‘Infrastructure key to SA growth’

Cape Town - The government's investment in infrastructure continues to play a major role in South Africa's recovery from the recession, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Tuesday.

Patel and fellow ministers in the economic sectors and employment and infrastructure development clusters of ministries briefed journalists at Parliament.

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel. Photo: Mxolisi Madela. Credit: Independent Newspapers

Investment in infrastructure, including energy, transport, agriculture, and information and communications technology, underpinned the government's efforts to grow the economy, Patel said.

The government would keep a close eye on the R250 billion investment in three new power stations.

“The construction of the two major power stations, Medupi and Kusile, has progressed, with both set to deliver power in 2014 and 2015 respectively,” Patel said.

“In addition, the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme will be Eskom's third pumped storage scheme, with an output of 1332MW, mostly used during peak-demand periods.

Independent power producers were set to add 2460MW to the grid.

On the transport side, investment in the bus rapid transport (BRT) systems in Johannesburg and Cape Town had paved the way for an integrated public transport network.

Construction of a BRT system had begun in Pretoria, and other provinces were drawing up and finalising operational plans.

Over R50bn would be pumped into expanding and upgrading the country's rail infrastructure and services in the next few years.

“Over the next 20 years, Prasa 1/8the Passenger Rail Agency of SA 3/8 will implement the new rolling stock acquisition programme, which will transform and modernise passenger rail to ensure safe and reliable passenger services,” Patel said.

“The first set of new trains from this programme will start operating in 2015.” - Sapa