R/€ = 13.16
R/$ = 11.80
Au 1209.57 $/oz
Pt 1157.00 $/oz
Sep 14, 2007
Manuel acknowledges development is not automatic and that growth is not enoughBack
© Reuse this Democracy, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel declared recently, was about a programme to achieve “measurable change” to improve the lives of people and not about “one day in 1994”.
Speaking at a recent Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) function in Refilwe township, near Cullinan, north of Pretoria, Manuel said there was still much work to be done to advance a democratic programme that delivered tangible services.
“It is not enough to say the economy is growing at five per cent, or more, when the gains of that are only in the lives of a few people. We want measurable change in the lives of all of our people,” Manuel asserted, adding that there were lists of issues unaddressed in every aspect of community life.
To achieve this, Manuel said government had to hone in on three priorities.
Firstly, it had to “push ahead” from the current levels of growth by dealing with the current constraints.
“If we want to push it ahead, we have to understand what is not in place,” the Minister argued, lamenting, in particular, the poor institutional frameworks at municipal level.
With the help of organisations such as the DBSA, which was now fully aligned with the State’s development goals, systems had to be put in place to support institution building within local government.
A key measure would be a closing of the gap between the bank’s approvals, which stood at over R8-billion in 2006/7, and disbursements, which stood at about R3,7-billion, while continuing to shift its risk appetite towards the poorer municipalities.
“But that risk appetite also needs to be absorbed and the capacities have to be in place to absorb the funding,” Manuel stressed.
DBSA chairperson Jay Naidoo concurred, asserting that market and institutional failure was undermining the ability of poorly resourced municipalities to engage in viable borrowing.
“Part of our challenge as DBSA is to improve the absorptive capacity through initi-atives such as Siyenza Manje (we are doing it now) . . . which has recruited close to 100 retired engineers, project managers and financial experts, who are paired with young professionals to improve the absorptive capacity of the municipalities so they can begin taking loans from ourselves and other banks,” Naidoo reported.
He added that capacity building remained a major focus and that the DBSA was planning to spend close to R1,5-billion in this area in the years ahead.
Manuel’s second priority for government was to ensure that the base of beneficiaries was broadened.
This, he said, meant that taxes must be used to build schools and clinics, deliver electricity and replace the ‘bucket system’ with proper sanitation. “We must build more roads, ensure there is proper public transport and make communities safer. We must set a target and say, ‘We want our mothers and daughters to be able to walk around at night without fear’.”
The third priority was to identify the constraints to even faster growth. Specifically mentioned were limitations on electricity supply and the lack of skills.
He called for a “better partnership” to support the democratic programme, which, he said, would come under strain if there was no visible sign of improvement at the 3 152 schools that don’t have water, the 8 470 schools that have only pit latrines, and the 1 532 schools that have no toilet facilities at all.
“We must be able to fix this and fix this very soon, because, if we don’t, the quality of education will take a knock,” Manuel said, stressing the need for active parental involvement in education.
“We are conscious that develop- ment is not automatic . . . development is also not a snapshot, but rather a process. And, ultimately, it is a policy that has to be underpinned by measurable improvements,” Manuel concluded.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Construction News
Independent geotechnical contractors Keller subsidiary Franki Africa last month completed the construction of basement parking at wealth manager Citadel’s premises in Claremont, Cape Town. The contract was awarded to Franki in July last year and included lateral...
The worldwide acceptance and use of mechanically stabilised earth (MSE) technology is one of the most significant civil engineering developments of the past 50 years, says retaining wall company Reinforced Earth. MSE is the generic name for a composite material...
Cement producer PPC is gearing up for expected demand growth by constructing a new 3000 t/d clinker kiln at its Slurry cement factory, in the North West. The new kiln at Slurry will boast a six-stage pre-heater tower design as was used on PPC’s Dwaalboom kiln, in...
Updated 8 minutes ago Terminal operator Sunrise Energy has confirmed that the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) terminal under construction in Saldanha Bay, in the Western Cape, will be operational by late next year. Sunrise Energy, which was awarded a concession by Transnet National Ports...
Updated 53 minutes ago The US Act that creates economic growth opportunities in Africa was diminishing in value for South Africa, according to Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. Speaking ahead of his Budget speech in Parliament, on Thursday, Davies told media that the costs of Agoa...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
While economic forecasts for the African continent are most favourable, African airlines may not be able to benefit from the expected growth in the region’s gross domestic product (GDP), International Air Transport Association VP: Africa Raphael Kuuchi has warned....
The Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) will need to change substantially post 2020, says Metair Investments South African operations COO Ken Lello. “We must not make tweaks. We have to change. What we are doing is not sustainable.”
Banking group Absa’s forecast is for the rand to end the year at around R13 against the dollar, weakening further to R13.50 by 2016, says Absa sectoral analyst Jacques du Toit. He warns that possible interest rate hikes in the US may see capital being pulled from...
The Dispute Resolution Centre at the Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI) is now open to handle party-to-party disputes. The BCCEI represents the interests of all level four to nine Construction Industry Development Board companies.
Communications technology firm Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa head Fredrik Jejdling says the company’s commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility has been integrated into all facets of its operations, which has provided it with sustainable revenue...