Stimulus package to create jobs, boost economy

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has announced a R3.5 billion stimulus and recovery plan with measures that will ensure that government gives priority to the areas of economic activity that will have the greatest impact on youth, women and small businesses.

“The stimulus and recovery plan consists of a range of measures, both financial and non-financial, that will be implemented immediately to firstly ignite economic activity, secondly restore investor confidence, thirdly prevent further job losses and create new jobs, and fourthly to address some urgent challenges that affect the conditions faced by vulnerable groups among our people,” Nzimande said.

He said the R3.5 billion budget for the stimulus package will unlock R13.1-billion investment in critical and strategic road infrastructure.

The Minister was on Tuesday, addressing a media briefing on the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) announcement on key infrastructure projects in response to the President’s Stimulus Package projects.

The Minister informed the media on projects that are shovel ready – those where the department is able to move from the design to construction phases.

“Other measures we are immediately expected to implement as the Department of Transport include expanding procurement from small business and cooperatives, with a particular emphasis on township and rural economies, women and youth,” the Minister said.

N2 Wild Coast Road projects

The Minister highlighted three shovel-ready stimulus projects on the N2 Wild Coast Road that are being implemented.

From Lingeni to the Msikaba Bridge, a 16.3km new single carriageway and four lane undivided road with two interchanges are being constructed.

The project is valued at R976-million and will create more than 480 jobs.

A 17.7km new single carriageway road is being built between the Msikaba and Mtentu Bridges. It includes one bridge and two interchanges at an envisaged value of R1.1-billion. Some 550 jobs will be created.

A total of R853-million has been allocated to an 11.5km stretch of road, with two bridges and two interchanges from Kulumbe to the Umtamvuna River.

“On all these projects – with a combined envisaged value of almost R3-billion, we will spend more than R930-million on small and medium enterprises and emerging contractors, many of them women and the youth,” he said.

In KwaZulu-Natal, the planning of upgrades to the N3 between Durban and Pietermaritzburg is at an advanced stage and construction is envisaged to commence in mid-2020.

The first phase will include upgrades to the road between Cato Ridge and Pietermaritzburg, key ridge alignments and improvements to the EB Cloete interchange to a value of R13-billion.

Mpumalanga projects

Projects that are shovel-ready in Mpumalanga include the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality, where there will be construction of the Tweefontein and Kwaggafontein access roads.

These roads have a combined budget of more than R200-million and will create some 600 job opportunities.

“We have also allocated R23-million to the Moloto Drainage improvements with a similar amount envisaged for the upgrading of roads from gravel to surface in KwaMhlanga,” he said.

In addition, to these major capital expenditure programmes Sanral also has smaller community projects in the pipeline such as the upgrading of gravel roads near Mbizana in the Eastern Cape; road safety improvements in the Msunduzi local municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.

“We will also upgrade gravel roads in the uMngeni and Nquthu local municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal; the new Dr Moroka level crossing bridge in Rustenburg in the North West; the upgrading of the road from Tshikanoshi to Malebitsa in Limpopo and critical road upgrades in the Mbizana local municipality in the Eastern Cape,” the Minister said.

The Minister said there are at least seven shovel-ready projects which are crucial to the success of South Africa's Strategic Infrastructure Project – SIP 2 – designed to unlock the capacity on the country’s most important freight corridor.

Sanral CEO Skhumbuzo Macozoma said all the projects that were mentioned will benefit from the initial R3.5 billion budget for the stimulus package.

“We are using the R3.5 billion to unlock an investment of R13 billion … we will start with the allocation of R3.5 billion of the stimulus package budget allocation and we will supplement that with Sanral’s conventional budget to see the projects through up to a total investment of R13 billion,” Macozoma said.

He said temporary jobs will be created during the implementation of projects.

He said about 20 000 jobs will be created for the stimulus package over a three year period.

“On average Sanral with its entire budget generates an equivalent of 15 000 jobs per annum which will include this tally, so there’s a specific target of 20 000 for the stimulus package projects but the entire budget per annum, we will do about 15 000 jobs,” Macozoma said.

He said these are jobs intended to build and create skills in communities for people that benefit from the training to be able to move on to other projects and get continuity of work.

“The presence in Moloto road will be for seven years, the presence on the Wild Coast is envisioned for six years, the N3 project will be anything between six years to eight years, in that regard you are able to create employment numbers that we can bring back to full time jobs equivalence,” Macozoma said. –