Gauteng Housing MEC Jacob Mamabolo said that the government had moved away from large numbers of micro projects. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi
Pretoria - The government has prioritised about 101 catalytic human settlement projects that involve the development of new towns of 15000 units each that would be linked to existing cities with efficient and affordable public transport.

Jacob Mamabolo, the Gauteng MEC for infrastructure development, said yesterday that the government had moved away from the practice of having large numbers of micro projects that were dotted all over the landscape to focus on a lesser number of integrated mega and catalytic projects.

“These projects have gone through a rigorous process of assessment.

"We have sourced the capacity of an independent auditing firm to make sure that they comply with all legislative requirements, particularly those that pertain to procurement,” he told the Captains of Construction and Infrastructure conference at the African Construction and Totally Concrete Expo in Midrand.

Mamabolo said these projects were in different stages of development and there were significant opportunities for the construction sector to participate in these projects and augment the delivery capacity of government, which was currently a great challenge.

“Your participation is not only desirable but absolutely essential if we want to achieve our goals of inclusive and productive human settlements that provide vibrant places to grow our economy,” he said.

But Mamabolo stressed that the government was committed to actively pursuing a transformation agenda in the development of human settlements and infrastructure projects.

He said that an important component of the transformation agenda was the empowerment of women and at least 30 percent of the development opportunities in these projects had been reserved for women.

A target had also been set of at least 40 percent participation in these projects by the previously disadvantaged, including both professionals and construction employees.

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Mamabolo added that on a project of this magnitude, the government had to ensure it had the necessary skills, but many of the skills required were in the private sector.

“Project design, financing, engineering, construction and project management will all have to be provided in partnership with the private sector.

“This is one area that we we need to explore to make sure that we can tap into the massive skills that exist in the private sector, but it is also desperately needed in the public sector,” he said.

Mamabolo said the massive investment in infrastructure and housing will be through public private partnerships, with the government providing the private sector with opportunities to participate in the funding and provision of housing infrastructure and other urban amenities.