Tag Archive | public-private partnerships

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.

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Private sector needed for recovery, says Patel

According to the minister of economic development Ebrahim Patel, the infrastructure development, described by President Zuma in his state of nation address (SONA),  has to be driven by public-private partnerships.

During this speech, President Zuma promised to make 2012 “the year of infrastructure development”.   Minister Patel has followed this up in his response to the presidential  speech by stating that during this year he will table before Parliament legislation to be known as the Infrastructure Development Bill. What stage this draft has reached is not known.

Minister Patel said it was the task now of his department to assist in project management by reducing regulatory delays and the resolution of land servitude issues and the new legislation would pick up such “challenges” and address them. , Speaking in response to SONA, minister Patel told parliamentarians that the draft Bill would also help co-ordinate the issuing of permits and licences and contribute to better “co-operative governance” between state and private sector bodies.

Minister Patel said a small business funding agency was about to be launched in a few days with some  R2bn available for business development loans.

Returning to the new legislation, he said he hoped that the measures introduced by an Infrastructure Development Bill would contribute further to the ability of the department of economic development to monitor development taking place in the country.

He further pointed, as did President Zuma, towards an economic development summit to be held shortly in South Africa.

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