Mr Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Economic Development, briefed the Portfolio Committee on the Infrastructure Development Bill. He said achieving the vision of the National Development Plan (NDP) required substantial investment in infrastructure. Infrastructure was a major jobs driver in the economy with the New Growth path, creating jobs in construction, maintenance and operations, as well as unlocking the economic potential in the wider economy. Infrastructure could help to promote rural development and bring poorer provinces into the economic mainstream. Infrastructure was a means to improve service delivery, by creating access to electricity, sanitation and water, health care, and other social amenities. Infrastructure generated the skills base of an economy. The supply of components for infrastructure-build programmes could stimulate local industrialisation and the expansion of South African manufacturing sector for the domestic market, as well as for exports elsewhere in the continent and the world. Infrastructure could address the spatial legacies and inequities of apartheid, by providing equal access to infrastructure. Infrastructure should be placed at the centre of development.
In October 2010, infrastructure had been identified as the key jobs driver. Government had done a detailed analysis of lessons from other major infrastructure projects in the past, such as the 2010 soccer World Cup build, the airport build programme, and the Gautrain infrastructure. A National Infrastructure Plan had been adopted and was regularly updated. It focused particularly on the next five to ten years, but the gestation period extended to the year 2040. In July 2011, a few months after identifying the importance of infrastructure, Cabinet had established the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC) for faster and more integrated delivery. In February 2012, the President had announced the National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) in the State of the Nation Address and infrastructural implementation had been speeded up. From April 2012, Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) had been launched across the country. The Infrastructure Development Bill was intended to speed up and improve the delivery and implementation of social and economic infrastructure, and to maximize the developmental impact. What the Bill did not do was change the responsibilities of accounting officers or authorities, or the route for fiscal flows. About 180 000 jobs had been sustained by projects in National infrastructure Plan in June 2013, in construction-related activities.
The Members appreciated the detailed briefing, which gave them a profound understanding and background to this piece of legislation. The Members were concerned that the infrastructure development would reach mostly urban areas. They asked what would be done to avoid wasteful and fruitless expenditure in projects that ran parallel to each other. With the development of transport and increasing exports, they wanted to know if this would not take away valuable raw material from the country that citizens needed. The Members stressed the importance of monitoring throughout the process. They wanted to know what would be done to avoid corruption. More local and community involvement was needed in the Presidential infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC). They were also concerned about possible competition that could arise between Ministers regarding who would chair the SIPs. One Member asked how the Bill would provide regulatory support for women and children.
The Minister answered all the questions, responded to the concerns raised, and thanked the Members for their input.
The Chairperson welcomed everyone and that the meeting on the Infrastructure Development Bill was today because of changes in the Parliamentary programme. The Bill was of high priority and the Minister would explain why this was so. The Portfolio Committee had started on Thursday last week with the issuing of notices for public comment, until the 22 November. Public hearings would be held in the week of 2 December. The Minister of Economic Development was part of the process. Mr K Mubu (DA) was no longer a part of the Development Committee and would be replaced by Mr A van der Westhuizen (DA), who participated in the Trade and Industry portfolio committee. She welcomed him and hoped he would enjoy his time with the Portfolio Committee. She thanked Mr Mubu for his good work, and wished him all the best in the committee to which he had been deployed. She introduced all the Members and other people present at the meeting, and said that the Deputy Minister had sent an apology for being absent at this meeting.
Briefing by Department of Economic Development
Mr Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Economic Development, explained that the Bill dealt with more than one Department’s issues. He hoped all parties of Parliament would welcome the Bill warmly. Achieving the vision of the National Development Plan (NDP) required substantial investment in infrastructure. Infrastructure was a major jobs driver in the economy with the New Growth path, creating jobs in construction, maintenance and operations as well as unlocking economic potential in the wider economy. Infrastructure could help to promote rural development and bring poorer provinces into the economic mainstream. Infrastructure was a means to improve service delivery by creating access to electricity, sanitation and water, health care, and other social amenities. Infrastructure generated the skills base of an economy. The supply of components for the infrastructure-build programme could stimulate local industrialization and the expansion of the South African manufacturing sector for the domestic market, as well as for exports elsewhere in the continent and the world. Infrastructure could address the spatial legacies and inequities of apartheid by providing equal access to infrastructure. Infrastructure should be placed at the centre of development. In October 2010, infrastructure had been identified as the key jobs driver, whose development could support other job drivers, such as mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, agriculture and agro-processing, tourism, the green economy, and African regional integration.
