Mpumalanga budgets 2.8bn on ifrastructure projets

Mbombela – The Mpumalanga Provincial Government has set aside R2.8 billion for infrastructure projects in the coming financial year, which starts on 1 April.

These funds, which were announced during the tabling of the province’s 2012/2013 budget this week, will go towards building new roads, bridges and buildings and the maintenance of existing infrastructure.

“This investment will be an important driver towards economic growth and job creation in the province,” said Finance MEC Pinky Phosa, who tabled a R30 billion budget.

A special infrastructure task team will also be established to drive development in the province.

Last month, Premier David Mabuza said the task team would be similar to the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission that was established in September last year.

“The aim is to strengthen infrastructure investment and maintenance because this is a key contribution to the underlying growth potential of our economy,” said Mabuza, in his State of the Province Address.

Seven new clinics, bulk water infrastructure, and the upgrading of roads and classrooms across the province will benefit from the infrastructure expenditure.

The province is also working on the Mpumalanga Infrastructure Development Master Plan to guide all new infrastructure investment in the future. This plan is expected to be completed around September or October.

Mabuza admitted to several shortfalls in delivering infrastructure, especially health and education infrastructure during the past years.

“The pace of health infrastructure delivery has been very slow, mainly as a result of planning and implementation capacity constraints. This is an area of our work that continues to present challenges. We will continue to enhance capacity for planning and the roll-out of infrastructure projects,” Mabuza said, in February.

The premier promised that his administration would work with the new infrastructure task team and the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) to speed up infrastructure development, which includes bulk water provision.

Phosa allocated R20 million to MEGA to set up a special unit within the parastatal to steer water and sanitation infrastructure delivery within local municipalities. – BuaNews

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