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22
Oct

Featured Interview Nathaniel Munetsi

Head-Structured Finance, Gauteng Infrastructure Finance Agency

What key projects are currently in the market?
Before responding to the question, I have to give some background about the role that GIFA plays. GIFA was established as a Provincial Government Entity of the Gauteng Provincial Government, its mandate is to accelerate delivery of key infrastructure projects through project development (including feasibility, procurement all the way to financial close) and structured finance. GIFA plays a facilitator (project preparation) role on behalf of Provincial Departments and Municipalities within GPG. Most of the projects are delivered through alternative financing mechanisms such as PPPs, where private sector comes to provide technical solutions attached with financial solutions. Hence, it is imperative for the projects to be sufficiently de-risked in order to attract private sector interest.

Resultantly, GIFA has this far established a pipeline of close to 26 projects, which are all at different stages on the project development cycle. Below is the list of the pipeline.

Projects in Financial Close

  • Cogen Project (Pilot phase)
  • Rooftop Solar PV (Phase I)
  • Enterprise Buildings II and III
  • Jewellery Manufacturing Precinct

Projects in the market (and coming to market before March 2018)

  • Tshwane Agro Processing Hub (already in market)
  • Kopanong Precinct
  • Schools Programme
  • Johannesburg Alternative Waste Treatment Technology / Waste to Energy
  • Ekurhuleni Alternative Waste Treatment Technology
  • Tshwane Alternative Waste Treatment Technology
  • Sedibeng/West Rand (Waste Water Treatment Works/ Energy
  • Lindley Waste Water Treatment Works

The remainder of the projects are currently in the feasibility phase. For more details on these projects, kindly visit the GIFA website: www.gifa.co.za

What are you hoping to gain out of attending the Africa PPP Conference and Showcase?

Gain more insight on available alternative financing mechanisms, where they have worked and the practicality of implementing such mechanisms on South African projects.

Has there been an increase in interest in Public Private Partnerships in the South African context?

With the shrinking fiscal space across all levels of government (national, provincial and local), there is a greater need to look for alternative financing mechanisms for infrastructure development and PPPs are one of the mechanisms being considered. What we have seem as GIFA is that the majority of our projects are coming in as PPPs, which is an indication of the interest there is to explore PPPs as a financing mechanism. From the procurement processes (and road shows) that we have had so far there has been interest and appetite from the private sector and financial world to support GPG’s projects, which is a positive sign to the interest on PPPs.

What do you think South Africa, or more specifically Gauteng,  needs to do to contribute to closing the infrastructure gap?

As noted above, the duty of closing the infrastructure gap cannot be left solely to government – it’s impossible given limited public resources. Partnerships in whatever form, are the best way forward in closing the infrastructure gap. However, prior to the partnership there has to comfort and confidence on both sides on the viability of such partnerships. In my view governments or the public sector should invest in the following;

  • Underwriting the procurement process to make sure that it gives comfort to the private sector, making sure issues of transparency, fairness and equity are addressed – this already exists in South Africa and the market has confidence in the PPP process.
  • The public sector has to mobilise more resources to unblock bottlenecks, for instance in upstream project development. This would give the private sector more confidence and increase interest in downstream partnership opportunities.
  • Acceleration of the approval process of PPPs would increase the interest of the private sector

What will GIFA try to achieve going into 2018?

GIFA is looking forward to concluding financial closure for some the project.

 

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