Hansard: NA: Mini-Plenary (Debate on Vote 13 )
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 23 May 2023
No summary available.
MINI PLENARY - NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TUESDAY, 23 MAY 2023
VOTE NO 13 – PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE
PROCEEDINGS OF HYBRID MINIPLENARY – COMMITTEE ROOM M46
Watch: Mini-Plenary (Debate on Vote 13 )
Members of the mini-plenary session met at Committee Room M46 at 16:15.
Acting Chairperson Mr Q R Dyantyi took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
Debate on Vote 13 - Public Works and Infrastructure:
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon Chairperson, chairperson the portfolio committee and all members of the portfolio committee, Deputy Minister hon Bernice Swarts, chairpersons and chief executive officers, CEOs, of our statutory bodies and councils, guests joining us today and senior management of our department.
We present this Budget Vote today on a day coinciding with Joe Slovo’s birthday, a distinguished stalwart and icon of our liberation. To honour his sacrifices, we must build, brick by brick, a South Africa that is truly united, non-racial, non- sexist, equal, and prosperous.
As a department, we will make our contribution in cementing the vision of a South Africa that leaves no one behind as clearly articulated in the 2023 State of the Nation Address by His Excellency, President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa.
During this Africa Month, we reaffirm our commitment to a better Africa and a better world which can be concretised through world class infrastructure that criss-crosses Africa. Hon Chairperson, we are working hard to reposition the department.
The department co-ordinates infrastructure development and is central to SA Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, ERRP, through championing the implementation of the catalytic strategic integrated projects. Our objective is to use the property and infrastructure sector to build assets, deliver climate-resilient smart infrastructure, facilitate spatial
transformation, support economic empowerment, and drive job creation.
In the year ahead, we will robustly coordinate the provision of a social facilitation framework to mitigate against community unrests which delay construction projects. We are determined to enhance the participation of communities in projects, drive localisation of supplies, and involve locals in the maintenance of the property ecosystem.
We are resolute that benefits of our programmes should benefit the youth, women, military veterans, and people living with disabilities in the country. The construction branch will work closer with Infrastructure South Africa, ISA, on unclogging delayed projects. Attention will be given to contract management through capacity building, risk management, and continuous monitoring of projects.
We have introduced the war room approach and the establishment of Project Management Units, PMUs, to fast track the implementation of projects and reduce the number of projects that are stalled. We are going to re-introduce the turnkey
delivery method and establish panels of contractors and consultants to avoid prolonged procurement processes.
The department is also addressing vacancy rates which impede the capacity to effectively deliver projects on time and on budget. No matter the odds, we are determined to close the curtain on the history of a department being associated with corruption, ineptitude, and poor infrastructure delivery.
We will be regular on project site visits where we will monitor and ensure that we unblock service delivery challenges. South Africa must become a construction site again.
In the same manner that we used the construction sector to cushion our country from the effects of the global financial crisis and built world class stadia in time for the 2010 World Cup, we must use the infrastructure and the property sector towards the reconstruction and recovery of our economy post the COVID-19 era.
Infrastructure South Africa continues to serve as our special purpose vehicle that will focus on ensuring that we have well
packaged projects that are financially viable, catalytic in impact and are delivered on time with all stakeholders meeting their commitments. The department does not take for granted our client departments, and in this regard, we will be paying greater attention to client care.
Our supply chain, legal and other line function units as well as departments will meet regularly to address all transversal challenges. The Department must not be a soft target for unscrupulous service providers who at times cheat the department through shoddy workmanship and project stoppages claiming liquidation of companies.
Equally, we will ensure that our programmes contribute towards transforming the construction, maintenance, and management of the infrastructure sector in the country. We must address the imbalance that persists from the misrule of the era of apartheid-colonialism.
To address the impact of floods in KwaZulu-Natal, 18 land parcels were released by the department for purposes of accommodating communities, including those affected by floods in 2022. At the beginning of March 2023, four land parcels
were released to Msunduzi Local Municipality for purposes of accommodating communities including those displaced by flooding.
In support of the country’s initiative to restore dispossessed land to rightful owners, 221 land parcels have been released to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development for transfer to the approved land claimants. The target of 10 000 hectares has thus been significantly exceeded. Approximately 1 576 hectares is earmarked to be released within the 2023/24 financial year.
In support of human settlement development, 44 land parcels have been released to the Housing Development Agency to fast- track development of houses. In the 2023/24 financial year, approximately 6 320 hectares is earmarked to be released for human settlements purposes.
To address land distribution and the skewed patterns of land ownership, 125 land parcels were released from the department to support subsistence farming and ensure food security. The issue of land ...
... ukubuyiswa komhlaba kumele sikusheshise. Umhlaba siwunikezele kubo bonke abantu ukufaka phakathi labo abasemakhaya abangeke baba nemali yokuthenga amapulazi ngokwabo.
An estimated additional 50 land parcels are earmarked to be released within the 2023/24 financial year. In support for socio economic programs of our government 11 land parcels were released for a variety of Sanral road construction projects.
In addition, 24 land parcels were released for the registration of Eskom servitudes for the construction of generation, transmission, and distribution power line to ensure distribution of electricity to the poor. A further six land parcels are being considered for release to Eskom during this financial year.
The department also processed 27 requests from Eskom for expropriation of private land parcels to enable the construction of key transmission power lines in the Limpopo province. Twenty-three requests for expropriation of private
land to enable the transmission of electricity will be considered and processed in this financial year.
In addition, a further 49 land parcels were also released in transferring the custodianship of 19 land ports of entry to the Border Management Authority, BMA. The transfer of the remaining three land ports of entry to the BMA will be processed in this financial year. Approximately 2 230 hectares are earmarked to be released within this financial year.
We are busy connecting rural communities through Welisizwe Bridges as the President announced. We will continue to partner with the Department of Defence, the Department of Transport, along with six provinces for the construction of the Welisizwe Bridges to connect communities in rural areas.
For these projects, R3,8 billion is allocated in the Mid-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF. In this financial year 96 bridges at cost of R1,1 billion will be constructed, 17 in KwaZulu- Natal, 17 in Eastern Cape, 17 in North West, 17 in Mpumalanga, and 14 in Free State. Members of the Executive Council, MECs, from these provinces are watching and following us as we are working with them on this programme.
The first phase of the small harbours development project, we have repaired and upgraded 13 proclaimed fishing harbours in the Western Cape which have empowered over 100 Small Micro Medium Enterprise, SMMEs, to the value of over R116 million.
The next phase is to identify opportunities for establishing small harbours in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Northern Cape. Unlike the apartheid regime that focused on the coastline in Western Cape alone, our focus is on the entire country. We welcome the Chinese government’s participation who have pledged to sponsor us on feasibility studies in the three provinces.
Through Infrastructure South Africa, we are implementing the Infrastructure Investment Plan as approved by Cabinet in May 2020 and enhancing the operation of the infrastructure fund.
In addition to what was reported in 2022, South Africa has amassed a pipeline of Green Hydrogen Projects with a value of over R300 billion, which are in project preparation stages.
Among these projects, is the Boegoebaai Green Hydrogen Project in the Northern Cape with a potential to create around 35 000 job opportunities when it commences.
The Infrastructure Development Act, IDA, provides for the Minister responsible for infrastructure to gazette infrastructure projects that are of economic significance and social importance.
To date, 88 Strategic Infrastructure Projects, SIPs have been gazetted covering foundational infrastructure networks in energy, water and sanitation, transport as well as digital communications infrastructure. The SIPs also cover human settlements, agriculture, and agro processing.
We wish to update this House and South Africans at large that the project sponsors and owners have been working with the department and the progress thus far includes the following, the total value of projects completed is R21,4 billion mainly roads, energy and human settlement projects; total value of projects currently under construction is R313,5 billion; projects in procurement are standing at R295,2 billion.
The energy sector infrastructure project pipeline registered with ISA includes R180 billions of embedded generation investment programme and R50 billion of the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Programme, RMIPPP. ISA has already
unlocked, as per the provisions of the IDA, 225 megawatts for Scatec of approximately R16 billion.
When it comes to the Infrastructure Fund Project pipeline, we can report that for the first time in the history, the Budget Facility for Infrastructure, BFI, has surpassed its target during the Window 6.
