Patel criticises infrustructure development process

By Drum Digital
13 April 2012

Bureaucracy often delays infrastructure development, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Friday.

"[They] are stuck because they don't know which [government] sphere is managing it and because of a lack of a comprehensive business plan," he said at the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission (PICC) in Boksburg, on the East Rand.

"This is what we need to focus on," he told reporters.

He said the PICC's development programme had two components. It could now identify where construction had started and also where it was not being implemented.

However, success was not in achieving numbers, but in ensuring there was functionality.

Also speaking at the conference, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said the government was in talks with the private sector to encourage investment in infrastructure.

"There is the possibility of it being a mutually enriching partnership between government and the private sector," he said.

Earlier, Motlanthe said the pace of infrastructure development was lagging behind what the country needed.

Cabinet set up the PICC to bring together the three spheres of government. It consists of Cabinet members, premiers, mayors and SA Local Government Association representatives.

Motlanthe said the PICC's mandate was to develop a 20-year infrastructure pipeline to ensure that it could plan ahead and move away from the stop-start syndrome around the building of infrastructure.

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