Forestry, Fisheries and Environment: Minister Barbara Creecy’s budget to NCOP

25 May 2021

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Barbara Creecy, delivers Budget Speech to National Council of Provinces

Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy outlined several initiatives being implemented by the Department in collaboration with the provinces, the district, and local municipalities to ensure environmental services reach all sectors of society.

Minister Creecy confirmed the country’s commitment to contributing its fair share to the global climate change effort, highlighting the role the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Committee will play in overseeing the co-ordination of necessary policies to meet a long-term, net-zero emissions target and advise on opportunities presented by the transition to low-carbon development and the pathways to achieve it.

To achieve this, the Department had supported all district municipalities. To develop climate change adaptation strategies through the ‘Let’s Respond Toolkit’. This would ensure climate change is mainstreamed into the Integrated Development Plans, or IDPs, of the 44 district municipalities. Training on the Coastal Climate Change Vulnerability Index and Decision Support Tool in 3 coastal district Municipalities.

Minister Creecy said it was clear from the latest the State of Environment update, that South Africa’s air quality, particularly in the national priority areas, needs urgent and significant attention.

“Let me reiterate that this is a concurrent function and we will never succeed in improving air quality at community level without the hard work of all spheres of government,” said the Minister.

Air quality monitoring stations are presently being operated, maintained, and managed by the Department until 2022. Will be handed to local governments once there has been capacitation and practical on-the-job training, coordinated with the support of the South African Weather Service and the National Association for Clean Air.

“As part of the Department’s zero-tolerance on compliance and enforcement approach, we have taken a tough line with Eskom and Sasol and issued several Compliance Notices. In this regard, the department will not be issuing any exemptions to compliance with minimum emission standards, so all facilities will need to comply by 2025,” said the Minister.

A concerted effort was being made to ensure all sectors operating within the Priority Areas meet compliance and enforcement requirements related to air quality and emissions standards. The department would continue to support the development of the Environmental Management Inspectorate capacity at the local authority level to deal with matters related to air quality.

The Minister said a drive has been launched to reposition the country’s protected areas for the New Deal for People with Nature.

“The present state of protected areas in South Africa is marred by serious funding and capacity constraints, which leads to considerable fragmentation, duplication and inefficiency of management arrangements within the protected areas system,” said the Minister. “In light of this, I have kick-started a process of investigating the rationalisation of protected areas by focusing on, amongst others, the reduction of fragmentation of functional responsibilities and the overlap of functions between different organs of state, improving conservation management and capacity of protected areas management agencies and enhancing cooperative governance in the management of protected areas”. 

Provinces and local government are key role players in this process.

The Biodiversity Economy is expected to create 110 000 new jobs by 2030 and contribute an additional R47 billion to GDP.

Through the National Wildlife Donation and Custodianship Policy Framework, which guides the review and implementation of Provincial Game Donation and Custodianship Policies, 15 000 head of game are expected to have been released as part of the wildlife transformation program by the 2023/24 book year. 

The department is also supporting emerging game farmers with related infrastructures, such as game fencing, water, game capture, and translocation costs to the tune of R810 million over the next three years.

A total of R251 million has been committed to the development of the bioprospecting and bio trade program in the next three years so communities can participate meaningfully in this industry.

Minister Creecy said the Integrated Coastal Management Act has placed an obligation on local government to facilitate access to beaches through public servitudes and made it an offence for anyone to prevent access to beaches. Because the local government has not been able to implement these provisions due to capacity challenges, the department has prioritised implementation with provinces and municipalities, to facilitate access incrementally along South Africa’s coastline. 

Apart from dealing with marine litter, the department supports municipalities to carry out their functions by funding waste management licences for unlicensed landfill sites. This process will enable Municipalities in seven sites from various Municipalities in the Free State, North West, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape to access funding from various funders to ensure that landfill sites comply with their waste management licences. This will be enhanced by providing training to improve the management of landfill sites.

Furthermore, the DFFE together with the Provincial Departments of Environment will be providing support in implementing projects and programmes to Districts across the country. To realise an environment that is not harmful to health and to have the environment protected from the pollution that may arise from waste. A key programme in this regard is the Municipal Cleaning and Greening programme that would be implemented in all the municipalities.

The involvement of Local and Provincial Authorities is thus critical if we want to advance aquaculture to promote local and rural economic development. We need to collectively explore local markets for fish and aquaculture products so that local jobs are created within the value chain. 

To access the Minister’s speech, click on: https://www.environment.gov.za/speeches/creecy_budgetspeech_ncop

Courtesy: www.gov.za

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Minister Patricia De Lille: Public Works And Infrastructure Dept Budget Vote 2021/22

25 May 2021

Our Seventh key priority for the Sixth Administration is a commitment to a better Africa and World.

I believe investing in South Africa’s infrastructure will bring us closer to our continent as we link to our neighbours with new ports of entry, bridges and roads – increasing trade and deepening our links.

But let me report on how the excavators are breaking ground.

Honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa told Parliament in his 2021 State of the Nation Address: “we stand here not to make promises but to report progress in implementing the recovery plan and the priority actions we must take to restore growth and create jobs”.  

I am here to give an honest and frank account of what we have delivered, the problems we face and what we still need to do.