In December 2022, the National Treasury confirmed approvals of blended finance projects through the BFI process that includes bulk water projects, with a total project value of
R57,7 billion. The fiscal support as approved by the National Treasury amounts to R21,7 billion.
Outside of these projects, the Infrastructure Fund is earmarking a total of 9 projects amounting to R45 billion that are at an advanced stage, and these will be submitted to the BFI Window 7 for approval. These include the six ports of entry programmes, container terminal upgrades and human settlements projects.
We welcome the announcement in the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency President Ramaphosa that ISA has been
allocated R600 million in the MTEF for project preparation, specifically focusing on rural and under-resourced areas.
The department together with the Ministry of Electricity, supported by National Treasury’s Government Technical Advisory Centre, GTAC, is finalising the first Request for Proposals, RFPs, under the Integrated Renewable Energy and Resource Efficiency Programme, IREREP.
The RFP will be published by the end of June 2023. This will be followed by the convening of the bidders’ conference for interested parties. This will be the largest programme for the procurement of renewable energy and resource efficiency on the African continent.
This Programme will introduce up to 3 740 megawatts of equivalent capacity through renewable energy. Envisaged socio- economic benefits include up to R1,3 trillion direct contribution to the GDP, the creation of over 13 100 small new enterprise, an estimate of 503 000 jobs, and skills opportunities.
When it comes to the Construction Project Management, CPM, our branch is responsible for the delivery of accommodation needs for the department and user departments. In the financial year 2022/23, R3,05 billion was spent on contractors and consultants for infrastructure projects.
Approximately 95 infrastructure projects were completed, and
65 sites were handed over to contractors. We can report that among these projects, we include Nababeep Police Station in Namakwa District in Northern Cape, Emanguzi Police Station in Umkhanyakude District, is completed and the construction of the jersey barriers will soon commence. The department’s Information and Communication Technology, ICT, Disaster Recovery Centre was completed, Komatipoort Police Station in the Ehlanzeni, Mpumalanga Province has also been complete.
Further, the department has identified 50 significant projects in terms of budget allocation and significance. These projects will be closely monitored to drive performance and meet delivery deadlines. These include the Durban High Court in KwaZulu-Natal, Burgersdorp Correctional Centre in the Joe Gqabi in Eastern Cape, Groote Schuur Estate Heritage in the Western Cape.
In terms of planned construction projects for this financial year, the target is to hand over 168 infrastructure sites for construction, complete 109 infrastructure projects, and deliver 154 designs for user departments. We are improving the delivery capacity.
Working closely with the Department of Social Development, DSD, we continue to release properties to serve as shelters for victims of gender-based violence. The department will prepare and release more properties this year across the country and the Deputy Minister will further elaborate on this later.
Hon Members, the leasing portfolio has grown exponentially due to unavailability of ready to use government properties. Over the years, user departments preferred to use leased properties resulting to the ballooned budget of over R5 billion per annum.
To reduce the department’s dependency on leasing portfolio, we are enhancing the refurbishment, operate and transfer programme. We cannot continue depending on the private sector,
we must have government properties refurbished and the handed over to government later.
In terms of the top 20 compliance quarter 4 report, the initial leases were 571 and have been reduced to 132. The department has achieved a total reduction of R273 million for
330 leases through negotiation and this tells you the amount that the private sector charges us compared to the private sector. What they lease to other company to company is less to what they charge government. A target for this financial year is the reduction of R200 million.
Regarding maintenance and infrastructure, it is a fact that poor maintenance of infrastructure compromises our economy and poses a risk to the lives of our people. The ring fencing of budgets for infrastructure maintenance through National Treasury now requires implementation with precision.
We intend allocating maintenance teams and conducting planned maintenance to each client department and submit a quarterly report to accounting officers of each department. Together with the Deputy Minister, we are setting new standards to inform service level agreements, SLAs, with leased buildings,
focusing on maintenance, enhancing our building in becoming smart, energy-efficient buildings.
The department is determined to reduce the over reliance on reactive maintenance by implementing preventative contracts through term contracts as well as total facilities management contracts. There are three total management contracts for Batho Pele House, Civitas and 1 Military Hospital that are currently ongoing for a period of 3 years, and anyone who has gone to these facilities can attest to the high standard that is preserved.
The total number of term contracts awarded for 2022/23 are
163. The number of condition assessments completed for 2022/23 are 107 on prioritised properties and 140 conditional assessments were completed on critical components.
In the current financial year, a total of 15 total facilities management contracts are projected at an estimated value of more than R434 million for a period of 3 years. All Total Facilities Management Companies, TFMC, are aligned and will be compelled to support SMMEs, focus on job creation opportunities for women, youth, and people with disabilities.
Conditional assessments will be carried out by a multidisciplinary technical team from a panel in place for an initial 82 facilities. Eradication of asbestos project is underway with the budget estimate of R10 million.
The repairs and follow up maintenance of 110 water and wastewater treatment facilities as identified by the green drop audit with a projected budget requirement of R250 million over the MTEF. We cannot tolerate the invasion and extortion on construction sites.
The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime Report reveals that extortion in 2019 led to the delay of 180 construction projects worth R63 billion in South Africa and this cannot be tolerated. Criminal syndicates who sabotage the economy, impede the delivery of infrastructure, and obstruct job creation are nothing but enemies of the poor people and our country. We are therefore please with the progress made by SA Police Service, SAPS, and we will continue to work with the SAPS in this regard.
Regarding the skills development in the built industry, in 2023/2024, the department is awarding about 100 bursaries
across all provinces for youth who will study built environment qualifications, valued at R16 million.
More needs to be done to address the skills shortages and focus must be on black women to ensure that young girls are empowered to enter this space. Through the Young Professional Programme, 79 Candidates will be recruited for 2023/24 financial year.
Currently, a total number of 108 youths are employed under the Work Integrated Learning Programme and graduate internship programme. In partnership with BankSETA, department employed
... [Interjection.] ...
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Please wrap up.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon House
Chair, may I take this opportunity to present this budget allocation of R27,5 billion over the MTEF and R8,7 billion for 2023/24. The focus of this will be on Expanded Public Works Programme as well as facilitating work done by Infrastructure South Africa. Thank you.
Ms N NTOBONGWANA: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister Zikalala, hon Deputy Minister Swarts, hon Members of the Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure, hon members in the Chamber and on the virtual platform, acting Director-General of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure and your team, the chief executive officers, CEOs, the chairpersons of the boards of the entities of this department, distinguished guests ...
... molweni nonke ngale mvakwemini kule nyanga yezwekazi i_- Afrika (Africa month.)
This budget is occurring at an auspicious time as the country in 2024 will be reaching 30 years of democracy under the ANC government, to check the 300 years of the apartheid colonial government. It has been a long walk with many trials and tribulations and therefore we need to honour our leaders of the struggle who sacrificed their lives for our liberation.
Our democracy has brought with it the much-needed political freedom for the majority of the population which were
politically and economically excluded in every sense through the 300 years of apartheid colonialism. The ANC government has ensured through its policies and programmes that transformation can occur at all levels of society and has provided services which did not previously exist, and as well opened community opportunities for the majority of the people.
Kule mihla siyakwazi ukuthetha ngeenkonzo ezazingekho eMvumelwano kuQumbu kweza lali ndisuka kuzo phambi kowe-1994.
This Budget Vote of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, occurs at a critical time when the economy is recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of the devastating floods due to the influential weather that engulfed some parts of the country, I think Minister has said so when he are speaking, that some of the programmes that they are doing is to address the challenges of the devastating floods, especially in KwaZulu-Natal.
The ANC government had to once more, extend support to many people that were displaced by the floods, through the
allocation of this ... [Inaudible] ... parcels, through putting people in halls, through construction of bridges where bridges were damaged by the floods. The people of South Africa expect no less from a government that seeks transformation and improvement of the people’s lives. Due to the low economic growth and effects of the pandemic of the COVID-19, the ANC government adopted the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan whose focus amongst others is the infrastructure development and job creation.
Part of the implementation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan is within the scope of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure and its entities, which are the implementation hubs of the departmental programme. This Budget Vote amongst other priority programmes sets out in the programme for the implementation as I indicated, infrastructure development and job creation. In this term, the Sixth Term, we have seen a progress in attempting to turnaround the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure and ensure that all forms of corruption, maladministration are eliminated, to make sure that programmes are implemented and financial controls restored, resulting in the department improving in its audit outcomes.