In July 2011, a few months after identifying the importance of infrastructure, Cabinet had established the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC) for faster and more integrated delivery. In February 2012, the President had announced the National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) in the State of the Nation Address, and infrastructural implementation had been speeded up. From April 2012, Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) were launched across the country. In February 2013, the lessons of the first phase of implementation over past 20 years had been set out in a Bill published for public comment.
Government had done a detailed analysis of lessons from other major infrastructure projects in the past, such as the 2010 soccer World Cup build, the airport build programme, and the Gautrain infrastructure. The two major questions the Department had asked were: what had worked well and what were the major mistakes? Things that had worked well included the following: Central coordination, with direct presidential oversight for the World Cup; a local organizing committee, with Ministerial oversight, to take quick decisions; well-defined specifications and scope for South Africa and FIFA, passed as an Act of Parliament; tight non-negotiable deadlines had been important, as the kick-off had to take place on a particular day; co-ordination between national, provincial and municipal structures; public/private sector alignment, co-operation and participation had been important; skills mobilization – qualified people had been found to do what needed to be done; small and large business development; identified champions, by name, in each institution, tied into performance to ensure deadlines were met; some implementation had been done through municipal and provincial structures, and there was national pride and satisfaction with build programme. The government had got these things right.
The government looked at lessons from current Bill programme and also international experience to do a risk analysis. The list of risks was long. Some risks that had to be addressed included the following: project management capacity, which may be inadequate for the size of the Infrastructure Plan; cost over-runs due to the complexity of managing multiple projects; delays caused by regulatory and administrative decision/lack of decisions; lack of coherence between public entities or spheres of government resulting in conflicts; lack of mandate alignment or silo planning – what the province does, municipality may not know about; challenge of project scope-creep, as different spheres are involved; supplier collusion leading to over-pricing; supply-constraints resulting from collusion in steel, bitumen, equipment, etc, and causing project bottlenecks and price escalation, with different projects bidding against each other to get their bags of cement. Corruption in contracts which increase costs was also a risk and could delay implementation or render poor quality outputs; weak integration, resulting in some but not all key elements of SIP being completed; inadequate technical skills, due to weak outputs at universities; improper gate-keeping by professional associations; lack of opportunities for work experience; inadequate funding; conflicts between provinces over project selection or balance, or over national-build decisions; neglect of rural projects, because engineers and project managers prefer to work in big cities; challenges with keeping supply and demand of projects synchronized – complete a project before the user is ready, for example; weak off-take agreements, where big bulk users do not agree on the use of water, electricity and other resources; weak negotiation of contract terms, with more obligation and risks carried by the public sector; weak maintenance of build projects, because the complete life cycle of a project is not considered from conception to completion, and maintenance thereafter – the finished project is the only component really thought of. The challenges mentioned above had been experienced in South Africa and abroad. The Government had drawn upon these when planning the next Bill.
He used the example of challenge experienced in gaining access to land for ESKOM transmission lines. The project had been completed 12 years later. Appeals and expropriation could result in up to 42 months' delay (with no productive work done). As much as 18 months could be required for approvals and procurement after an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), during which no design or construction work could be performed. The EIA, appeals and expropriation could take up to 6.5 years. This fact was an eye-opener to the challenges that could be faced.
The PICC had adopted the National Infrastructure Plan in February 2012. The PICC consisted of the President, Deputy President, Ministers appointed by the President, Premiers, South African Local Government Association (SALGA) leaders and metro mayors. The plan consisted of 18 Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPS). It had a management committee and a secretariat. For example, SIPs 8, 9 and 10 covered energy security. SIPs 12, 13, 14 dealt with schools, hospitals and universities. Government had looked at where they were getting the right structures. The engine room of the Bill was in the steering committees. He discussed what had been achieved in focusing on infrastructure.