Let me start with infrastructure 

Infrastructure

A year ago this week, on 27 May 2020, the Cabinet approved South Africa’s Infrastructure Investment Plan.

This plan forms a fundamental part of South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

In the development of the Infrastructure Investment Plan, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) worked with the Presidency’s Infrastructure and Investment Office to set South Africa on a new path to plan, secure, invest and implement bankable infrastructure projects. 

We are using the Sustainable Infrastructure Development System (SIDS) methodology to assess all infrastructure projects to ensure that they are bankable. 

As a result, infrastructure South Africa (ISA) was created as the single entry point for all infrastructure.

The government’s Infrastructure Investment Plan is implementation driven with immediate, medium and long term action plans.

A total of 50 projects and 12 special projects were identified and gazetted as Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) in July 2020.

An infrastructure investment project pipeline in the energy, water, transport, human settlements and telecommunications sectors were identified.

ISA also assessed all the historical infrastructure projects (SIPs 1 to 18) from the Fifth Administration, reviewing their current status in the project life cycle. 

It found:

  • There are 46 projects completed with a portfolio value of  R162 billion
  • 81 projects are at different stages of construction with a portfolio value of  R800 billion
  • There are 22 projects with a portfolio value of R73.1 billion in procurement, and 31 projects with a portfolio value of R215.1 billion at the feasibility stage.
  • 84 projects and programmes on hold with that will be sent back to their project owners advising them that should they wish to resubmit their infrastructure projects following the SIDS methodology.

This report was provided to the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission Council (PICC) on the 22nd of April. 

ISA visited the three spheres of government as well as State-owned enterprises, visiting every province unblocking catalytic infrastructure projects, including private sector-led projects.

Honourable house chair, when people think of infrastructure, they think of big, “cold” projects, and there is often a disconnect about the importance of infrastructure and its impact on communities. 

Infrastructure is about people having water to drink, having decent roads, and having a bridge to cross to school or work. It helps them connect to the internet so you can find more opportunities and access critical government services like clinics, police station or court. 

Infrastructure is about changing people’s lives for the better. 

In putting people first, DPWI developed a Social Facilitation Methodology and Framework for infrastructure this past year to bring communities closer to every single infrastructure projects. 

This framework was approved by Cabinet earlier this month. 

Social facilitation puts the community at the centre of an infrastructure project. From the outset of the planning process, the implementation, and finally operating and maintaining. 

Honourable house chairperson and Members,

DPWI is developing the National Infrastructure Plan 2045 (NIP 2045). 

This plan will spell out the government’s intentions to build, manage and maintain infrastructure within a unified vision that enables South Africa to grow,  address our inequality and capture our strengths as a nation, within the region and internationally, for the next 24 years.

The NIP2045 will provide investors of a clear picture of our future infrastructure plans.

Sector experts, from business, organised labour, think tanks, State-Owned Entities are all part of drafting the NIP 2045. The draft plan will be presented to Cabinet in June 2021 and soon after gazetted for broader public comment.

Infrastructure fund

Government established the Infrastructure Fund and committed R100billion over a 10 year period. 

To encourage private sector investment in infrastructure, we have established the Infrastructure Investment Committee (IIC) chaired by myself and consisting of members from the public and private sector.

The aim is for the Committee to encourage crowd-in funding from sources alternative to the fiscus.

Some of the projects approved by the committee include:

For the Student Housing Infrastructure Programme, we have allocated around R3.4billion from the Infrastructure Fund 

For the SA Connect Phase 2, we have allocated R20billion

Phase 2A of the Mokolo Crocodile River (West) Augmentation Project in Limpopo, we have approved a R3billion contribution as start-up funding from the Infrastructure Fund 

For the One Stop Border Posts with Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, eSwatini and Botswana, we have allocated around R1.5 billion will be allocated from the Infrastructure fund. This will be a public, private partnership.

It is important to note again that these funds from the Infrastructure Fund will be allocated over the next few financial years. 

Honourable chairperson, in seeking solutions to provide more secure border infrastructure, DPWI advertised a request for proposals for borderline infrastructure for the country to deal with fixing the porous border fencing around the country. 

The requests for information closed on 26 April 2021 and this process is aimed at providing borderline solutions for the whole country.

DPWI received 16 bids and the department is currently evaluating the proposals and this is expected to be completed on 15 June 2021.

Thereafter, the various options will be discussed with the Department of Defence to finalise the specifications before going out for tender.

We are exploring using the Built-Operate and Transfer model for this project. 

It is clear ISA, and the Department are playing a pivotal role in unlocking investment in infrastructure. This places us at the forefront of infrastructure delivery.

I now turn to the Budget Vote 13. 

Budget

The Departmental budget allocation over the medium term (three financial years or the Medium -Term Expenditure Framework – MTEF period) is R25.5 billion, and the funding will be spent to meet the 7 Priorities of government an in specific to:

Accelerated infrastructure investment for economic growth   Transform our economy the built environment and enable job creation  Proactively ensure spatial transformation and redress through leveraging state assets And provide a dignified experience for our client departments, the civil servant working in a government building, be it a police officer or nurse and ultimately to every South African that visits a government building.

The Department’s budget allocation for this financial year is R8.3 billion. 

