28/07/2017 16:55 SAST | Updated 28/07/2017 16:56 SAST

South Africa Need R6 Trillion In Water & Electricity To Address Population Growth


South Africa needs to commit $464 billion (R6 trillion) by 2040 in the water and electricity sectors to meet its infrastructure investment gap and to address economic population growth from now till 2040.

During this time, the country's Gross Domestic Product is predicted to increase by 40% as its population increases by only 16%.

The startling figures are stated in a G20's Global Infrastructure Hub (GI Hub) report, covering infrastructure investment needs globally and individually for 50 countries and seven sectors.

According to the study titled, Global Infrastructure Outlook, the cost of providing infrastructure to support global economic growth would be $97 trillion and points out that $18 trillion almost 19% will be unfunded if current spending trends continue.

The report released this week warns that this is not a major challenge for emerging countries that need to create new infrastructure, but also for advanced countries that have ageing systems that need to be replaced.

Increasing the budget significantly for the next coming years to meet the demands of an accelerating population, however, is a tall order for South Africa as the country is going through a tough economic climate and a so called political crisis.

While the government have emphasized on the importance of infrastructure investment and allocate hundreds of millions of rands to power utility Eskom and transport group Transnet, corruption scandals are threatening to paralyse to two entities.

Also threatening to derail governments efforts to close infrastructure investment shortfall is the department of water affairs as City Press reported in February that this department was nearly R43 billion bankrupt.

The Chief Executive Officer, GI Hub, Chris Heathcote, said: "Outlook is a comprehensive and detailed analysis of infrastructure investment need. It gives the new country and sector spending data that governments and funding organisations have been calling for.

"It tells us three key things, how much each country needs to spend on infrastructure to 2040, where that need is for each infrastructure sector, and what their gap is, based on their current spending trends.''

Already, meeting the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for electricity and clean water provision globally, which is part of the infrastructure needs, will require $3.5 trillion more than is currently needed to close the gaps.

The ultimate achievement of the SDGs is reliant on the provision of quality infrastructure, the study notes. On the current trends, investment will fall substantially short of meetings SDGs for water and electricity by 2030.