Making great strides with the help of Asgisa

Infrastructure investments have leapt forward since the launch of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgisa) last year, with the current public investment plans totalling more than R415billion in the coming three-year budget cycle, the government reported yesterday.

Infrastructure investments have leapt forward since the launch of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgisa) last year, with the current public investment plans totalling more than R415billion in the coming three-year budget cycle, the government reported yesterday.

Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka - the key person behind the initiative - said that she was pleased with the work being done in the area of transport logistics and fostering the information and communications technology (ICT) environment. The bar had been raised in the area of tourism and there had been success in encouraging South African Airways to "facilitate the entry of other flights into our airspace", while business process outsourcing was creating jobs.

Noting success on the infrastructure front, the government said that though power parastatal Eskom and transport parastatal Transnet were leading the way with "huge investment projects" in electrical power and rail transport, major projects such as the De Hoop Dam, the King Shaka Airporta and Gautrain were under way and a national transport plan had been adopted by cabinet.

Mlambo-Ngcuka said that more work needed to be done to encourage micro-enterprise development and review the work of development finance institutions.

Deputy director-general in the presidency Alan Hirsch reported that investment as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) was up from 14percent to between 18 and 19percent and it was currently growing at about 12percent. The objective was to raise this to 25percent by 2014. - I-Net Bridge

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