ATC210524: Report of the Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings on the Executive Undertakings Made by the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure During the House Sitting Of 16 July 2020, Adopted On 19 May 2021
REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON PETITIONS AND EXECUTIVE UNDERTAKINGS ON THE EXECUTIVE UNDERTAKINGS MADE BY THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE DURING THE HOUSE SITTING OF 16 JULY 2020, ADOPTED ON 19 MAY 2021
On 16 July 2020, the Honourable Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure (Minister) made the following executive undertakings during the Budget Vote in the National Council of Provinces (House):
- Executive Undertaking 1: “Some of the Special Projects that will be implemented in specific provinces are:
- The Rural ‘Welisizwe’ Bridges Project will initially focus implementation in three provinces with the highest risks, being Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State
- The Rural Roads Upgrade Project focuses implementation in five provinces, being Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and North West”.
- Executive Undertaking 2: “We will embark on a process of social facilitation that is an inclusive engagement and project development approach that has four critical pillars, namely:
- Full inclusivity where the community is involved throughout the project lifecycle;
- Co-creation where the community co-creates the project implementation plan; and
- Project ownership where the community co-owns the project.”.
- Executive Undertaking 3: “We are in the process of establishing Infrastructure South Africa or ISA as a single entry point for all infrastructure, where there will be a comprehensive infrastructure project pipeline that is assessed by the SIDS Methodology where the focus is on implementation that is needs-driven”.
- Executive Undertakings 4: “As part of the adjustment estimates, an amount of R1.6 billion was reprioritised within the Department baseline which is under transfers and subsidies, mainly relate to the following programmes:
- The reprioritised budget will be used to recruit participants for COVID 19 and GBV activities”.
- REFERRAL PROCEDURE TO THE COMMITTEE
The concerned executive undertakings were referred to the Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings (Committee) by the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, on 30 June 2020, for it to scrutinise and subsequently report to the House on their implementation.
After their referral the Committee proceeded to extend an invitation to the Minister to appear before it and report on the progress made by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (Department) in implementing the concerned executive undertakings.
- COMMITTEE MEETING PROCEDURES
On 21 October 2020, the Minister and relevant officials of the Department appeared before the Committee to report on the progress made in implementing the executive undertakings under consideration.
The following Committee Members were present at the meeting:
3.1 Hon Z V Ncitha, ANC, Eastern Cape (Chairperson);
3.2 Hon S Shaikh, ANC, Limpopo;
3.3 Hon T S C Dodovu, ANC, North-West;
3.4 Hon E M Mthethwa, ANC, KwaZulu-Natal;
3.5 Hon B M Bartlett, ANC, Northern Cape;
3.6 Hon G Michalakis, DA, Free State;
3.7 Hon I M Sileku, DA, Western Cape;
3.8 Hon C Visser, DA, North West;
3.9 Hon Zandamela, EFF; Mpumalanga; and
3.10 Hon S E Mfayela, IFP, KwaZulu-Natal
The following Committee officials were in attendance:
3.11 Mr N Mkhize, Committee Secretary;
3.12 Adv. T Sterris-Jaffer; Committee Researcher; and
3.13 Mrs N Fakier; Executive Secretary;
The following representatives of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure appeared before the Committee during the meeting:
3.14 Hon P de Lille, Minister;
3.15 Hon N Kiviet, Deputy Minister;
3.16 Mr I Fazel, Acting Deputy Director General;
3.17 Mr K Ramokgopa, Head of Infrastructure;
3.18 Mr M Sithole, Chief Financial Officer; and
3.19 Ms CJ Abrahams, Acting DDG.
- PROGRESS REPORT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRURE
The Department reported as follows:
- Executive Undertaking 1:
The Rural ‘Welisizwe’ Bridges Project will initially focus implementation in three provinces with the highest risks, being Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State.
The Department reported that there is finalisation of nine bridges in the Eastern Cape, and there are 14 in KZN. These are budgeted and funded and are in line with the plans. Like all the other Departments, the Department is applying for funding. If it is funded, it could build 17 bridges. The programme also includes skills development. Artisans will be assigned and will be part of the programme on site, on construction, and in manufacturing. The Department is working with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and has mobilised people. In the Eastern Cape it has one team of defence, and in KZN there are two teams.
The Rural Roads Upgrade Project focuses implementation in five provinces, being Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and North West.
The successful implementation of this project is reliant on the allocation of capital funding.
In this regard an application was made to National Treasury to secure immediate capital funding of R700 million which will assist with the roll-out of rural roads during this financial year, 2020/21 and the next financial year, 2021/22.
The South African National Road Agency (SANRAL) is also in the process of initiating a research programme that will formalise standards for low volumes sealed roads as well as the introduction of new technology that has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of upgrading rural roads whilst also applying labour intensive construction techniques.
4.2 Executive Undertaking 2:
The Department reported that through the integration of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission Technical Task Team (PICC TTT) and the Investment and Infrastructure Office (IIO), the External Relations function was established which provides for, inter alia, social facilitation.
Additionally, the current Technical Advisory Panel which was established to augment the capacity of the PICC TTT, will be expanded to incorporate social facilitation.
A call for nomination of people with the requisite experience on social facilitation, community engagement and communication will be published to bolster the social facilitation function.
A social facilitation plan that would incorporate community involvement and participation in infrastructure projects will be developed.
- Executive Undertaking 3:
The Department reported that the integration of the IIO in the Presidency and the PICC TTT is with the Department of Public Service and Administration for finalisation.
The Business Case for the establishment of Infrastructure South Africa (ISA), a requirement for the establishment of an agency, is currently being developed. It is envisaged that Infrastructure South Africa will be operationalised in the 2021/22 financial year.
4.4 Executive Undertaking 4:
Through its implementing agent, the Independent Development Trust (IDT), the DPWI has recruited 25 000 EPWP participants through the Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) under the EPWP Non-State Sector NPO programme.
Of the recruited participants, 1 658 are to implement GBVF services while 23 342 are to assist the Department of Health (DoH) in the delivery of health services as part of the Public Health Strategy to combat COVID-19.
As at 25 July 2020: Just over 17 000 EPWP participants were deployed across the country since 1st June 2020, to assist the DoH as stated above. About 668 EPWP participants in total were deployed to Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal Provinces as part of the GBVF programme.
The DPWI, through the EPWP NSS: NPO programme, was meant to assist the Department of Basic Education with the cleaning and screening at schools. This cost was also to be covered through the reprioritized budget. However subsequently a decision was taken that this initiative will be undertaken through the provincial Departments of Education. The DPWI is currently engaging the National Treasury on the reprioritization of the NSS: NPO Programme budget.
5. OBSERVATIONS AND KEY FINDINGS
In noting the progress report given by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure in relation to the implementation of the executive undertakings under review, the Committee made the following observations and key findings:
- The Department is confident it can complete the 400 bridges, and will be working on multiple sites at the same time. It assured improving the quality of the bridges, and getting better service providers. The designs on bridges are done by in-house structural engineers. This is part of enhancing the capacity of the state.
- The Department reported that through the integration of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission Technical Task Team (PICC TTT) and the Investment and Infrastructure Office (IIO), the External Relations function was established which provides for, inter alia, social facilitation.
- The Department reported that the integration of the IIO in the Presidency and the PICC TTT is with the Department of Public Service and Administration for finalisation.
Further, in noting the progress report made by the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, the Committee, lastly, observes that the executive undertakings have been adequately implemented and therefore recommends that they be closed.
Report to be considered.
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