How much did the ANC-led government spend on infrastructure in a decade?

Did the ANC get its facts straight in the party’s 2019 election manifestoWe check a selection of claims. 

Claim: We have invested more than R2 trillion in infrastructure projects over the past 10 years to build more schools, clinics roads and the freight logistics network.

The ANC made two claims in its election manifesto about a decade’s worth of infrastructure spending.

The first stated that more than R2 trillion was spent in a decade. The second, which was contained in a graphic, claimed that R1.2 trillion was “invested in national infrastructure projects” in 10 years.

Asked about the discrepancy, the party’s national elections communications manager, Lerato Monethi, said the figure contained in the graphic was incorrect and would be corrected online. “The R1.2 trillion is for five years.”

Is the R2 trillion accurate?

According to annual amounts provided by National Treasury, infrastructure spending in the past 10 complete financial years, came to R2.3 trillion.


What is included?

Included in these amounts are infrastructure spending at all levels of government, by state-owned enterprises and other public entities (for example, the Property Management Trading Entity in the national department of public works), as well as public funds spent as part of public-private partnerships.

National Treasury says capital items such as equipment, machinery and vehicles are excluded, while public housing, maintenance and repairs form part of the definition of infrastructure spend applied in this case.

In the 2017/18 financial year, most of the money was spent on transport and logistics, followed by energy, water and sanitation, and education.

Treasury confirmed that schools, clinics, roads and the freight logistics network were among these projects.

Verdict: Correct 

The claim that more than R2 trillion was invested “in infrastructure projects over the past 10 years to build more schools, clinics, roads and the freight logistics network” is correct.

The ANC did provide responses to our questions about the sources of claims in its manifesto, but the party did not make use of an opportunity to comment on our findings.

  • This package is part of a journalism partnership with Africa Check, the continent’s leading fact-checking organisation. The project aims to ensure that claims made by those in charge of state resources and of delivering essential services are factually correct. In the run-up to this year’s national and provincial elections, it is increasingly important that voters are able to make informed decisions.

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