The departmental budget for transfers and subsidies with the inclusion of transfer payments to the Property Management Trading Entity (PMTE) and EPWP is equivalent to R7.3 billion of the total allocation for 2021/22. 

For the 2021/22 financial year, the Department will be disbursing allocations to eligible public bodies in the EPWP for the following sectors: 

R1.18 billion in the 2021/22 financial year in the Infrastructure, Environment & Culture and the Social sectors through the integrated grant incentives for Provinces and Municipalities, with an estimated total number  of 81 850 work opportunities

R1 billion in the 2021/22 financial year for the Non-state Sector Programme, with an estimated  total of  52 189 work opportunities

R414 million in the Social Sector in the 2021/22 financial year for Provinces, with an estimated total of 16 243 work opportunities. 

For the financial year which ended on 31 March 2021, the EPWP has transferred 99.9 per cent of the budget, with R1.8 million being withheld due to non-compliance by provinces.

For the financial year which ended on 31 March 2021, the following demographic targets were achieved in EPWP opportunities:   A total of  69% of EPWP opportunities went to women  42% of opportunities went to youth

And 1% for Persons with Disabilities.

House chairperson, both the Auditor-General of South Africa and Members of the Portfolio Committee in Parliament have raised concerns about the reporting by provinces and municipalities of EPWP.

In 2020/21, the Department conducted a social audit pilot study in the City of Ekurhuleni Metro, Steve Tshwete Local Municipality and Nkangala District Municipality to assess the impact of the EPWP Programme in communities.

Prestige

Under the Prestige programmes for Government functions, state visits and funerals, will reduce from R94 million in 2021/22 to R83 million in 2023/24. 

The Department is continuing to implement austerity measures, mainly for the state functions, hence the decreasing budget over the medium term for this Programme. 

Property Management Trading Entity (PMTE)

The budget allocation for PMTE is R4.2 billion for the 2021/22 financial year. 

The PMTE will also focus on refurbishing and maintaining government buildings in its portfolio and developing 12 small fishing harbours. 

Under the PMTE allocation, an amount of R 945.7 million is allocated to DPWI specific infrastructure projects and is used for: R256 million for used for Land Ports of Entry,  

R116 millions for Dolomite Risk Management where Government buildings that are at risk to collapse because of a dolomite sinkhole and doline problem especially in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West, Northern Cape and the northern part of the Free State provinces. 

R23 million is set aside for the retrofitting of facilities that have not catered for people with disabilities,

R20million is projected spend for this financial year for refurbishment to parliamentary villages to ensure that they are compliant 

R35million projected spend in this financial year for refurbishment of the Parliamentary precinct in buildings such as the NCOP, the Marks Buildings, 100 Plein Street and security infrastructure. 

R131.7million on other infrastructure projects such as the Port Elizabeth Eben Donges building: building alterations and refurbishments including Air conditioning and Mechanical installations, the upgrading of 10 Water treatment plants and the upgrading the DPWI regional office in Durban. 

R199 million is for precinct development in cities to support efficient and integrated government planning by grouping Departments that provide similar services. 

Salvokop

As part of integrated planning and development, the Department has completed the Township Establishment to develop Salvokop Precinct mixed-use precinct in Tshwane.

This includes the national offices for 4 government departments, namely; the Department of Correctional Services, the Department of Higher Education and Training, the Department of Social Development and agencies – SASSA and the National Development Agency (NDA) as well as the Department of Home Affairs.

The process for the appointment of a contractor to install bulk and internal services at Salvokop is currently being finalised that will facilitate development Phase 1 constituting 350 000m2 of development of four Government Head Offices.

Four Public-Private Partnerships have been registered and are currently in feasibility and budget approval stages with National Treasury.

PV and water savings on government buildings

DPWI as the landlord for all government buildings consumes a significant amount of electricity and water. An estimated 4021 Gigawatt hours and 39 million kilolitres of water each year. 

This equates to on average R2.4 billion expenditure each year on electricity and on average R1.8 billion each year expenditure on water.

The Department’s PV and Water Savings on the Government Buildings Programme aims to reduce energy consumption by between 22 to 45% over the life of the Programme and reduce water consumption by between 30 to 55%, which will equate to an estimated saving of up to R500billion over 30 years for government.

Further this Programme will reduce carbon emissions by 54.5 mega tonnes.

The Programme was gazetted as a SIP on 24 July 2020, which has enabled it to follow an expedited path.

The Programme has received Treasury Approval 1 for Phase 1 and it has been registered to be implemented in collaboration with the private sector on a full Design, Finance, Build, Operate, Transfer (DFBOT) basis, allowing the Programme to proceed to Phase 2.

Phase 2 entails the implementation and procurement of the Programme. 

The initial parts of this process involve the packaging of projects to be issued as required, including developing financial, technical, and legal components of procurement documents.

The Project Team and Transaction Advisor, together with the Chief Financial Officer have worked with National Treasury on the structuring and governance of the various utilities budgets and are in full agreement on the way forward. 

This will mean that this SIP will be able to go to market in the next few months.

Land reform

House chairperson, the DPWI plays an active role in the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Land Reform to fast track land reform.

