About five months ago, when we tabled our second Budget Vote, in June this year, we committed to ‘radically alter the lives of residents of Gauteng for the better, especially the poor and the marginalised through infrastructure development.’
We promised to ‘roll-out massive social infrastructure with a clear bias towards the townships and a procurement process aimed at benefitting those in the informal economy and the creation of jobs.’
In July this year at the inaugural Gauteng Infrastructure Investment Conference (GIIC), we showcased some of our key Private Public Partnership infrastructure investment projects, amongst them the Kopanong Precinct that we proposed as the Seat of Gauteng Government in the Johannesburg Central Business District (CBD).
We also demonstrated to GIIC delegates the ability of the Gauteng Provincial Government to implement the Gauteng Energy Mix Strategy in order to contribute towards the renewable energy generation. This included the Co-Generation and the Tri-Generation Programmes; that generate power and steam for heat and cooling from the combustion of natural gas simultaneously. As part of the Green Energy Agenda, we are replacing 77 boilers fuelled by coal in Gauteng hospitals with gas and diesel boilers. We have also begun the Roof-top Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Rollout Program which is an energy efficient project emanating from our integrated demand management plan.
We have kept our foot firmly on the implementation accelerator pedal and as a result, we are exceeding our own targets and our expenditure level of 51% vs a target of 50% confirms this.
We are committed to bringing meaning of freedom to ordinary people as championed by the 5th administration of the democratic governance in Gauteng as part of its socio-economic transformation agenda. This government, under the leadership of Premier David Makhura has devised a Ten Pillar Programme of Radical Transformation, Modernisation and Re-industrialisation (TMR), solely for this purpose.
With this TMR, the Gauteng Provincial Government is implementing the National Development Plan, Vision 2030. It is our road map towards the Gauteng of our dreams – ‘A City Region that is socially cohesive; economically inclusive, a leading economy on the African continent, with smart, innovation driven, knowledge-based and sustainable industries, an accountable, responsive, transparent and clean government as well as an active citizenry. ‘This vision will become a reality as our Gauteng City Region works as a collective together with all Role-players and Stakeholders.
To address historical challenges of poor planning, lack of business processes, technical capacity constraints and poor performance, we have, since the last Financial Year, we began to operationalise the National Treasury approved Infrastructure Delivery Management Systems (IDMS) in phases. This has assisted the department to turn around service delivery through the capacitation with more professional and technical skilled personnel.
This process has also given us the ability to access all our projects through our web-based project-monitoring tool – The Project Eye or Dashboard. This tool equips the organisation’s management and leadership with the ability to view strategic project progress. For example, all our capital infrastructure projects from Health, Education, and Agriculture to Social Development, Roads and Transport were migrated onto this system. This provides us with critical visibility of project status and traceability of progress as well as high-level reporting and integration.
Radical economic transformation
During the period under review, the Gauteng Provincial Government continued to record significantly towards altering the economic landscape of our province in the direction of economic inclusion. Progress is being made to place Broad-based black economic empowerment and Township economy revitalization at the centre of our Radical economic transformation. We have bought over 90% of our goods and services from black-owned companies exceeding our own targets. We have a target of 85% and we have recorded the actual spend of 96.58%, which translates to a total spend of R1, 9 billion, involving 735 companies. With Women economic empowerment, our target is 35% and our actual spend is 38%, with the expenditure of R756 million with 374 women companies participating in the infrastructure development economy. For youth economic empowerment, we set a target of 25% and we have recorded the actual spend of 28% amounting to R 366 million shared between 192 youth owned companies.
We are however not performing well where People with Disability are concerned. We set a target of 4% and only managed 1.9% spend which is R37 million for 6 companies who participated. This trend is again repeated with regards to military veterans, where our target once again is 4%, but our actual spend recording was a mere 0.04%, amounting to R801 973.70 shared between companies 10.
To address our low performance on the Military Veterans and People with Disabilities, we will be stepping up our process to ensure that our Bid Adjudication processes are responsive to this challenge. We will amongst others set certain services aside as limiting factors to ensure bias towards these groups.
Our Contribution to the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) Jobs Plan is through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). During this quarter, a total of 20 070 job opportunities were created by GPG departments plus 17 434 job opportunities created by the twelve municipalities. Public bodies such as NPO’s reporting on EPWP targets within the Province created 19 job opportunities. There are 20 emerging construction contractors who are in the incubation programme (CIP) receiving training and participating in smaller projects.
As part of sustainable employment initiatives, the Department has absorbed 46 of the 84 military veterans who were part of the EPWP into vacant posts. The remaining participants are still being assessed. Other military veterans have been encouraged to participate in the preferred procurement and township economy programmes.
To fight unemployment amongst youth, the Premier launched the Tshepo 500 000 in December 2014 to bring hope to unemployed youth especially graduates and matriculants. This program involves direct sustainable employment placement with private sector companies and departments, skills development and entrepreneurship. To date over 30 000 youth have been recruited and about 16000 have gained sustainable jobs and about 60 are accredited entrepreneurs. We need more youth, government departments and private sector companies to participate in this program to increase youth employment.
