S.Africa transport system needs $29 billion: minister
South Africa needs to invest about 200 billion rands ($29 billion, 20 billion euros) to modernise its ageing transport infrastructure to compete in international markets, a minister said Monday.
Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele told delegates attending an investor conference that the government alone could not fund the entire needs of the transport sector.
He emphasised that it was important to find a new private investments in order to completely modernise the country's transport system so that the economy is able to be internationally competitive.
"Our government has invested in the development and maintenance of transport infrastructure to the extent possible within available budgets and the competing social demands within our country. However, the lack of investments into our sector pre-1994 has created huge backlogs," Ndebele said.
He said his department had identified 11 "key strategic" investment areas focussing mainly on rail and road infrastructure.
This includes plans by the Passenger Rail Agency of SA to invest 97 billion rands ($14 billion, 10 billion euros) in new trains over 18 years to improve the country's rail system.
Ndebele said historical under-investment, coupled with poor maintenance, outdated systems and a lack of integration had impacted negatively on the country's transport network.
© 2011 AFP