Country Overview
South Africa is one of the most well-developed African countries and has implemented processes to facilitate the creation of businesses, fostering competition and investment. Despite recent progress, low GDP growth reflects high levels of inequality and is likely to hinder future investment in infrastructure. Increasing government debt limits South Africa’s ability to use public funds for infrastructure projects. This, combined with South Africa’s low levels of foreign equity sponsorship and PPP deals, represent key challenges for South Africa obtaining capital for infrastructure projects.
See Full Overview Data
GDP per capita
6,100 USD
Population
58.8 million persons
Infrastructure quality
68.1 (0-100 best)
Infrastructure investment
3.1% of GDP
Private infrastructure investment
1,110 5-year average, USD millions
Infrastructure gap
1.3% of GDP

Driver Overview

This section shows a country’s rank, ranking change and score for each of the eight drivers. It also categorises each country’s driver performance on a scale from “Emerging” (score from 0-20) to “Global Leader” (score from 80-100).

Driver
Rank
Score /100
Emerging Aspiring Contender Top performer Global Leader
- No ranking change Ranking increase Ranking decrease

Rank

Score /100

Best practice

35
3
56.7
Contender
46
7
59.1
Contender
51
4
62.7
Aspiring
12
1
96.8
Global Leader
23
10
84.0
Top performer
61
21
21.4
Aspiring
47
-
30.7
Contender
10
7
70.8
Global Leader

Metric Overview

Strengths

Cost to start a business

According to the World Bank, South Africa has one of the lowest costs of starting a business out of all InfraCompass 2020 countries at 0.2% of income per capita, easing the entry of new firms.

Financial stability

South Africa has the largest financial market in Africa. A stable financial system improves the supply of capital by facilitating the smooth flow of funds between infrastructure assets and investors. The COVID-19 pandemic may impact South Africa’s financial stability.

Registering property

According to the World Bank, it takes 23 days to register a property in South Africa, which is slightly higher than the average of 21.7 days for Upper Middle Income Countries. As infrastructure projects often involve some transfer of property rights, an efficient process reduces project cost and risk.

Cost to start a business

According to the World Bank, South Africa has one of the lowest costs of starting a business out of all InfraCompass 2020 countries at 0.2% of income per capita, easing the entry of new firms.

Financial stability

South Africa has the largest financial market in Africa. A stable financial system improves the supply of capital by facilitating the smooth flow of funds between infrastructure assets and investors. The COVID-19 pandemic may impact South Africa’s financial stability.

Registering property

According to the World Bank, it takes 23 days to register a property in South Africa, which is slightly higher than the average of 21.7 days for Upper Middle Income Countries. As infrastructure projects often involve some transfer of property rights, an efficient process reduces project cost and risk.

Top Performing Metrics

Top Performing Metrics

This is defined by the metrics with the highest unweighted score out of 100. 

Upper middle income country average

Financial markets:
Financial stability

Opportunities to Grow

Long term GDP growth trend

South Africa’s long-term GDP growth trend is 1.5%, which is lower than the Upper Middle Income Countries average of 3.1%. Combined with the uncertain impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this low growth trend may hamper South Africa’s ability to borrow and build more infrastructure.

Value of closed PPP infrastructure deals

The value of closed PPP infrastructure deals is the second lowest out of the Upper Middle Income Countries, at only 0.03% of GDP. This is, significantly lower than the Upper Middle Income Countries’ average of 0.30%. A low value may reflect a preference for traditional delivery models.

Value of close infrastructure deals with foreign equity sponsorship

South Africa has a low value of closed infrastructure deals with foreign equity sponsorship, at only 0.03%. A low value may reflect a limited scale of infrastructure investment opportunities available for foreign investors and may increase financing costs as a result of lower levels of competition.

Long term GDP growth trend

South Africa’s long-term GDP growth trend is 1.5%, which is lower than the Upper Middle Income Countries average of 3.1%. Combined with the uncertain impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this low growth trend may hamper South Africa’s ability to borrow and build more infrastructure.

Value of closed PPP infrastructure deals

The value of closed PPP infrastructure deals is the second lowest out of the Upper Middle Income Countries, at only 0.03% of GDP. This is, significantly lower than the Upper Middle Income Countries’ average of 0.30%. A low value may reflect a preference for traditional delivery models.

Value of close infrastructure deals with foreign equity sponsorship

South Africa has a low value of closed infrastructure deals with foreign equity sponsorship, at only 0.03%. A low value may reflect a limited scale of infrastructure investment opportunities available for foreign investors and may increase financing costs as a result of lower levels of competition.

