President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday outlined the structure of the presidential infrastructure coordination committee describing it as an ‘important tool’ for government’s ambitious build programme.
The infrastructure build programme is central to the Zuma administration?s plan to create five million jobs by 2020.
Delivering his Presidency budget vote speech in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Zuma said the prime focus of government’s economic policy, the New Growth Path, would be on alleviating the three challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, with the primary focus being on infrastructure development.
Zuma himself chairs the committee, with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe as the vice chair. It held a meeting on Tuesday to outline its programme.
In his speech Zuma said Rural Development & Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti chaired the management sub-committee and Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel headed the secretariat, which was made up of deputy ministers.
Also included in the committee structure were provincial premiers and metro mayors and this would enable easier coordination of infrastructure development across the spheres of government? Zuma said.
Since announcing the infrastructure plan in his state of the nation address in February, Zuma said that four ‘strategic infrastructure projects’ had been identified.
One project related to the unlocking the northern mineral belt and was launched on April 13, and was led by Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi.
“A work plan has been formulated involving three provinces? integrating rail? road? water and energy projects,” Zuma said.
A second project focussed on the integrated urban space and public transport programme and was launched on May 11, led by Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi.
This project, Zuma said, would bring together the 12 largest urban areas and would promote better urban planning and public transport systems.
A third project was the Saldanha and Northern Cape development corridor, which is led by Patel.
“It coordinates work across two provinces and will incorporate mining? industrial and energy projects,” Zuma said.
A fourth project is about integrated municipal infrastructure projects and is to be run by Energy Minister Dipuo Peters.
“It covers the poorest 23 municipal districts in SA and will provide basic services to millions of our people,” Zuma said. - I-Net Bridge