Just this weekend, I joined the President and Ministers from the Land Reform IMC as we handed over 31 title deeds to black farmers outside Groblersdal in Limpopo.

I want to thank the two members of the portfolio committee who joined us at the hand over event, honourable Samantha Graham-Mare and Honourable Timothy Victor Mashele. 

The Department’s Real Estate Investment Services that champions the work of land reform has been allocated R220 million for this financial year. This branch spent 98% of their budget in the previous financial year.

In the past year: 

  • 2 574 hectares were released for Restitution Programme to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) to finalise land transfers to claimants.
  • 52 parcels of land totalling more than 3 000 hectares were released for human settlements. 
  • 125 Parcels agricultural land for land redistribution measuring 25 500 hectares and covering all nine provinces.

Further, in support of infrastructure development, 15 hectares or 11 land parcels were approved for registration of roads, water, electricity and gas pipeline servitudes.

In the 2021/22 financial year, the Department plans to release; 21 132 hectares for land restitution,   10 951 hectares for Human Settlements  and 180 hectares for other socio-economic purposes.

The Department also has an extensive Property portfolio comprising 29 041 land parcels and 81 573 buildings – a total of 9 736 are vacant parcels of land ready to support the spatial transformation of our cities and towns.

The Real Estate Registry and Information Services is responsible for the Department’s Immovable Asset Register, and it will receive R62 million in the current financial year. 

National Treasury is currently assisting DPWI to draw up the specifications to digitise the immovable asset register.

We are planning a conduct a proof of concept to transfer the immovable asset register onto a block chain platform to enhance transparency and the credibility of the asset register.

The Immovable Asset Register (IAR) is the core tool that DPWI can use to sweat the assets of the state, drive investment in infrastructure and bring about social and spatial justice. 

House chairperson for this financial year, the allocation for the Real Estate Management Services Branch is R11.2 billion that will be spent on Leases, Property Rates and Municipal Services. 

GBVF 

Through its Real Estate Management, the department has identified 83 properties in the past year to be allocated for use as shelters for victims of gender-based violence.

Together with the Department of Social Development, we inspected 83 properties, and 30 properties were selected to be used by the Department of Social Development as shelters or support centres for people affected by GBVF.

During the previous financial year, 12 properties were allocated to Social Development; six were in the Western Cape and six in the Gauteng Province.

In this financial year, the Department will prepare and release more properties across the country for Social Development to utilise in the fight against GBVF.

As DPWI, we have requested provinces and municipalities who also own buildings to also release some of their own buildings for GBV purposes and not only wait for DPWI to do so. 

The Department’s Facilities Management Branch will be doing repair and maintenance (preventative and reactive) on state-owned buildings received an allocation of R3.9 billion for the current year to maintain the entity’s portfolio of properties. 

The Department has enhanced its strategy in reducing reactive maintenance by putting in place preventative contracts through Total Facilities Management and Term Contracts. 

The Department has awarded 76% of these contracts to previously disadvantaged groups, further disaggregated to 37% to women and 17% to youth. 

Construction property management

The Departments Construction Project Management Branch received an allocation of R5 billion for the current year. The CPM branch only managed to spend 69% of their allocated budget in the prior year. 

The reasons for the underspending are mainly due to poor management contract management, poor cash-flows from the contractors that led to inadequate material supplies on sites and negatively impacted the delivery of milestones. 

In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic required the temporary closure of sites that hurt site productivity, including the mandatory reduction of the workforce to accommodate social distancing. 

These led to under-performance on the infrastructure budget where projects were not executed as planned and spending did not occur as projected.

In mitigation, the Department has established a panel of contractors that will be utilised in an instance where a contractor has been terminated due to poor performance or any other justifiable reason. 

This will save money as a significant amount is usually spent on assisting a non-performing contractor or appointing a replacement contractor. There will therefore be less impact on construction periods and expenditure on projects. 

Measures have also put in place to monitor the Procurement Plan to ensure that projects are firstly packaged correctly and ready for the procurement process and secondly that they are awarded timeously and lastly to ensure that the budget is allocated to those projects that can be delivered.

Supply chain management

In terms of the 30% sub-contracting requirement, during the past financial year, the Department awarded 15 tenders above R30million worth R836 million and sub-contracted 30% to designated groups to the value of R251 million.

The Department is also exploring a proof of concept for the use of Block chain technology within SCM.  A proof of concept has been registered with National Treasury.  

The Department piloted the implementation of the opening of its bid adjudication processes for public observation in the past financial year. 

Every tender advertisement also includes notification of public observation in the bid adjudication process.  

As DPWI improves its Supply Chain Management, it is critical to pay our service providers within 30 days as the law requires.

Delayed payment can often lead to bankruptcy of entrepreneurs, especially SMMEs trying to break their way into the built environment or construction industry.

As of end-March 2021, 92% of invoices received by PMTE were processed within 30 days of receipt, while 96% of invoices in the Department’s Main Account were processed within 30 days.

This demonstrates the commendable work that the Department is doing. 

In instances where officials have been found to have transgressed the requirements to pay service providers and suppliers on time, disciplinary actions are recommended against such officials.

In the financial year ended 31 March 2021, the Department’s Main Account made 281 referrals to Labour Relations for consequence management against officials.

