Tag Archive | New Growth Plan

Infrastructure Development Bill legislates for growth path

 New Infrastructure Bill gives muscle to PICC….

An Infrastructure Development Bill was tabled in Parliament during November 2013 just before Parliament closed which is the empowering document for the presidential office to realise the New Build programme for South Africa. The Bill is published for comment.

According to the cabinet statement released at the time, the bill will aim to:

•    Implement integrated projects of significance for South Africa and the region
•    Promote public-private partnership making use of private sector skills
•    Set up steering committees for each project
•    Put in place time frames for implementation of strategic integrated projects (SIP)
•    Address project management and regulatory delays challenges
•    Ensure coordinated issuing of permits and licences

The bill will also allow for the continued existence of the presidential infrastructure coordinating commission (PICC). The PICC was set up by cabinet in July 2011 to bring together the three spheres of government to drive increased levels of infrastructure development.

Kgalema Motlanthe, deputy Vice-President, said at time,  “PICC interventions are cross-cutting yet targeted, seeking to crowd-in investment and mobilise efforts. We are integrating and phasing investment plans across 18 Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIPs) which have five core functions: to unlock opportunity, transform the economic landscape, create new jobs, strengthen the delivery of basic services and support the integration of African economies.”

The PICC document describes eighteen Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) which have been identified and approved to support economic development and address service delivery in the poorest provinces. The new bill also sets down the requirements for SIPs.

Each SIP comprises a large number of specific infrastructure components and programmes. Such infrastructure development is seen as a key jobs driver in the new growth path planned for the country.

The new Infrastructure Development Bill is thus the anchor document behind the presidential process, even to allow for the acquisition of land where an SIP, one of the sixteen, has  a necessity to acquire such.

The document sketches the integrated approach embarked upon to create an enabling environment for faster infrastructure development and contains key elements of the PICC plan.

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Facebook and Twitter, Finance, economic, LinkedIn, Public utilities, Special Recent Posts, Trade & Industry0 Comments

PetroSA has high hopes with the Chinese

Sinopec agreement necessary

PetroSA logoDr Benny Mokaba, an independent consultant on energy planning and options working for PetroSA, confirmed to parliamentarians of the energy committee that a framework agreement had been signed between PetroSA and the giant Chinese petrochemical company, Sinopec. As a result, the Mthombo refinery project at Coega, “continues to gather momentum”.

He asked parliamentarians to remember “that this project had been named as one of the six major projects of the New Growth Plan”.

Crucial infrastructure problems affecting the project were described as rail, port and pipeline issues, relationships with the Coega Development Corporation, Eskom power and dealing with provincial and municipal matters. As this was a presidential “SIP” project, ongoing engagement and reporting on status was being given but parliamentarians were advised that “due to the competitive nature of the industry, very little more could be said.”

Refinery and gas projects

Dr Mokaba said that in the year under review PetroSA had continued to operate safely and profitably; that the Mossel Bay refinery “sustenance” had remained a key focus and the Ikhwezi offshore gas project is progressing well, drilling having started and first gas expected shortly.

However, he said that PetroSA faced increasing challenges with declining feedstock; increased competition for hydrocarbon assets; a weak rand and funding limitations; with the result that it’s cash “was depleting at a fast rate”.

African ventures

Most of the focus of the strategy was on the “upstream plan”, where Dr Mokaba said that PetroSA would “consolidate its recent acquisition in Ghana, known as ‘Sabre’; finalise “farming out” 55% of its equity stake in a block in Equatorial Guinea; and was looking at funding options for a possible acquisition in Venezuela. (During the presentation the exposure by the media of PetroSA of problems in dealings in Ghana had not been made, nor was it mentioned at this meeting)

Sinopec important to the venture

CoegaJoern Falbe, vice president, new ventures, PetroSA, said on midstream matters that the main issue was “we know what we don’t know” and this had led to better planning certainty and the realization that experts, especially when it came to the Mathombo project, were needed.

He pointed out that PetroSA were not the real experts in mega-projects such as this – in fact total project managers and logistical team expertise hardly existed in SA for this kind of undertaking to be handled “in house”, but Sinopec from China were, in their view, the answer and that is why the new framework agreement was an important stage to have finalised.

“We are working closely with IDC over the Mathombo project as well and through them we shall get the financing correct”, he said.   Members asked if government guarantees were going to be needed but this stage had not yet been reached, was the reply.

Little happening downstream

PetroSA said nothing on downstream issues other than to mention a petrol station was being built at Mbizana, working with the local community. Mbizana is a large municipal area located in the Eastern Cape Province on the R61 road connecting KwaZulu Natal south coastal boundary to the N2 highway with a population of approximately 246 500.

On downstream issues generally, the chair explained that PetroSA was in a competitive world and this would not be discussed
Associated articles archived
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//uncategorized/better-year-for-petrosa-with-offshore-gas-potential/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//uncategorized/integrated-energy-plan-iep-is-not-crystal-ball-gazing-says-doe/

Posted in Energy, Finance, economic, Fuel,oil,renewables, Land,Agriculture, Public utilities, Trade & Industry, Transport0 Comments

Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Bill now in debate

Special Economic Zones (SEZs)  aimed at growth…

rob daviesAs an integral part of the New Growth Plan, the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Bill has tabled  before Parliament by the trade and industry minister, Rob Davies.

