Seldom has there been so much agreement on one policy intervention. Infrastructure is front and centre of economic revival policies from the ANC, business, the government and economists on both left and right. The problem is that it is much easier said than done. The fact is that public infrastructure investment has been shrinking and the causes of that cannot be wished away.

There are deep reasons for this, despite some attempts to solve it. The Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission was created a decade ago to follow through on the National Development Plan’s infrastructure vision. Little has come of it. Now we have the Investment and Infrastructure Office in the presidency too, tasked with unblocking a pipeline for the future. There is much hope it will be able to deliver, but it has a long way to go. Its Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium two weeks ago was long on vision but short on detail.

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