A National Infrastructure Plan had been adopted and was regularly updated. It focused particularly on the next five to 10 years, but the gestation period extended to the year 2040. The SIP launches had taken place to bring together key stakeholders and committees who were looking at the SIPs. SIP coordinators and chairpersons had been appointed and work was under way in all the SIPs. Regular monitoring of projects across the infrastructure platforms takes place. To date, five sets of detailed reports that cover multiple projects have been tabled through Cabinet processes. The following areas on the projects are tracked: How much has been spent on construction; construction progress, i.e. what percentage has been completed thus far; jobs created; level of localization; scheduled days – by what period, and for what reason; and significant developments requiring attention. About 180 000 jobs have been sustained by projects in the National infrastructure Plan in June 2013, in construction-related activities. A National Skills Plan had been developed so FET colleges and universities can start to ensure students are trained in these skills. A localization office has been established with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). An increasing level of components is manufactured locally, using new Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA) regulations. From the diaries of the PICC members, what has been achieved includes the following: The President has gone to Grootvlei power station, and the railway line's life has been extended. Construction has started at the Industrial Development Zone in Saldanha. A roll-out of ten new hospitals is being administered. There is progress at the Medupi power station in Limpompo. Construction of large new solar power plants, where the sun’s energy is converted into usable energy, is underway and Eskom is building a wind farm. The world’s largest manganese plant will be opened in the Northern Cape in the next few weeks. The rollout of a new vehicle in Uitenhage, local bus production in Germiston and taxis in eThekwini, will increase the capacity of vehicle manufacturers to export. These examples were the background explanation for the increasing level of public investment on a more sustainable basis.
Although there had been many successes over the years, there were many remaining challenges. The Infrastructure Development Bill was intended to speed up and improve the delivery and implementation of social and economic infrastructure and to maximize the developmental impact. The Bill was 15 pages long, with 22 clauses and 600 lines of text, including annexures. Firstly, the Bill established in law the coordination structures of the PICC, to provide for executive authorities in all three spheres of government with an opportunity to meet on a regular basis to drive implementation of infrastructure. Secondly, it provided for strategic SIPs to connect and align a number of catalytic projects that together make up the National Infrastructure Plan (NIP). Thirdly, it set timeframes for the approval of regulatory decisions affecting the implementation of infrastructure projects. Instead of sequential approval processes for the NIP, it provides for processes to run concurrently wherever possible. This ensures that the state works towards a common deadline. The time frame provides for public consultation to give additional considerations. Fourthly, it set out processes of co-ordination that require regulatory authorities and cross-cutting departments to work closely together.
Fifthly, it provided for the PICC to expropriate land required for infrastructure development, but importantly made such power subject to the Constitution, as it should, and any Act of Parliament specifically dealing with expropriation which was passed by Parliament after the Bill becomes law. The Minister said there is value in a more detailed codification. Sixthly, it set out the mechanism through which developmental targets can be set out for each major infrastructure project, covering areas such as youth employment targets, greening the economy, skills development and broad-based empowerment.
What the Bill did not do was change the responsibilities of accounting officers or authorities, or the route for fiscal flows. Line departments and fiscal entities will continue to be accountable to Parliament, which had oversight for the spending of money. The PICC’s role is to coordinate the implementation of projects and enhance the connection between projects (e.g. when a school was built, the project must ensure it has roads, sewage systems, water, electricity and Information and Communications Technology (ICT)). The PICC must also ensure there are labour-based policies to maximize employment creation and industrialization.
Under the objectives of the Bill, a legal mandate for the PICC and its structures, and for maintenance of the national infrastructure Plan, the Bill aimed to: maintain the national structures of the PICC, update and extend the National infrastructure Plan, identify key developmental elements of the infrastructure programme, clarify the role of departments and agencies in managing SIPs, establish procedures and structures to minimise unnecessary delays, and set out time frames for SIP planning processes.
Part 1 of the Bill deals with definitions and objects. The objectives of the Act are to: establish the PICC and its structures in law, identify SIPs, align resources across the state in support of SIPs, provide the appointment of Ministers as chairpersons of strategic integrated objectives (a number of different Ministers to chair SIPs and ensure integration), provide for steering committees to supply technical support and oversight for SIPs, establish processes and timeframes for the implementation of strategic integrated projects, ensure that infrastructure promotes developmental aims.
