WASHINGTON, November 12, 2013 – The World Bank Group (WBG) today launched a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for South Africa that will guide the Group’s proposed support to the country over the next three years, until 2017. Reducing inequality, promoting investment and strengthening institutions are the three pillars of the new strategy.
“This CPS is anchored in South Africa’s national development priorities of tackling the nexus of poverty, inequality and low job creation and is in line with the World Bank Group objectives to reduce extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity, said Asad Alam, Country Director for South Africa.
The strategy seeks to deepen our partnership with the Government of South Africa (GoSA) by providing a framework of collaboration through which to assist South Africa find developmental solutions for improved service delivery in selected areas. This collaboration will be done primarily through knowledge exchange and the provision of evidence-based development solutions to help deliver results in eight strategic areas that are calibrated to meet South Africa’s specific needs.
Over 2014-17, the eight proposed programs of support will be provided around three pillars:
- Reducing inequality through the urban program, health and financial exclusion.
- Promoting investments through energy, private investments and environment programs.
- Strengthening institutions in basic education and asset, debt & risk management programs.
“Investment and other support to the private sector are the backbone of this Country Partnership Strategy. They reflect the important role that the private business already plays in South Africa’s development and the potential for the private sector to provide more jobs, services and opportunities that are at the heart of more inclusive development,” says Saleem Karimjee, IFC’s Country Manager for South Africa.
Crucial for the success of the strategy will be the South Africa Knowledge Hub (KH), which has been recently established with Bank’s support and the ongoing support for South Africa’s energy security via the Eskom Investment Support Projects. Through the KH the WBG will aim to bring the best of the global expertise to support South Africa’s service delivery priorities, facilitate peer learning by exporting South Africa best practices abroad and disseminate knowledge within South Africa. Currently the Knowledge Hub will focus on selected issues in health, urban and basic education.
This CPS also highlights South Africa’s achievements since independence in 1994. Millions of people that had been previously excluded have gained access to housing, water, electricity, education, health care and social security. A solid legal, financial and physical infrastructure is the buttress of the country’s economic strength.
Despite these notable accomplishments South Africa continues to face immense development challenges. The country remains a highly unequal society where too many people continue to live in poverty and too few have work. The GoSA is however determined to accelerate economic growth and ensuring that a greater share of benefits flows to the poor.
South Africa joined the World Bank in 1947. The country’s membership was suspended between 1966 and 1994. Since 1994, the IBRD, IFC and MIGA support to South Africa has been primarily in private sector development, research, policy analysis, technical assistance and capacity building. In 2010, South Africa borrowed from the Bank US$3.75 billion for the Eskom Investment Support Project, which aims to enhance the country’s power supply and energy security in an efficient and sustainable manner so as to support both the economic growth objectives and the South Africa’s long term carbon mitigation strategy.