Infrastructure master plan ‘on track’


    24 February 2012

    The Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission is making progress in drawing up South Africa’s infrastructure implementation master plan, which outlines the geographically-defined strategic projects announced earlier this month by President Jacob Zuma.

    The government is looking at spending R3.2-trillion in the next three years on over 40 major infrastructure projects.

    Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi told journalists on Thursday that the plan had been discussed during an ordinary Cabinet meeting in Cape Town this week.

    Geographically-defined strategic projects

    The geographically-defined strategic projects include a massive integrated rail, road and water infrastructure in Limpopo province, and improvement in the movement of goods between Durban, Free State and Gauteng.

    There are also moves to beef up the industrial and agricultural development and export capacity of the Eastern Cape and expand the province’s economic linkages with KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape.

    In North West province, the plan highlights the need for the roll-out of water, roads, rail and electricity infrastructure, with 10 priority roads earmarked for upgrade.

    Improvements in the iron ore rail line between Sishen and Saldanha Bay in the Western Cape is expected to create a large number of jobs in the area.

    Rigorous feasibility assessments’

    The National Treasury’s Budget Review for 2012/13, published on Wednesday, notes that not all of the R3.2-trillion projects under consideration will be approved for implementation. The government will choose the most cost-effective ones that offer optimal long-term benefits.

    “All public sector infrastructure projects will be subjected to rigorous assessment to determine their feasibility,” the Review states.

    The government is also of the view that the country’s public sector capacity to implement major projects is presently inadequate, and steps are being taken to strengthen planning and implementation capacity at all levels.

    In his Budget speech on Wednesday, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan outlined a range of measures to boost planning and monitoring capacity in government departments and municipalities to ensure that they carry out major projects and allocate the necessary spending on them in an efficient way.

    Source: BuaNews