrastructure delivery. Of all the places to start, it’s not the worst. Report number: P0302. Recently, we had an opportunity to review another great World Bank publication entitled Africa’s Infrastructure: A Time for Transformation edited by Vivien Foster and Cecilia Briceño-Garmendia and published in 2010. The distribution of the water infrastructure backlog (with households as the unit of observation) across Water Service Authorities is shown in the Appendix. South Africa is peering over the edge of a fiscal cliff with no easy way down. South Africa currently has a R900 billion water infrastructure backlog. A rural area is an area that is not classified as urban. 39 No. Conversely, failure to embrace the principle will only widen present disparities and lead to greater inequality. “This is the beginning of a process. Countries like South Africa have little choice but to consider innovative approaches to ensure that they eliminate their water infrastructure backlogs (Ruiters ). Nhlanhla Mnisi says since 1994, SA has achieved major reductions in backlogs, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/19901SDG6_SR2018_web_3.pdf, https://www.wsp.org/sites/wsp/files/publications/CSO-SouthAfrica.pdf, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water, https://www.un-ihe.org/stories/why-fetching-water-considered-%E2%80%98woman%E2%80%99s-job%E2%80%99, https://yourstory.com/2016/08/water-cisis-unicef, https://undg.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Interim-Draft-Operational-Guide-on-LNOB-for-UNCTs.pdf, Moral Laws (II): Sex Work – The arguments. One of the major challenges for infrastructure provision is population growth. Water Alternatives. In South Africa, infrastructure investment together with the use of public land and public buildings is a critical lever to achieve spatial and economic justice by connecting our people, integrating our communities and bringing people closer to work opportunities. Where are Asterix and Obelix when you need them? The circles above the 90th percentile whisker represent conditions in the outliers. They were there to talk about infrastructure and, more specifically, how to intensify infrastructure investment in South Africa. UNICEF (2016). Women around the world spend collective 200 million hours a day collecting water . Access to water infrastructure provision across provinces is markedly lower in rural areas than in urban areas. Administration services include infrastructure spending by the Department of International Relations, the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Public Works, Statistics South Africa and their entities 3. However, a rural-urban divide persists. “This expertise will be deployed so that when we go into the symposium, we will have shovel-ready projects to show to the financiers.”. The unintended consequence of this, Ramaphosa said – and the Public Finance Management Act is just one example – is that terrible delays in decision-making occur. 1-10. The distribution is highly skewed. In addition to provincial disparities in infrastructure delivery, the data reveal a further dimension. Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has revealed that South Africa has a backlog of 320,000 driving licence, with demand growing by 90,000 each month. South Africa is facing many challenges to improve infrastructure for economic development and and municipal service delivery. Further, the lack of planning, asset management and the absence of credible project pipeline has resulted in an erosion of confidence by funders and absence of projects, he said. South Africa’s legislation governing infrastructure management compounds the problems. Infrastructure quality is as important as its quantity, although evidence point to lost growth opportunities due to insufficient investment in maintenance of new and existing infrastructure. It was an impressive turnout – about 200 people attended. The meeting followed Ramaphosa’s restatement in this year’s State of the Nation Address that infrastructure development is front and centre of government’s growth and job creation agenda and follows months of behind the scenes work by the Presidency, National Treasury, the Department of Public Enterprises and the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure. “There is a recognition that infrastructure is a catalyst to grow our economy.”, Maintaining positive momentum is a responsibility that falls on the shoulders of Ramokgopa. Water SA. This is … But in South Africa, estimates indicate that the cost of building, upgrading, rehabilitating and expanding the required water, transport, power and township infrastructure approaches and even exceeds R473 billion. Chola L. Michalow, J. Tugendaft A., Hofman, K. (2015). https://www.wsp.org/sites/wsp/files/publications/CSO-SouthAfrica.pdf). Over the past two decades, South Africa’s public infrastructure investments have amounted to about R3 trillion. The Eastern Cape is said to be the worst affected province