Coordination, integration key to infrastructure plan

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pretoria - Coordination, integration and focus will drive the success of South Africa’s infrastructure roll-out programme, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Friday.

“The important thing about the programme is that this is a comprehensive programme underpinned by coordination and integration involving all tiers of government,” said Gigaba at a New Age/SABC breakfast briefing.

The 2013 State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Zuma stated that coordination, focus and integration are what drives the programme.

In the last year, the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC) launched the intergovernmental forums of the 18 Strategic Infrastructure Projects known as SIPs.

The infrastructure programme aims to turn the country into a construction site.

Earlier this year, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said that the programme provides jobs to more than 150 000 people across the country.

“For the infrastructure programme to succeed you need a high level of coordination in order to do away with the silo practice where each state owned company, each municipality was in the past responsible for the infrastructure relevant to it. In terms of the programme we are implementing now, we are all co-responsible for projects that government seeks to build,” he explained at the time.

No government department or government entity can implement the programme on its own.

The programme, said Gigaba, was not just focused on building new capacity but also focused on issues such as local content, skills development and job creation.

Gigaba also warned that the country should not find itself stopping the building of new infrastructure as it could find itself having to build capacity in the future while being under pressure. “Mistakes get committed in that course. We need to constantly plan for the future and constantly build,” he said, adding that the current infrastructure needs, need to be maintained.

“Much of our woes is that infrastructure is outdated and expensive to maintain.”

Additionally state owned companies are an import tool for transformation while the state has a role to play in the economy. “Public sector intervention in the economy is not a moral hazard. State owned companies are critical instruments to ensure transformation of the local industry,” said Gigaba.

Meanwhile, today will see the conclusion of day two-day Supplier Development Summit hosted by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) where state owned companies reporting to the DPE are communicating their procurement and supplier development plans for the next three to five years.

The department’s Competitive Supplier Development Programme (CSDP), which was launched in 2007, ensures that key state owned companies systematically plan and execute their procurement programmes to stimulate investment in plant, skills and technology as well as the development of new capabilities in new suppliers among others to promote growth and industrialisation of the economy. -