The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (https://www.AfDB.org/en) has approved South Africa’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP) 2023-2028. The Bank’s interventions over the next five years will focus on two priority areas: improving governance and developing the private sector in southern Africa’s largest and most populated country.
The CSP 2023-2028 aims to support the South African government’s efforts to tackle its structural challenges, promote industrialization and establish a faster, more inclusive growth trajectory to reduce poverty for the long term. Its indicative operational program for 2023-2028, amounts to a total of $1,54 billion, comprising six sovereign operations totaling $887 million and seven non-sovereign operations totaling $654 million. The sovereign operations selectively support four focal sectors, relatively large projects aimed at delivering transformation at scale and impact.
In the first priority area, the African Development Bank will support efforts to improve economic governance and boost private investment to promote inclusive growth and create decent jobs. This will help broaden access to the main social and economic services, improve skills and employability, and increase resilience to external and climate shocks.
The Bank will also contribute to strengthening the governance framework to create favourable conditions for implementing infrastructure projects. Its support will help to reduce costs and contribute to the success of the private sector by helping the country to address regulatory barriers.
Among the expected outcomes are a reduction in the budget deficit of 4.2% of gross domestic product in 2022-2023 to 3 percent in 2027-2028. Energy production by the private sector should increase from 100 megawatts in 2023 to over a gigawatt in 2028, and 700 new small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should have access to funding, including at least 210 owned by women and 70 by young people, by 2028.
In the second priority area – developing the private sector – the African Development Bank aims to improve access to high-quality infrastructure, boost productivity and strengthen competition to promote growth driven by the private sector and job creation through transformative projects. The Bank’s interventions will focus on the energy, transport, water and sanitation sectors, as improving these kinds of infrastructure will contribute to reducing the cost of economic activity, increasing productivity and strengthening South Africa’s competitiveness at all levels. These interventions will also enable women to access basic services and economic opportunities.
Finally, there will be an emphasis on protecting infrastructure from the effects of climate change to strengthen sustainability and resilience, a goal that will be at the forefront of all infrastructure projects.
The Bank’s actions in the transport sector should help increase the market share of rail freight from 26.8 percent in 2023 to 28 percent in 2028 and complete the construction of 38 kilometres of tunnels by 2028.
On 30 June 2023, the African Development Bank Group’s active portfolio in South Africa comprised 23 projects, with total funding of USD 7 billion.