R/€ = 14.03
R/$ = 10.69
Au 1283.56 $/oz
Pt 1423.00 $/oz
Sep 14, 2007
Manuel acknowledges development is not automatic and that growth is not enoughBack
Pretoria|Refilwe|Africa|Development Bank Of Southern Africa|Education|PROJECT|Roads|Siyenza|System|Systems|Water|Africa|Bank|Bank’s Approvals|Systems|Tangible Services|Transport|Jay Naidoo|Trevor Manuel|Water
© 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
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel has announced its fourth consecutive year of profits. The group's results for the financial year 2013/2014 were recently announced at its head office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. Revenues grew by 17%, net...
There is little opportunity for JSE-listed infrastructure company Group Five to grow shareholder value in the domestic market, says CEO Mike Upton. He says value can still be found in the private sector, in the renewable and industrial power sector, as well as in...
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has announced the event dates of the 2015 Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS). The event will take place from October 14 to October 25, 2015, at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec.
UK engineering support services provider Babcock is set to deliver the largest order of global truck manufacturer DAF’s truck tractors in Southern Africa to bulk carrier road-based logistics company Ngululu Bulk Carriers (NBC), with 133 trucks to be delivered in...
Digital radio communications in the African local government space can open up the world, but have many challenges to overcome, notes integration and migration of legacy radio communications infrastructure with digital mobile radio company Emcom Wireless head of...