The State of Government Infrastructure Projects and the Role of GIC in Driving Change
Government infrastructure projects are taking centre stage in 2023, and GIC is here to contribute a unique and transformative approach. Investing in and maintaining government infrastructure is paramount for a nation’s economic growth. In this article, we examine the current state of infrastructure development in South Africa and how private infrastructure development companies, like Gap Infrastructure Corporation, are instrumental in collaborating with the government to achieve unparalleled project results.
The Role of DPWI in Government Infrastructure Projects
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) is dedicated to harnessing the potential of public land, building assets and infrastructure to stimulate and perpetuate economic growth within the country. By prioritising the sustainable infrastructure lifecycle, the government can instil confidence in both local and global investors, thus contributing to the growth of Africa and the world. There are seven strategic pillars that inform the desired outcomes of the Department’s operations, namely:
- “Resilient, Capable, and Ethical DPWI” refers to reorganising the Department with new infrastructure functions that are more streamlined, outcomes-based, and implementation-focused.
- “Integrated Planning and Coordination” refers to DPWI’s key deliverable, the National Infrastructure Plan. It is required by law and aimed at improving service delivery by integrating spatial planning and infrastructure implementation.
- “Sustainable Infrastructure Investment” addresses the concern that the planning and execution of government infrastructure projects do not consider the whole lifecycle, including maintenance. The new focus is to allocate 60% of infrastructure capital budgets to new projects and 40% to maintenance.
- “Productive Assets” underlines the DPWI’s imperative to effectively manage and optimally utilise its vast land and building assets, promoting economic and spatial justice for the public good and sustainably built environments.
- “Optimised Job opportunities” is an outcome that aims to restructure the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to increase its effectiveness in coordinating government infrastructure projects across the country. This will create 5 million jobs to alleviate poverty and reduce unemployment, prioritising women, the youth, and individuals with disabilities.
- “Transformed Built Environment” means achieving spatial justice, and the DPWI will use its public land and buildings strategically for spatial transformation, social cohesion, and integration, guided by the NDP and National Spatial Development Framework. DPWI will also focus on regulation, legislative processes, and professional services to address skills gaps.
- “Dignified Client Experience” is the principle that the Department should provide expert services to client departments, users, and recipients while considering their distinct needs. Better service delivery entails a concerted focus on precision, efficiency, cutting-edge technology, value-driven decisions, and relevance to the needs of the public, all while optimising for time and quality.
GIC’s Strategy for Delivering Outstanding Projects While Collaborating with Government
A significant challenge faced by government infrastructure projects is the need for more technical skills and project management capacity. South Africa boasts a pool of prominent, large-scale developers, such as GIC, however, who can oversee complex national projects. This will ensure that the government meets its infrastructure goals with sustainability and job creation in mind. “Partnerships between government and private infrastructure development companies will be vital in restoring and upgrading South Africa’s ailing and outdated infrastructure, and many large developers are ready to pick up the mantle,” says Roelof van den Berg, CEO of the Gap Infrastructure Corporation.
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