Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

GAUTENG will need R1.6-trillion to develop infrastructure over the next 15 years but the development can only happen with investment from both the private and public sectors of the province.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura called on the more than 1,000 delegates at Gallagher Estate on Thursday to maintain a strong relationship with each other and invest in infrastructure for the province.

He said municipalities and the provincial government cannot afford to raise the money alone, “so a partnership with the private sector is no longer a luxury”.

Mr Makhura who was speaking at the inaugural Gauteng Infrastructure Investment Conference, added that the province would require R105m per annum, to adequately meet it’s goals.

Having sufficient infrastructure could help the province increase its per capita growth rate by 2% each year.

This would also go a long way in decreasing unemployment which is a problem not only faced in Gauteng but in South Africa as a whole.

In the morning, Minister of Economic Development and Environmental Agriculture and Rural Developement Infrastructure Lebogang Maile, kicked off the conference by explaining Gauteng’s importance for South Africa.

He said finding creative mechanisms to fund infrastructure in Gauteng is very important because the province contributes 34% of the SA’s gross domestic product.

The conference was organised as part of the government’s initiative to strengthen the relationship it has with the private sector.

Speaking before Mr Makhura, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, also touched on the importance of a “constant and targeted” effort between the public and private sectors to ensure the economic success of the province.

Mr Radebe said “Gauteng remains SA’s economic heartland” and approximately 24% of South Africans live in the province.

But that level of dominance, “brings with it a challenge to continue to grow”.

The minister reiterated a recommendation by the National Development Plan, which said that there should be an increase in investment in public transport.

“We need to search for every bit of innovation and make the necessary investments to increase the province’s productivity,” he said.