By Alan Fuchs MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Infrastructure Development:
Despite the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) attributing many of its failures to a shortage of professional staff and lack of project management expertise, 42% of positions in the department remain vacant.
The lack of skilled resource has been on the agenda for many years, yet despite this, the matter does not enjoy the focus and urgency it deserves.
The DID portfolio committee was assured that this weakness would be rectified once a new departmental organogram had been put in place. Despite the promises, the vacancy rate remains a major problem.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura has cited infrastructure development as one of the key drivers in his programme of Transformation, Modernisation and Reindustrialisation to regenerate the economy of the province.
It is unlikely this will happen when a critical department such as DID continues to plod along with no political or technical direction.
The infrastructure development promised by the Premier will not come to pass if Gauteng is to rely on its Infrastructure Department. What it will take is a monumental effort to convince the private sector to participate in joint development. The contribution by the private sector of its financial muscle and expertise reduces the risk to government.
I will question MEC Mayathula-Khoza as to how long it will take for the department to have a full staff complement and how she intends on retaining staff.