Analysis on the perceived occurrence of challenges delaying the delivery of water infrastructure assets in South Africa Introduction
Infrastructure development is of paramount importance for a sustainable economy that is competitive and productive. However, inflexible government’s fiscal policies, high budget deficits and lack of debt reduction strategies experienced by the public sector directly affect infrastructure development (Ruiters and Matji, 2015). The public sector experiences challenges of provisioning for public infrastructure assets.
There are many challenges delaying infrastructure development. The study explored infrastructure backlog and deficits as alarming challenges to adequately fund and deliver water infrastructure assets in South Africa. Kudumela (2015) outlines challenges of infrastructure development: insufficient skills capacity at the municipal level, lack of funding, political instability and corruption, while Senyakoe (2011) indicates that municipalities across South Africa experience difficulties towards sectoral infrastructure planning and project and programme management.
Given the broad spectrum of different forms of existing infrastructure, the study robustly dissected water infrastructure. Water is a pivotal commodity for the well-being of the public, irrigation, mining, hydropower, commercial and industrial use (Malawi Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development, 2005). In South Africa, to ensure that water is regulated and safely delivered to the required destination, the following institutions are involved: the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), water boards (for each province), municipalities (water service authorities) and special-purpose vehicles (Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority and Komati Basin Water Authority) (Moseki et al., 2011; Ruiters, 2011).
The public sector is responsible for the development and sustainability of water infrastructure in South Africa and for ensuring that communities across the country receive adequate service delivery, and this can only occur if the infrastructure required exists and in good condition. Failure to comply, communities where such services are of paramount importance to the daily operations of local businesses will experience production difficulties, and households solely dependent on the products and services of the businesses will be heavily affected. As a result, the study envisaged prior to determining challenges delaying water infrastructure assets to also determine the perceived or rapid occurrence of infrastructure challenges. This will then assist public institutions in collaboration with the private sector to develop strategies that will prioritise the challenges according to their impact and sought solutions.

Question 1 a (15 Marks)

Critically discuss the major challenges in the effective delivery of basic services including infrastructure by local governments in South Africa.

Question 1 b (5 Marks)
Evaluate policy remedies that would minimise the implications of these challenges on the delivery of infrastructure.
Question 2 a (12 Marks)
Capital and operational budgets have recently been impacted by the slow economic growth with negative spillovers on service delivery related to infrastructure roll-outs. Assess the importance of infrastructure in local economic development in South Africa and other developing economies.

Question 2 b (8 Marks)
Provide an evaluation of the transmission channels of weak economic growth on capital and operational budgets in local government and the associated consequences on infrastructure delivery.

Question 3 a (12 Marks)
Infrastructural projects require a deployment of significant financial resources to enable timely delivery to beneficiary communities. Using relevant examples, examine the various financing models for infrastructure in South Africa and other developing countries.

Question 3 b (8 Marks)
Using relevant examples, analyse the financing model most suitable for expanding the infrastructure in South Africa and emerging and developing economies.

Question 4 (20 Marks)

Using specific examples and given the macroeconomic outlook, Explore the limitations of financing models of infrastructure in South Africa and other developing countries.

Question 5 a (12 Marks)
Illustrate the importance of public private partnerships (PPPs) and innovative financing (IF) as part of public financing models for delivering water infrastructure in local governments in South Africa and other developing countries.

Question 5 b (8 Marks)

Provide a detailed assessment of the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the funding and reporting (as part of monitoring and evaluation) of infrastructure related projects in local authorities.

Answers on Above Questions on Public and Municipal Finance

Answer 1: An analysis of the given scenario indicates that there are significant challenges in the effective delivery of basic services and infrastructure by local governments in South Africa. The major challenges are identified in the form of lack of financial resources in performing the infrastructure development. Another major challenge would be in the form of lack of adequate skill labour to perform the construction process. Protest from the community is another major challenge in such initiatives of the government to develop infrastructure in an economy.


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