Programmes Projects


The Support Programme for Accelerated Infrastructure Development


Client: The Business Trust
Sector: Infrastructure
Services: Infrastructure & Service Delivery Support
Date: 2006 – 2011
(Including the inception and close out)


SPAID was established by the Business Trust at the request of the President’s Big Business Working Group in order to develop innovative ways of combining the resources of business and government to accelerate the achievement of the Government’s infrastructure development targets.

SPAID is an initiative of the Business Trust in partnership with the Presidency of the South African Government. SPAID aims to mobilise an increased private sector contribution to meeting the AsgiSA infrastructure targets, so as to ensure that under-serviced communities have access to infrastructure.

SPAID’s objectives are that;

  • Private sector support accelerates public sector delivery by mobilising:
    • private sector initiative;
    • private sector systems and delivery approaches; and
    • focused strategic support.
  • Dialogue and understanding between senior public and private sector stakeholders in the infrastructure sector improves.


In February 2006 President Thabo Mbeki announced a three year public sector infrastructure investment programme. This investment focuses on key infrastructure in the transport, energy and communication sectors, as well as addressing municipal service backlogs. The programme forms a key component of the Accelerated and Shared Growth initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA).

The Presidentís Big Business Working Group in 2005 agreed that cooperation between the public and private sectors is essential to achieve the intentions of AsgiSA. Accordingly the Business Trust was requested to establish a joint Task Team to identify creative ways in which the public and private sectors could cooperate to support the implementation of the infrastructure development targets set by AsgiSA amounting to some R410 billion over three years.

Following an agreement with the Presidency to proceed with the project the Business Trust Board on the 10th of March 2006 approved the establishment of a Support Programme for Accelerated Infrastructure Development (SPAID) and a budget of R4,5m to initiate the programme. An Inception Phase was undertaken in 2006/07 to investigate challenge areas and scope the work to be undertaken by SPAID. This Phase resulted in the Business Trust board approving the current SPAID programme to be undertaken between January 2008 and December 2009 at a budget of R34 million.


The government's Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for SA (AsgiSA), launched by President Thabo Mbeki in July 2005 and headed by the Deputy President aims to guide and improve on South Africa’s economic growth.

The initiative is intended to boost South Africa’s economic growth rate to at least 4.5% over the period 2005 to 2009, rising to an average 6% between 2010 and 2014, with the aim of halving 2004 levels of poverty and unemployment by 2014.

In developing AsgiSA policy, the government consulted widely with experts in its departments, in business, industry and labour, and withinternational specialists. Six binding constraints to economic development were identified; the overvaluation and volatility of South Africa's currency, aninadequate national infrastructure, a shortage of skilled labour, barriers to entry, limits to competition and limited new investment opportunities, a cumbersome regulatory environment and deficiencies in state organisation, capacity and leadership

To counter these six constraints, AsgiSA initiatives fall into six broad categories; a massive investment in infrastructure, targeting economic sectors with good growth potential, developing the skills of SouthAfricans, and harnessing the skills already there, building up small businesses to bridge the gap between the formal and informal economies, beefing up public administration and creating a macroeconomic environment more conducive to economic growth.

The investment in infrastructure focuses on building and upgrading railway lines, harbours, ports, roads, stadiums for the 2010 FifaFootball World Cup and information and communications technology. Overall government spending on infrastructure is currently set to total some R410 billion between 2007 and 2010.


SPAID is implemented as a joint initiative between the Business Trust and the Presidency of South Africa. The programme is also supported by the Department of Provincial and Local Government, National Treasury, the Department of Public Works and the Department of Public Enterprises.
Department of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs
National Treasury
Department of Public Works
Department of Public Enterprises


How we operate

SPAID does not act as the principal but provides support only – all activities have a partner institution with authority and willingness to participate. Activities are focused and prioritised to achieve maximum impact. All programmes are systems driven so as to implement and manage the delivery process. There is a strong emphasis on identifying and applying innovation.

Institutional Arrangements

Overall Arrangements

SPAID has a strong team in place and administrative and governance structures that are operating effectively. Key activities to be undertaken include the following:

  • Staffing: The Support Programme has a small number of dedicated staff. All other work will be undertaken on a contractual basis. Over the past year, the Support Programme has developed a number of key contractors who have become highly skilled in support of the SPAID programme.
  • Providing strategic oversight and governance to the Support Programme: The Support Programme will report to the Business Trust Board in terms of its contractual arrangements.
  • Providing a secure and accountable administration and environment for the support programme: The Support Programme will participate and report into the regular SteerCo meetings. In addition quarterly review meetings will continue to be held with the Business Trust.

Operational arrangements

The Business Trust appointed Matthew Nell and Associates to manage the implementation of SPAID. Matthew Nell and Associates is a private service provider that specialises in providing development management services and supporting public sector service delivery. A small team comprising a Team Leader, four Programme Managers [one for each of the programmes being implemented], an Operational Manager and support staff has been established. A range of different service providers are appointed to undertake components of SPAID as required.

Telephone: + 27 11 447 6388

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