In PMTE, consequence management was recommended against 143 officials.

Corruption

As the honourable President Ramaphosa said in his 2021 SONA: “Corruption is one of the greatest impediments to the country’s growth and development.”

Corruption steals from the poor. 

Yesterday, together with the Head of the Special Investigating Unit, Advocate Andy Mothibi and civil society members we launched the newly established Infrastructure Built Anti-Corruption Forum. 

This forum made up of representatives from the public sector, government entities, civil society and law enforcement agencies such as the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority and aims to collaborate on and coordinate anti-corruption initiatives in the infrastructure built environment.

The aim is to address vulnerabilities through forensic investigation, criminal prosecution, recovering losses, proactively preventing future losses in the sector.

Since 2010 to date, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) had investigated 6 796 matters in terms of four Presidential Proclamations. 6 468 matters were finalised, and 328 cases are pending. 

In addition, the SIU is seeking to recover R1.4 billion in losses suffered by the Department as a consequence of a series of irregularities relating to transactions entered into by the Department with service providers. 

To date, R129 million has been recovered from landlords who overcharged the department for rentals.

In addition, the SIU has referred 197 criminal referrals relating to misrepresentation and fraud to law enforcement agencies for prosecution.

House chairperson, the Nkandla matter is also still before the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

In the civil matter, the parties have applied for a new trial date. They are anticipating that the case will be heard in August 2021. 

The criminal cases are managed by the SIU, which has referred to four matters for criminal prosecution. 

Policy

I want to provide Parliament with an update on the Department’s policy priorities during this financial year. 

The Expropriation Bill was introduced in Parliament in October 2020, and the Parliamentary processes are currently underway, including public hearings and oral presentations in all provinces.

The Department plans to introduce the Public Works General Laws Amendment and Repeal Bill to Parliament in the 2021/22 financial year. 

In addition, we are currently developing the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Act Amendment Bill, and this legislation will be introduced to Parliament during this financial year. The draft Public Works Bill will be gazetted for public comment during this financial year. 

DPWI will also publish regulations for both the Infrastructure Development Act (IDA) and the Government Immovable Asset Management Act (GIAMA) this financial year.

Rural bridges

House chairperson, one of the key projects making a lifesaving and significant impact for our most vulnerable communities in rural communities, especially in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal is the Welisizwe Bridges Project. 

Three other provinces: Limpopo, Free State and North West, have expressed a keen interest in the implementation of the Programme.  

Working together with the Eastern Cape Department of Transport and Department of Defence, 10 Bridges were completed in the Eastern Cape and a further 20 bridges are scheduled for installation in this financial year.

In KwaZulu-Natal, working together with the KZN Department of Transport and Department of Defence, 8 Bridges were installed during this past financial year, with a further 6 to be completed by the end of this month. In addition 20 further bridges are scheduled for installation in this financial year.

Small harbours

The Department contributes to Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy through the Small Harbours and State Coastal Property Development programme. 

The Department has spent R500 Million to repair and maintain the Proclaimed Fishing Harbours in the Western Cape.

Thus far, the entire Programme has created 672 jobs and empowered local SMME companies to a value of over R61 million.

The Programme is expected to reach culmination by March 2022, bringing the existing harbours to an 80% operational efficiency.

In the quest for the development of new harbours, the Department is finalising the in-kind grant from the Chinese government to conduct feasibility studies along the coastlines of the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal.

House chairperson, members from the above it is clear that there is a lot of work for DPWI to do especially in the delivery of infrastructure that will improve the lives of all South Africans especially the most vulnerable. 

The Deputy Minister and I are determined to lead and drive a greater level of urgency in DPWI to ensure that we deliver to the people of our country and expedite the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment Plan so as to create the conditions conducive for investment by the private sector which can in turn create more jobs for our people.

Thank You.

Courtesy: www.gov.za

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Deputy Minister Pam Tshwete: Human Settlements Dept Budget Vote 2021/22

18 May 2021

Speech of Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Honourable Pam Tshwete on the occasion of Budget Vote 33

The existence of Covid-19, which started at the beginning of the last financial year, 2020/21 presented us with two sharp contradicting effects:

These contradictions are death in our sector and immediate families as well as doing business differently using technology. We would like to convey our deepest condolences to all those who have departed.

We had also planned a number of face to face activities as the department, which include training and capacitation of women so that they can directly participate in the construction of houses, outreach programmes that involve housing handovers, issuing of title deeds and conferences.

We then commenced with our virtual provincial roadshows, where we met with organised women across the country. This presented us with an opportunity to interact and establish facts around the participation of women and youth contractors in the construction of houses through the implementation of the 40% set aside for women and 10% for youth contractors.

After meeting with women from all provinces, we then decided to meet with MECs, along with the organised women, to further identify challenges in the implementation of the women and youth set-asides.

From this process, we observed that seven out of nine provinces are not implementing the set aside for women and youth contractors as expected. In this regard, let us congratulate the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces for their commitment to the implementation of this directive.

In moving forward with this very important task, we had gone back to the provinces and asked that they develop plans that will respond to these challenges in order to fully unleash the implementation of the directive. That is exactly what we will be monitoring in the current financial year.

