There is a huge gap between talk and reality on infrastructure. The Ramaphosa presidency has persistently advocated for greater infrastructure investment. Yet gross fixed capital formation, particularly by the public sector, has remained on a firm downward trend that has been entrenched since 2016.

In the first quarter of 2018, when the president took office, general government investment was R33.6bn. Yet in the third quarter of 2021, it was R25.5bn, 24% lower. Investment by state-owned enterprises has similarly fallen, from R25.5bn to R18.1bn (-29%, all in 2015 constant prices) in the same period...

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