DELIVERING ON INFRASTRUCTURE MAINTENANCE FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROWTH: EXPLORATION OF SOUTH AFRICAN INFRASTRUCTURE FOR A SUSTAINED MAINTENANCE STRATEGY
Free (open access)
495 - 506
In South Africa (SA), similar to nations globally, the prevailing tangible link between people and the state is public infrastructure. Infrastructure is an essential enabler for socio-economic growth in communities and ultimately for a country. In this regard, infrastructure, being the backbone of a nation’s prosperity, demands effective maintenance for optimum delivery of much-needed services. Currently, SA infrastructure is in a state of rapid deterioration and is adversely affecting economic growth. A significant quantity of SA infrastructure is on a path of dysfunction and collapse, due to deficiencies in maintenance practices and strategies. From the birth of democracy, the SA government has pursued socio-economic transformation and delivery of basic services to constrict the broadening boundaries of disparity. In this regard, the National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) was prioritized by government, in delivering strategic catalytic infrastructure projects. The NIP was highlighted as a key initiative in unlocking opportunities that generate inclusive economic growth, curb joblessness and poverty, create entrepreneurial opportunities, and mitigate population and urban expansion. Socio-economic transformation benefits from spending on new infrastructure is not being realised as initially anticipated. In this context, SA is currently in a state of weakening economic growth, with further amassed levels of joblessness, unremitting poverty and inequality. Due to investor reluctance, solicitation of strategic infrastructure funding is progressively becoming a debilitating challenge in all government institutions. Exacerbating circumstances further is the substandard functionality of existing infrastructure following compromised maintenance practices. This study of the state of infrastructure is to better understand principal reasons for infrastructure functionality regression. Furthermore, investigations into progressive maintenance strategies is focused upon. Recommendations are made for enhanced maintenance strategies to capitalize on infrastructure maintenance opportunities and important socio-economic growth imperatives.
South Africa, infrastructure, maintenance, socio-economic, strategies