Part 2 dealt with the PICC and its structures. The functions of the PICC include: to develop, maintain and co-ordinate the implementation of the NIP, to establish SIPs and ensure co-operation across the state to implement them, to evaluate the impact of infrastructure projects on economic and development goals, to address obstacles to implementation on infrastructure plans and to maximize the developmental outcomes of infrastructure investment. Clause 5 gave the PICC power to expropriate land. This was in line with the Constitution, relevant laws and the Expropriation Bill, to allow for multiple public projects in a SIP. Clause 6 provided for the appointment of PICC MANCO (Management Committee) by the President, with the functions of overseeing the secretariat, ensuring a coordinated approach to regulatory requirements, and ensuring decisions of the PICC are managed and implemented.
Part 3 of the Bill dealt with the criteria for the designation of a SIP to include national importance and inclusion in National Infrastructure Plan. The PICC must designate a Minister as chairperson of a SIP. The chairperson convened a forum of the executive authorities involved, coordinated implementation of the SIP, and ensured regular reports, as required by the PICC. Clause 8 was the tender requirements section, which stipulates that the PICC may determine if a SIP must go to out tender because the state does not have capacity. If this is the case, Ministers can be assigned to deal with various accounting officers.
Part 4 dealt with implementing structures and the secretariat to whom the detailed practical problems come, and they must ensure the problems are resolved. The members were Ministers/Deputy Ministers appointed by the President. The chairperson is the Minister of Economic Development. Functions include driving implementation of the SIPs, appointing coordinators and steering committees, monitoring and evaluating progress, issuing frameworks and guidelines for SIPs, and managing day to day work of the PICC. The SIP steering committees are chaired by the SIP coordinators. ESKOM and the IDC, for example, chair two SIPs each, so capacity within the state is used. The members of the steering committee do not displace accounting officers/authorities on individual projects. Strong provisions in Clause 12 prevent conflict of interest among members and their families. In addition, the costs of the steering committee are borne by the Department of the SIP Chairperson. The SIP steering committee is an inclusive team from across Government, to manage all the regulatory and other requirements for a successful implementation of a SIP, so an official cannot unfairly reject applications. The responsibilities of the steering committees include identifying the individual components of a SIP, developing project plans for the SIP, ensuring compliance with laws and identifying what regulatory requirements there are, unblocking projects, and reporting on progress regularly to the secretariat. Clause 15 was about avoiding regulatory delays. The steering committee must ensure project managers work closely with each other and comply with regulatory requirements. All outcomes of applications must be reported immediately to the secretariat.
Part 5 of the Bill covered the processes required to implement a SIP, including approvals, licences, authorizations and exemptions, which should as far as possible run concurrently. Schedule 2 in the Bill refers to time frames for specific processes. The process had seven steps, with times set out. Clause 18 provided for handling Environmental Impact Assessments in line with Chapter 5 of the National Environment Management Act (NEMA), which permitted special procedures.
Part 6 of the Bill contained general provisions, where the Minister of Economic Development must provide a quarterly progress report to the PICC and also authorization for delegations of authority in the PICC structures. The Minister, in consultation with the PICC, must consult responsible line Ministers before issuing regulations and implementation frameworks for the SIPs on skills, the Green Economy, employment creation, youth employment, rural development, and broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE). The Government aimed to get Schedule 1: Scope, and Schedule 2: Timeframes for SIP planning and public consultation, running parallel to one another and get through building infrastructure.
The Bill had provisionally been tagged as a Section 75 Bill by the office of the State Law Advisor, but the joint tagging mechanism (JTM) decision was awaited to see whether it would be regarded as Section 75 or 76, or both. Processes of consultation on the principles of the Bill, or the initial versions of the Bill, included government departments, the PICC council (which included Premiers and local government), and public comments solicited after the original Bill was published in February 2013. Nedlac had been consulted and concluded the Bill does not fall within the Nedlac Act, since it essentially deals with the internal structures of the state in order to make existing policies work.
This was the background information which explained why the Bill was part of a toolkit of a modern, effective, capable government that could speed up implementation in the next ten to 15 years.
The Minister handed over to the Chairperson to make comments and ask questions.
The Chairperson thanked the Minister. She said the briefing had been long and had given the Members a clear and deep understanding of what the Bill was about.