Metrics to Improve

Metrics to Improve

This is defined by the metrics with the lowest weighted score out of 100, such that these metrics would have the greatest impact on the overall score.

For metrics that have binary outcomes (yes=100/no=0), no comparative income group average is reported.

Upper middle income country average

Funding capacity:
Long term GDP growth trend

Detailed Data

This section shows country data for each of the 41 metrics. The figures in brackets denote the change in score since InfraCompass 2017. 

Note that all data has been normalised on a scale of 1-100. For raw metric data, please download the complete InfraCompass 2020 dataset. 

Where relevant, some metric scores have been inverted, such that all metrics have positive relationships with good infrastructure outcomes. For example, since lower compliance costs make it easier to invest in infrastructure, the normalised value of ‘number of procedures to start a business’ has been reversed such that lower number of procedures are scored closer to 100, and higher numbers closer to 0. In other words, a score of 0 indicates a poor performance, rather than 0 number of procedures.

Governance Regulatory Permits Planning Procurement Activity Funding Financial
Driver
Rank
Score /100
Emerging Aspiring Contender Top performer Global Leader
- No ranking change Ranking increase Ranking decrease

Metric

South Africa

Upper middle Income Countries Average

Source Link

28.2%

Recovery rate

The recovery rate is recorded as cents on the dollar recovered by secured creditors through reorganisation, liquidation or debt enforcement (foreclosure or receivership) proceedings.

34.7 (-0.4)
37.7

20.7%

Rule of law

World Governance Composite Indicator reflecting perceptions of the extent to which agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, and in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the police, and the courts, as well as the likelihood of crime and violence. The rule of law reflects whether the law imposes limits of power on the state, private sector and individuals.

48.0 (-4.4)
45.1

18.1%

Post-completion reviews

Whether the country conducts post-completion reviews on infrastructure projects to ensure the forecast outcomes are being achieved.

Yes
-

15.1%

Shareholder governance

Measures the governance practices that protect shareholders through three dimensions: the extent of shareholder rights index (shareholders’ rights and role in major corporate decisions), the extent of ownership and control index (governance safeguards protecting shareholders from undue board control and entrenchment), and the extent of corporate transparency index (corporate transparency on ownership stakes).

53.3
40.2

12.8%

Political stability and absence of violence score

Measures perceptions of the likelihood of political instability and/or politically-motivated violence, including terrorism. Estimate gives the country's score on the aggregate indicator, in units of a standard normal distribution i.e. ranging from approximately -2.5 to 2.5.

45.4 (-2.3)
46.1

5%

Infrastructure or PPP agency

Whether an infrastructure agency exists to coordinate an integrated approach to infrastructure delivery and policy.

Yes
-

South Africa

Upper middle Income Countries Average

34.7 (-0.4)
37.7
48.0 (-4.4)
45.1
Yes
-
53.3
40.2
45.4 (-2.3)
46.1
Yes
-

Country Overview Data

South Africa is one of the most well-developed African countries and has implemented processes to facilitate the creation of businesses, fostering competition and investment. Despite recent progress, low GDP growth reflects high levels of inequality and is likely to hinder future investment in infrastructure. Increasing government debt limits South Africa’s ability to use public funds for infrastructure projects. This, combined with South Africa’s low levels of foreign equity sponsorship and PPP deals, represent key challenges for South Africa obtaining capital for infrastructure projects.
GDP per capita

6,100 USD

Population

58.8 million persons

Infrastructure quality

68.1 (0-100 best)

Infrastructure investment

3.1% of GDP

Private infrastructure investment

1,110 5-year average, USD millions

Infrastructure gap

1.3% of GDP

GDP

358.8 USD billion

GDP growth rate

0.7%

GDP per capita growth rate

-4.0%

Gini coefficient

63.0 (0-100 worst)

Gross Government Debt

60.0% of GDP

Inflation rate

4.4%

Summary credit rating

50.0 (0-100 best)

Unemployment rate

27.3%

Urbanisation ratio

66.0% of total population

Road connectivity

96.2 (0-100 best)

Quality of road infrastructure

4.5 (1-7 best)

Efficiency of train services

3.0 (1-7 best)

Efficiency of air transport services

5.5 (1-7 best)

Efficiency of seaport services

4.5 (1-7 best)

Electricity access

84.2% of population

Electricity supply quality

8.7% of output lost

Exposure to unsafe drinking water

27.8% of population

Reliability of water supply

4.4 (1-7 best)

Digital Adoption Index

0.6 (0-1 best)

Mobile-broadband subscriptions

76.0 per 100 population

Fixed-broadband Internet subscriptions

2.4 per 100 population