Yesterday, we had a meeting with the CEOs of the National Home Builders Registration Council and the Construction Industry Development Board together with women representatives from Limpopo to discuss challenges around the development and grading of women contractors.

We have agreed that the Construction Industry Development Board will expedite the grading of lower grade levels for women and youth contractors to higher levels.

On the other hand, a lot of good work has been done through our entity the National Home Builders Registration Council where 2270 women have received training in various technical areas. We will also be introducing a module on Finances to capacitate women and youth contractors as this has been identified as a need by the trainee participants.

However, we can have all the training in the world, but if the training does not provide work for women and youth contractors it becomes a pointless exercise. We need to confront this challenge between training and practical placement of the contractors.

We have also agreed to hold an urgent Workshop that will audit the challenges experienced by women contractors across the country. This will enable us to respond appropriately going forward.

The other aspect that requires our immediate attention is the late payment of women contractors by provinces and municipalities. This kills the emerging women and youth contractors.  All provinces and municipalities must adhere to the principle of paying service providers within a 30 day period.

Additionally, the Department is working with the Gender-Based Violence Forum desk of GBV victims who are in need of urgent housing assistance. This is for referral purposes and to provide assistance through the emergency Housing Programme.

We are extremely excited about the fact that the Informal Settlements Upgrading Partnership Grant comes into effect this year. This grant will support 1500 informal settlements we have identified to be upgraded to level three over the MTSF.

The informal settlements programme is fully funded and therefore means Provinces and Municipalities must plan and implement the programme without delay. It is our desire that the households in the identified settlements have the security of tenure, water and sanitation.

We will closely monitor that women and youth contractors are given an opportunity to participate in the upgrading of the informal settlements programme.

We also undertook provincial roadshows where we specifically met with our MECs to discuss the performance of provinces across Programmes.

We took a keen interest in the performance of provinces. As a result of this important action, we embarked on roadshows that were directed at those identified provinces, in order to assist them in coming up with recovery plans towards achieving their quarterly targets.

Eastern Cape and North West provinces are some of the provinces where we made a direct intervention in assisting to resolve their challenges on performance.

Honourable Members, in our last year’s statement we indicated that the Title Deeds Restoration funding was in its final year in 2020/21. The funding for title deeds will come from the Human Settlements Development Grant.

We have again made a commitment to put this programme as part of our focus areas and indeed we did so. Hence, we can report to this House that there were about 32 community outreach and information sessions conducted during the last financial year. This took place in four provinces where about 17 sessions included handovers of title deeds as follows:

  1. In Gauteng, 5 619.
  2. In the North West, 808.
  3. In the Northern Cape, 156.
  4. In KZN, 3000 title deeds were successfully handed over in the last 3 months. We would like to congratulate KZN on showing us that this can be done speedily.

Having said that, the slow pace in the registration and issuing of title deeds to our housing beneficiaries is of great concern to us. We have since started a conversation in the MINMEC, to secure the necessary turn-around strategy.

We are on record, stating reasons for challenges around the provision of houses for our Military Veterans. The Deputy Minister of the Department of Military Veterans and I have had numerous engagements on this matter and some proposals have been put on the table for consideration.

Honourable chairperson, under the leadership of Minister Sisulu, we are prioritising destitute families for the provision of houses. We have participated in many programmes aimed at housing destitute families which include the elderly, people living with disabilities and child-headed families.

Only last Friday, I had the pleasure of being invited by the MEC of Human Settlements in the Eastern Cape, Ms Nonceba Kontsiwe where we handed over houses to two elderly women (91 and 94 years old) and a child headed-family situated in Amahlathi Local Municipality.

Honourable Members, as the deployed and political champion of the Central Karoo District in the Western Cape, I had numerous visits to the Beaufort West Local Municipality where we have been exposed to real-life challenges that require our immediate attention. The DG, Mr Mbulelo Tshangana has already met with all the accounting officers from the province and the municipality to draw up a plan for intervention. Siyaqhuba, Asimanga!!

In March this year, we have done something very progressive honourable members, where we initiated a programme that involved Deputy Ministers from different departments – on a visit to communities of Coffee Bay and Thafalehashe Kulombethe under KSD and Umbhashe local municipalities. As the Department of Human Settlements, we are in the process of unblocking a housing project in Thafalehashe Village.

Lastly, we initiated and championed a government solution to a housing challenge that involved allegations of house demolitions in Inanda, eThekwini Municipality. This case was brought to us by Honourable Mohlala and we used the very District Development Model and Inter-Governmental Relations approach in bringing all spheres of government around the table and the matter was resolved speedily and amicably. Phambili nge District Development Model, Phambili.

I would like to thank the Minister and the Department for guidance and support throughout the year.

I thank you.

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Minister Gwede Mantashe: Mineral Resources and Energy Dept Budget Vote 2021/22 NCOP

20 May 2021

Address by the Honourable Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Mr Samson Gwede Mantashe, MP on the Budget Vote 34 NCOP

Let me take this opportunity to express my profound gratitude that we are assembled here today to present the Budget Vote as allocated to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy for the 2021 – 2022 fiscal year.

