2014 Budget to focus on education and health infrastructure backlogs

speech top

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's 2014 Budget is sticking to the National Development Plan's goal to invest in renewing and upgrading infrastructure. The Budget is setting aside R43-billion for new and upgraded projects.

Tabling his 2014 Budget in Parliament in Cape Town on 26 February, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said with the Presidential Infrastructure Coordination Committee successfully addressing backlogs, there will be significant investment into new and upgraded infrastructure over the next three years.

He referred to the country's National Development Plan (NDP), which calls for investment in infrastructure to ensure the economy grows at the 5% per annum level required to make significant progress in job creation and reducing poverty.

Gordhan said expenditure on social infrastructure - which includes health, education and community facilities - would increase from R30-billion to R43-billion over a three-year period.

speech 1This speaks to the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), which has been appointed by the City's directorate of health to manage its capital works programme in 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14.

Work for this project includes preparing construction sites for model clinics that can be adapted for any site. In the second year one clinic was refurbished and three new clinics were completed.

In 2013/14, the City is to construct a clinic in Mountainview. This facility will offer an improved healthcare environment and improved accessibility to healthcare facilities for the community. Mountainview is in the south of Johannesburg, close to Orange Farm and Lenasia.

The Mpumelelo Clinic project will also be implemented in 2012/13 and 2013/14. The JDA’s standard procurement processes have identified a professional team for planning the clinic. The building site was however dolomitic, containing dolomite which dissolves over time leading to sinkholes. It was agreed that the existing clinic should be demolished and a completely new facility be built. Mpumelelo Clinic is on Katlego Street in Ivory Park.

In 2013/14 a new clinic will also be built in Slovoville to offer an improved healthcare environment and improved accessibility to healthcare facilities for residents in Randfontein and Roodepoort. In 2012/13 the JDA planned and designed the new clinic facility and a contractor was appointed through a public open tender.

speech 2Gordhan added that priority would be given to programmes aimed at eradicating school infrastructure backlogs and refurbishing clinics and hospitals.

"The private sector is also making an increasing contribution to infrastructure investment," Gordhan noted. "Contracts for 47 renewable energy projects were concluded in 2012 and 2013, many of which are already under construction."

He noted that over the next three years, government's motto will be inclusive growth, as envisaged by the NDP.