KZN's infrastructure boom

2008-02-29 00:00

Building on last year's infrastructure boom, Finance and Economic Development MEC Dr Zweli Mkhize announced that a further R315 million would be made available for the ongoing construction of the Moses Mabhida 2010 Fifa World Cup soccer stadium in Durban.

Mkhize hailed last year's KwaZulu-Natal budget as one of the most exciting ever, after announcing the provincial government's whopping spending spree on infrastructure.

The projects also included the Dube TradePort and the upgrade of KwaZulu-Natal's transport networks, including the John Ross Highway.

Delivering the 2008 KwaZulu-Natal Budget in Pietermaritzburg yesterday, Mkhize noted that the provincial government has spent R11,6 billion on capital and infrastructure projects over the past four years.

The highlights of additional infrastructure spending this year for existing projects include:

* R315 million to partially finance the construction of the Moses Mabhida (2010) soccer stadium;

* R315,1 million to finance cost escalations in relation to the Dube TradePort;

* R516,2 million for the Transport Department, in order to finance the completion of the John Ross Highway and the construction and upgrading of the road network supporting the King Shaka International Airport and the Dube TradePort.

Critically, he also placed emphasis on spending money on the maintenance of existing infrastructure.

'As a norm, at least five percent of infrastructure spending needs to be earmarked for maintenance work.'

Babu Baijoo, who is a director at the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business and the deputy president of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that there will be major spin-offs from these projects.

Zama Phakathi, spokesperson for the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that Durban is well placed to benefit from these mega-projects.

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