In fact, almost all the three entities obtained clean audits, except only one which we all know that it is also on the route to clean audit, that is the Independent Development Trust, IDT
... ebisezingxakini kakhulu.
We believe that; that has been done through the programmes that were implemented in the department to turnaround the department. Whilst steady progress has been made in terms of ensuring that department is able to deliver on its programmes as well as the entities, much more still needs to occur to ensure that the entities implement the developmental objectives of the government, which is geared towards the transformation of our society and improving the lives of the people of South Africa.
The Extended Public Works Programme and repurposing of the IDT which is an important development entity, can be counted as major achievements in the past financial year. Still more needs to be done Minister and Deputy Minister and we know that
this ANC government will not rest until the goals of transformation have been achieved. The department has five critical programmes. The budget that the Minister mentioned of R8, ... billion, I don’t want to call numbers in the wrong way. This budget reflects a 7,7% increase which we appreciate.
The bulk of the budget - what is good about this department is that the bulk of the budget is not taken to administration.
So, in this budget only 6% can be attributed to administration, while 85% of the budget is geared towards transfers to entities and provinces, as well as municipalities as conditional grants for the implementation of critical social development programmes, which is the EPWP which is continuing with providing job opportunities and skilling artisans. But with the challenge that we have of unemployment, we think that more can still be done.
In terms of the administration, department has been one of the traditional underspending departments due to vacancies, but we have seen that towards the end of the last year, some critical posts have been filled. Minister, we are therefore looking forward you ensuring that even in this year, critical posts are filled in the department, so that we don’t have, acting,
acting, acting. The entities under the department must strive to improve the corporate governance and financial controls, as this will enable greater levels of performance and more efficient usage of the budget to execute developmental priority programmes of the government.
The department is the custodian and the portfolio manager of the government immovable assets, and it needs to enhance the value of the properties, to ensure that this portfolio serves as the source of revenue of the government. One thing that we have raised Minister and Deputy Minister at the portfolio committee many times is the issue of maintenance. Yes, we have properties but when it comes to maintenance, we don’t have routine maintenance. We only do the maintenance when it has arisen. I think we appreciate that we are going around and recently we went to these houses that the Ministers are occupying. We hope that with you doing that, routine maintenance will be done and the department won’t spend much if it is doing routine maintenance.
Over the past year, Infrastructure South Africa was created and located within the department. The inclusion of Infrastructure South Africa in the Department of Public Works
and Infrastructure is important as it is a critical vehicle for the co-ordination of infrastructure development ... [Inaudible] ... job creation. There is already a memorandum of agreement between Infrastructure South Africa, Isa, Development Bank of South Africa and National Treasury which spelt out different functions of each to roll as the pipeline of blended finance programme.
We appreciate the programme that was mentioned by the President on the state of the nation address, the Welisizwe Rural Bridges Programme and we have seen the spinoff that came out of that programme, where kids could not go to school because of the river. We have seen the Welisizwe bridges being constructed to ensure that children are able to cross the river to go to school. We have also seen this programme in KwaZulu-Natal where the devastating floods damaged some of the bridges. The Welisizwe bridges have been done. We appreciate that on the ANC government in delivering that through this department.
The department needs to develop a number of pieces of legislation to guide its work and ensure accountability of the department and its entities. This should commence with the
Public Works Bill that as the portfolio committee we have raised several times that, we must ensure that this Bill comes into. Legislation is also required in the case of Property Management Trading Entity, PMTE to perform its function that it has been mandated to carry in relation to acquisition and disposal of property.
As I close, the Budget Vote report has made many important observations and recommendations relating to the entities and these need to be followed up by the department as implementation. The ANC supports Budget Vote 13 of Public Works and Infrastructure. I thank you.
Mr I S SEITLHOLO: House Chairperson, since the appointment of Minister Sihle Zikalala back in March, it is important for this House and South Africans at home to note that this Minister is yet to attend a single Portfolio Committee meeting on Public Works and Infrastructure.
Minister, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure is an enabling and co-ordinating department. As such, the department has a responsibility to ensure that if it’s client departments such as Police, Health, Education, as well as
local government, naming but a few, have the facilities to undertake their respective constitutional mandate. This extends further to than just buildings, Minister. This includes the state of the building, the maintenance of the building, load shedding interventions like the availability of generators, Heating, Ventilation Airconditioning and Cooling. I highlighted these important points to bring closer to holding the realities faced by ordinary South Africans on the ground due to the failure of the department to take up its co- ordinating and enabling role.
However, what the department has enabled is the creation of Informal Settlements on government properties, where people live in squalor, far removed from job opportunities, and with absolutely no access to basic services such as running water, sanitation, access roads and many more. Hon Minister, the property in Walmansthal in Tshwane has been unlawfully invaded and an informal settlement is burgeoning. Because this does not form part of the City of Tshwane’s spatial development framework, and remains zoned as agricultural land, there is no access to bulk services in the area. The residents are illegally connected to the water pipelines of the military base and Magalies water, and illegally tapping into various
electricity lines. The onus of the provision of bulk services now falls on the City of Tshwane who have not budgeted nor planned for this. This is due to the department’s inability to protect its properties from illegal occupation.
A further example of the department’s negligence to protect its properties can be seen at Knofloskraal in the Theewaterkloof Local Municipality here in the Western Cape. Hon Minister, the land in this area was earmarked for a Forestry project which would have seen beneficiaries become not just participants but also owners of the project. Despite early warnings that land invasions were starting to occur, and several court orders to prevent further land invasions, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure failed to bring these under control and there are now more than 3000 occupants living in the property. Knoflokskraal is now undeniably an informal settlement.
Once again, we have missed opportunities and instead have people living in abhorrent conditions with no services, and no potential to improve their lives because the Department of Forestry and Fisheries has now withdrawn the programme.
Theewaterskloof Municipality, just like in Tshwane, is being
pressurised to formalise the area despite not having neither the resources nor the development plans. While these are large scale invasions, smaller occupations of Department of Public Works and Infrastructure properties are taking place all over the country, and the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure seems incapable and disinterested in preventing these.
Case in point, Waterloo Green in Wynberg, Western Cape, the property owned by Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has three abandoned houses on it of which two are currently occupied by homeless people and criminals. A resident identified one of the occupiers as a person who mugged her, and there was a murder on the property and there have been two fires. Since the occupation of the property, crime has escalated to such an extent that the local schools have had to hire security guards to protect their learners from muggings. The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has been making empty promises to the residents that the vandalised houses will be demolished and that security will be upgraded. 18 months since it was firstly reported, there has been no action taken.
Chairperson, because Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has lost control over their properties, effectively, they’ve lost control over their asset base. In terms of their own Expropriation Bill, the effective loss of control over properties would justify the expropriation thereof, without compensation. It’s unacceptable that the custodian of government immovable assets has done so little to protect the value of its properties. Furthermore, this negligence has placed the financial burden on local government which is in the form of an unfunded mandate.
The lack of interest the department demonstrates in preserving the condition of its properties, can be highlighted in the case of Rashoop Shooting Range, in Brits North West. Since 2019, the Marcus Arms Shooting Club has been trying to get permission to lease this property with the permission from Department of Public Works and Infrastructure not forthcoming. This is despite the commitment to do the necessary repairs to the property in order to render it fully useable. Important to note Minister is that, currently the SAPS in Brits have to travel to Potchefstroom which is around 140 km away to use a shooting range to maintain their mandatory competency.
The Real Estate Management Services, a programme within the Property Management Trading Entity has a budget allocation of R13,9 billion for the 2023-24 financial year. And yet, it is unable to fulfil its mandate of managing government properties. Your department’s buildings are overrun by vandals, and homeless people continue to live in squalor.
The DA run Western Cape Department of Infrastructure and the City of Cape Town recently handed over 204 Social Housing Project units in Maitland. The project is part of a bigger precinct development called Maitland Metro which will deliver more than 1 200 new units over the next eight years. This is just but one of the signature projects under the Western Cape government’s Infrastructure Framework which will see targeted investments in energy, water, transport, human settlements, and ICT.
