ATC140219: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development on the redrafted Infrastructure Development Bill [B 49B―2013] (National Assembly – sec 76), dated 18 February 2014:

Economic Development

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development on the redrafted Infrastructure Development Bill [B 49B―2013] (National Assembly – sec 76), dated 18 February 2014:

The Infrastructure Development Bill [B 49―2013] (National Assembly proposed sec 75) was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development (‘the Committee’) for consideration and report on 4 November 2013, and subsequently classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 76 Bill.

A number of key issues were addressed by the Committee during its deliberations on the Bill, following the Economic Development Department’s response to comments received from the public:

1) Clarifying the intention of the Bill without changing the objects thereof, as broadly outlined in clause 2 in the Bill.

2) Addressing arguments presented regarding the constitutional powers of the three spheres of Government as assigned by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (‘the Constitution’), so as to avoid possible encroachment of provincial or local government powers.

3) Recognising that the Bill does not compromise the importance of sustainability and environmental justice considerations, as reflected in existing legislation such as the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (NEMA), without unnecessary duplication.

4) Ensuring that the Bill allows for reasonable timeframes and consultation, with due regard to the existence of circumstances that may require justifiable extensions.

5) Clarifying the structures and composition of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC), noting the need to distinguish the leading structure of the PICC from the set of structures that constitute the PICC as a whole. Thus, the term ‘Council’ was recommended to distinguish the overall body (‘the Commission’) from the decision-making structure without changing the existing composition, functions and mandates of either.

6) Reviewing the developmental impact criteria to include reference to women’s empowerment and persons with disabilities.

7) Expanding the scope of the Bill with regard to the role of the private sector by the introduction of an amendment to clarify that the private infrastructure projects may only be included in a strategic integrated project (SIP) with the consent of the owner. The definition of public infrastructure covered by the Bill was further amended to ensure that it includes Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) and Concessions.

8) Reformulating clause 5 to strengthen the procedures for expropriation for purposes of implementing a strategic integrated project, in compliance with the Constitution and relevant legislation.

9) Recognising, with regard to the provision relating to designation and implementation of strategic integrated projects, that the Bill:

a.) provides for the Commission to designate a SIP through the Commission’s Council, on which all three spheres of government are represented;

b.) provides the Commission, through a designated Minister, with authority to request relevant authorities to call for tenders for projects in order to ensure coordination; and

c.) coordinates and aligns infrastructure development.

10) Supporting the addition of Schedule 3 to the Bill, listing 18 SIPs of the National Infrastructure Plan, as the Committee understood the Bill to also give legal effect to already existing structures and practices, thereby requiring facilitation of continuity in the structures of SIP implementation.

The Committee further supported the intention of the Bill that every organ of state must ensure that its future planning or implementation of infrastructure or its future spatial planning and land use is not in conflict with any SIP designated by the PICC.

During deliberations objections were however also noted. The Committee accordingly further reports, in accordance with National Assembly Rule 251(e )( i) and (ii), that the Democratic Alliance (DA) recorded objections, amongst others, on the following matters:

1) the title of the Bill, as the DA indicated that since the Bill is meant to ensure effective coordination of infrastructure projects, it should be titled “The Strategic Infrastructure Coordinating Bill”;

2) clause 8 of the Bill, on the basis that it encroached on the powers and functioning of Provincial Authorities and Municipalities and would interfere with spatial planning; and

3) Schedule 2 of the Bill, indicating that the timeframes were irrational.

Subsequent to the above, the Democratic Alliance abstained from voting on the Bill.

The Committee sought legal and procedural advice and took note that specific amendments were introduced to address concerns relating to:

1) The powers and functions of all three spheres of government, with a new provision that requires powers in the Act to be exercised in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution and, in particular, with the functional competencies of the different spheres of government; and

2) The timeframes for public consultation in Schedule 2, to provide that an executive authority may extend the period on good grounds.

The Committee also appreciates the input made by the public during the processing of the Bill.

The Committee accordingly presents a redraft of the Bill [B 49B―2013] for consideration by the National Assembly.


Report adopted unanimously by 10 votes.

No dissenting votes.

No abstentions.

Report to be considered.


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