In April last year, the cabinet has approved the draft which provides for the designation, development, promotion, operation and management of SEZs, an important component of department of trade and industry”s (DTI) development policy within the New Growth Plan.

Takes over from IDZ policy

This has been developed in conjunction the various economically linked government departments dealing with the concept of SEZs differing greatly but not entirely replacing past industrial development zone (IDZ) principles.

The new Bill will allow for an appropriate board; a fund to develop SEZs and the ability to manage and implement programmes establishing and approving incentives for operators. The Bill itself states that the new legislation will allow for:

•    the management of SEZs
•    establishing an SEZ board
•    establishing a dedicated SEZ fund
•    incentives for SEZ operators
•    the issuing of SEZ permits to persons wishing to develop a SEZ
•    the suspension or withdrawal of a SEZ operator permit.

Complementing what has gone before

In addressing Parliament, minister Rob Davies said the policy and Bill had been drawn up to deal with the problems that had resulted from the earlier industrial IDZ incentive programme but which would now be consolidated into and under the proposed structure, both by filling in gaps and widening the scope of both geographically and economically.

What will interest developers, he said, is that the Bill allows for the application of different types and improved incentives for developing industry and businesses.  Once the board is established this will in fact activate the new SEZ programme and allow for co-ordination.

A draft bill and a draft policy were gazetted separately for comment in January last year.  Minister Davies has said that the IDZ programme would continue but would fall under the proposed SEZs and the aegis of new SEZ board.

Posted in Finance, economic, Labour, Land,Agriculture, Public utilities, Trade & Industry0 Comments

Bitumen shortage question goes round in circles

Replying in writing to a question asked of the minister of energy Ms Dipuo Peter as to whether there was any comprehensive government business plan on South Africa’s bitumen requirements, the minister side stepped on the issue and told the House that had “reviewed its mandate” and advised the departments of transport and trade and industry should answer. The department of transport is also under pressure regard parliamentary enquiries on bitumen.

The questioner, a DA MP, also asked what the storage arrangements there were in the country, where these were situated and whether there was sufficient bitumen available as reserve to meet the requirements of the National Build Programme.

In a separate meeting of the portfolio committee of transport, Ian Ollis, DA, asked James Mlawu, acting DDG of the road transport branch of the department of transport during a discussion on the state of rural roads, what the situation was with regard to bitumen supplies nationally.

Mlawu said there was no major problem other than the fact that there were never reserves and a sort of ad hoc situation existed for all parties to draw on. He said that bitumen was not held as a national strategic stock and bitumen tended to be made, since it was a by-product, as and when required on an as required basis by both councils and private sector. If no planning and co-ordination was undertaken with the suppliers, then shortages could apply simply because arrangements had not been made on a major scale.

MPs asked how the New Growth Plan could be exercised if no plans were made on this kind of subject since the absence of any proper road system in the rural areas was reaching the level of a possible human rights abuse where a child might die if the mother could not get to a clinic. MPs said the state of rural roads were shocking.

Mlawu in his reply said there was plenty of national planning on rural roads but little in the way of execution at lower level by either rural authorities or public works. Such gravel roads as there are were being destroyed by heavy haulage, he said. Whether a light cover of paving on the gravel would solve the problem was doubtful, he added, and a proper assessment of the whole issue at national level was needed.

Mlawu said the need for bitumen on a national scale, if it was decided to pave such roads in broad principle, would be part of a financial plan put to treasury or the World Bank if such a proper plan was to be executed at a national level although no World Bank official approaches had been made on the subject of roads, other than talks.

But that point had not been reached or even considered by cabinet, he said.

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Energy, Fuel,oil,renewables, Land,Agriculture, Mining, beneficiation, Trade & Industry, Transport0 Comments

SEZ programme gets going with new Bill

Cabinet has approved the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Bill for subsequent tabling in Parliament which will provide for the designation, development, promotion, operation and management of SEZs, the subject of the new development policy within the New Growth Plan developed in conjunction the various economically linked government departments dealing with department of trade and industry (DTI), the minister Rob Davies introducing the Bill.

The new Bill will allow for an appropriate board; a fund to develop SEZs and the ability to manage and implement programmes establishing and approving incentives for operators.

It will also regulate the application and issuing of permits to developers wishing to operate a SEZ.

In addressing Parliament in the last session, minister Rob Davies said the policy and Bill had been drawn up to deal with the problems that had resulted from the earlier industrial IDZ incentive programme but which would now be consolidated into and under the proposed structure, both by filling in gaps and widening the scope of both geographically and economically.

More importantly, it allows for the application of different types and improved incentives for developing industry and businesses.  By establishing an SEZ Board, the Bill will in fact activate the new SEZ programme and allow for co-ordination.

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Finance, economic, Labour, Land,Agriculture, Trade & Industry0 Comments


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