as it will require over a R120 billion to address water infrastructure and bulk water supply to its total populace. Rural areas may comprise one or more of the following: tribal (or traditional or communal) areas, commercial farms and informal settlements . Of this 27%, 17% constitutes leaks in municipal water systems, and … “This is a picture I’m determined we should correct immediately,” he said. There was a need for greater economic infrastructure investment, while still continuing to address apartheid-era backlogs in housing and social infrastructure. There are many places to start, but tackling the infrastructure backlog as a means to kick-start the economy is one way. L Geere, L., Hunter PR, Jagals, P. (2015). The overall housing backlog is currently in excess of 550,000 across the Western Cape, with more than 300,000 of these in the City of Cape Town. Similar to water infrastructure backlog, access to water infrastructure delivery is highly unequal per province. 1. Funding models for financing water infrastructure in South Africa: Framework and critical analysis of alternatives. This raises the question whether the economy is strong enough to sustain national infrastructure demands and necessary delivery. Known as the Bulk Infrastructure Fund, the fund will go a long way to addressing the ageing water and sanitation infrastructure in the country. This is socio-economic or spatial inequality. In 2014 EE and the EE Law Centre raised a number of concerns with the Department of Basic Education (DBE), relating to the vague … The State of Municipal Infrastructure In South Africa and its Operation and Maintenance Page 6. STATISTICAL RELEASE P0318 General Household Survey 2018. But Chris Campbell, CEO of Consulting Engineers SA, who presumably would be instrumental in plans going forward, is cautiously optimistic. Reducing diarrhoea deaths in South Africa: costs and effects of scaling up essential interventions to prevent and treat diarrhoea in under five children. 6. https://undg.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Interim-Draft-Operational-Guide-on-LNOB-for-UNCTs.pdf. Parallel to all of this, work will begin on revisions to the Infrastructure Bill to ensure that it supports, rather than hinders all of these plans – specifically as it relates to public-private partnerships and the involvement of the private sector. Human settlements includes public housing to households and bulk infrastructure amounting to R57.5 billion over the MTEF period 2. 5. Since 1994, South Africa has achieved major reductions in water backlog with consequent improvement in access to water infrastructure delivery. Priority will also be given to agri-projects as well as those involving human settlement. The current national water infrastructure backlog is 13.01% (Figure.2). It inspires confidence. Water SA Vol. Speaking to ENCA, Mbalula said this backlog … The principle entails that those who are worst off should be reached first . Bio Med. Now we must make this process unfold… not in years to come but now,” he says. This could be through a communal stand pipe located within 200m a dwelling, water in the yard or water inside a dwelling. However, a rural-urban divide persists. To ensure an increase of access to services for South Africans, public infrastructure programmes are being implemented. Despite major overall national improvement, water backlog remains relatively high in predominantly rural provinces. For a province that is battling a huge school infrastructure backlog, severe storms that caused damage at more than 50 schools have dealt the Eastern Cape a … Domestic water carrying and its implications for health: a review and mixed methods pilot study in Limpopo Province, South Africa. https://www.un-ihe.org/stories/why-fetching-water-considered-%E2%80%98woman%E2%80%99s-job%E2%80%99. National Treasury has outlined how R7 billion will be removed from allocations like local government and municipal infrastructure grants among others as the President Cyril Ramaphosa administration seeks to reduce national debt.. African Ministers’ Council of water (AMCOW). “This meeting was unprecedented,” he added. Parastatal companies also undertake infrastructure development in some sectors, while other initiatives include the government’s Expanded Public Works Programme, and public-private partnerships. South Africa is peering over the edge of a fiscal cliff with no easy way down. Since 1994, South Africa has achieved major reductions in water backlog with consequent improvement in access to water infrastructure delivery. For South Africa to conform to this principle, it is imperative that water infrastructure investment should prioritise provinces with high water backlogs, low access to water infrastructure delivery and rural areas in particular. For instance, highly urbanised provinces such as Gauteng (GP) and the Western Cape (WC) have over the past 25 years managed to reduce the water infrastructure backlog to less than 2% of the population. The thick line in the box-plot represents the 3.9 median value (50th percentile of the distribution). That has not happened in the longest of times. The South African roads sector has an infrastructure backlog amounting to almost R200 billion, transport minister Dipuo Peters said at the Hope Ministry Church in Kempton Park on Monday. Africa’s Infrastructure Backlog. 