In February, the City of Cape Town Mayor launched a
R120 billion portfolio, which is set to form the foundation for economic growth in the city over the 10 years. This is by far the largest infrastructure investment plan ever announced by any metro in South Africa. With the national government issuing infrastructure plan after infrastructure plan, with no
discernible action to implement them, the City of Cape Town is on course to increase infrastructure investment by 110% in three years. This unprecedented investment will drive economic growth, provide sustainable jobs for Capetonians, and attract more investment in the region. The DA governments don’t just talk, they act – and the results are there for all to see. The DA gets things done. You should try it. It works.
Ms A M SIWISA: House Chairperson, let me start by sending greetings to the commander-in-chief, the president of the most progressive movement in South Africa and in Africa. Since the so-called political freedom, the president of the EFF, Julius Sello Malema, officials, commissioners, ground forces and supporters. Let me join my colleagues of the EEF in wishing this mighty organization a happy 10th anniversary. Despite the false prophets who said it will never pass another year, and that it will die. Despite all doom sayers, this organization has found itself fighting to implement the first cardinal pillar, expropriation of land without compensation for equal distribution.
House Chairperson, we find ourselves fighting for the return of the land and all property to the custodian of the state to
benefit all. Despite continuous pleads by the by EFF, the reality is the Department of Public Works is not ready to do so. Public Works has gone forth to adopt the Expropriation Bill that was unfounded and only benefits the minority privileged in South Africa. The department is the custodian of all properties in South Africa, but the department still finds itself wanting, and not being able to provide voters with basic infrastructure for schools, hospitals, clinics, exposing them to pit toilets. A department that has let buildings to deteriorate and posed a danger to those occupying them.
The maintenance plan that has become so popular on paper, is still has not been implemented. We find the department that is willing to spend R6,1 billion to rent offices for sister departments and receives a revenue of R5,5 billion in leasing out its own state-owned buildings which is working at the loss. The department where a former Minister alluded on an interview that the department considers selling some of its properties as it’s difficult to maintain these buildings.
With load shedding affecting the level of service delivery, that department decided to equip houses of Ministers with generators as if there’s anything significant that they are
doing for South Africans. No wonder a mayor in Mpumalanga can utter nonsensical comments for residents that they do not have fridges, why do they need electricity? Residents in Kimberley have been exposed to spend money on transport to visit Home Affairs, when it’s load shedding, the generator, by the way the office is rented by Public Works and they are supposed to make sure that the generator last, the generator cannot sustain until the end of the load shedding. Mamelodi magistrate court construction was delayed due to incompetence of this department by extending the construction without proper consultation, which reminds us of the Beitbridge saga.
Concerns have been raised pertaining the preventative measures to hold officials accountable. Measures are not sufficient Minister, nor in place. The question of student accommodation is still giving many students and parents sleepless nights.
There are many buildings, Minister, that can be utilized for student accommodation. Maphutha Malatji in Mopani district in Limpopo has been under construction for a new pediatrics ward and the laboratory since 2011 as an original budget of
R90 million. To date, that has not been finished. Which hampers our people to receive healthcare. We already have shortage of hospitals. This is a disgrace and a slap in the
face of the people of Limpopo. This is only the peak of what we know, not to mention the state of hospitals across the country.
We still find entities that work parallel to each other despite numerous advice by the EFF on how these entities can be integrated and work together to provide infrastructure in South Africa. Property Management Trading Entity, PMTE is still trying to navigate its way on what its mandate is. Again Minister, you will do the same mistake that was done by former Minister of ignoring the role of the ITT in improvision, as an implementing agency dealing with infrastructure and rather focus on ... [Inaudible.] ... and ... [Inaudible.] all those that are not entities of your department. The time has arrived for value for money. The time has arrived for contractors to meet with AgrimaSA to expose to expose them to the different building material that is sustainable to the South African weather and that is cost effective.
Minister, in your own province, Mzimkhulu Junior Secondary School, there is still asbestos roofing. Senzokhule Primary School has no classrooms, no toilets. Mzimkhulu Clinic has only one toilet for both staff and patients. And Minister, I
thought that you would mention that you are going to make land available for abafazi [women] for them to have a place to work in and then for them to be able ... because there are women that are speaking about that they want to produce ... [Inaudible.] ... but they are not given the land to start their business.
Despite all the budget that your department presents here, if it’s not as a benefit of citizens of this country, then it's a futile exercise and it’s a waste of data. By the time that this department is focusing on tenders, many projects will not be finished, and they will forever be wasteful expenditure.
Like, I’m asking myself how much it’s going to be spent for the gala dinner that you are supposed to attend tonight for networking? It is time this department focuses on service delivery and move away from benefiting the minority elite. The time has arrived for the establishment of a construction company which will bring all under one roof. On that note Minister, we reject the budget. Thank you.
Mr S S ZONDO: Hon Chairperson, South Africa faces a number of challenges daily ranging from unemployment to poor service delivery and crucial services such as the ones offered by this
department are not a privilege but stand as a legitimate
...[Inaudible.] ... from our people. This department stands as the custodian and manager of governments’ immovable assets including the acquisition, maintenance and disposal of such assets. Unfortunately, under its watch, there are still many areas which we call for repair, improvement and in some instances complete replacement.
To ensure that people’s needs are responded to, it is important to highlight a number of areas which we believe need major improvement and intervention from the government. To start off, although crucial decisions and projects are not implemented and or finalised, key positions mostly at management level in the departments either stand vacant or filled by acting staff which usually results in a loss of institutional memory as well as a break in continuity.
There are major security concerns at our small harbours such as the lack of physical security infrastructure, including access gates, security cameras as well as the required security personnel for the harbours which further exposes these infrastructures to vandalism and crime. Although this is
the case, no budget has been made available to provide security monitors at these harbours.
The budget needed for maintenance and to employ skilled personnel for the implementation of these maintenance projects remains feeble. In the event that budgets are readily available, it is a common occurrence that these funds are not used for their initial purpose. This often translates into a common situation where available funds are partially used for maintenance or are completely unused at all, which results in infrastructure breakdown which require even larger budgets to repair and in some instances completely replace.
Whilst encouraging proactive maintenance such as Robben Island, and we implore the government to strengthen security infrastructure which will include, inter alia, 24-hour monitoring cameras; armed guards; collaboration with the SA Police Service, the SAPS. We also strongly encourage engagement with officials of South African National Parks, SANParks, and the Navy to be considered. To ensure that this department is running efficiently and that its targets are set and reached on time. The Minister should facilitate an engagement with the Minister of Forestry, Fishery and
Environment for some amendments so ... [Inaudible.] ... be revised.
The department should ensure that there is a skills development and employment component in small harbours and that it collaborates with local Further Education and Training, FET colleges for skills development.
Kungithusile mkhaya wami ukuzwa ukhuluma ngezikhukhula ezahlasela kwaZulu-Natali ngesikhathi usewuNdunankulu waKwaZulu-Natali ekubeni kwagcina kunephungana elavela ngesikhathi sakho kukhulunywa ngezindaba zamanzi kundiza laphaya ezindabeni ukuthi kukhona ongakwenzanga kahle.
Ngiyafisa sengathi njengoba usulapha uphinde wathola ithuba ungalisebenzisa ukulungisa isimo esibhekene nabantu bakithi. Namanje basahlala emahholo, namanje imigwaqo engalungisiwe negqalasizinda esafile edinga ukulungiswa ukuze abantu bakithi izimpilo zabo zibuyele esimeni. Sinikeze nendawo ukuzi uhulumeni akwazi ukwakhela abantu bakithi laba abahlala emahholo abangenazo izindawo abanye abashiywa yizihlobo zabo namanje abangakaze bazithole.
Although all these issues have been raised time and time again and the government has shown a serious disinterest in addressing them, our people are heavily reliant on this department. As a result of this fact, the IFP supports the Budget Vote. I thank You.
Mr P A VAN STADEN: Hon Chairperson, the FF Plus welcomes the Minister’s announcement this past weekend that he will launch an investigation regarding suspicious expenses that occurred at official residences used by Ministers and Deputy Ministers. These expenses are not a new occurrence and we can no longer allow it to continue. An amount of R1,4 million for the renovation of a kitchen, R54 000 for curtains, R50 million for fuel for generators and even worse, the replacement of light bulbs for an amount of R19 000.
