Cape Town - Premier Alan Winde has announced the creation of a department of infrastructure within the Western Cape government.
In his State of the Province Address (Sopa) on Tuesday, the premier said that the new department would be solely responsible for infrastructure; and established through merging the Human Settlements department, and specific components of the Transport and Public Works department - including the province’s property portfolio and road programmes.
This Infrastructure Department will be tasked with leading the change, working together with local governments in the Western Cape, the national government as well as the private sector to ensure that the province collectively completes quality and catalytic infrastructure projects.
“The Western Cape government is currently responsible for nearly 29% of all infrastructure spend in the province, mostly through education, health, social and transport infrastructure investment.
“Since 2019, we have spent over R19 billion on infrastructure across our departments.
“Two departments, in particular, are primarily responsible for this spend, that being the Department of Transport and Public Works and the Department of Human Settlements.
“Together, they are responsible for spending R18 billion on new projects over the next 3 years and they have a combined total budget of R11.5 billion in the 2021/22 adjusted budget,” Winde said.
“In the existing structure of our government, however, there is no individual infrastructure department where all the programmes can be carefully considered and aligned to ensure the greatest impact.
“It is my view that this needs to change, especially if we are going to focus, innovate and do more with less, to push back against going back to normal, so that we push forward to do even better.”
He added that as part of this change, a department responsible for mobility, which will includes the province’s transport programmes, will be created.
This Mobility Department will also focus on finding specific, innovative strategies to improve mobility in the Western Cape, especially in the greater Cape Town area, given the very serious failings of the national rail network.
“They will be our lead department for working with and finding solutions with our local governments and, most importantly, PRASA.
“Following this policy announcement today, we will embark on a detailed consultation programme with all stakeholders and will provide regular updates both internally and to the public, so that this process is efficient, fair and transparent,” Winde said.
Read Winde’s the full State of Province Address below: