During the State of the Province Address (SoPA) on 20 February 2017, Premier David Makhura, emphasised the importance of infrastructure development in the Gauteng Provincial Government’s endeavours to radically transform the trajectory of our economy.
The Premier outlined how, between 2013 and 2016, Gauteng invested R30 billion in infrastructure. This translates into an average annual growth rate of 20.7% – the fastest for any province in the country. Early estimates are that for every R1 spent on infrastructure, 92c is injected into the economy of the province.
Over the next three years, a further R42 billion will be spent on infrastructure in Gauteng. This is projected to lead to around 190 000 direct, and 140 000 indirect or induced jobs for the province.
Infrastructure development lies at the heart of government’s programme to create sustainable jobs and reengineer the spatial layout of a post-apartheid Gauteng. In fact, the role of the infrastructure sector has been encapsulated meticulously in the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030, where strategic socio-economic infrastructure investment has been identified as one of the key pillars necessary to achieve the objectives of the plan.
Key to this noble and achievable task, the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID) has developed a new paradigm for the way it delivers social infrastructure such as clinics, hospitals, schools, libraries and recreational centres.
Creating high impact community infrastructure – precincts
No project is an island.
Last year GDID achieved a ground breaking milestone by completing the Gauteng Provincial Government Immovable Asset Register. This information has helped the department to develop a Provincial Property Optimisation Plan that has enabled the us to identify - and begin a process of disposing of non-core property, which should result in increased revenues for the provincial government.
Already, non-core properties, including the premier’s official residence, have been auctioned to generate revenue that will be put to better use. 60 additional properties will be identified for disposal. The department will also work towards the transfer of non-core property to meet the accommodation needs of marginalised students at institutions of higher learning in the GCR.
Unutilised land will also be earmarked for the implementation of the Precinct Model of High Impact Infrastructure Development. Potential precinct locations identified for development include the area around the Lillian Ngoyi Hospital, the excess land from the Sandown High School, an area next to the Vaal Dam, an area around Emoyeni Conference Centre and, finally, the Roodeplaat Dam. Detailed land ownership studies and potential land use opportunities will be investigated over the next few months before approaching client departments to utilise the available land for their own service delivery requirements.
Prioritising Maintenance of community infrastructure
The department will be restructured to ensure that the maintenance function is appropriately placed and resourced to meet the demands that will be placed on it by the implementation of a properly developed Preventative Maintenance Plan. We are of a firm view that prioritising maintenance has the potential of unlocking a new sub-economy in the built sector that will help us create jobs.
A highly skilled Maintenance Crack Team has been established to swiftly respond to matters relating to the maintenance of prioritised health facilities in the Gauteng City Region. A pilot project at Orlando Clinic has been completed, and new facilities will be identified for maintenance in the new financial year, based on the analysis of the key learnings from the pilot project at Orlando Clinic.
In order to meet the capacity requirements of the planned maintenance initiatives, additional technical staff will be required. The department has identified the need for an in-house training academy for artisans - a centre of excellence will be developed on land that has been identified at our regional offices in Westhoven, Johannesburg. The soon-to-be- completed facility will not only ensure a steady supply of skilled artisans and technical staff for the department, but will also ensure that there is a benchmark standard for maintenance delivery in the Department. The training academy will also be used to upgrade the skills of Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) beneficiaries so that they are better equipped to compete in the job market and to start their own businesses.
We are making GDID the home of the artisan.
Each Project is an EPWP project
In terms of this mandate, the GDID, as the implementing department, manages close to 421 infrastructure projects, worth around R4 billion, for client departments that include the Gauteng Departments of Health, Education, Sport Recreation Arts & Culture, Agriculture & Rural Development, Social Development and Roads and Transport - only for Drivers License Testing Centres and Transport Operating Licensing Administration Bodies.
Due to the labour intensive nature of infrastructure projects, each project implemented by the Department provides an opportunity for the department to include an EPWP component through the provision of training and work opportunities. GDID encourages the employment of youth, women, people with disabilities and military veterans, in order to provide valuable temporary work experience and training which will increase their chances of future employment. Currently, the department employs close to 6, 500 previously unemployed people through its EPWP programmes and coordinates around 21,517 and 16,156 work opportunities through Provincial Departments and Municipalities respectively.
Green and sustainable energy
The department is hard at work with the implementation of the rooftop Solar PV Project that seeks to roll-out solar panels - initially at 16 health facilities - during the 2017/18 financial year. The roll-out of solar panels at school facilities will be undertaken in the next phase.
