SA has capacity to deliver - Motlanthe

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pretoria - The 2010 Soccer World Cup infrastructure and rapid rail system, the Gautrain, have demonstrated South Africa's capacity to deliver, says Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

However, he added that despite this, the country still had infrastructure challenges.

"We now need to focus that proven capacity on a more ambitious programme that embraces transport and logistics, water and sanitation, the generation of energy to meet the nation's needs and the expansion of broadband and other information and communications infrastructure," Motlanthe said in his video message to the annual Economic Development Conference.

Participants at the conference underway in Boksburg include national Cabinet members, senior officials, academics and leaders of industry, labour and civil society.

Motlanthe said the South African nation had been built on dialogue - between the old holders of power and the South African liberation movements; dialogue between business, labour and government on the essential framework for economic cooperation; and now dialogue on infrastructure.

He said the conference had become a market place of ideas, a space government has created in order to both enable and encourage innovative thinking with the view to meet the country's objectives of reconstruction and development, as well as sustainable growth.

At the same time, the country's infrastructure vision has a strong social component, focused on providing improved health care and education across the country. It connects with human settlement strategies, including the development of new cities.

"Consequently, it is particularly pleasing that this year's conference will deal with infrastructure - one of the critical challenges facing our country and which is, at the same time, one of the most important opportunities for expanding development, creating decent jobs, growing the economy and, thereby, empowering the nation," said Motlanthe.