National Infrastructure Plan

The South African Government adopted a National Infrastructure Plan in 2012 that intends to transform our economic landscape while simultaneously creating significant numbers of new jobs, and to strengthen the delivery of basic services. The plan also supports the integration of African economies.

Government will over the three years from 2013/14 invest R827 billion in the building of new and the upgrading of existing infrastructure, Minister of Finanace Pravin Gordhan announced in his 2013 Budget Speech.

These investments will improve access by South Africans to healthcare facilities, schools, water, sanitation, housing and electrification. On the other hand, investment in the construction of ports, roads, railway systems, electricity plants, hospitals, schools and dams will contribute to faster economic growth. The biggest chunk of the investment in infrastructure will continue to come from Eskom which will invest R205.1 billion over the next three years. Eskom's new power stations, Medupi and Kusile, are expected to start producing electricity in 2014 and 2015 respectively


18 years into our democracy, there are still major challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The New Growth Path sets a goal of five million new jobs by 2020, identifies structural problems in the economy to be overcome and points to opportunities in specific sectors and markets or "jobs drivers". The first jobs driver is infrastructure: laying the basis for higher growth, inclusivity and job creation.


In order to address these challenges and goals, Cabinet established the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Committee (PICC), to:

  • coordinate, integrate and accelerate implementation
  • develop a single common National Infrastructure Plan that will be monitored and centrally driven
  • identify who is responsible and hold them to account
  • develop a 20-year planning framework beyond one administration to avoid a stop-start pattern to the infrastucture roll-out.

Under their guidance, 18 strategic integrated projects (SIPS) have been developed.

Achievements in 2012

By January 2013, work had commenced on all 18 SIPs.

  • Transnet increased its Capital Expenditure Programme (Capex) from R110 billion to R300 billon to ensure adequate capacity to meet future demands through investments in rail, ports and pipeline infrastructure.
  • Eskom has embarked on a massive build programme to boost electricity generation. Projects include the construction of the Medupi, Lephalale and Ingula power stations, which have also created jobs and sti mulated development in the surrounding communities.
  • Broadband Infraco invested in an international undersea cable, Western Africa Cable System, which was launched in 2012. It will contribute to an increase in capacity, linking South Africa and Europe and providing the State with the ability to provide broadband infrastructure to national projects such as the Square Kilometre Array.

Some of the highlights of water and sanitation delivery in 2012 include:

  • Construction of the first phase of the Mokolo and Crocodile River (West) Water Augmentation project was started. The R2,1 billion project will provide part of the water required for the Matimba and the Medupi power stations.
  • The partial impoundment for the De Hoop Dam was initiated. The dam will supply water for domestic and mining use in the Greater Sekhukhune, Waterberg and Capricorn district municipalities. A total of 2,3 million people in the domestic sector will benefit from this project.
  • The Dwarsloop-Acornhoek steel pipeline was completed. It will supply water to nine rural communities in the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality.
  • The first phase of the Nooitgedagt Scheme was started. The project will provide water from the Gariep Dam through the Orange-Fish-Sundays transfer scheme.
  • The Mooi-Mgeni Transfer Scheme, which includes the construction of the Spring Grove Dam as well as a pumping station and pipeline, was started.
  • The implementati on of Phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water project was started. The delivery of water from this project is expected in 2020.
  • The raising of Tzaneen Dam and the construction of the Nwamitwa Dam, both on the Groot Letaba River, was started. The dam walls of the Hazelmere and Clanwilliam dams will also be raised. R38,5 million is being spent on the refurbishment of eight sewage treatment plants and three water treatment plants in the Free State, which will benefit eight municipalities.

Linking up for growth

Work has already started on a massive logistics corridor stretching between Durban and the central provinces of the Free State and Gauteng. Most of the projects that form part of the second Strategic Infrastructure Project (SIP 2), also known as the Durban-Free State-Johannesburg Logistics and Industrial Corridor, are still in the concept or pre-feasibility stage, but construction has already started on several projects.

These include:

  • the building of a R2,3 billion container terminal at City Deep
  • a R3,9 billion project to upgrade Pier 2 at the Port of Durban
  • R14,9 billion procurement of rolling stock for the rail line which will service the corridor.