The department is also at an advanced stage in the implementation of Trigeneration (Trigen) Plants at 6 hospital facilities in Gauteng, of which Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital will be the first. Trigeneration - or combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) - is the process by which some of the energy produced by a cogeneration plant is used to generate chilled water for air conditioning or refrigeration. An absorption chiller is linked to the combined heat and power plant (CHP) to provide this functionality.
Most power generating systems, such as thermal power plants (including those that use fissile elements or burn coal, petroleum, or natural gas) and heat engines do not convert all their thermal power into electricity; in many cases more than 50 % of the energy is lost as excess heat. This is the energy that Trigen technology uses to generate more electricity, resulting in improved efficiency of up to 80%. This is very helpful in energy resource preservation, as less fuel is required to produce the same amount of energy.
Supporting Small players in the industry
As Premier mentioned in his address, “We are strengthening our supplier development programme to ensure that new and emerging black firms benefit from major contracts in the private sector in terms of skills and technology transfer. We are assisting and encouraging black firms and township enterprises to get involved in localisation and manufacturing initiatives so that they can produce goods locally and sell them to domestic and foreign markets.”
In order for us to do this effectively, we need to get the basics right. We have to pay our service providers and contractors on time and within 30 days. This is vital in ensuring the sustainability of businesses, particularly small growing businesses that work on a contractual basis. GDID has prioritised the turnaround time in paying invoices. Key initiatives to manage 30-day payments include the establishment of a 30-day payment task team, utilising an invoice tracker system to identify bottlenecks, a dedicated email address to which complaints regarding payments can be sent directly to the MEC and reviewing the financial delegations of the department. Currently, 86% of the queries received through the MECs 30 days payment email address (amounting to R127,381,931.26), have been resolved, while 14% of the queries for invoices totaling R 9,005,447.72 are still being processed. As a result, 80% of invoices had been paid on time at the end of quarter 3 of the 2016/17 financial year.
But government cannot be expected to pay on time, when companies we employ to carry out construction on our projects do not do their part in delivering quality infrastructure at the right cost and on time. Consequently, we are putting in place tighter contract management systems in the department. As part of this we are redesigning service level agreements (SLA’s) and service delivery agreement in coordination with both internal and external stakeholders of the department. This will ensure that contractors, as well as client departments, stick to key deliverables and payment commitments once a project is initiated. In addition to this, poorly performing contractors will be black listed through proper processes, in coordination with Provincial Treasury.
Last year, a total of 79 social infrastructure projects were completed, including the Garankuwa Primary School, the Bophelong Secondary School, the Nellmapius Secondary School, the Rethabiseng Primary School, the Braamfisherville Primary School and the Moses Kotane Primary School. We have also completed the construction of a new exam hall at the Bonalesedi Nursing College, the construction of Koedoesport Roads Laboratory Phase 1 and Kagiso Driving Licence Testing Centre to name a few projects.
A number of major health infrastructure projects are at various stages of the planning and design phase. These include the R1, 9 billion Lillian Ngoyi Hospital, the R400 million Lenasia District Hospital-Phase 1 and the R1, 4 billion Daveyton Hospital. These projects are expected to transform how communities across the city region access health services. New schools planned for implementation include the R55 million Westonaria Borwa Primary School, the R77,5 million Bophelong Secondary School, the R45 million Esselenpark Primary School, the R62 million Pennyville Primary School and the R35 million Moreleta Park Primary School to name a few of them. We will also be handing over the Soshanguve East Secondary School to the Department of Education on Sunday (5 March 2017).
Renovation and maintenance work at provincial nature reserves includes the new pipe network for the Roodeplaat Nature Reserve, estimated at R455 000 and completion of the work on the southern water line at the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, estimated at R1,8 million. Social service facilities that are planned for implementation include the Khutsong Social Integrated Facility, estimated at R10 million, and the Atteridgeville Social Integrated Facility, estimated at R20 million to name a few projects. In addition, a number of libraries are planned for the GCR and include the Boipatong Community Library, estimated at R13,2 million and the Atteridgeville Community Library, estimated at R26 million, among others.
Issued by the Department of Infrastructure Development
For more details contact Theo Nkonki (Spokesperson, Gauteng Department of Infrastructure) on 082 7196404 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For media releases, speeches and news visit www.did.gpg.gov.za