South Africa's Gauteng Province Publishes R23bn Priority Infrastructure Projects
The Department of Roads and Transport of South Africa's Gauteng Province has published a list of priority projects as part of its contribution to an infrastructure-led economic recovery.
The Infrastructure Project Book contains a list of 67 projects valued at R23 billion (approx. US$1.6 billion) to be delivered in the next ten years. Of the 67 projects, 13 are private developer contribution projects valued at R5.6 billion.
At a launch event on 18th March (2021) Makhukhu Mampuru, the Head of Gauteng's Department of Roads and Transport, referred to economic impact assessment results. These results found that 12 design projects would provide several significant economic benefits to the province, including poverty alleviation, economic growth, and jobs creation. These 12 projects average an economic impact of R6.1 billion with approximately 220,000 jobs created.
Twelve construction projects will yield similar benefits but have an economic impact of R4.2 billion and about 80,000 jobs created. These jobs include direct, indirect, and induced jobs.
Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Gauteng Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure, Jacob Mamabolo, also unveiled the department’s Transport Infrastructure House (TIH). This is considered the department’s “bird’s eye view to all its infrastructure projects”.
The TIH is part of the department’s strategy of Growing Gauteng Together Through Smart Mobility which was launched in 2020.
Jacob explained that TIH was “in-house capacity built within the department to drive and deliver transport infrastructure most efficiently and effectively, considering the importance of cost, the quality of the transport infrastructure and the time within which transport infrastructure projects are delivered”.
The TIH will be responsible for all projects relating to roads, road maintenance, bus terminals, taxi ranks, freight and logistics infrastructure, and rail infrastructure. Jacob focussed on road maintenance and lamented on the accumulated growth of potholes on the province’s roads.
He noted that this was mainly the result of an uncoordinated approach to deal with the matter. He said, “We can’t promote smart mobility if we cannot sort out potholes. Road maintenance must be done properly and to the best quality.”
The TIH will work in conjunction with State-owned Transnet to consider project pipelines. However, Jacob lamented the overarching lack of critical skills in the industry. Therefore, TIH will recruit young professionals with the necessary skills to assist and work within the infrastructural environment.
The TIH will also leverage smart technologies, including those of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and drones. These smart technologies will be used to monitor progress and identify any potential risks in infrastructure projects.
Jacob stated that the deployment of technology and the subsequent data availability would enable TIH and the department to make informed decisions and ensure visibility and transparency within TIH and its projects.
Photo: Highway in Johannesburg overlooking the city (Angel Cristi | Dreamstime)