Cape Town - Transnet is looking towards creating at least 200 000 jobs over the next six years, the Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba said on Wednesday.
Presenting his Budget Vote in Parliament, the minister said Transnet's total contribution to employment was expected to be increased by 54.8% - from 368 450 in 2011/12 to over 570 000 by 2018/19.
The additional jobs would be created as Transnet embarks on a R300 million market demand strategy over the next seven years, to roll out new infrastructure across the country.
Gigaba said state-owned enterprises would also ratchet up training, pointing out that in the last financial year more than 15 000 learners were trained in various scarce and critical skills learning programmes.
This year an extra 5 500 learners would be enrolled in training programmes.
Added to this, Eskom had helped 6 130 learners acquire training as part of supplier contracts and the building of power stations, with some getting on-the-job experience abroad.
He said Eskom's training budget had increased from R998 million in 2011 to R1.2 billion this financial year, while Transnet's training budget had risen from R670 million last year to R870 million this year.
President Jacob Zuma had announced over R1 billion in cuts to port charges and since April 1, and Gigaba said the Ports Authority had already processed R52.9 million in rebates.
Gigaba called on manufacturing exporters to take advantage of this incentive.
He said the coming on line of the West Africa Cable System (WACS) last Friday linked South Africa with 10 other African countries and would reduce the costs of broadband.
Eskom will next month conduct a pressure testing exercise on the first boiler at Medupi, and the minister said this would be a key milestone in ensuring the unit is completed by next year.
The country's power supply would continue to remain constrained until the first unit of Medupi comes on line, he said.
By 2020 an additional 11 719MW will have been added to the electricity system, while, 6 500km of transmission network would have been laid, he said.
Also by 2020, 1 317 locomotives and 25 000 wagons would be procured by Transnet, while 6 405km of rail will be replaced for general freight, coal and ore lines to increase capacity by 149.7 million tons.
To improve the country's broadband network, by 2020, a further 13 000km of fibre-optic cables would be refurbished and strengthened to ensure that the network is expanded to include both metros and under served areas.
The department is also looking to create a new remuneration model that is fair and transparent, and the framework would be finalised soon.
The minister said he was glad that the chief executives of state-owned enterprises had accepted the need for a review, adding that the moratorium on salaries remained.
He described the decision to set a moratorium as a brave move, but said high pay packages by the private sector were driving public sector remuneration up.
The timeframe for the completion of the remuneration model had been shifting, but Gigaba said the department hoped to complete it by this year.