Rev W Thring (ACDP) thanked the Minister for the detailed and insightful report. He believed this would help grow the economy and address unemployment, poverty and inequality. On improving transport infrastructure, he asked how the anomaly of adversely affecting beneficiation versus that of developing transport infrastructure, would be addressed. How would the Minister will deal with raw materials leaving the country, rather than being beneficiated within the country? In part 2 of the Bill, on council members determining their own procedures to be followed in meetings, he asked why this particular procedure had been included. He understood the role of private sector in job creation was important and wanted to know what their involvement in the Bill was.
Mr Van der Westhuizen asked why the issue of the Infrastructural Bill was with the Economic Development Department instead of the Presidency, in particular the NDP. With projects running parallel, the danger of wasteful and fruitless expenditure might arise. He asked whether there was a provision in the PFMA and other regulations to safeguard against this situation of parallel processes.
Mr X Mabasa (ANC) thanked the Minister for his input. He asked how the universities and technikons could leverage on this opportunity to ensure the skills produced by these institutions directly benefited the planned projects in a relevant way. Secondly, big industrial firms tended to be reluctant to open their ranks to blacks, e.g. the engineering sector. He asked how they would ensure this programme effected transformation.
Ms M Mogorosi (ANC) said this Bill would bear good fruit. She agreed with the comments on infrastructure helping to develop rural development. She referred to page 11 of the presentation, and said the PICC consisted of everyone except local mayors. The government needed to meet local and rural municipalities to develop those areas. She asked how this would be done.
Mr S Ngonyama (COPE) commended the Minister and the Department. He said nobody could fault the necessity to come up with a Bill of this nature, which co-ordinated infrastructure development in South Africa. Various departments had been working in silos, with no impact. He said strongly that this Bill was very necessary. His worry was where co-ordination was located. He envisaged unnecessary contestation among Ministers about who chaired committees. He raised Ms Mogorosi’s point about trying to do away with urban bias. Rural people did not seem to be accommodated much in the PICC. There was a need to monitor the process. Some kind of co-ordinating structure should be factored in, because the people/communities might be disempowered if they were not taken on board.
The Chairperson asked Mr Ngonyama to explain what form or composition he thought that structure should take to accommodate the voice of the people.
Mr Ngonyama said he thought some type of provincial PICC could be developed in the communities so that the people could cater for their own analysis of the situation. Lastly on corruption, which had emanated during the World Cup, he said there was nothing that spoke on how to prevent such challenges in the Bill.
Mr F Beukman (ANC) said he welcomed the Bill in terms of medium to long term planning. With regards to the differentiation between the secretariat and the management committee, he said the conflict of interest issues in the Bill ought to be discussed later. He asked if any cognizance had been taken of the same structure in other jurisdictions. Would this institution will be a clearing house for the next summer games, as an example?
Mr Z Ntuli (ANC) said the Bill was giving hope. It would eliminate the distractions of high costs and would help with the monitoring of government. There must be a way of monitoring by Parliament at a local level, when it delivered. He thanked the Minister for providing the background.
The Chairperson gave the Minister a chance to answer the questions.
Mr Patel said he appreciated comments that accompanied the questions. On the anomaly with the beneficiation and pit-to-port dilemma – not all of it was an infrastructural issue. The aim was to maintain a more balanced use of South Africa’s natural resources. He made an example of more scrap metal used in production of steel ensured the benefit went to further localization and reached further downstream users. With manganese in small towns in the Northern Cape, the Department had partnered with a major steel producer and BEE investor to ensure development of a smelter plan, which was at the centre of beneficiation. The Department recognized that the export costs of value added products were higher than normal, but export prices for raw materials were competitive. So the port regulator rebalanced the tariffs applicable to infrastructure by way of rebates. On coal, the Department was looking for new coal-fired power stations that could utilize some coal and railway line to link coal to existing power stations. So the Department is tackling the issue to increasing beneficiation.
In terms of Clause 3(6) on page 5 of the Bill, the PICC would determine the procedures to follow at their meetings. The Department had two choices – either set out exhaustively in the Bill all the procedures the PICC must follow, which would take make for a clumsy institution that prescribed rigid predefined rules, or to follow procedures which could be changed by Cabinet, should they so wish. The procedures they chose were self-regulated matters.
