Makhura speaks out on 'the enemy of the state'

Gauteng Premier David Makhura . Picture credit: FREDDY MAVUNDA.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura . Picture credit: FREDDY MAVUNDA.

Bureaucratic red tape‚ corruption and a lack of incentives were among some of the issues that hampered further development of Gauteng’s infrastructure‚ Premier David Makhura said on Thursday.

“Government approval processes take too long‚” Makhura told delegates at the bi-annual Infrastructure Development Conference in Midrand.

“The private sector has no appetite to wait while we wait for approval. To attract private sector investment‚ we need to make red tape the enemy of the state‚” he said.

The Gauteng provincial government had introduced two committees to fast-track processes.

“It is known all over the world that major infrastructure projects are known for attracting corruption and bribery‚” said Makhura.

In order to tackle such issues a society-led watchdog committee was to be announced next week.

It would oversee all procurement processes.

“It will help achieve clean and ethical governance‚” Makhura said.

A lack of government funds also contributed significantly to the delay in infrastructure development.

“Government doesn’t have enough money to meet infrastructure requirements‚” said Makhura‚ adding that this is why public-private partnerships were essential.

The provincial government had approved an incentives programme to attract more business investment into townships.

Despite the challenges‚ Gauteng was the leading province in infrastructure development.

A total of R30 billion had been invested in the city’s infrastructure development between 2013 and 2016‚ creating over 92 000 jobs and R6 billion in government revenue‚ Makhura said.

He highlighted that for every R1 spent on infrastructure‚ an additional 92 cents was added to the Gauteng economy.

Infrastructure development also contributed significantly to black economic empowerment‚ with 91% of infrastructure spend going towards black-owned companies.

In the next three years‚ the province planned on spending a further R42 billion on infrastructure.

Currently‚ the province boasts 412 active infrastructure projects worth R2 billion‚ which had created over 190 000 direct jobs and thousands more indirect jobs‚ Makhura said.