Infrastructure Implementation Plan On Track - Government

Cape Town - Cabinet says it has noted the progress made by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission in drawing up South Africa's infrastructure implementation plan.

Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said today the plan had been discussed by the Executive during an ordinary Cabinet meeting in Cape Town this week.

The plan outlines several geographically-defined strategic projects that include, among others, 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 industrial and agricultural development and export capacity of the Eastern Cape and expand the province's economic linkages with KwaZulu-Natal and Northern Cape.

In the North West, 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 in the Western Cape and Saldanha Bay is expected to create a large number of jobs in the area.

The initiatives are in line with the infrastructure expansion proposals highlighted by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address earlier this month. Government is currently looking at rolling out 43 major infrastructure projects worth R3.2 trillion in spending.

But the Budget Review notes that not all the R3.2 trillion projects under consideration will be approved for implementation. Government will choose the most cost effective that provide optimal long-term benefits.

"All public sector infrastructure projects will be subjected to rigorous assessment to determine their feasibility," it says.

Government is of the view that public sector capacity to implement projects was presently inadequate and steps were being taken to strengthen planning and implementation capacity at all levels.

In his Budget Speech this week, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan also outlined a range of measures to boost the planning and monitoring capacity in departments and municipalities to ensure they carried out infrastructure projects and allocated the necessary spending on these projects wisely.

- BuaNews