Progress in implementing the PGDP
To see a map of the PGDP projects click here
As part of his state of the province address this year, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu highlighted some of progress made in implementing the PGDP, since last year’s address, which took place in June.
“This state of the province address is a special one as it marks the end of the first five-year cycle in the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) and our own Provincial Growth and Development Plan (PGDP),” he said. “The significance of this is that we have now moved into the first year of the second five-year term of the NDP and the PGDP, and have now shifted our focus to the 2015 to 2020 period and targets expressed in these plans. We are particularly focussed on the year ahead.”
The premier said it was important to reflect on what has been achieved and that the province finds itself on its way to achieve its vision for 2030.
All departments in the province have developed Five Year Strategic Plans which are aligned to the NDP and PGDP for the period 2015 to 2020, which means that the province is ready to start the second five-year term of the NDP and PGDP.
Mchunu explained that a “rugged” institutional arrangement was in place through 18 PGDP Action Work Groups, wherein space has been created for government and all its development partners to work together in refining the plan and keeping it relevant, but most importantly to drive its implementation.
He then detailed the progress that has been made in its implementation, drawing on information provided by PGDP structures. Some of the successes are:
• Increased employment from 2 170 000 in 2010 to 2 419 000 in 2014, despite a lower than anticipated economic growth rate. The Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the 4th Quarter of 2014, published earlier this month, reported that employment in this quarter increased by 101 000, while unemployment decreased by 105 000 and the unemployment rate declined by 3.3% to 20.8%;
• Successful conclusion of Operation Phakisa or the Ocean Lab approach by conducting a Poverty Eradication Lab, as well as a Lab on the Development of the Makhathini. These processes have yielded very specific programmes, with clear timelines, responsibilities and resource allocations and the province is currently finalising the institutional arrangements for the implementation of these programmes in an integrated manner;
• Participation in the declaration of Dube Trade Port (DTP) as an Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), which is the first step to having this area declared as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), as soon as this legislative framework is promulgated later this year. This declaration now paves the way for large international investors to pursue very favourable incentives, to promote in particular the province’s export capabilities;
• The Richards Bay IDZ has completed its Master Plan to guide the most efficient development and servicing of its existing land parcels and to acquire new strategically located land. This IDZ which is also set to become a SEZ linked to the Port of Richards Bay, provides the province with an ideal platform to promote its declared intent to maximise opportunities related to the ocean economy, manufacturing, beneficiation, as well as new and innovative oil and gas energy options. These opportunities will be further enhanced by the development of a dedicated container handling facility in the Port of Richards Bay, which is in advanced stages of discussion with Transnet.
Mchunu also announced that over the past year the department of public works has completed 49 schools, 13 hospitals and 16 clinics. “Overall infrastructure spend in the province across the budget votes of the 16 provincial departments is R10.6-billion,” he said.
“Infrastructure investment is a key priority of both the National Development Plan and the New Growth Path,” he added.
“The department chairs the Provincial Infrastructure Workgroup and is engaged with major infrastructure projects. These projects are critical components of the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission (PICC).”
Among the PICC-related infrastructure projects that Public Works is engaged with, is the Inkululeko Regeneration Programme situated in the Jozini Municipality. The total programme budget is R538-million. The programme is intergovernmental. It consists of, among other facilities, the construction of a new model school and a clinic. The allocated budget for the financial year 2014/15 is R215-million.
Five other projects which have been completed on this programme include a clinic, library, agricultural fencing for the irrigation scheme and the refurbishment of three schools.
Mchunu also said that as a response to the cost-cutting measures in the province, public works renovated a derelict workshop shed to develop a state-of-the-art conference facility in its eThekwini region that is now available to all government departments. “This will drastically reduce our reliance on hired facilities,” he said.
During the inauguration of the current Provincial Executive Council, specific commitments to be delivered in the first 100 days of Mchunu’s term of office have been made. “We are pleased to report that we have honoured our commitments, although we cannot report here today on all achievements of this process.”
Mchunu highlighted the following achievements:
• The slums clearance projects in Jika Joe, where 192 emergency houses have been completed and occupied: Groutville, Masinenge, Umzinto are all progressing well, temporary housing has been provided and the affected communities have been visited to explain the process that will unfold as these projects are implemented;
• Electricity provision to communities living at eMahehle and Ofafa in the Ubuhlebezwe Local Municipality, KwaGcothoyi in the Umvoti Municipality and Ezicole and Ebatshe in the Nqutu Municipality, are also well underway and communities are fully involved in this process. As soon as the necessary bulk infrastructure and transmission lines have been completed later this year and into early next year, electricity connections will be made to about 5 000 households;
• A visit to the Dukuduku Project to recommit government to develop the area without the relocation of people. Approximately 5 500 houses will be built there, of which more than 1 000 are already built. More than R 1.2-billion has been secured from different departmental budgets and this project has become an example of integrated and well-co-ordinated development and a best practice that can be replicated on many other projects of a similar nature;
• Four sites have been identified for the development of Techno-Hubs as local technology support and incubation centres in Newcastle, Pietermaritzburg, the Hibiscus Coast and Umhlatuze;
• In order to deal with the shortage of health professionals, pharmacists in particular, a group of students were sent to study at Manipal University in India;
• A partnership between the Provincial Department of Health and the Red Cross Air Mercy Services has established a Flying Doctor Service and the Aeromedical Services. This partnership has now been expanded to night aeromedical services, which have been made possible through an investment in six pairs of night vision goggles. With this new technology, medical air services can now reach emergency incidents during night hours; and
• A commitment was made to assist the eMadlangeni community to bring together all local stakeholders in a local structure to facilitate peaceful solutions to issues creating tensions in the area, as well as to initiate a process to establish Agri-Villages in this area. The purpose of this project is firstly to ensure that relationships between communities, commercial farmers, land claim trusts, institutions of traditional leadership and other local structures are strengthened, and secondly to guide settlement patterns to protect high value agricultural land.
“We are pleased to report that this process is well under way and that the first two sites for potential Agri-Villages have been identified and supported by the local stakeholders. We have also facilitated private sector support for local emerging farmers and the first 500 hectares of land have been restored to productive commercial agricultural processes, with full participation of local beneficiaries,” said Mchunu.
He added that the 100-days project initiative had been converted to a 360-days initiative, during which there would be a continuation of the uncompleted commitments of the former, to ensure that pressure was retained on the system to drive speedy delivery. “We have also opened up an opportunity for the inclusion of a range of further commitments, which we have adopted as a Provincial Executive. We will report on these as we approach May 25, which marks the end of the first year of this term of government,” he said.
Mchunu also highlighted some of the significant private sector investment projects which have been secured since the last state of the province address. These include among others, multi-billion rand developments such as:
• The construction of the Samsung manufacturing plant, as well as the building of a 7-storey state-of-the-art innovation hub and an office block by Eureka Capital at Dube Trade Port;
• The development of the Keystone Light Industrial and Logistics Park on the N2 Corridor between eThekwini and Msunduzi, valued at more than R6-billion, which has received all its development approvals and is now moving towards construction;
• The Blythedale Beach Development, which has been revived after successfully resolving a protracted dispute between the developers and land claimants;
• The Music City South Africa tourism project proposed in the Ugu District, which has the potential of being one of the largest game-changers in the tourism sector in KZN. The province has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the project owners in terms of which it is providing support to the developers by facilitating compliance with regulatory processes and to get the project going as soon as possible.
To see a map of the PGDP projects click here