“MEETING SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHALLENGES THROUGH SUSTAINED INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT”
CONSULTING ENGINEERING SOUTH AFRICA (CESA)
GUEST SPEAKER: MATJI, MP
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
ROADS AGENCY LIMPOPO SOC LIMITED
Thank you programme director.
President of CESA
Members of CESA
Delegates from other private sector firms
Public sector representatives
Leaders from different sectors
Ladies and gentlemen
Thobela! Ndi Matsheloni! Avuxeni! Goeie More! Good Morning!
It is an honour to share with you my experiences in relation to “Meeting socio-economic challenges through sustained infrastructure investment”.
It is such a great coincidence that CESA gave me a topic that is talking to Roads Agency Limpopo’s campaign. “As an Agency we believe that we are at the HEART of socio-economic development in the Limpopo Province”.
Allow me to briefly share with you Roads Agency Limpopo’s infrastructure network: The total length of Roads Agency Limpopo’s road infrastructure network is 20 260km out of which about 14 500km is gravel (backlog).
The infrastructure investment required to address the backlog in terms of upgrades amounts to R159billion (estimated at R11million per kilometer). On the other hand, we need to invest more in the continuous upkeep of our infrastructure.
At the heart of our strategy is serving the people of Limpopo province with distinction by playing a meaningful and constructive role, in terms of delivering quality and sustainable infrastructure.
We expect all members of CESA, SAICE, ECSA, SACPCMP and other industry players to take their respective roles seriously. Members are expected to be partners in the design and delivery of internationally competitive and sustainable road infrastructure to our people.
When coming to the shortage or misplacement of technical skills, we need to accept reality and deal with it. It is quite clear that there is a mismatch between public and private sector capabilities in South Africa. This mismatch should not be exploited as an opportunity for profiteering by the private sector.
Capitalising and profiting from lack of technical and planning skills in local government or any sphere of government should be considered a disgraceful act. We should prioritise our country and the protection of its interests.
We should learn from models such as Australia. In Australia, the public sector expertise in science and engineering is much stronger than the private sector. This implies that the public sector decides on the type, quality and size of infrastructure that is designed and installed.
There is no room for unnecessary over-capitalisation of infrastructure. They are in full control of their assets, including how such assets should be operated and maintained. You and I, have a duty to change the way South African public service is.
“There is no such thing as village vs urban engineering designs”
“Quality and design of infrastructure is universal”.
Let reliable infrastructure of good quality be at the heart of our business.
Programme Director, allow me to reflect on the Honourable Premier Chupu Mathabatha’s 2015 State of the Province Address (SOPA).
In the 2015/16 State of the Province address, Limpopo Premier the Honourable Chupu Mathabatha stated:”The Limpopo Development Plan has also identified specific economic regions that have a significant potential to accelerate the industrialisation process in the province. These include, but are not limited to Polokwane, Lephalale, Tubatse, Tzaneen and Makhado-Musina corridor as the areas of priority in terms of integrated human settlements and economic development.”
The Honourable MEC Jerry Ndou in his 2015/16 Budget Speech for the Department of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure stated:- “Our infrastructure development, rehabilitation, upgrading and maintenance strategies are designed to be vehicles for stimulating economic growth in the provincial, district and local economic zones.”
“Infrastructure is a catalyst for growth and social justice and a game changer in the economic fortunes of our province, for it facilitates seamless movement of goods and people.”
In response to both the Honourable Premier Mathabatha and the Honourable MEC Jerry Ndou, Roads Agency Limpopo SOC Limited has embarked on a programme of rolling out road infrastructure in the province.