The role of state-owned enterprise (SOE)-led infrastructure development in the creation of a developmental state in South Africa : case study of city of Johannesburg.
This research study aimed to determine whether infrastructure development implemented by state-owned companies can effectively contribute towards the achievement of a developmental state by stimulating economic growth and reducing inequality while simultaneously addressing the social needs of the majority of the population and integrating apartheid spatial patterns. Drastic action is required to stimulate economic growth, address social needs and create jobs. Strategic Infrastructure Project 7 responds to this need in the City of Johannesburg where rapid railway infrastructure development is changing the transport landscape. A qualitative research method was employed to address the research topic using primary and secondary data and semistructured interviews with key informants. The results reveal in general that state-owned companies are common throughout the world and that they play an important role in the structural formation of the economy, especially in developing countries. In Africa, state-owned enterprises encompass a large number of economic sectors and impact significantly on national development. The theories and approaches on the developmental state emphasise the state‟s capability to promote its development efforts, its capacity to organise around appropriate institutions and organisations, and policies to enhance development. The results of this study reveal that infrastructure development has contributed and continues to contribute to progressive change in the City of Johannesburg‟s transport landscape. On the social front, the railway system has created a number of jobs, thereby reducing inequality, and is addressing the social needs of the majority of citizens in the urban centre of Johannesburg. Economically, the infrastructure development linked to the railway system has strengthened key value chains across the city by boosting demand for local capital goods industries, services and merchandise. Spatially, transport infrastructure is managing to alter the movement patterns that spatially segregate the city, bringing together previously marginalised areas and integrating the city in all aspects and progressively creating a spatially and socio-economically integrated city. The socio-economic impacts of this infrastructure development contribute to the establishment of a developmental state. However, much remains to be done in terms of strong institutional arrangements and skills development. Furthermore, the state has a vital role to play in guiding, maintaining and sustaining development that promotes the efficient and effective delivery of public goods and services.