We bring this budget vote here with full appreciation that both mining and energy have a direct impact on citizens located in Provinces. It is our objective that all mining and energy projects must benefit South Africans across the length and breadth of the country. Over a century, mining has been the bedrock of our economy and we believe that this sector will continue contributing immensely to the economy for years to come. The saying that “if it is not grown, it is mined” cannot be disputed. It is therefore not an exaggeration to say that the modern world would not be able to function without mined resources, but this needs to be supported by a stable and reliable energy supply, and this is our daily pre-occupation.

FIinancials

The business of the day is about the budget allocated to the Department, let me hasten to outline our budget allocation for this fiscal year. The main appropriation for the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy in the 2021/22 financial year is a total of R9.2 billion. Earmarked transfer payments to public entities, municipalities, and other implementing institutions account for R7.5 billion or 81.6% while the allocation for operational activities, inclusive of procurement of capital assets accounts for R1.7 billion or 18.4%.  A substantial portion of the transfer payments is allocated to implementing agencies as follows:

  • R4.8 billion to Eskom and Municipalities for the implementation of the Integrated National Electrification Programme (INEP). Eskom will receive R2.8 billion while R2 billion is allocated to various Municipalities.
  • R232.3 million to various service providers for the implementation of the Non-Grid electrification programme. 
  • R220.9 million to Municipalities for the Energy Efficiency Demand Side Management programme (EEDSM.)
     

Our public entities are budgeted to receive a combined allocation of R2.1 billion, with

  • NECSA allocated R952.5 million inclusive of R203.6 million for the decommissioning and decontamination of past strategic nuclear facilities and nuclear waste and R20 million for preparatory work for the new multipurpose reactor project.
  • Mintek – R439.2 million of which R120.2 million will be utilized for the rehabilitation of derelict and ownerless mines.
  • Council for Geoscience – R377.1 million mainly for operational activities.
  • Petroleum Agency of South Africa – R136.3 million for operations.
  • SANEDI –R75.2 million for operational activities.
  • South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator – R62.03 million.
  • National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute (NRWDI) and the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) – R49.2 million and R46.1 million respectively for operations.

Comparative to the indicative allocation of R9.6 billion confirmed during the 2020 Budget, the 2021/22 main appropriation of R9.2 billion is 4.1% lower due to the implementation of budget reductions across government, particularly on the compensation of employees.

An allocation of R70 million in 2021/22 is earmarked for the development of the National Electrification Master Plan to assist with the implementation of the electrification programme.

Honorable Chairperson, with this budget we will be able to deliver on our programs as follows:

Creating an enabling environment through investor-friendly legislation

At the centre of our mandate is the responsibility to create an enabling environment for investments into both the mining and energy sectors. To this extent we have:

  1. Finalised the amendment the Gas Amendment Bill which was introduced to parliament on 30 April 2021. This Bill aims to unlock investment into the gas sector and facilitate the development of gas infrastructure. Parliament will be processing this Bill and we hope it will be enacted into law to unlock the investment potential into the gas resources sub-sector.
  2. Amended and gazette the blending requirements on biofuels to expand the definition to include 2nd and 3rd generation biofuels. We will finalise these regulations at the end of the consultation period two months from now.
  3. As part of our contribution to a just transition and ensuring that we reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, we have also gazetted the  Clean Fuels Regulations which aim to ensure a reduction of the sulphur content in standard grade diesel from 50 to 10 parts per million (ppm.). We will be finalizing and gazetting the final regulations by the end of the first quarter.
  4. As we seek to move towards cleaner fuels, we have also gazetted a draft LPG Strategy which seeks to address a suite of challenges prohibiting access and affordability of this energy source. This strategy will also be finalised by the end of the second quarter of this financial year.
  5. The Upstream Petroleum Bill has been approved by Cabinet and the process for its introduction to Parliament is underway. I will be gazetting the notice of intention to table the Bill in terms of the Joint Rules of Parliament after which I will table the Bill in Parliament. We look forward to the processing of this Bill in Parliament as it will unlock the potential for investments into both our on and offshore petroleum resources.
  6. Our team is hard at work with the Amendment of the Mine Health and Safety Act which seeks to address challenges relating to the health and safety of mineworkers.  We will publish this Bill for stakeholder comments in the third quarter of this financial year.
  7. The National Nuclear Regulator Amendment Bill has been approved by Cabinet and will be published for public comments. This Bill will be tabled in Parliament in the current financial year following the closure of the comments period.
  8. Work is at an advanced stage with the drafting of the Radioactive Waste Management Fund Bill which aims to enforce the polluter pays principle for all nuclear waste generators. We will be taking this Bill to the cabinet in the next quarter and publish it for stakeholder comments thereafter.
     

Security of energy supply

As government and its social partners work hard to revive and grow the economy, we are cognisant of the fact that energy security is the nucleus of this growth. Two days ago in the National Assembly, we gave a detailed breakdown of our efforts in this regard. Let me also share with this house details of the interventions we will be implementing in this fiscal year, over and above the projects, we implemented in 2020/21 to create the much-needed additional generation capacity.

Between August 2021 and January 2022, the Department will issue additional Requests for Proposals for,

  • 2 600 megawatts from renewable energy around August 2021.
  • 513 megawatts from Storage around August 2021.
  • 1 500 megawatts from Coal around December 2021.
  • 3 000 megawatts from Gas around December 2021.  
  • 1 600 megawatts from renewable energy around January 2022.
     

