President Zuma calls for 2012 as year of infrastructure

President Zuma, speaking during his state of the nation address in Parliament, declared 2012 to be the year of infrastructure development and that a presidential infrastructure coordinating commission (PICC) is to be set up in September, as planned in a cabinet lekgotla last July, to implement the plan.

Five major projects have been identified by state owned enterprises as well as involving national, provincial and local government departments.

  • Rail, road & water projects in Limpopo, Mpumalanga & North West provinces
  • Durban-Free State-Gauteng industrial corridor-including reducing port charges
  • South eastern node, including a dam on the Umzimvubu River
  • Water, roads, rail & electricity infrastructure development in the North West
  • West coast developments & expansion of iron ore line Sishen /Saldanha Bay

President Zuma said the plan would also contribute towards industrialisation, skills development and job creation and that a summit would be called for potential investors and social partners to interact on the possibilities of participating.

He added that a presidential infrastructure summit will be held where potential investors and social partners can interact with government on the plan.  Hospitals and nurses’ homes would also be refurbished as part of preparations for the national health insurance system and new universities built in Mpumalanga and Northern Cape.

On other legislative issues, he promised conclusion of the long outstanding matter of labour broking and changes to labour law amendment bills sitting at the moment with NEDLAC; a Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill in draft and matters regarding the land reform process, particularly with regard to re-writing  the willing buyer – willing seller process. Traditional affairs matters, he said, also had to be dealt with in this regard.

Costs of the infrastructure plan and how this will come about as a financial plan, are fleshed out in the Budget from minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan, presented subsequently on 22 February.

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