Pretoria – Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille has given an update on the first phase of the government’s Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP) which includes projects from central, provincial and local government, state-owned enterprises and the private sector.
Fifty infrastructure projects were determined ready for investment and implementation, with a further 12 special projects which would also boost mass employment, gazetted in July as strategic integrated projects (SIPs).
The gazetting enables projects to be prioritised for implementation with all regulatory processes fast-tracked as processes now run concurrently.
All 62 SIPs are at various stages of the project life cycle and would result in major job creation and stimulation of the economy over several financial years, De Lille said in a statement issued yesterday.
There are three funding streams for these projects: funding from the private sector including funding from funding institutions, development banks, development financing institutions and commercial banks; blended financing where the private sector invests in the State’s Infrastructure Fund; and funding stream is from the fiscus for social infrastructure.
Of the gazetted projects, 18 are housing projects the value of R129 billion which together will produce more than 190000 housing units. Those currently under construction include Mooikloof mega-city in Tshwane, the country’s largest sectional title development.
Mooikloof and Green Creek, two substantial integrated housing private sector projects will provide 50000 integrated affordable housing units.
Lufhereng near Soweto will provide 24000 housing opportunities of different typologies; Greater Cornubia in eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal will provide 57000 units and Vista Park, Mangaung, Free State will provide 33300 units.
De Lille said her department was not usurping the role of the owners of these and other SIPs, but was “pulling them altogether into a credible pipeline”. A steering committee would “monitor implementation, to assist where blockages arise to prevent delays and ensure implementation is achieved”, she said.
Infrastructure SA (ISA) is the single-entry point for all infrastructure projects in the government’s (IIP) while the Infrastructure Fund will provide the capacity to prepare and package projects. The government has committed R100bn over 10 years to this fund.
What is new, De Lille said, was that the methodology assesses the projects in terms of how they advance the national development goals, including the National Development Plan and key priorities of the AU Agenda 2063.
Aside from approvals processes running simultaneously, so saving time, constraints that have hampered infrastructure delivery in the past have been removed.
The ISA was in the process of adapting the infrastructure procurement framework to enable public-private partnerships and unlocking new funding mechanisms for major infrastructure investment, she said.
A Technical Advisory Panel with a range of experts from energy and alternative energy, financial structuring, infrastructure investment and planning, the oceans economy, urban management and green financing, for example, will support the implementation of the plan.
De Lille said around 1200 applications to serve on the panel were received and candidates were being shortlisted, with appointments to be made soon.
There are four mass infrastructure-led public employment programmes that have been gazetted as part of the SIPs. They are;
1. Special Integrated Project 29, or the Comprehensive Urban Management Programme, a locally-driven project to be implemented across all 44 districts and 8 metros to clean up cities and towns. This will create approximately 1000 jobs per district with work starting in the Vhembe District Municipality, OR Tambo District Municipality and eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality.
2. SIP 25, or the Rural Bridges Welisizwe Programme. This is a partnership between the departments of Defence and Public Works and Infrastructure for the installation of 400 bridges over rivers to enable the safe crossing of communities, including school children.
Depending on funding, the plan is to install 14 bridges in the next four months, and 170 in the following year.
3. SIP 26 or the Rural Roads Rehabilitation and Upgrading Special Programme co-ordinated by ISA in partnership with the Department of Transport, SANRAL, MISA and two universities.
More than 4000 jobs will be created in labour-intensive maintenance and construction of rural roads. The first 200k of roads are in the Eastern Cape, North West, Limpopo, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.
4.SIP 30; the Digitisation of Government Information Programme, led by the Department of Public Service and Administration, this focuses on accelerating of job creation as a response to the global Covid-19 pandemic through the creation of mass employment opportunities for 10000 unemployed young graduates to digitise physical paper-based government records.