South Africa’s at work

2014-05-26 10:00

Sometimes it feels as though we only get excited about roads if we are complaining about the potholes.

City Press’ South Africa at Work project, run in partnership with the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC), gives you the lowdown on why you should care that a new interchange was built in Pietermaritzburg and why Cornubia is a beacon of democratic town planning.

Here we share the story of how a team of women built the Rea Vaya buses that whizz commuters from Soweto to Joburg, as well as why the Port of Ngqura is vital to the economic wellbeing of Eastern Cape, and how children’s lives are filled with potential when new schools are built, as well as how a new dam changes our water scarce future.

The project, which ran in the print edition of City Press from January to April this year and continues from June, keeps watch on the government’s R1 trillion spending on infrastructure around the country. The PICC’s job is to see to it that the projects are on track. To this end, for example, they send “secret shoppers” to make sure that what the reports say about progress is true.

While there is much to do, much has also been done and the plans are in place to keep the big-ticket projects on track. In the 100 years before democracy, 5.2 million house were electrified, in the 20 years since democracy, 7 million homes have been switched on.

There were less than half a million university enrolments in 1994; by last year, there were just about one million, which is why the building of new universities is a priority.

New hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal and in Cape Town’s Mitchell’s Plain have changed the lives of those who live close by and the roll out of green energy boosts our economy.

Catch up with our reporters on their Amazing Race to see whether it’s better to get from Soweto to Joburg by car, taxi or Rea Vaya and see how a mud school is transformed into one made of bricks and mortar.

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