Focus on power crisis, with extra R60bn to Eskom

Posted On Thursday, 21 February 2008 02:00 Published by eProp Commerial Property News
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Despite rand weakness, inflation moving upwards and SA’s electricity crunch, the government will forge ahead with its infrastructure development programme

trevor-manuelThe departments of housing, provincial and local government, water affairs, sport and recreation, and transport will receive an additional R17bn over the next three years for infrastructure development.

Finance Minister Trevor Manuel also allocated R11bn for public transport infrastructure systems yesterday.

The transport infrastructure grants are essential if SA is to meet its commitments to the 2010 Soccer W orld C up.

These additional commitments to infrastructure development are, however, dwarfed by the mammoth R60bn Manuel has allocated to Eskom to assist with its construction programme, which will cost R343bn over the next five years.

Manuel also allocated R2bn to programmes encouraging greater electricity efficiency and alternative power generation from renewable sources.

The infrastructure expansion agenda includes the R78bn investment already allocated to Transnet, half of which would go towards improving freight rail infrastructure and increasing port capacity.

Transnet’s investments also include the construction of a liquid fuels pipeline between Durban and Gauteng at a cost of R11,5bn.

The pipeline is deemed essential to ensure the country’s liquid fuel supply .

Manuel said in his budget speech yesterday that investment in fixed capital would remain a key support to g ross d omestic p roduct growth over the medium term, driven predominantly by broad public-sector infrastructure development.

While the government’s spending on energy-intensive projects might be deferred in the medium term, growth in fixed capital formation was nonetheless expected to average close to 10% over the next three years.

The infrastructure development programme also had considerable scope to boost job creation, he said. To further this aim, Manuel has allocated a further R1bn from national coffers to boost the Expanded Public Works Programme that he said had demonstrated the ability to create jobs.

The president of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA, Johan van Zyl, welcomed the additional infrastructure expenditure.

Van Zyl said the additional investment allocations for rail and port infrastructure development, the construction of the liquid fuels pipeline and an expansion of SA’s electricity generation capacity in particular, represented “important steps” to improve the country’s logistics capability and to enhance the country’s future growth potential.

A spokesman for the Solidarity trade union, Jaco Kleynhans, said the further commitment to infrastructure development would help boost the economy and encourage new investment.

Last modified on Saturday, 02 November 2013 08:46

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