Despite progress in the policy arena, investment in urban infrastructure and services is still not happening at the rate required, and there are still many opportunities to make the projects that do happen more holistic in their consideration of climate resilience, fiscal affordability, governance and social and environmental sustainability.
Furthermore, resilient infrastructure projects typically require greater amounts of funding and financing due to higher capital investment costs compared to traditional approaches. The South African Government recognises the critical importance of a vibrant and competitive private sector for the country’s development. Boosting investor confidence by addressing the binding constraints for private sector development at national and sub national levels is therefore a priority.
In this context, South Africa’s National Treasury (NT) has engaged the World Bank in a Reimbursable Advisory Service (RAS) agreement entitled, “Infrastructure Investment and Integrated Urban Planning”. This RAS aims at providing technical assistance to eight metropolitan cities across South Africa.
OneWorld is part of a multi-disciplinary team mobilised to support increased private sector participation, through capital investment, in metropolitan level resilience. More specifically, OneWorld was involved in a two-stage process of reviewing and is leading the prefeasibility stage project preparation support for three metros: Johannesburg (solar energy and urban agriculture), Buffalo City (Battery Energy Storage systems and solar energy) and Mangaung (flood risk management and airport node development).
In addition, OneWorld provided climate resilience and governance assessments and support to the remaining metro resilience projects under development by eThekwini (urban waste management) City of Cape Town (flood risk and urban waterways management), Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Tshwane (integrated catchment management across the Kaalspruit/Hennops system that these three Gauteng cities share, and river rehabilitation).
Additionally, OneWorld supported the organisation and virtual delivery of the two pivotal project workshops for developing bankable climate resilience projects in metros, including a review of specific national guidance documents and documentation/dissemination of lessons learned through the project preparation efforts.