While South Africans are suffering without electricity, the lights are burning at these residences in Pretoria and Cape Town. While our hospitals are suffering due to the fact that infrastructure is collapsing, these huge amounts are spent on official residences. While the maintenance of our government buildings is not given the necessary attention and where this
department suffered a huge loss of revenue due to this problem, these huge amounts are spent on official residences. While South Africa’s infrastructure is busy collapsing on a huge scale, these amounts that make no sense at all are being spent on official residences. While our children must attend school in pitch-dark classrooms, these senseless amounts are being spent. While our students must attend dark universities, these amounts are being spent and wasted.
While the SA Institution of Civil Engineering’s infrastructure report card for 2022 found that South Africa’s infrastructure is in a crisis and described as at risk of failing or unfit for purpose, these amounts are being spent on official residences.
While the elderly suffer in old age homes due to the fact that they cannot utilise electricity for their oxygen machines, these senseless amounts are being spent on senseless items.
While South Africans have dry taps, these amounts are being spent on official residences.
This government needs to sort out its priorities. We simply cannot continue on this path because South Africa is suffering and bleeding to death.
In the annual performance plan, APP, for 2023-24, it is indicated that it must be ensured that infrastructure is used as a catalyst to drive economic growth and employment through partnership with the private sector. However, the FF Plus is of the opinion that this will not be achieved with the current racist laws like affirmative action and broad-based black economic empowerment in place. Get rid of these racist laws and you will see how investments will flow to this country.
Get rid of the red tape and allow the private sector to expand and then you will see economic growth and job creation on a huge scale. Then you will see industries rise on a huge scale. Get rid of expropriation without compensation. Then you will see South Africa rise as the best country in the world to live in.
Fraud and corruption has already taken its toll on the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure — the Beitbridge border scandal, the Kosi Bay Border scandal, the scandal relating to COVID-19 procurements and the list goes on. Until
today, we have not seen anyone jailed for these corrupt activities.
Since the establishment of Infrastructure SA in November 2019 that is supposed to be steered by the Minister of Electricity, Dr Ramokgopa, we have not seen any positive contributions that this new entity has made towards the upgrading, refurbishment or building of new infrastructure across the country. South Africa is in dire need of new hospitals and clinics, new schools, new court buildings, new police stations, new railways, new border fencing, new roads, new electricity infrastructure, houses for the poor, water and sanitation, new dams and bridges, and the list goes on. Our harbours are certainly not up to standard and need urgent attention. In the words of this department’s own APP for 2023-24, the challenge is the availability of robust, credible and bankable project pipelines.
The allocation for infrastructure projects for 24 departments is welcomed, as we simply cannot afford our government buildings to fall into decay on a daily basis. The South African taxpayer cannot afford this and this government must see to it that this problem is resolved on an urgent basis.
The maintenance of government buildings and the lack of an effective maintenance programme is an area of great concern. The lack of asset management results in no safeguarding of assets, assets being abandoned and looters stripping these assets. This is not just a loss in revenue for this department but also for the South African taxpayer. The outstanding rent owed by client departments places a further burden on this department and the taxpayer who must bear the cost at the end of the day.
Agb Minister, u is ‘n nuwe Minister in hierdie portefeulje. Ons verwelkom u ... [Onhoorbaar.] ... maar ek hoop regtig van hart dat u in staat sal wees on al hierdie krisisse ... Dit is immers infrastruktuur in Suid-Afrika wat ... [Onhoorbaar.] Baie dankie, Voorsitter.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): As I call upon hon Thring, I am also going to invite House Chairperson, Xasa.
Mr W M THRING: Hon House Chairperson, the ACDP asserts that much can be said about this department regarding challenges that face, for example, the Telkom Towers procurement process
and the SIU investigation into corruption at the R85,7 million Jersey barrier wall tender, in Jozini. Time, however, does not permit to go through all these challenges. The ACDP has repeatedly said that the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure is the largest property owner in the country, yet it produces some of the poorest outcomes in this area, particularly when compared to the private sector. If properly managed and run, this department could be less financially dependent on the taxpayer as it leverages on its property base.
As set out in the Government Immovable Asset Management Act, Act of 2007, the DPWI is mandated to be the custodian and portfolio manager of the government’s immovable assets.
However, from 2012 to date, PMTE has been unable to fully implement Archibus, which is the development of a comprehensive asset register, a requirement from the Auditor- General. It is incomprehensible how this department, or any organisation, can function effectively, without knowing exactly what it owns, opening the doors for corruption and the hijacking of government buildings.
While the ACDP acknowledges the work done by the Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, in creating work opportunities, with its budget of some R3 billion in Programme 3. We have also consistently said that this needs to be translated into meaningful, permanent jobs for the millions of unemployed South Africans. Let’s look at plumbing for example. There are about 120 000 untrained people in South Africa who call themselves plumbers, but only 20 000 are qualified.
The DPWI is mandated to address the lack of technical skills and management capacity, and properly skilled and qualified plumbers are desperately needed in South Africa. The ACDP has become aware of the lack of co-ordination of different departments to work together and implement some simple but crucial actions. Today the housing projects intended for the three under-utilised military airports in Cape Town which could provide homes for some 67 000 households is mired in the apparent ... [Inaudible.] ... between DPWI, Human Settlements, Defence and the Housing Development Agency. Minister, here is the project to implement and provide low-cost housing to our residents. However, it is apparent that the Red Tape Reduction Program of the President, is moving at a snail’s pace because
of challenge of policy red tape. The ACDP cares and let’s provide solutions to our citizens. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon
House Chairperson and hon members of the committee, we are called upon to create a department which has ... [Inaudible.]
... capable state. We therefore need a public works and infrastructure department that is not famous for ministerial pats inexplicable delays in an unrobing and building public infrastructure or dilapidating state buildings.
The Department of Public Works and infrastructure, DPWI, lies at the heart of public infrastructure from prison cells to hospital wards. The DPWI oversees the extended public works programme, an important programme which provides relief to the citizenry, especially the unemployed in our country.
This is the Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, is capable of providing short-term relief through work opportunities in a variety of sectors. These work opportunities ensure that participants are skilled whilst they get a stipend.
As of 17th May 2023, 990 686 work opportunities against a target of 1 023 569. This translates to 97% achievement against the target for the 2022-23 financial year.
The EPWP is currently on check to achieve it five years target of five million work opportunities. The EPWP has contribute R4,924 billion in wages over the past financial year, positively impacting lives of unemployed and poor households in local communities. This model is gaining skills as they earn income, others are encouraged to start cooperatives and Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise, SMMEs that will be supported through our presidential procurement policies.
These enterprises become employers to a sister state in tackling poverty and unemployment. The programme also aims to address the scarce ... [Inaudible.] ... skills required by economic through training.
Some of these skills that were provided in this past financial year were the National Certificate in Road Works construction in the Eastern Cape, National Certificate in Landscaping in Mpumalanga, Financial Literacy through the Financial Sector Conduct Authority. The public bodies that report to the EPWP
provided 40 252 training opportunities in the four EPWP sectors, 8,250 work opportunities were created for youth through the National Youth Service as implemented by public bodies at different spheres of government.
The Vuk’uphile Learnership Programme has provided work to 87 contractors to improve their capacity to implement projects through labour intensive methods.
Hon members and governance the department has developed an EPWP policy which was approved by Cabinet in August 2022 for gazetting and public consultations.
The DPWI supported the by the provincial branches, hosted the countrywide EPWP policy consultation roadshows, oral submissions from various stakeholders on how to craft and refine the EPWP of the future.
The EPWP branch has been analysing the inputs received, to incorporate into the EPWP policy which is expected to be finalised within this financial year.
The EPWP phase four is its last ... [Inaudible.] ... implementation and the DPWI is currently undertaking mid-term budget review of this phase, evaluating the progress of the business plan to date, performance against set objectives, targets, strategies and implementation modalities, chosen efficiency of the institutional arrangements, constraints opportunities and corrective actions needed for the EPWP to achieve maximum impact.
Findings of the review will inform the formulation of the recommendations for the enhanced implementation of the current phase in the coming months as well as the design and planning of the next phase that is start in the 2024-2025 financial year.
