Gauteng seeks private partners to fund infrastructure service delivery

Finance MEC Barbara Creecy this morning announced the names of the projects that the province will put to the market in July; seeking to attract private sector investment as it pushes ahead with its goal of accelerating the delivery of infrastructure.

Addressing the Provincial Legislature on the Treasury and e-Government Budget Votes, the MEC said these 8 projects will be show cased at this year’s Gauteng Infrastructure Investment Summit and they are as follows:

• Tshwane Alternative Waste Treatment Technology Project;
• Ekurhuleni Alternative Waste Treatment Technology Project;
• Alternative Waste Treatment Technology Project Integrating COJ, West Rand, and Sedibeng Districts;
• Lindley Waste Water Treatment Plant;
• Vaal Logistics Hub;
• West Rand Logistics Hub;
• Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve.

In addition, the National Treasury has granted permission for the province to issue Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) for the following projects and this will be done during this year.

• Tshwane Innovation Hub: Enterprise Building 2 & 3,
• Kopanong Precinct Project,
• Roof-top Solar Panel Project,
• Tri-generation Plant project.

“The implementation of these projects will start during this financial year and will bring more than R10 billion in additional infrastructure investment into the City Region in the next few years. This demonstrates our commitment to explore all possible avenues that will assist us to deliver infrastructure to support the development of the province and create jobs for our people,” MEC Creecy said.

High speed broadband to modernise public service

Gauteng’s modernisation agenda is progressing as planned, and the building of the high speed broadband network which is a critical foundational infrastructure requirement to achieve this objective is on track.

As part of the Gauteng Broadband Network (GBN) a total of 1500 km network of fiber has been rolled-out linking 8 Core Nodes across the province. We have also completed connectivity to the 400 initial sites covering the 5 developmental corridors within the city region.

The sites include:
• 100 schools – that will enable the Department of Education to roll out its smart schools initiatives;
• 197 health sites, which include 32 hospitals;
• 11 economic zones;
• 66 social development offices and institutions;
• 6 provincial agencies, and
• 20 provincial departmental offices

In the 2016/17 financial year we will connect additional sites; these include: 13 Government to Citizen (Thusong Centres and libraries); 4 Government to Business (eKasi labs and economic zones) and 283 Government to Government sites. These include connecting a further 100 schools, 43 health facilities, 8 Social Development facilities, 37 local government clinics in the West Rand and 26 local government clinics in Sedibeng. This will bring the total to 892 sites connected across the region.

The Gauteng Broadband Network project has been allocated R325 million in the current financial year to achieve this target.

“As part of our converged communication strategy (Voice, Data, Video), the Department will be modernizing aging telecommunication infrastructure to realize efficiencies and cost savings. We are looking at implementing a voice over data model and all telephone calls will be transmitted over our GBN data network. The cost of telephony throughout the province as well as interdepartmental communication will be significantly reduced,” MEC Creecy said.

The provincial government is not alone in rolling out broadband access in the city region. The three large metros have rolled out 2252 kms of fibre optic network in order to connect various government entities:

• The City of Johannesburg has rolled-out 1150 kms of fibre providing connectivity to 10 core sites for its Smart City Initiatives, like CCTV, Wi-Fi hotspots for communities, and BRT as well as providing commercial broadband connectivity to the private sector and other municipal entities.

• The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality has rolled-out 602 kms of fibre connecting 27 core sites and the city has planned to complete its target of providing 1400 kms of fibre by June 2017, in order to connect 670 municipal buildings.

• The City of Tshwane has also rolled-out 500 kms of fibre connecting in excess of 350 municipal buildings, over 400 electricity substations and 250 CCTV cameras in the city.

Furthermore, to bridge the digital divide and ensure that ordinary citizens, who cannot afford private connectivity, have access to the Internet, the three metros have collectively connected 1550 public Wi-Fi hotspots; 400 in Johannesburg; 450 in Ekurhuleni and 700 hotspots in Tshwane.

Settling provincial debt to municipalities

The provincial government has paid a total of R1.5 billion for municipal services and rates and taxes over the 2015/2016 fiscal period.

“As the provincial government, we are committed to ensure that all municipalities in Gauteng are financially sustainable and able to provide public services to citizens. In this regard significant progress has been made to address provincial debt to municipalities,” Creecy said.

To ensure that there is no debt on rates that have been reconciled going forward, a total of R1.2 billion has been allocated to the Department of Infrastructure Development to provide for the payment of rates and taxes to municipalities over the next three financial years.

Ends

John Sukazi
MEC Spokesperson
0837724885
john.sukazi@gauteng.gov.za

For media releases, speeches and news visit the Gauteng Provincial Government’s portal at www.gautengonline.gov.za

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