Johannesburg - Integration and co-ordination are crucial if the country's infrastructure development plans are to have the desired effect, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Friday.
Gigaba said for the country's infrastructure programme to succeed, South Africa had to do away with the old system where projects were implemented by separate government departments, provinces and municipalities.
“The programme we are implementing now, we are all co-responsible for all of the programmes and projects that government seeks to build,” Gigaba said at The New Age business breakfast.
He said infrastructure development was a collective responsibility of the government, and that no single state entity could implement it on its own.
Last year, President Jacob Zuma announced the biggest infrastructure development rollout in the country's history.
The government presented its infrastructure rollout programme at a summit in October.
The government identified 18 infrastructure projects to take place in the next 10 to 20 years. These had been drawn from the 645 projects identified by the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission.
It was estimated the projects would cost R4 trillion over the next 15 years, and would cover all sectors of the economy including, among others, rail, roads, energy, water infrastructure and telecommunications.
At the summit, partnerships between the government and the private sector were emphasised as being crucial in ensuring these reached fruition.
Gigaba said on Friday that the infrastructure programme would allow all the parties involved in the project to be around the table, and that this would prevent delays and increased costs.
Local content, skills development and job creation were built into the infrastructure projects.
He said South Africa should never stop building new infrastructure and maintaining the old one.
“We need to constantly plan for the future to constantly build. We must constantly maintain existing capacity so that it never gets dilapidated and therefore becomes costly to maintain.”
He described infrastructure development as a moral imperative for the country. - Sapa