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Cape Town’s R120 billion infrastructure investment set to outpace other cities

Cape Town’s latest annual Infrastructure Report confirms that the City’s R120 billion ten year project pipeline remains on track, with the metro’s infrastructure investments set to dwarf those of other cities. Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis launched the report at the City Council Chambers on 14 February.

‘We are future-proofing our city by investing in infrastructure at a rate far outpacing any other metro, in fact over the next three years we will invest R43bn, which is more than Joburg and Durban combined. In fact, Nedbank’s updated Capital Expenditure Project Listing for 2023, also released this week, finds that Cape Town accounts for a full 60% of the R100 billion in overall government infrastructure projects announced last year.


‘We are making the necessary investments now as Cape Town is about to pass Joburg as SA’s most populous, with the census confirming we will soon be a city of 5 million. Our metro is also increasingly at the heart of national economic growth, adding over 200 000 jobs in the last year, which is more than SA’s other metros combined. The City’s infrastructure investments will further create an estimated 135 000 jobs over three years, based only on the initial investment, excluding downstream economic benefits. This is aside from the greater personal and community dignity that comes with improved infrastructure.


‘Importantly, 73% of this year’s record R11bn infrastructure budget will directly benefit lower income households and people living in informal settlements. Our ambition is clear: we are building a City of Hope for all our residents, no matter where they live in Cape Town, and no matter their background,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis in his address to stakeholders at the report launch.


According to the tabled 2023/24 capital budgets for SA’s metros, Cape Town will invest more in infrastructure than Johannesburg and Durban combined over the three-year medium-term budget framework (23/24 – 25/26), with a 91,2% larger capital budget than Joburg (R43,2bn vs R22,6bn), and 116,9% larger budget than eThekwini (R19,9bn).


Water and Sanitation investment now makes up 42% of Cape Town’s R120 billion 10-year pipeline, with multi-billion rand upgrades to seven wastewater works on track according to the City’s report.


‘This year we are glad to report yet another significant increase in planned investment in Water and Sanitation infrastructure, largely driven by our programmes to reduce sewer spills. This includes quadrupling sewer pipe replacement to 100km annually; and ongoing major bulk sewer upgrades in several parts of the city, including SA’s largest project of this kind on the Cape Flats line,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis.


Hill-Lewis said the City had over the last year added critical new Urban Mobility projects to the outer years of its 10-year pipeline.


‘New projects to improve public transport – worth R21 billion – are planned along three major corridors in the outer years of the next decade: Khayelitsha–Century City, Symphony Way, and Klipfontein.


‘These corridors are the next major long-term investments after the completion of MyCiTi Phase 2A route servicing the metro-southeast from Claremont/Wynberg to Khayelitsha/Mitchells Plain, currently the biggest infrastructure project in the Western Cape worth R5.4bn over the next three years,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis.


Other highlights from Cape Town’s Infrastructure Report include:


–        the City’s New Water Programme aims to add 300 million litres of water per day from new sources by 2030. By 2040, around 25% of the Cape Town’s water is expected to be sourced from desalination, groundwater, and re-use.

–        R55,5 billion, or 40%, of Cape Town’s overall 10-year pipeline, aims to up the city’s climate change resilience against drought, fires, heat, flooding and storm surges

–        The City will add 650MW in independent power to the Cape Town grid by 2026/27 to protect against four stages of Eskom’s load-shedding, with the aim of adding 1GW in time.

–        R5,8 billion will be invested in congestion relief road projects over the 10-year portfolio

–        The City has further made a key policy change to reduce the service radius of waste drop-off sites from 7 km to 3 km, with ten new waste drop-off facilities planned in the next ten years up to 2035. A total of 98% of Urban Waste Management investment will go to landfill related projects over the next decade

–        Land released for well-located affordable housing over the last year will result in an estimated 1 500 social housing units, within a total yield of 3 300 units

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