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INFRASTRUCTURE: Unlocking Private Sector Investment in Water & Sanitation

 





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“Massive flooding on Wednesday in Gauteng is directly-linked to significant under-investment in water and sanitation infrastructure” says Dr, Mao Amis, Executive Director, of African Centre of Green Economy, a green policy think tank. The African Centre for a Green Economy is a Think Tank and innovation hub supporting the transition to a new/green economy in Africa.

He adds that considering the devastating events, linked to the flooding, both the government and the private sector need to shift up a gear in water infrastructure investment in South Africa.

As more rain is expected in Gauteng after the heavy downpour on Wednesday, questions are being asked about poor investment in infrastructure, including stormwater drainage systems, which may have contributed to the disaster.

Water, a strategic resource, poses significant risks to the economy if not well-managed. All evidence indicates that, water and its related infrastructure, is chronically under-funded in South Africa. Some of the top 10 JSE-listed companies reported water-related financial impacts valued at R841 million in 2015, and this figure is projected to increase in the future.

In addition to the impact on business, there is a backlog of more than 2 million households with no access to basic water and sanitation in South Africa.

Innovative financing mechanisms are needed to catalyze investments, as government does not have all the resources required to close the estimated R670 billion funding gap for the next decade.

To this end, the Water Research Commission (WRC) in partnership with the African Centre for a Green Economy (AfriCGE) will be convening a Strategic Dialogue to explore ways to craft innovative financing solutions geared at unlocking private sector investment for water and sanitation.

The gathering, scheduled for Tuesday, 15 November at Melrose Arch, will enable key industry stakeholders to share perspectives on how to address the important challenge of financing water and sanitation.


 
 
 
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