The EPWP is celebrating 20 years of existence this year. There will be various activities to commemorate this milestone in the form of roadshows to visit and showcase legacy projects that have endured across various sectors. The DPWI oversees the Council for the Built Environment, the statutory body established by the Council for the Built Environment Act, 2000. In the past financial year, the Built Environment, Council for the Built Environment, CBE, received the clean
audit, with no material findings. The CBE remains focus and enhancing good governance and sound financial management and sound internal controls.
The programme by the CIDP has been effective from April 2021, it is the first mass skill development initiative for the South African construction industry. The programme supports skill development and professionalisation and enterprise development.
As our Minister announced recently, R8 billion will be set aside for enterprises development. We are implementing the directives of His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa’ state of the nation address, for our nation to put 30 000 artisans in training this year, as follows; approximately 1000 contractors will receive development support per year, public sector R450 million will be spend on work place training per year, whilst 10 000 running opportunities will be provided per year to EFT learners and artisans and 1000 learning opportunities will provided to candidates per year.
The progress for the amendment of the CIDP Act 38 of 2000 will be advanced through enforcing mechanism, expanding the CIDP
registration services and enhancing the role of private sector, in the development of the construction industry.
Agrêment SA is responsible for the alternative construction methods, ensuring that new and innovative construction materials which are safe, durable, and meet the required standards. The entity provides a voluntary certification service for a non-standardised construction product systems and components.
During the 2022-23 financial year ASA spent R11 million on level one BBBEs, Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises, SMMEs, in the response of economy recovery reconstruction plan, ASA plan to spend 30% of its total procurement spending on SMMEs falling under designated group. As of the 31 March 2023 ASA spent R6,4 million on designated groups also in support of the of the DPWI Green Building Policy, the organisation spent nearly R4 million in developing specifications for the
After it nearly collapse two years ago the Independent Development Trust, IDT, is showing a great deal of potential,
45 projects were completed during the period under review,
breakdown in performance shows that of the 45 of the new infrastructure facilities that were completed against the annual target of 21, equalling 86 performance level.
Twenty-seven of the 45 facilities were either upgraded, renovated, or rehabilitated against a target of 25 non green field social infrastructure facilities completed. Equalling to a 108% performance level.
[Inaudible.] ... and the devastating floods in the large parts of KwaZulu-Natal led to the challenging performance.
Ninety six new contractors out of a target of 60 were placed on the panel of contractors for the Contractor Development Programme. Of these, 46%, 44 are women contractors out of a target of 40 women contractors and 39% are youth, out of an annual target of 30 youth contractors.
In the year ahead, the IDT will do more to ensure that persons living with disabilities also participate and benefit from our economic empowerment programmes.
The EPWP, non-state sector programme contributed R770 million to the BBBEE spend which increases the total percentage of expenditure to 69%.
The Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, exceeded its target, creating a total of 109,871 work opportunities through an NSS Programme against an annual target of 64 000 work opportunities.
Expenditure trends over the past three financial years, indicates that for 2022-23 is higher than that of the past three financial years. The total programme expenditure achieved by the fourth quarter of the 2022-23 financial year is R 3,509 billion, below the targeted R5, 27 billion.
The Prestige Accommodation Portfolio, the department is a custodian of the prestige residential accommodation as well as the provision of movable assets like furniture and movable structures for state events. Among other clients including the President, the Deputy President and members of the executive committee. We carry the mandate to ensure that all clients occupying all these residences are housed safely and their needs are addressed. The department is ...
We call upon the people of South Africa to join the department and play their part in restoring our values of ubuntu, and ending patriarchy, and sexism to create a South Africa that does not leave the vulnerable behind. South Africa works because of Public Works! God bless Africa, God bless South Africa. I thank you!
Mr E F MATHEBULA: House Chair, Minister, Deputy Minister, the Chairperson of the portfolio committee, our Whip, who is part of this meeting whenever she’s virtual, Members of Parliament.
House Chair, this budget vote occurs at the dawn of the country reaching 30 years of democracy next year. While apartheid left majority of people in the state of poverty, inequality, unemployment and economic exclusion, it was to the democratic government to correct the historical injustice of the past.
This occurs with minimal fiscal resources as the democratic ANC had to deal with apartheid debt first, while effecting social programmes such as building nearly 5 million houses and electrifying 6 million homes.
The ANC government’s programmes seek to ensure that there is transformation in the lives of the people. It is important that at this point we are able, in a balanced manner, to measure our success and challenges to ensure that we are able to strengthen the successes and deal with challenges to effect transformation in the country.
For the ANC, transformation of the lives of the majority is a fundamental principle and it will not be replaced by the status quo of the apartheid past.
There has been much progress recorded by the ANC government in the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure. And there are, equally, challenges which government has to deal with as reflected in the budget vote reports.
The budget is an instrument of transformation and this budget vote and the programmes under the department reflect priorities of the ANC government to ensure that there is qualitative improvement of the lives of the people.
Therefore, it is imperative that the departmental programmes and performance plans of the entities which have been
allocated a budget in this financial year achieve their deliverables from programmes to positively impact on the lives of our people.
A critical programme developed by the ANC government was ... [Inaudible.] ... the Extended Public Works Programme, EPWP. This programme was created to reverse the effects of poverty, unemployment among working class and poor communities, is carried out through the entities, provinces and municipalities.
This programme provides opportunities to unemployed people who are not necessarily able or skilled to find employment. It, therefore, provides an income and skills to poor households which may not, otherwise, have an income. It is the difference between falling into poverty or being given a handout.
Over the five years the programme has met its target of employing nearly 1 million people per annum and it will meet its medium-term strategic framework target of creating
5 million work opportunities for our people.
Iyasebenza i-African National Congress.
This is certainly an achievement worth celebrating as of the 30th anniversary of democracy, as we have a major portion of the budget dedicated to social wage to improve the lives of the majority of the people of South Africa.
In addition to the EPWP and the EPWP as the component of the budget, it has commenced with skilling programmes to artisans. Currently, this is a small programme which requires gaining further funding for expansion. This programme is a skilling programme and trains artisans in important service sector skills. It has trained people in hairdressing, electricians, plumbers, mechanics and many other professions.
Through an agreement at National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac, recently, nine trained artisans in motor mechanics and auto electricals were placed for work at Isuzu manufacturer for nine months, on probation, and they were absorbed into a permanent workforce.
Those that are skilled are now able to start small, medium enterprises in local communities as part of development of township economy.
It is important that Public Works is able to guide these trained people and artisans to small business development, to obtain assistance for the creation of small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, in locations [townships].
House Chair, this is a social delivery. This is called improving the lives of the people and this programme must be strengthened.
In this financial year the department must achieve more with less through impactful spending on this programme.
... [Inaudible.] ... else job creation is a critical component of the ANC government’s programme, it should seek synergies with various Sector Education and Training Authorities, Setas, and Presidential Employment Stimulus Package to ensure that maximum amount of training and jobs are created.
Since its inception, the Independent Development Trust, IDT, has engaged in a social infrastructure and social development project, which includes schools, clinics, community centres, community libraries, and these occur in predominantly rural areas in all our provinces in the country.
For an example, the IDT developed the Heuningvlei Maternity and EMS facility in the Northern Cape, which serves the needs of mothers and those people who are in need of emergency and medical services. This is a facility which is needed by the community, and which did not exist previously.
In Limpopo the IDT developed the Seleteng Community Library; which was needed by the community, especially students which did not previously exist as well as ... we all know well what Verwoerd said about education of the black population.
In KwaZulu-Natal the IDT has developed a number of schools and worked with youth development centre.
The IDT, over a number of years, experienced financial challenges due to donor funding drying up and entity’s
inability to collect clients’ fees, which caused the decline in the institution.
In the 2019-20 financial year the executive withdrew the entity’s strategic plan and as well as the annual performance plan, APP, for that year.
Our budget vote report details the role of the portfolio committee in wanting to save this important infrastructure development entity, as it says.
In the budget vote report of 2020-21 this portfolio committee resisted this attempt and constantly requested that updated plans to transform and restructure, rather than to dissolve this entity. This was based on a firm believe that the IDT has an important social infrastructure mandate that must be delivered.
The portfolio committee also continued to apply the pressure that personnel that were employed and released unfairly in that bad period had to be reinstated in the organizational structure or reimburse for financial loss.
There must be an impactful spending by the department and ensure that every rand counts. Government should not be overcharged for procurement of goods and services. Corruption has no place in our society and those who commit acts of corruption must face the full might of the law.
