Markets to find infrastructure projects
Cape Town - The government will go to domestic and international markets to fund massive infrastructure projects announced by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation speech on Thursday night, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said.
"We will go to domestic and international markets to fund the infrastructure project," he said.
Transnet's balance sheet was "strong enough" to fund a R300bn project over the next seven years.
"We have our work cut out for us, but we are confident that we will implement these projects. Work is already under way."
Zuma called on South Africans to join in a "massive" infrastructure development plan aimed at pegging back unemployment and poverty.
"We will use the project management expertise gained during the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup to make this project a success," he said.
The plan would be driven and overseen by the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission, established last September.
"We have chosen five major geographically-focused programmes, as well as projects focusing on health and basic education infrastructure, information and communication technologies and regional integration," Zuma said.
He told Parliament government saw its role as guiding the economy to grow faster and announced steps to stimulate mining, integrate rail and road infrastructure and help exporters.
Five infrastructure projects
This will see the launch of five infrastructure projects - notably developing rail and road infrastructure in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West to serve the mining sector better, and creating an economic corridor linking Johannesburg to Pinetown and Durban.
The Eastern Cape would benefit from a drive to improve its industrial and agricultural sectors and maximise their export capacity.
Zuma announced that Transnet's market demand strategy would see R300bn invested in capital projects over the next seven years, of which two thirds would go on rail projects and the rest on ports.
He promised that a deal between port authorities and Transnet would save exporters about R1bn and said he was pressing Eskom to put the brakes on power price hikes.
"I have asked Eskom to seek options on how the price increase requirement may be reduced over the next few years.
"We need an electricity price path which will ensure that Eskom and the industry remain financially viable and sustainable, but which remains affordable, especially for the poor."