On the private sector's role, the Minister said he had thought about including a clause in the Bill on public private partnerships (PPP), but the regulatory framework already existed on PPPs. The private sector was important in raising money for infrastructure and carrying out the big projects locally and multi-nationally. The private sector was important as a user of infrastructure. Off-take agreements were needed for the big mines. The Economic Development Department (EDD) had responsibilities derived from section 91.2 of the constitution, where the President assigned responsibilities to members of the Cabinet. The PICC was chaired by the President. Clause 3(4) on page 5 of the Bill dealt with this, so the Presidency would drive the big decisions. For cross-cutting structures, the management committee was chaired by the Minister nominated by the President. Under the management committee was the secretariat ,which provides day to day functions, including the line item that dealt with the costs of running the PICC. The SIPs were each chaired by a Minister. It was a collegial group, where Cabinet members all played prominent roles in driving it.
On parallel processes, “wherever possible” was the language used in the Bill. This was about regulatory exemptions and zoning rights. Wasteful expenditure is avoided by ensuring executive authority deals with plans they have all agreed on. In the long run, this could be a cost-saving way of running infrastructure. The key part was that the Bill allowed every university/technikon to determine what the demand for engineers, for example, will be in the next ten to15 years. Then the Minister of Higher Education and Training could determine whether the university incentive structure needed to be changed to provide the very scarce skills or those in insufficient supply. This would then be shared among universities and FET colleges to produce these particular skills. FET colleges could benefit in particular if students received supervised training and experience in the actual workplace. This would provide experience.
The Bill provides for transformation in clause 21(1)(b) of the Bill – there are technical means by which it can be done. On PICC composition, the Bill makes rural development an explicit goal. Urban development is implicit. Secondly, regarding the composition of the PICC, there was a need to ensure it is inclusive but not unwieldy, because it is an executing structure. Government will be represented in the top structures of the PICC to ensure their views are heard. So the SALGA committee can know what happens within the PICC.
He had attended the SIPs 6 meeting, which looks at the poorest 23 municipalities and consists of mayors and municipal officials. SALGA works with each SIP. They recognize the need to speed up infrastructural roll-out. The legislative piece is one part of what they do. The other part is the public engagement process. Community involvement has been great. The SIPs structures ensure active local participation.
Two things have been done with regard to corruption in the public sector. The Bill has strong measures around the composition of the steering committees, where key decisions are taken. The provisions are quite tough, to eliminate corruption. Collusion within the private sector drove up the price of the 2010 build programme. It seems more useful to use the Competition Act and the regulations governing the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) as the means of combating collusion. The CIDB will be in every SIP, and where companies collude, the agency registering them will be made aware of the collusion, and the consequences include what the CIDB will do. The Department will keep their eye on the issue of corruption.
Across the world, most countries with different systems face the same problems with projects running parallel. They had had a meeting where they had learned about The Major Projects Research Group (MPRG), which reports to European Ministers on infrastructure, and had found that the silo mentality exists wherever you have government. The nexus of power must be with the highest office bearer of the land which is the President, who must be able to bring people together.
The Chairperson interrupted and thanked the Minister for answerimg all the questions. Although the meeting was running overtime, she gave Ms Chili a chance to ask a question.
Ms D Chili (ANC) said youth employment was mentioned in the Bill, but nothing was said about regulatory support for women and people with disabilities.
The Chairperson asked about the inclusion of other local municipalities. She said there was a provision for SALGA, and the Portfolio Committee would still discuss the Bill. It was important to have parties at the district level involved. SALGA seemed to be biased towards urban areas, and not so much towards the rural. She asked the Minister to give this some thought. She asked about the relationship between the regulations dealing with monetary issues versus Treasury regulations, when the DG’s and heads of departments (HODs) still had to do their work on accountability. Those were the last questions the Department must follow up on.
She thanked the Minister once more for the briefing and the work that he had done with his team to make the NDP come to life in addressing issues affecting the country. The Members would deal with the Bill clause by clause, and take into account comments from the public before making recommendations.
Mr Patel said the Department had looked at youth unemployment specifically, given the large numbers of younger people that could get involved in the implementation process. He promised that the wider development agenda (i.e. women and children) would be paid full attention. The Department had had extensive discussions about striking a balance with the executing group. On the relationship with National Treasury, he said the Commission set the monetary value for the SIPs. The Minister of Finance would be on this structure. Once the limit was set, certain projects would qualify.
He concluded by saying he appreciated the input from the Members.
The meeting was adjourned.
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