As the ANC component we do support this Budget Vote 13 of Public Works. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Chairperson, the NFP will support the Budget Vote tabled here today. Having said that, the Minister, I think you are still familiarising yourself with this department. There has been concerned raised by different departments about the performance of Public Works. Now one of the concerns I have is, there is more ...
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): Hon ... [Inaudible.] ... there is a concern about light there ... [Inaudible ...
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: One of the concern I have ... [Inaudible.]
... controlled by Public Works at the parliamentary villages. I am talking specifically about ... [Inaudible ... and the
views ... [Inaudible.] ... I know that the Public Works attempted to do something ... [Inaudible.] ...
Ms C N NDABA: Chair, we can’t hear. We can’t hear.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): You can raise your voice ... [Inaudible.] ...
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Okay. Normally, I don’t need a mic ... [Inaudible.] ... . Now the other problem ... [Inaudible.] ... Now I am not sure whether it is the department that should be
... [Inaudible.] ... but my understanding is that it falls directly under Public Works ... [Inaudible.] ... . The other thing is this, when we travel abroad particularly in the ... [Inaudible.] ... there were indication that South African government got a whole lot of buildings ... [Inaudible.] ... and that it doesn’t form part of ... [Inaudible.] ... So, I think that’s another that we need to look at it. I don’t know what happened ... [Inaudible.] ... You were advised just before the 1994 elections there was a whole lot of ... [Inaudible.] ... that were exposed off by the apartheid government and documentation was destroyed so that you could not get it. And I want to plead with you, Minister, to have a
look at where are the problems, who are the beneficiary that have benefitted from the ... [Inaudible.] ... I think it is very important. The NFP will support this Budget Vote. Thank you.
Ms M B HICKLIN: House Chair, the vision of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure is to be a trusted choice for innovative asset management, quality infrastructure delivery and sustained economic growth. Its mission is to provide strategic direction and quality services that offer innovative and proactive socioeconomic infrastructure delivery, and the maintenance of public assets while protecting the environment and the cultural and historic heritage of this country.
Lofty ideals. Beautiful words. Until you realise that we live in South Africa and the ANC government is in charge of this department – for now - and such lofty ideals are impossible because of cadre deployment, rampant corruption, lacklustre and even Montgomery Improvement Association, MIA, leadership - hallmarks of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.
So, endemic is the level of distrust in the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure that the government doesn’t trust the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure with the reconstruction of its own rebuilding of the parliamentary precinct that was gutted by a preventable fire had the recommendations of the legendary Binder Dijker Otte, BDO, report not languished on the desk of the then Minister for 12 months.
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has the potential to be a powerhouse of job creation, large scale infrastructure projects and maintenance contracts. But aside from the obvious inability of this ‘Another Night of Candles’ government’s challenge of keeping the lights on, the need to deploy cadres and employ only ANC members have rendered many of these SIPs mere vehicles through which to finance the ANC’s 2024 election campaign.
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has a massive budget of almost R9 billion for the 2023-24 budget year.
One of my primary concerns lies in Programme 2’s target of the Immovable Asset Register – the bane of every budget speech I have ever had the privilege to deliver – because it never seems to be completed or audited. Without an audited the IOSA Audit Report, IAR, very little of the pipe dream can be accomplished as the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure cannot implement its own Government Immovable Asset Management Act and, therefore, it cannot apportion land for the building of schools, police stations, hospitals or clinics.
It cannot appropriately lease buildings to client departments or repair buildings it owns before they fall into such a state of disrepair that they are of no further use to anyone.
And they can also not prevent the destruction of heritage buildings like the Glass Houses that once proudly stood on the grounds of the Union Buildings. Home to the Veterinary Services of Gauteng and known as Vrede House, all that remains are a shell indicating where the building once stood and name board with a non-existent telephone number. A piles of rubbish. In the Union Building gardens. A National Key Point. A Tourist Attraction. A crying shame.
In general, the Construction Industry Development Board, CIDB, is performing well. One of the greatest barriers to success, though, is the failure by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure to provide a timeline by which the Public Works Bill, the CIDB, and the Council for the Built Environment, CBE, amendments will be tabled before Parliament. Another is the lack of will to address rogue contractors for cadres who are awarded tenders, disappear before the project is completed or whose work is unsatisfactorily done, and then disappear but get paid for their work. Only to reappear under another name and get another tender.
But ordinary citizens are denied valuable work opportunities, essential construction projects, and the Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, workers lose their payments. A crying shame. A pitiful lack of caring.
The CBE appears to be addressing its vacancy deficits – how well, remains to be seen. The word transformation overwhelms everything but we wait to see it in practice. But while transformation is vital, upskilling and professionalisation is even more so – and this must be accomplished through appropriate policy and regulation promulgation.
Built Environment Professionals feel marginalised. They don’t feel heard, they fear intimidation by leadership, and a system that they say has failed them. This needs to be guarded against – and representative policies created that acknowledge professional skills appropriately.
The shining light in the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure is Agrément SA, the certifier of innovative building technologies and techniques. They have just launched an Eco-labelling system that is a first in South Africa. And they need to be congratulated. Their work is loaded across the world - but sadly not in South Africa.
We have a National Parliament to rebuild. It needs to be done and Agrément SA has wonderful green, eco-labelling, friendly, eco-solutions that have to be considered. But the Minister, and the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, don’t even consider their products. What a crying shame. What a tragedy. And what a slap in the face to Agrément SA.
In 2024, when the DA is in government, these lofty ideals will be a reality. Not a pipe dreams. I thank you.
Tat T V MASHELE: Mutshamaxitulu, Swirho swa Palamende ya Riphabliki ya Afrika-Dzonga, Holobyenkulu na Xandla xa Holobyenkulu va ...
... the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of Public Works, the citizens of our country, good afternoon. House Chair, the democratic breakthrough of 1994 brought about the much needed political change and freedom to the people of this country.
However, the victims of apartheid regime were confronted with the historical injustices of the past and a struggle against structural challenges of poverty, inequality, unemployment and the historical economic exclusion. Since the ushering of democracy 1994, the ANC-led government implemented programmes for transformation to improve the quality of the life of our people. While political freedom enables government to widen their base of opportunities, it is also at the same time had to deal with reversing the historical challenges of the past.
The ANC has declared this year as the year of decisive action to advance the people’s interest and the renewal of the people’s movement. It is to this theme that I wish to dedicate the focus of this Budget Vote; Budget Vote 13 of Public Works and Infrastructure. Transformation is not a single moment but a process. Its success and challenges are fundamentally part of the process. This is fundamentally where the ANC differs with these ones from my left. It is evidently clear that some of the opposition parties will prefer the status quo while the ANC seeks to reverse the historical injustices of the past and improve the quality of the life of our people.
The Budget Vote on Public Works and Infrastructure assess the performance of the department on five programmes which are critical towards ensuring that service delivery comes possible through these programmes and their entities. This Budget Vote is also about infrastructure development through the implementation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, ERRP. Part of the infrastructure development of the department is that of smaller harbours. Postal communities outside the major urban centers have economic difficulties due to the lack of investment and being able to access question
economy would improve the standards of the life of this ... [Inaudible.] ...
The small habour development has been gazette at 621 and amount and amount of R501 million is allocated to this financial year for the restoration and the development of these small habours. In this financial year it is important that small harbours of Port St. Johns, Port Alfred including small harbours in KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape as they are unproclaimed harbours. This is important for the development of rural villages, small towns and rural municipalities that requires local economic development to ensure job creation. The new small habours will create jobs in the fishing processing, upper management and maintenance.
In the existing 12 harbours in the Western Cape there has been investment and upgrading of facilities which have created job opportunities for the local people. At the same time a number of challenges which must be dealt with in terms of the security at these facilities and the personnel which operate with harbours. The criminal elements that have intimidated harbour personnel and destroyed harbour infrastructure must be dealt with. These facilities should be protected for the
benefit of the communities and we cannot allow lawlessness to hijack and slowdown development.
The department and the Property Management Trading Entity, PMTE, under which development of smaller habours fall must work with the law enforcement agencies to eliminate these thugs from these important infrastructure. The Property Management Trading Entity needs to develop and business plan for policing of properties around small harbours at market related prices which is fair to business development and collaborative rather than the evergreen month to month contracts which they enjoyed. it is imperative that in this financial year significant improvement of revenue of MTPE be recorded. This will act as a major of increasing value for the property portfolio of governance.