512-540. 7. As the 14th longest in the world, South Africa's rail infrastructure includes an extensive railroad network, connecting its Ports not only with destinations within the country, but also with the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa. 15: 394. 2. http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/wsa.v39i2.16. Removing advertising from your browsing experience is one of them - we don't just block ads, we redesign our pages to look smarter and load faster. THE 2019 WATER INFRASTRUCTURE BACKLOG DATA. Source: Regional data for households (April 2019). Thus, infrastructure provision for rural provinces like of EC, KZN, LP, MP and NW is observed to be lower than that of highly urbanised provinces like GP and WC provinces (Figure 3). Fetching Water in Rural and Urban Areas and the Implications for Water Security. It is some of the most elaborate and complex in the world. The concept entails physical availability of the infrastructure without consideration of the quality or the reliability of the service. This included discussion on the urgent reforms identified by the government as prerequisites for reviving infrastructure investment which has slowed abysmally over the past decade. There are many reasons for this state of affairs, but the haemorrhaging of technical and financial engineering skills from the public sector has certainly contributed to the dire state of public infrastructure. UN (2019). Appendix: Water Infrastructure backlog by Water Service Authority, Box and whisker plotPercentage of households in backlog. A 10-year plan to address the estimated backlog of adequate water to supply 1,4 m households and 2,1 m households to basic sanitation. At its core is the ‘Leave No One Behind’ (LNOB) principle. Ruiters, C. (2013). Infrastructure plays andimportant role in the social and economic development of communities. BM. Statistics South Africa (2019). The LNOB principle and concomitant commitment to it would ensure a more equitable investment in water infrastructure investment and delivery by 2030. Click here to see other benefits and to sign-up to our reader community supporting quality, independent journalism. electricity and telecommunications infrastructure. These include a reduction of R336 million from the school infrastructure backlog grants, R240 million from the National Health Insurance fund and R273 million … Within this context South Africa suffers from a disparate distribution of infrastructure ranging from established and maintained urban and industrial areas such as Gauteng through tothe challenges prevailing in the Eastern Cape. The Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Development Initiative (ASIDI) is one the programmes introduced by government to address this backlog. This school infrastructure law sets out the obligations on the State to fix the crisis in South Africa’s school infrastructure. For South Africa to overcome the current national water infrastructure backlog, it is imperative that infrastructure investment and delivery outpace current and projected national population growth. Figure 3: State of access to water infrastructure delivery per province. Time spent fetching water and fuel reduces the time that can be devoted to generating livelihoods or in remunerated work . The private sector organisations present, which, aside from the banks, included the Consulting Engineers of SA and Business Unity SA, have agreed to help government recreate the capacity that has been lost in terms of technical and financial engineering capacity. However the speed, quality and efficiency of many of these projects, however, has not matched the level of investment, due to project planning at all levels, including for long-term maintenance, proving to be inadequate. The problem is the state does not have the funds, nor the means to do so. It is easy to dismiss this as another of Ramaphosa’s infamous talk shops. The box contains observations between the 25th and the 75th percentile and the whiskers (lines) above and below the box, indicate the 90th and 10th percentiles. The roads sector has been facing many funding and skills challenges which have all contributed to the backlog. Select which newsletters you'd like to receive, Kgosientso Ramokgopa (Photo: Flickr/Open Government Partnership). Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development, adopted by UN member states in September 2015. Statistics South Africa (2013). 