Committees Call for Collaboration between Government and Private Sector for Infrastructure Development in Northern Cape
The Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour as well as the Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure have strongly emphasised the need for collaboration between government and the private sector in the development of infrastructure to drive the economic recovery projects in the Northern Cape.
The committees are on a week-long oversight visit to the province to assess the implementation and the direct impact of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery as well as the implementation of high impact infrastructure development projects in the province.
The committees have expressed their observation that the mining companies are generating massive dividends from their businesses in the area, but they do not contribute in the infrastructure development in the same area to attract more investment in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality. Also, the committees highlighted the negative impact of the increased movement of trucks on the road infrastructure in the area, a situation they said demands meaningful collaboration of all the relevant players in the province and outside.
“A benefit derived from mining in the area should be enjoyed by the people in the area where the mine exists. With 80% of the world manganese resources existing in the Northern Cape, 13% of zink exports, 95% of South Africa’s diamond output, presupposes that the province has quality and impeccable infrastructure, but on the contrary the infrastructure is crumbling in the province currently,” said Mr Kenneth Mmoiemang the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Transport, Public Works and Infrastructure.
The committees welcomed the intention to develop the Boegoebaai deep water port and related rail infrastructure as it will inevitably improve exportation, stimulate economic growth as well as to improve the movement of cargo. The committees are of the view that the huge investment required for these projects really calls for dynamic and concrete collaboration between the government, private sector and other critical role-players.
The committees have emphasised their concern that, despite the launch of the District Development Model, there remains narrow and silo approach to development in the area. “We encourage that all spheres of government must heighten joint planning to avoid duplication and wastage. According to the committees joint efforts will ensure the achievement of shared goals that will ultimately benefit the people of the province and South Africa as a whole,” said Mr Mandla Rayi the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Trade, Industry, Tourism and Economic Development.
The lack of funding for the programme within the local sphere of government has been raised as a concern that requires immediate solutions. While the committees acknowledge the prevailing fiscal challenges in the country currently, they pointed out that impressive integrated development plans are nothing without the required funding for their implementation.
The indication of potential in the renewable energy in the province must also be used as an added advantage to the economic recovery programme. The committees have also highlighted the need for investment in the transmission infrastructure.
Regarding small and medium enterprises, the committees have called on the municipality and the Department of Public Works to make available infrastructure to house these SMMEs and to enhance their potential to succeed. Notwithstanding the highlighted impediments and challenges that lie on the way, the committees expressed their happiness about the plan to drive economic recovery and they called for its implementation.
The committees will today visit the Kudumane Magistrate Office and Kele Mining Solutions.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.