WP 00/044 - Public-private partnerships: Lessons from the Maputo Development Corridor Toll Road

Ian Taylor

Date of Publication: 
December 2000

Launched in 1995, Spatial Development Initiatives (SDIs) are currently the main vehicle used by the South African government to promote regional development. SDI project(s) purport to be short-term and targeted attempts to stimulate "growth" by creating globally competitive spatial entities, new investment, infrastructural development and job creation. The South African government sees, as its primary task, the need to work in partnership with private capital in order to facilitate such SDIs. The principal mechanism underpinning the SDI programme is private sector investment which will be "crowded in" through a number of public sector interventions. This approach to development and the importance attached to the private sector, is very much in line with the neo-liberal Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) policies adopted by the African National Congress, in 1996. In the context of the SDI paradigm, public-private partnerships (PPPs) are an integral part of this approach to development. This paper seeks to identify and analyse one particular example of the PPP approach - the Witbank-Maputo N4 toll road. Lessons that may be learned about this particular project for future PPPs within SDIs will be teased out.

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