Skills shortages and poor performance paralyse Gauteng’s infrastructure growth

Alan Fuchs MPL

DA Shadow MEC for Infrastructure Development 

The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development is failing to deliver on its mandate due to poor project management, insufficiently skilled technical staff, poor planning and an inability to manage third party contractors.

An analysis of the department’s performance plan shows that it has only been able to meet 66% of its key performance indicators in the 2013/14 financial year.

Coupled with the past year’s poor performance, the department underspent its budget in the two preceding financial years, totalling more than R850 million.

The department’s inability to pay contractors within 30 days will be to its eternal shame. Putting small contractors out of business costs jobs, and the department, as a key driver of the provincial economy, must reverse this trend.

A severe service delivery crisis is imminent if the department does not address its skills shortages, fails to exercise sufficient probity checks on contractors and prevents tender manipulation and collusion.

Not only will this result in projects being recapitalised and redone at enormous additional cost, but will also increase the service delivery backlog.

The DA will submit questions to Infrastructure Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza over the department’s poor performance, and request a detailed plan to address skills shortages, project management shortcomings and manipulation of bidding processes.

This department must stop hiding its poor performance to protect itself.