Massive budget growth in Transport and Public Works

Robin Carlisle MPP

Minister of Transport and Public Works

Western Cape Government

The budget being considered today amounts to R 5, 630,479,000 rising to R6, 787,611,000 and R6, 933,475,000 in the outer years of the MTEF.

When compared to previous years:

  • 2009/10 – R3, 522,950,000
  • 2010/11 – R3, 807,886,000
  • 2011/12 – R4, 198,575,000
  • 2012/13 – R4, 498,613,000
  • 2013/14 – R4, 639,226,000
  • 2014/15 –R 5, 630,479,000
  • 2015/16 – R6, 787,611,000
  • 2016/17 – R6, 933,475,000

This does not include Educational and Health infrastructural spend, for which my Department is responsible, and amounts to a further R1, 7 billion this year, and R5, 3 billion over the MTEF. With salaries, as a percentage of total spend, remaining under 10%,  has meant that every rand of salary has in turn generated R10 of service delivery; this is a truly great return for the people of this province that are served by this department.

Massive increase in educational infrastructure

Educational spend in particular has shown explosive growth. In the last 4 years of the ANC administration, spend amounted to R630 million. In the first 4 years of the DA administration, spending exceeded R2, 405 billion, a four-fold increase.

By the end of the MTEF, this administration would have invested R6 billion in new and replacement schools.

Departmental success in accolades:

The Department of Transport and Public Works continues to de acknowledged for its outstanding performance. Along with receiving an unqualified audit with no findings the year 2012/13 from the Auditor General of South Africa, the department has also been recognized by a series of awards, including:

  • Department of Public Service and Administration’s Batho Pele Bronze award for the Best Functioning Component – Provincial Regulatory Entity (PRE) – Vangate – under the leadership of Mark Skriker.
  • Department of Transport and Public Works performance management (MPATs) rated in the top 6 nationally by the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation.
  • Most productive public entity awarded by Productivity SA to the PRE for backlog elimination.
  • Second best Annual Report in SA in 2011/12 awarded by South African Institute of Government Auditor’s.
  • The Provincial Star Enterprise Content Management Trophy awarded to CFO Cedric Ismay for implementation of the Supplier Invoice Tracking System.
  • The Construction World’s Best Project for 2011 awarded to Len Fourie and the Roads team;
  • Most outstanding Civil Engineering Project Achievements for 2011/2012 awarded by SAICE to Len Fourie and the Roads team.

Training and bursaries add to essential skills development

Our Masakh’ Isizwe bursary scheme continues to produce quality graduates that are best equipped for future successes in careers in the built environment. The scheme, through its professional development programme, ensures that our bursars are prepared for the leadership, skill and responsibilities that lie ahead of them.

With 63 graduates last year, and a total of 224 bursaries awarded this year, the scheme remains committed to nurturing talent and producing industry professionals.

Our Bellville Workshop Apprentice programme continues to grow since it was given new life in 2010; providing essential on-site training to young artisans in the trades of diesel mechanics, fitting and turning, plumbing and welding. To date, the four year programme has trained 27 apprentices, with 2 having already qualified as diesel mechanics, and other set to follow this year.

Public Works to change the face of the Province

With spending set to double between 2010 and 2016, R5, 358 billion (with a further R5, 407 billion in Educational and Health infrastructure), we will continue to see more delivery in the coming years, including;

  • Doubled educational spend to R820 million, which will see 23 schools completed in 2014/15, as well as 52 Grade R classrooms and work commencing on 11 replacement schools;
  • Expressions of interest requested for the development of key sites owned by the Western Cape Government: The Helen Bowden nurses home/Somerset precinct; the former Tafelberg School/Main Road Sea Point; the soils laboratory site/Albert Street Prestwich Precinct; and the Top Yard/GMT Precinct off Buitenkant Street;
  • Completion of the Five-Star Green rated Khayelitsha Shared Services Centre;
  • Relocation of the Government Garage to new consolidated premises already acquired in Rusper Street, Maitland;
  • The medium term development of Founders Garden; Artscape and the Cape Town International Convention Centre extension to bring about a sea facing precinct where people will gather for the arts and commerce;
  • The long term development of the Two Rivers Urban Park, the biggest undertaking in Cape Town’s history, characterized by sustainability; live, work &  play; plus mixed income use

Land restored to its rightful owners

I am also pleased to report that all land claims affecting provincial property have now been settled. Settling these claims is a testament to this government’s commitment to fulfill our redress and reconciliation mandates, together with that of service delivery, to the people of this Province.

The best regional roads in Africa

Whilst the department continues to be challenged by the condition of unsurfaced roads, 90% of all kilometers travelled are on “good” to “very good” surfaced  roads,  with over 87% of our surfaced roads in a “fair” to “very good” condition; this is at the upper end of global standards.

Roads department will spend some R710 million on roads with the specific intention of generating significant economic growth. The Saldanha, Vredenburg and Langebaan area will see continued spending on roads infrastructure in support of the evolving Saldanha Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), including a direct road to the back of port.

The Borchards Quarry intersection on the N2 will be aligned with Eisleben Road to give access to the important economic potential of the Phillippi/Samora Machel area, and link with projects already underway there.

It is estimated that 23 000 decent jobs could be generated in this area of high current unemployment.

Go George set to roll out

The George Integrated Public Transport Network (GIPTN) is a precedent setting model for the provision of public transport services in South Africa, in that it is:

  • An affordable emerging city model that fully supports NLTA aims
  • A replicable approach for non-metros and rural areas

The GIPTN is the first city outside of “big 12” to be allocated National grant funding for the implementation of an IPTN system, and has been adopted as a pilot for IPTNs outside the large cities.

Go George is set to begin operating in the second half of this year, and is expected to expand further into the region, in the future.

Safely Home – Road deaths continue to fall

Whilst the target of halving the death rate by December 2014 will not be met, the reduction of 28% in provincial road fatalities within 5 years is a remarkable achievement, and one not equaled elsewhere in the world.

Close to 2000 lives have been saved, and road safety enjoys a high profile.

The fight against road deaths continues to be plagued by; a failing criminal justice system that fails to impose consequences for culpable homicide convictions; the loss of the breathalyzer as well as the “Name and Shame” campaign; and the continued dysfunction of the RTMC, a national body created to lead road safety in the country.

Provincial Traffic finally joins Transport and Public Works

In two weeks’ time, the Provincial Traffic Management Chief Directorate will transfer from the Department of Community Safety to the Department of Transport and Public Works, thus bringing together Transport Regulation and Enforcement in their proper relationship. This move will only strengthen our collective efforts to maintain order on our roads, and to keep all those that use them safe from harm.

Motor Vehicle Licence Fees to increase

Motor Vehicle Licence Fees (MVLF) will be increased by an average 3.4% this year. This is well below inflation, and will position the province competitively against other provinces. Licence revenue will contribute R1, 036 billion to departmental receipts.

Province continues to create employment opportunities

Our EPWP programme continues to meets its targets of creating job opportunities that are allocated fairly, but also empower women and young people with skills in the construction field. During the budget period, this branch will ensure that Province will create 94425 EPWP job opportunities, with some 30 000 decent jobs created through, or sustained by our infrastructure investment.