File photo: GCIS

Cape Town - The Infrastructure Development Act came into effect on Tuesday following a proclamation signed by President Jacob Zuma.

The legislation, which is meant to fast-track implementation of government's infrastructure development plan, was signed into law by Zuma on May 30.

The act formalises and establishes in law the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission (PICC). It spells out the powers of the PICC, chaired by Zuma. It allows the president to nominate members of all three spheres of government to the PICC.

The commission will meet regularly to drive implementation of infrastructure.

The law also sets clear time-frames for government to implement strategic integrated projects (SIPs).

The PICC will be given the power to expropriate land needed for a specific SIP, which has raised eyebrows in opposition benches.

Last year, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel assured MPs this power would not be abused as it would be subject to the Constitution.

The act seeks to tackle corruption related to the key projects by providing tough penalties, including imprisonment for up to five years.