R18 billion for infrastructure projects over the next 3 years – Minister Simmers
On Wednesday, 7 September 2022, Western Cape Minister of Infrastructure Tertuis Simmers virtually addressed The Big 5 Construct Western Cape. In his address, Minister Simmers outlined various opportunities in the construction industry, announcing that his portfolio will spend an estimated R18 billion on new infrastructure projects over the next 3 years.
With the recent release of the StatsSA report on the country’s GDP performance, Minister Simmers said that “a 0,7% decrease means serious economic trouble. More alarming is the 2.4% decrease in the construction industry. We need to all work together to address these stats.”
Minister Simmers expanded on one of the challenges currently being faced by the industry, commenting on how a “construction mafia” has been allowed to gain a foothold, derailing a number of strategic projects in the province. “There has been an alarming increase across the industry in extortion from construction mafia and forums. While we are putting systems in place to ensure that these criminal organisations do not derail our plans, this needs a specialist intervention by SAPS as it is outright criminal what is happening, moreso because our projects are there to uplift residents’ lives – that is where our budgets go,” he added.
With the bleak economic outlook and various challenges facing the industry, Minister Simmers acknowledged that infrastructure development and the construction industry are a huge and fairly short term lever to unlock economic growth and job creation, and that is why we are investing more budget in this space.
“This industry is labour intensive and therefore provides many opportunities for formal and informal jobs. It is in this space that we seek to be future-focused and innovative so that we deliver infrastructure projects that will create jobs.”
On top trends and opportunities impacting the industry, Minister Simmers commented on the need to attract a much younger talent pool and to expand the use of alternative building technologies. He added that a “big trend in the foreseeable future is the upliftment and management of SMMEs. The industry must work with SMMEs to improve on project delivery.”
Going forward, our jobs-through-infrastructure approach will leverage private and public sector spend in social, economic, environmental, energy and technology infrastructure. We believe that by taking into account all the elements that make up the infrastructure sector, we will be the most impactful in job creation and economic growth.”
Director Communication & Stakeholder Relations
Tell: 021 483 2868
Mobile: 083 263 1720
Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers
Tel: 021 483 2872
Mobile: 061 447 7851