Industrialisation in Africa cannot be accelerated without political leadership at the centre.
This was the sentiment expressed by Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama when addressing the International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) 2017 promotion breakfast this week at the the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton.
Gama said that the continent was extremely rich in commodities, but unfortunately its people were poor. Industrialisation was a way for the continent to better the lives of its citizens, he said.
He pointed out the infrastructure deficit in the continent was more than R100 billion a year.
“We have a combination of years of delinquent under-investment in infrastructure, not only on our roads and our rail but also on our ports,” he said.
Gama said the continent needed better coordinated infrastructure investment to avoid further lagging behind.
“And also there is the whole notion of leadership. How do we make sure there is political leadership that will take us forward? If you look at China and its rapid economic growth, 32 successive years most of it has been through political leadership,” he added.
Gama said Transnet could play an integral role in regional integration and rapid industrialisation in the continent.