Accelerated social transformation
The Gauteng Government has during the period under review continued to accelerate the delivery of social infrastructure. We have been able to complete all the 109 projects we targeted to complete in this quarter. Amongst these are 25 education infrastructure projects which include a Primary school in Doroonskop, Soweto, repairs and restoration on 17 schools and 7 fencing projects all across the province. We have completed three of the 40 health care centres that are currently active in this financial year and these are the refurbishment of the Tembisa Hospital Psychiatric Ward, Sterkfontein Hospital Psychiatric Ward and the fencing of Kayalami Hospital. We have also completed 2 GDARD projects and 2 Social development projects.
Other projects that are partly or not achieved due to delays in supply chain and other processes include health prototype projects such as the Khutsong South Extension 2 small prototype clinic, Themba DLTC, conditional designs of health restorative projects etc. As mitigation, we shall ensure the appointment of a competent PSP to execute construction.
The Themba Driver Licensing and Training Centre (DLTC) is experiencing electronic equipment problems as an area that the current contractor must work on. Their dispute between the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport GDRT and TASIMA (Owners of equipment) is now before the Supreme Court.
The Women’s Living Heritage Monument project was delayed because of the replacement of the site agent. It is expected that the new site agent will get up to speed and project performance. Total progress on overall construction is 71% and the revised programme of the contractors was submitted and it has been approved. We still are negotiating with the contractor to provide an acceleration programme.
We have completed and handed over to the community of Boipatong the Boipatong Memorial and Youth Centre. This Memorial Heritage Project is aimed at providing a living record and a commemoration of the struggles of the people of Boipatong. Kagiso Memorial Heritage overall project progress is 78% complete and project is now in final stage of completion.
Nokuthula LSEN School site was handed over to the contractor on the 5th March 2015 and it is scheduled to be completed in 5 June 2017. The overall project progress is 20% complete. The Sebokeng Substance Abuse Facility is on stage 3 and a report was sent to the Client Department for approval (as far as planning is concerned). Anticipated completion for planning is November 2015.
With regards to the Thelle Mogoerane (Natalspruit) Hospital’s construction of the new doctors and nurses accommodation, training centre and crèche, are happy to announce that all buildings are now off the ground completions this building is expected during the 2015/2016 financial at the contract value of R231 million.
Social development project: the design concept Bantubonke Early Childhood Development Centres has been approved by client, we now have to decide location, for the Khutsong and Devon, we have established that the stands identified belong to municipalities and we have begun engaging the relevant municipality. The Desmond Tutu CYCC and the FR Mkhatshwa CYCC both in Ga-Rankuwa and the Rearabilwe CYCC, all these projects are progressing well.
There is however a need to fast track all client departments’ social infrastructure projects that are behind schedule in order to improve expenditure and complete the projects for the benefit of communities.
Transformation of the state and governance
As the custodian of the Gauteng immovable assets, we are progressing well in our Immovable Asset Register (IAR) process. In accordance with the mandatory requirements of National Treasury achieved, we have been able to register 7 166 assets of the Gauteng Government, of these, we made improvements to 2000.
Revenue collection remains one of the areas of concern. We found that tenants resist paying the Market Related Rentals (MRR) citing issues such as unaffordability and poor maintenance and illegal occupation as reasons. As mitigations, we are conducting affordability assessment before acceptance of lease agreement and will also commence legal eviction of those who have occupied government property illegally and the defaulting tenants.
Modernisation of the economy
The implementation of the Green Agenda Projects is at centre of our efforts to modernise the public service. We have set ourselves a target of replacing 130 400 inefficient lights with energy saving lights and have to date achieved 229 920. We have also replaced two Chillers and 32 out of 32 lifts in our hospitals earmarked for replacement were replaced. We have installed 8 generators out a target of 8 as well as 6 out of 6 laundry equipment’s in our hospitals were installed.
With regard to conversion of coal boilers to gas, we have delayed about two boilers at Kalafong and Masakhane Hospital due to delayed payment of the service provider. I am also pleased that this payment has now been made and the contractor will be on site soon to complete the work. We expect the commissioning of three Boilers during quarter 3 at three of our health institutions. We already have gas on the pipelines. We just closed the valves until the engineering services connect their pipe from the boiler to the meters. The other remaining three (3) institutions will be completed in during the course of 2016/17 Financial Year.
Modernisation of the public service
We have also managed to bring down our vacancy rate from 32% to 31% and increased our capacity tremendously through our skills development initiatives. The number of vacant critical posts filled is now sitting at 164 against the target of 55.
We have achieved our target of 50% female Senior Management and exceeded our target of 30% appointment of young people and are now at 38%. We will also improve the percentage of management posts filled by women. The department will continuously strive to shortlist female candidates. Our Economic Empowerment targets are to be distributed to Branch Managers for female candidates with potential to be considered for positions. We will also introduce a developmental program to assist in this regard. The percentage of management posts filled by people with disabilities is also a matter of concern. We aim to benchmark with other departments on the process of recruitment and to retain people with disabilities.
Another matter of concern is the improvement on the percentage of contractor invoices paid within 30 days which is currently at 86% against a target of 100%. We find that our commitments have led to budgetary constraints and we requested more funds from Treasury to meet our commitments.
The Department has made significant progress in achieving service delivery plans as per priorities of government and further ensure that the submission of information to oversight structures is on time and good quality. Quarterly milestones are reported cumulatively to reflect progress performance to date. Areas of non-performance are being addressed through consequential management.
For enquiries contact:
Mr Mbangwa Xaba: MEC Mayathula-Khoza’s Spokesperson
Cell: 072 447 6582
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS