In the midst of the ongoing sensational revelations about state capture and corruption, and the developing struggle for the leadership of the ANC, other important news often goes almost unnoticed. An example of this is the report card on infrastructure that the South African Institution for Civil Engineers (SAICE) recently published, with the help of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
They pinpoint a festering sore that is not only costing the country huge amounts of money, but which also could also kill us (literally and figuratively). SAICE has done intensive research into all kinds of infrastructure: water, sanitation, solid waste, roads, airports, railways, electricity, health and education. Based on their findings, they graded these categories (and subcategories). The ratings range from “world class” (A) to “unfit for purpose” (E). Between these are “fit for the future” (B), “satisfactory for now” (C) and “at risk of failure” (D). Their overall rating of South Africa's infrastructure is D+, down from a C- in 2011, just after the Soccer World Cup's infrastructure upgrades. This means that SA's infrastructure, according to the civil engineers (including those that work for the state), is “at risk of failure”.