Gauteng needs investment to make infrastructure work

File: An infrastructure investment conference on Thursday heard that Gauteng needs about R1,3-trillion to meet its infrastructure needs. Photo: eNCA

MIDRAND - Gauteng government representitives told an infrastructure investment conference, aimed at attracting investment from the private sector, that the province will need R1,8-trillion in order to deliver on infrastructure. 

This formed part of efforts to transform, modernise and reindustrialise the province.

Gauteng is the economic hub of the country but a growing population of over 13-million is putting a strain on infrastructure.

The government is now rallying the support of the private sector.

READ: Human error cause of Gautrain derailment: early reports

Gauteng Premier, David Makhura said, “The impact of infrastructure is important on jobs, on incomes of households, on government revenues, but also on creating an environment where foreign direct investment will be key because the quality of infrastructure is important for investors… so we use this conference to share our plans, but to also invite the private sector to bring their money into our infrastructure projects."

"There are many of them. They need lots of money. They need private/public partnerships. As I say, there will never be enough money because the needs are huge. They are competing needs.”

Between 2013 and 2016, the province spent around R30-billion on improving infrastructure; a further R42-billion has been allocated over the next three years.

Gauteng Economic Development MEC, Lebogang Maile commented, “We need about R1,8-trillion to meet our infrastructure needs in the next 13 years as the provincial government. Currently, if we look at the budget, we will have about R200-billion, so we’re about R1,6-trillion short and we can’t afford not to meet the infrastructure needs.”

As part of its 15-year infrastructure master plan, the province wants to extend the Gautrain route to the south of Johannesburg and Soweto.

It also wants to diversify the energy mix and make broadband more accessible.

Construction giant Murray and Roberts came under fire after the 2015 Grayston bridge collapse.

It's since used the incident to work with the government through its transformation programme, which led to the formation of Concor - a 100 percent black owned business.

The conference first held in 2015, has already seen results. Measures have been put in place to cut red tape so that delays are minimised, and projects stay within budget.

On day two of the conference, local municipalities and private companies will discuss how they'll work together, to build a stronger and inclusive economic capital.

eNCA

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