11. Table 1: Inherited and recently achieved water infrastructure backlog - population. It is a big task. So it was that on Tuesday President Cyril Ramaphosa brought together a high powered group that included the heads of SA’s four big banks, the heads of multilateral development banks like the World Bank and International Finance Corporation, and DFIs like the German Development Bank and the African Development Bank Group at Tuynhuys, the Cape Town office of the Presidency. “We saw key players in the finance sector coming together under one roof to ensure the government can meet its economic goals.”. Please sign in or register to enable this feature. A Social Approach to Addressing Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Backlog A Case of A Rural Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa Masibulele Fiko, Walter Sisulu University Sanjay Balkara, Walter Sisulu University SA’s R416bn road maintenance backlog Construction of affordable housing will ultimately grind to a halt without infrastructure. Pretoria - The Department of Human Settlements wants R26 million over the next three years to address the country's backlog in water and waste water treatment works infrastructure. Ramaphosa told the assembled gathering that there was considerable work to be done. Access to water infrastructure is defined as the provision of tapped water. The government has courted foreign direct investment to lure investors into areas that need infrastructure, and foreign companies often build, own an… Water infrastructure delivery also varies across provinces. World Health Organization (2019) https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water). Reviving this country’s ailing economy has become the hallmark of the Ramaphosa presidency. 3. Maintaining positive momentum is a responsibility that falls on the shoulders of Ramokgopa. 10. 12. United Nations (2018) Sustainable Development Goal 6 Synthesis Report on Water and Sanitation, page 11, URL: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/19901SDG6_SR2018_web_3.pdf). The network includes 21 000 km of railroads of which 1500 km are designated for heavy haulage and of which a total of 8 200 km has been electrified. Water and sanitation SIP SIP 18: Water and sanitation infrastructure. Women, girls across the world spend 200mm hours daily collecting water. “We have seen a deterioration of some of the most important assets in our country. https://yourstory.com/2016/08/water-cisis-unicef. Since democratic constitutionalism in 1994, the country has achieved improvements in the provision of water infrastructure. While the median value of the backlog is below 5%, 10% of water services authorities have backlogs above 25%. There is no limit to the projects that need financing, but for the time being the focus will be on SA’s network industries – water, energy, ports and rail, roads and internet connectivity. The result has been reduction of the water infrastructure backlog by 27.57% (based on population as a unit of measure) over the past 25 years (Figure 2). Further analysis reveals major provincial water backlog variability. These include Eastern Cape (EC), KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Limpopo (LP), Mpumalanga (MP) and the North West (NW) (Table 1). However, as the 2019 National Education Infrastructure Management System (NEIMS) report shows, this access is unreliable. It is estimated that about 27% of the water which Rand Water sells to municipalities leaks away. BMC Public health. Towns near Fukushima are now being plagued by hordes of rampaging radioactive wild boars. “They will make resources available ahead of the president’s Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium, which is scheduled for May,” said Ramokgopa. All these projects complement the Free Trade Area (FTA) discussions to create a market of 600 million people in South, Central and East Africa. Statistical release: Mid-year population estimates. It is an important victory that almost every school in South Africa has some access to water and electricity supply! The R8.2 billion public-private programme aims to eradicate the 496 mud schools in the country, provide water and sanitation to 1 257 schools and electricity to 878 schools by March 2016. Where infrastructure is not maintained it has a huge impact on the ordinary lives of people – water is an example.”. UNESCO-IHE (2019). Geere J.&Cortobius, M (2017). 9. Water infrastructure delivery also varies across provinces. The meeting resulted in two critical outcomes. It was undertaken by the director’s office of the Department for Sustainable Development in the Africa Region of the World Bank as part of the Africa Infrastructure … The South African government has committed its municipalities to remedying service backlogs by 2014. There is a backlog of sufficient planned new bulk water infrastructure projects in South Africa which could potentially provide increased opportunities for engineering consultants, such as AECOM, to become involved in more infrastructure development, says AECOM water business line director Werner Comrie.
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