Mr Shevel said the government was "increasingly" experiencing funding constraints because of lower tax revenues, greater social spending and the likely increased cost of debt funding.
Last week, President Jacob Zuma told an infrastructure investment conference in Johannesburg that the government was drafting an Infrastructure Development Act, and devising funding methods for 18 strategic infrastructure projects, estimated to be worth R4-trillion over 15 years.
Group Five CEO Mike Upton said that while private sector investors had an appetite for infrastructure projects, the industry was still not sure what an infrastructure "enabling act" was.
Consulting Engineers South Africa CEO Graham Pirie said the industry body was "pleased" with the government’s "honest" approach in recognising the "weaknesses" of state spending on infrastructure. "We are definitely ready to consult and support the government in finding innovative... ways of partnering in order to ensure a successful rollout," he said.
Global Credit Rating said most construction companies were "wary" of committing resources to public-private partnerships "given the uncertain stance towards such projects".
"Companies had invested up to R20-million in bids that never progressed anywhere, or were cancelled without explanation," Mr Shevel said.
Basil Read CEO Marius Heyns said the sector had been waiting for the government to start spending a proposed R844-billion on infrastructure for three years. "(But) it’s clear that government is serious about its rollout."