The entities under the department in the form of Council for the Built Environment, Construction Industry Development Board and Agrima South Africa were created for specific purposes and need to operate on their money. Over the years these entities have built the necessary skills and capabilities which should be harnessed for government construction programme.
Registration of professionals is an important part of work of
this council. Efforts must be made in that regard ... [Inaudible.] ... the concerns raised by the portfolio committee of transforming these ... [Inaudible.] ...
Agrima South Africa continues to provide innovative products certification for small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, and contributes immensely towards economic growth and job creation in South Africa. Given the current electricity crisis, it is important that the entity through Agrima South Africa begins a process of greening government properties through alternative energy and other innovative green technologies. It is important that there is an impactful and qualitative spending in the implementation of government priorities and programmes. Communities on the ground needs to feel and see the impact of this budget allocations, hon Minister.
At the commencement of the Sixth Administration, this department and its entities have had many challenges including corruption maladministration with corporate governance and financial controls in the entity. These have begun to change with greater levels of stability starting at senior management positions with the required skills. There is always a room for
further improvement. Most entities have functional boards and management structure. They must now focus on getting clean audits and takes the ANC government programmes for the benefit of the people of our country.
While Minister De Lille was the Minister in this portfolio and making progress to improve the functioning of the department and entities it was not difficult to detect Socrates on the part of these ones. They criticised the Minister rather than criticising those things that needs to be corrected and hold the Minister to be accountable to Parliament. The new Minister has hardly been in the portfolio, while trying to grip with the extent of the work he is already criticised by the opposition parties for making a comment that there is a budget for small harbours and not being with the committee on it oversight visit. This is similarly to play the person that the ball.
Hon members, through the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure the ANC-led government could demonstrate that government can successfully play a creator and enabler for jobs. We remain committed to remain committed to create quality and sustainable jobs for the people of South Africa.
It is for this reason that the ANC support the Budget Vote 13 on Public Works and Infrastructure.
... the so-called government in waiting must continue to be in waiting because our people will continue to entrust the people’s movement with the government of the infrastructure to continue improving the lives of our people. Those who parade their racist agenda here in the Western Cape must take a chill pill. Watch the ANC build a united, prosperous and progressive South Africa.
The commander of hooliganism with his blessers in green must calm his people and marshal them to support the people’s budget. The epitome of white supremacy commanded by the fundamental racist must support the budget of our people.
... two important issues that should be noted here, there is an unholy marriage of those slay queens in red, followed by their blessers in green. Their combination is just a bomb to explode. South Africans must never allow this hooliganism ... [Interjections.] ...
Ms K N F HLONYANA: ... on a point of order! House Chairperson, I feel like the speaker in the podium ...
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): ... no, what is the point of order?
Ms K N F HLONYANA: Is saying that members are slay queens parliamentary? It is not parliamentary and he must not even try to be clever about it, we are the only people who are wearing red in this Parliament.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): Hon member, you have raised your point of order. That is not parliamentary. Can you withdraw that.
Mr T V MASHELE: Those that are in red as slay queens ...
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): ... no, please, withdraw the slay queens.
Mr T V MASHELE: I withdraw, Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): Thank you, proceed.
Ms K N F HLONYANA: On a point of order, Chairperson.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): No, no, no, we can’t conduct the meeting like that.
Ms K N F HLONYANA: I apologise, Chairperson.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): I have just Ruled now.
Ms K N F HLONYANA: Yes, you have, but I still have another point of order.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): No, we can’t allow that. That is not allowed. Continue, hon member ...
Ms K N F HLONYANA: ... Chairperson, it is wrong for this member to refer to slay queens.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): Hon member ...
Ms K N F HLONYANA: ... this is the problem, you can’t hear and you call your own people slay queens. It is the problem that we are facing in this Parliament. Young women are being called slay queens and this man is promoting this word here in Parliament ...
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): Hon member ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: ... throw her out!
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): Hon member, that is what I will do. Can I allow him to proceed?
Mr T V MASHELE: Thank you very much. I think it has hit home. Hon Minister, you must know that the enemies of progress in South Africa would always have a problem with developments.
Your enemies would always accuse you of causing dust even if you dance in the water. Hon Chair, the people’s budget should
be supported by all those that are progressive. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon
Chairperson, I cannot conclude this debate without thanking the Asset Forfeiture Unit and the Special Investigating Unit, SIU, for the work they have done in ensuring that they investigate all properties that have been stolen from the department. This is one area that we are still going to continue bring back government properties, including those that were disposed before.
Hon Chairperson, the Expropriation Bill will be finalised in the last quarter of this financial year. We will ensure that during this year, it is canvassed, brought back and finalised.
The Construction Development Bill, has been consulted and we were advised to seek two consultations; one with the National Treasury and one with justice and constitutional development. That have been done and we are finalising their inputs.
The updates for the Public Works Bill will also be consulted with the stakeholders during the year 2023-24.
May I remark on a few things hon Chairperson. The hon Hicklin, you made a mistake of issuing a statement and then tell your colleague the hon Seithlolo that we have been with you in the portfolio committee. Now the fact that portfolio committees are held virtually, allow even those who lock in and go to sleep to pretend as if they are in attendance. If you attend and you go back to sleep, do not come here and make that our business, it is your own business.
Last week we had a very good engagement in the portfolio committee. We will have another engagement tomorrow.
May I take this opportunity, the hon Siwisa and say thanks for your contribution. Unfortunately your researchers are not well informed. The Umzimkhulu Clinic was refurbished in 2018. The women in Umkhanyakude, when we were there we given a number of support. Those are women who were given from implements to facilities even transportation. They are now supplying the Boxer discount supermarket and all retailer shops there. If you talk just a minute. These are amongst areas where
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): Let us not drown the speaker.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: These are
amongst areas where the ANC-led government has delivered a factory that process Amarula. So, you cannot speak like that. The only point we might take, of course we are paying attention to Independent Development Trust, IDT and it will continue to be an implementing agent of choice for us as ...
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): Hon member, hon member, can you please leave this House.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Chairperson, please call her with her name!
Umkhuphe emva koko.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): Hon members please! Unfortunately I could not call her name. Once I do that ... [Inaudible.] ... We are noting that.
Otherwise we are and I do not know what you are doing. Proceed, hon Minister.
Ms K N F HLONYANA: Hon Chairperson, on a point of order.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon
Ms K N F HLONYANA: Hon Chairperson, on a point of order. My point of order is: We are being insulted here.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): It cannot be you.
Ms K N F HLONYANA: Hon Chairperson, it cannot be me. Why not?
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): Oh, hon member, I am saying, I am looking for your name now and you are disprupting this meeting.
Ms K N F HLONYANA: Hon Chairperson, I am not disrupting the meeting. I am here and we are being insulted and I am calling a point of order.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): hon member, in fact when you were speaking, hon member, I am chairing here. I am saying I have not recognised you.
Ms K N F HLONYANA: Can you recognise me, Chairperson.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): No, hon member.
Ms K N F HLONYANA: Hon Chairperson, it is my right to be recognised when that member is calling us names. When he is coming inside and going outside. That is why we are not listening.
I wonder what rule is this?
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr F D Xasa): Hon member, I will not recognise you, because of what you have done before. You are not recognised. Proceed, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Thank you,
hon Chairperson. The hon Van Staden, I thank you for your humility and the manner in which you engage.
I, however, want to engage with you. The problem we have in South Africa is that those who were oppressed have accepted and want to be a new South Africa which is truly nonracial. Where we are it is not because we like to have an affirmative
action. The affirmative action is as a result of 342 years of oppression that was imposed on blacks. Affirmative action oppressed women, as blacks, affected women as women and oppressed women at work. Therefore, we are not going to compromise. We are correcting the historical injustices which was perpetuated by the apartheid regime.
Now do not come here and I think we will plead with you to accept that in South Africa there was once colonialism and there was apartheid. The two systems worked against blacks and Africans in particular.
Now, I think there is a view about entities. All entities are going to be attended and given support. They are going to be supported including IDT. Thank you, hon Chairperson.
The mini-plenary rose at 18:18.