Work has also started on the R250 million Harrismith logistics hub development to set up a fuel distribution depot, as well as on phase one of the new multi-product pipeline which will run between Johannesburg and Durban and transport petrol, diesel, jet fuel and gas.

The aim of these projects and others which form part of SIP 2, is to strengthen the logistics and transport corridor between South Africa's main industrial hubs and to improve access to Durban's export and import facilities. It is estimated that 135 000 jobs will be created in the construction of projects in the corridor. Once the projects are completed a further 85 000 jobs are expected to be created by those businesses that use the new facilities.

The 18 Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs)

The SIPs cover social and economic infrastructure across all nine provinces (with an emphasis on lagging regions).

The SIPs include catalytic projects that can fast-track development and growth. Work is being aligned with key cross-cutting areas, namely human settlement planning and skills development.

The SIPs comprise:

Geographic SIPsSIP 1: Unlocking the northern mineral belt with Waterberg as the catalyst

  • Unlock mineral resources.
  • Rail, water pipelines, energy generation and transmission infrastructure.
  • Thousands of direct jobs across the areas unlocked.
  • Urban development in Waterberg - first major post-apartheid new urban centre will be a “green” development project.
  • Rail capacity to Mpumalanga and Richards Bay.
  • Shift from road to rail in Mpumalanga.
  • Logistics corridor to connect Mpumalanga and Gauteng.
Primary Mineral Reserves
Coal 18 bn tons
Chromite 5,5 tons
Platinum 6 323 tons
Palladium 3 611 tons

SIP 2: Durban-Free State-Gauteng logistics and industrial corridor

  • Strengthen the logistics and transport corridor between SA’s main industrial hubs.
  • Improve access to Durban’s export and import facilities.
  • Integrate Free State Industrial Strategy activities into the corridor.
  • New port in Durban.
  • Aerotropolis around OR Tambo International Airport.

SIP 3: South-Eastern node & corridor development

  • New dam at Mzimvubu with irrigation systems.
  • N2-Wild Coast Highway which improves access into KwaZulu-Natal and national supply chains.
  • Strengthen economic development in Port Elizabeth through a manganese rail capacity from Northern Cape.
  • A manganese sinter (Northern Cape) and smelter (Eastern Cape).
  • Possible Mthombo refinery (Coega) and transshipment hub at Ngqura and port and rail upgrades to improve industrial capacity and performance of the automotive sector.

Government on SIP 3

SIP 4: Unlocking the economic opportunities in North West

  • Acceleration of investments in road, rail, bulk water, water treatment and transmission infrastructure.
  • Enabling reliable supply and basic service delivery.
  • Facilitate development of mining, agricultural activities and tourism opportunities.
  • Open up beneficiation opportunities in North West province.

SIP 5: Saldanha-Northern Cape development corridor

  • Integrated rail and port expansion.
  • Back-of-port industrial capacity (including an IDZ).
  • Strengthening maritime support capacity for oil and gas along African West Coast.
  • Expansion of iron ore mining production and beneficiation.

Government on SIP 5

Energy SIPSSIP 8: Green energy in support of the South African economy

  • Support sustainable green energy initiatives on a national scale through a diverse range of clean energy options as envisaged in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2010).
  • Support bio-fuel production facilities.

Government on SIP 8

SIP 9: Electricity generation to support socio- economic development

  • Accelerate the construction of new electricity generation capacity in accordance with the IRP2010 to meet the needs of the economy and address historical imbalances.
  • Monitor implementation of major projects such as new power stations: Medupi, Kusile and Ingula.

Government on SIP 9

SIP 10: Electricity transmission and distribution for all

  • Expand the transmission and distribution network to address historical imbalances, provide access to electricity for all and support economic development.
  • Align the 10-year transmission plan, the services backlog, the national broadband roll-out and the freight rail line development to leverage off regulatory approvals, supply chain and project development capacity.

Government on SIP 10

Spatial SIPSSIP 6: Integrated municipal infrastructure project

  • Develop national capacity to assist the 23 least resourced districts (19 million people) to address all the maintenance backlogs and upgrades required in water, electricity and sanitation bulk infrastructure.
  • The road maintenance programme will enhance service delivery capacity thereby impacting positively on the population.

