The South African government’s commitment to strengthen infrastructure has been welcomed by many industry watchers, who believe that the country’s lack of quality infrastructure creates various challenges for local businesses and economic growth.
“Infrastructure is one of the key factors investors look at when considering South Africa as a destination, and can greatly assist local business to grow beyond borders,” DHL Express managing director Hennie Heymans said.
“Improved infrastructure should also lead to shorter transit times, and a more efficient supply chain leads to a more efficient and thus productive economy,” he added.
In terms of local business, Heymans said improved road infrastructure will result in less wear and tear on vehicles, and in addition, better railway infrastructure will result in less heavy weights transported on roads.
“This will not only make our roads safer, but also ensure that they remain in a better condition for longer,” he explained. “It is a well known fact that overloading is a major issue in South Africa, a factor that puts enormous pressure on our road infrastructure.”
Furthermore, Heymans said these challenges are hindering investment into the continent, as infrastructure and competitiveness are key factors which influence investment, and are right up there with issues such as corruption, labour stability and land ownership.
Finally, he said the government’s commitment to improve infrastructure will not only encourage direct foreign investment, but also improve South Africa’s rankings when it comes to the ease of doing trade across borders.
Photo: South Africa’s railways is one of the most outdated and deteriorated in the world. Credit: Siemens.com