Construction World March 2023


Even though the recent Budget Speech presented by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana allocated funds for sweeping infrastructure investment as there is an such developments lay the foundation for ‘inclusive and sustainable growth’, It remains wishful thinking on paper if it is not implemented speedily. increasing realisation by the ruling party that

A ccording to the budget, the public sector aims to spend R903b on infrastructure in the medium term. Of this, R448b will be spent by SOEs, public entities and pub-private partnerships. This portion of the budget will mainly be used for strategic projects in the transport and logistics sector (R531,1b) while some R132,5b will be spent by water boards on water and sanitation. Godongwana’s speech recognised the need to crack down on criminality in the construction sector and stated that extortion and intimidation of contractors and workers cannot be tolerated. Godongwana’s budget highlighted the various big infrastructure projects that are shovel-ready. These includes the new 488-bed Limpopo Central Hospital that begins construction this month, Phase 2 of the Welisizwe Rural Bridges programme with is 96 rural bridges in the Eastern Cape; KwaZulu

performance and productive sectors in an integrated manner. Even though the budget could potentially assist an industry that is merely crawling along, it is done in a less than ideal context with energy insecurity, corruption, lack of investment and a lack of capacity to implement (especially for the execution of municipal infrastructure). The big test is whether these earmarked budgets for the sectors that impact construction can be implemented. The ruling party’s track record with implementation has not been good and one wonders if it will get it right this time around. Maybe the year will see more stop-start orders or so-called big-bang orders. Much as the industry needs sustained activity, even this will be welcome to an ailing industry.

Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Free State and the North West; the bulk infrastructure components for the Lufhereng Mixed-Use Development; and repairs to the Riverton Water Supply Scheme. According to the budget, government will focus on building new infrastructure and on maintaining existing infrastructure. It will also – and this is significant – look at initiatives to “leverage private sector resources in public private infrastructure delivery”. They aim to do this is by fast-tracking the implementation of Public Private Partnerships, which has thus far not been enormously successful because of the complexities in preparing the regulatory framework and tenders. The budget highlighted the need for government to support growth as this will ensure the health and stability of the economy and for this it needs a policy environment that promotes

Wilhelm du Plessis Editor



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