20 August 2014

South Africa: President Zuma - Attend to Infrastructure Delivery With Urgency

Cape Town — President Jacob Zuma has told Ministers, Premiers and Mayors, who are part of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC), that they must jointly attend to delivery matters with speed and a problem-solving culture.

The President said this when he chaired the first sitting of the PICC under the new administration.

The commission was established to forge partnerships among government departments across all spheres of government, to ensure that infrastructure investment is rolled out without unnecessary delays.

"We established [the commission] to ensure that the delivery of infrastructure does not suffer as departments or spheres of government protect turf, or due to mindless rules and long delays.

"The PICC is action oriented, flexible and focused. It must address matters with speed, partnership, and a problem-solving culture. It must attend to regulatory matters if necessary, so that we make decisions and ensure actual delivery," he said.

The commission, which the President chairs himself, is a high-level government team of Ministers, Premiers and Metro Mayors, set up in 2012.

The projects under the PICC - headed by different departments - cover more than 150 specific infrastructure interventions in rail, road, ports, dams, irrigation systems, sanitation and electricity.

The President said ever since the commission was established, it focused its efforts on under-spending in the past. However, it was beginning to make solid progress with improved actual spending across all three spheres of government.

President Zuma said that there were concerns over limited construction activity. The commission now monitors construction every quarter across hundreds of projects.

He said they were also critical of projects that were not brought to conclusion.

"Now we are making sure that dams are opened, that new schools are occupied by learners and that railway carriages are manufactured.

"But we recognise that much more needs to be done to generate more energy, develop better logistics and transport systems, ensure that water and sanitation reach communities and expand information and communication technologies including broadband, to strengthen the 21st century economy.

"And of course, investment in health, education and rural infrastructure are all critical to ‎the welfare and productivity of our people," President Zuma said.

- SAnews.gov.za

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