President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday said government continues to implement the energy intervention plan as the current electricity situation is a serious constraint to economic growth.
“We also continue to support Eskom while also exploring the development of a reliable energy mix including nuclear, renewables, hydropower, coal and gas among others,” said President Zuma tabling the Presidency Budget Vote in the National Assembly in Cape Town.
Eskom has since last year been experiencing challenges in supplying sufficient energy throughout the country, after a silo collapsed at one of its power stations in Mpumalanga. The power utility has been implementing load shedding across the country.
President Zuma said Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was managing the support to Eskom, the SA Post Office and South African Airways, following a Cabinet decision that he oversee the turnaround of the three.
“The three entities are facing difficulties,” he said.
Operation Phakisa will this year be extended to the mining and education sectors.
“In mining, the focus will be on increasing investment, transforming the sector and improving mineral beneficiation.
“In education, the focus will be on the information and communication technology (ICT) approach to enhance basic education,” said the President.
He reminded the National Assembly about the role of the Presidency in overseeing a number of special projects, including Operation Phakisa Big Fast Results Methodology in the Oceans Economy and Health sectors – a service delivery programme.
“As part of Operation Phakisa health sector, government will construct and refurbish a total of 216 clinics and community health centres between this year and 2020.
“Operation Phakisa health will further enhance the good work we are doing in the area of health care. Some of this work has included remarkable progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS,” said the President.
He said the Presidency continues to coordinate infrastructure development through the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC).
“This year we are monitoring more than 200 project clusters where construction is taking place, which includes road repairs and upgrades and the energy build programme of Medupi, Kusile and Ingula,” he said.
The President said other projects include the building of new clinics, schools, broadband, the Square Kilometre Array project, water pipelines, dams and new bus routes in large cities.
He said the PICC also monitors government’s localisation programme which calls for 75% local components in manufacturing.
“At the continental level, we continue to champion the road and rail infrastructure programme through the Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative (PICI) programme of the African Union (AU),” said President Zuma.
He said regional and cross-border infrastructure will be developed to facilitate intra-Africa trade and investment.
He envisaged that the initiative will ultimately unlock the economic potential of the continent and provide development opportunities for regions, countries and the peoples.
He said another special project is the establishment of a special unit in the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation to monitor and promote the payment of suppliers by all government departments within 30 days of receipt of a legitimate invoice.
Source : SAnews.gov.za