SIP 7: Integrated urban space and public transport programme

Coordinate planning  and implementation  of public transport,  human  settlement, economic  and social infrastructure and location decisions into sustainable urban settlements connected by densified transport corridors. This will focus on the 12
largest urban centres of the country, including all the metros in South Africa. Significant work is underway on urban transport integration.

Government on SIP 7

SIP 11: Agri-logistics and rural infrastructure

Improve investment in agricultural and rural infrastructure that supports expansion of production and employment, small-scale farming and rural development, including:

  • facilities for storage (silos, fresh-produce facilities, packing houses)
  • transport links to main networks (rural roads, branch train-line, ports)
  • fencing of farms
  • irrigation schemes to poor areas
  • improved R&D on rural issues (including expansion of agricultural colleges)
  • processing facilities (abattoirs, dairy infrastructure)
  • aquaculture incubation schemes
  • rural tourism infrastructure.

Social infrastructure SIPSSIP 12: Revitalisation of public hospitals and other health facilities

  • Build and refurbish hospitals, other public health facilities and revamp 122 nursing colleges. The SIP contains major builds for six hospitals.
  • Extensive capital expenditure to prepare the public healthcare system to meet the requirements of the National Health Insurance (NHI) system.

Government news on SIP 12

SIP 13: National school build programme

  • A national school build programme driven by uniformity in planning, procurement, contract management and provision of basic services.
  • Replace inappropriate school structures and address basic service backlog and provision of basic services under the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI).
  • Address national backlogs in classrooms, libraries, computer labs and admin buildings.

Improving the learning environment will strengthen outcomes especially in rural schools, as well as reduce overcrowding.

Government on SIP 13

SIP 14: Higher education infrastructure

  • Infrastructure development for higher education, focusing on lecture rooms, student accommodation, libraries and laboratories, as well as ICT connectivity.
  • Development of university towns with a combination of facilities from residence, retail to recreation and transport.
  • Potential to ensure shared infrastructure such as libraries by universities, FETs and other educational institutions.
  • Two new universities will be built - in Northern Cape and Mpumalanga.

Government on SIP 14

Knowledge SIPsSIP 15: Expanding access to communication technology

  • Provide for broadband coverage to all households by 2020 by:
    • establishing core Points of Presence (POPs) in district municipalities
    • extend new Infraco fibre networks across provinces linking  districts
    • establish POPs and fibre connectivity at local level
    • further penetrate the network into deep rural areas.
  • While the private sector will invest in ICT infrastructure for urban and corporate networks, government will co-invest for township and rural access, as well as for e-government, school and health connectivity.
  • The school roll-out focus is initially on the 125 Dinaledi (science and maths-focussed) schools and 1 525 district schools.
  • Part of digital access to all South Africans includes TV migration nationally from analogue to digital broadcasting.

Government news on SIP 15

SIP 16: SKA & Meerkat

SKA is a global mega-science project, building an advanced radio-telescope facility linked to research infrastructure and high-speed ICT capacity and provides an opportunity for Africa and South Africa to contribute towards global advanced science projects.

Government news on SIP 16

Regional SIPsSIP 17: Regional integration for African cooperation and development

  • Participate in mutually beneficial infrastructure projects to unlock long-term socio-economic benefits by partnering with fast-growing African economies with projected growth ranging between 3% and 10%.
  • The projects involving transport, water and energy also provide competitively-priced, diversified, short and medium to long-term options for the South African economy. For example, electricity transmission in Mozambique (Cesul) could assist in providing cheap, clean power in the short-term whilst Grand Inga in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is long-term.
  • All these projects complement the Free Trade Area (FTA) discussions to create a market of 600 million people in South, Central and East Africa.

Water and sanitation SIPsSIP 18: Water and sanitation infrastructure

  • A 10-year plan to address the estimated backlog of adequate water to supply 1.4 m households and 2.1 m households to basic sanitation. The project will involve provision of sustainable supply of water to meet social needs and support economic growth.
  • Projects will provide for new infrastructure, rehabilitation and upgrading of existing infrastructure, as well as improve management of water infrastructure.


Related link: The State of South Africa's Infrastructure 2012 [PDF] (9 MB)