DM, DG and officials,
Members of the media,
Ladies and gentlemen.
Welcome and thank you for coming.
I will provide copies of my Budget Vote speech – to be delivered this afternoon – so out of respect for Parliament the speech is embargoed until 15h00.
Now, I will briefly highlight:
the main strategic direction the department is taking
the main outputs of 201415 and
our targets for 201516.
In the first phase of the Turnaround we have stabilised the department leading to improved lease management.
We have developed and verified an Immovable Asset Register of state assets – important because this allows us to leverage this massive portfolio for development, job creation, empowerment and revenue generation to reduce costs of accommodation to government, whilst providing a tool for investigating fraudulent activity on state assets
We have greatly improved audit outcomes. Strengthened financial management also includes improved compliance with the requirement to pay creditors within 30 days of receipt of invoices – key to the financial health of small and emerging businesses.
I should also mention that the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) – an entity of DPW – is publishing draft regulations for public comment designed to encourage prompt payment of contractors whilst penalising late payment.
We are now moving seamlessly into the second phase of Turnaround – Efficiency Enhancement, to improve the way that Public Works does business. This is captured in the five strategic priorities we have set for the five years of this Administration:
Priority 1: Creation of 6 million EPWP work opportunities – to mitigate the effects of structural unemployment. Deputy Minister Cronin will expand on this.
Priority 2: Operationalisation of the PMTE (Property Management Trading Entity) – to ring-fence, professionally manage, secure, maintain and optimally utilise the massive state property portfolio in order to:
build value and to bring savings to the state
to promote job creation and empowerment and
to improve service to client departments by better projecting demand and client needs.
PMTE targets for 201516 include:
Making available 100 vacant, unutilized free hold properties for re-development by black developers
Making available 600 surplus freehold properties to let out for revenue, utilising the services of black Real Estate Agents
Five year PMTE targets include:
75,000 work opportunities created through construction projects
60% of construction projects allocated to BBBEE contractors
25,000 job opportunities created through maintenance programmes
65% of facilities management contracts allocated to BBBEE businesses.
Third Priority: Operationalisation of the new GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance) Branch
In 2012, I stated that the Turnaround Strategy for Public Works rested on two pillars: improving the way that Public Works did business, and combatting fraud and corruption. Both are concretely addressed by the establishment of the Governance, Risk and Compliance Branch.
We have jacked up fraud awareness and investigations:
The SIU recommended disciplinary action against 41 officials, of which 3 resigned, 7 were dismissed (including DDGs and Directors), 7 received final written warnings, and the rest are still in process
The department is also re-launching Operation Bring Back to reclaim state properties that have been misappropriated or unlawfully occupied – drawing on unusual land and property transfers identified in the process of compiling the Immovable Asset Register. The message is clear: “You can run, but you can’t hide.”
The Governance, Risk and Compliance Branch also spearheads the Efficiency Enhancement Phase of the Turnaround – using the tools of strategic planning and performance management.
Fourth Priority: A Policy Review – to develop a new Public Works White Paper which will review the mandate and role of Public Works. This will lead to the development of a Public Works Act by 201718.
Transformation of the Built Environment – to better reflect the demographics of the country and to support black enterprise and skills development (We cannot be complacent that only 25% of registered construction professionals are black.)
Aligning sector codes to the revised B-BBEE Act of 2013
National Contractor Development Programme led by CIDB
State contracts to include clauses to support black contractors, suppliers and skills development.
Skills development programmes to unblock the skills pipeline whereby many black engineering graduates fail to find placements, and even those who do find positions do not receive the appropriate workplace training to lead to professional registration.
This work has been led by CBE. However, Public Works itself has active schools, bursary, candidacy, work placement and artisan programmes with some 1,297 participants (177 of them here in Cape Town).
In my Budget Vote input I want to make a clear statement: that we have stabilised Public Works, and we are implementing the strategic vision and priorities that we outlined in the 2014 budget vote.
Issued by: Department of Public Works
Source : South African Government