The Department intends to issue the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the procurement of two thousand five hundred megawatts (2 500MW) by the end of the current financial year, subject to regulatory approvals. This follows the twenty-five (25) submissions received in response to the Request for Information (RFI). The Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant 20-year extension project is also underway.

On mining application backlogs

It is our endeavour that we accelerate the processing of mining applications which in turn will contribute to local economic development. We intend on clearing the backlog and improving the turnaround time of applications with the new system. We continue to do our work albeit with difficulties. Between January 2021 and April 2021, we have issued 33 Prospecting Rights; 4 Mining Rights; and 7 Mining Permits.

Conclusion

Today’s presentation represents highlights of the work of my department, and not the totality thereof. Full details of our work are available and can be accessed in both the Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan. Since the advent of the current government administration, we have been preoccupied amongst others with the merger between the former Departments of Energy and Mineral Resources.

Following the implementation of the Start-Up-structure during 2020/21, the DMRE is now in the process of reviewing the current structure. That work should be finalised within 12 months. As it stands, we are better poised to move with greater speed in discharging our mandate as a unified Department.

I am confident that we will further the aims of our national transformation agenda as enjoined by the Constitution whose preamble speaks to healing the divisions of the past. As we expand our work both in the mineral resources and energy sectors, we will be mindful of the need not only to attain economic growth but, the redistribution of wealth.

As I conclude, I wish to express my appreciation for the opportunity to have this session about the future of mineral resources and energy sectors in our country.

Allow me to also thank the President, the Deputy President, my Cabinet colleagues, and the Select Committee for their continued support of the work of the department.

I thank you all honourable members for your presence here today and look forward to further engagement on this but most importantly the urgent implementation of all our scheduled programmes.

Lastly, I wish to thank my family for their unwavering support of my work. I thank the Director-General and “Team DMRE” who continue to work tirelessly and under difficult conditions to ensure that we deliver on our mandate.

I thank you!

Courtesy: www.gov.za

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Deputy Minister S’dumo Dlamini: Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform Dept Budget Vote 2021/22

13 May 2021

Today as we present this budget, we want to pay tribute to all the families who have lost their loved ones as a result of  Covid-19 and we also want to salute health workers and people living in rural communities who had to  face and fight  the Coronavirus under conditions in which there were fewer health resources.

It has been inspiring to observe how despite these challenges, some rural communities have worked in partnership with government, private sector, non-governmental organisations and traditional leaders to spread the correct healthcare-related messages in relation to this pandemic.

This is what rural development should be about. Rural Development is a sustained multi-sectoral participatory process aimed at empowering those residing in the former homeland areas, in farming areas, in defined rural spaces within urban areas and metros, in peri-urban areas, in small rural towns and in villages.

It is about government intervening at all levels to ensure a people-driven and people-centered process of building sustainable communities through agricultural and non-agricultural interventions to achieve productive, healthy, economically vibrant, socially cohesive, equitable and sustainable spaces and livelihoods based on the unique conditions and attributes of the people’s material conditions and self-articulated needs. This is what this budget is about today!

National Integrated Rural Development Strategy

According to Statsa, the provinces with the highest headcount of adult poverty are Limpopo (67,5%), Eastern Cape (67,3%), KwaZulu-Natal (60,7%) and North West (59,6%). For these four provinces, significantly more than half of their population was living in poverty. It also says that almost two-thirds of agricultural households are in KZN (24,4%), EC (20,7%) and Limpopo P (16,3%) combined.  It is, for this reason, the implementation of our National Integrated Rural Development Strategy will pay special attention to these provinces without downplaying the required intervention for rural development in other provinces.

This year we will be visiting our provinces not to ask what our people want because they have told us what they want since 1994. We are going there to work with them towards ensuring rural development on their own terms.

As the department, we are currently adopting an intergovernmental approach and we are re-strategising on how to optimally utilise existing government programmes and other funding to unlock economic opportunities in the various rural districts.

We have recently tested this approach when we had an interdepartmental collaborative intervention program in Eastern at Steynsburg and in a few months from now we will be working with young people on the Narysec programme, in ICT projects, work to support cooperatives in various projects which include poultry, piggery,  the bakery project, water harvesting and we will be providing sewing machines and agricultural tools and implements including other different forms of support.

The revised National Integrated Rural Development Strategy considers the central thrusts proposed in Chapter 6 of the National Development Plan, which includes the following:

  1. Capitalising on agriculture as one of the main economic drivers of the rural economy through the Agriculture and Agro-Processing Master Plan (AAMP);
  2. Making land reform work through improved rural governance systems, improved land administration; land access for further economic opportunities, proper beneficiary selection processes utilising existing rural and farming networks and improvement in the living conditions and rights of farm dwellers and other rural citizens;
  3. Developing non-agricultural activities with key sectors including technology, mining and tourism;
  4. Building human capital, social security, food security and basic services;
  5. Revitalising rural towns; and Improved rural governance.

Part of the practical work we will undertake as part of our Rural Development strategy will include :

  1. Linking emerging rural producers (especially women and youth) of farm and non-farm products to markets and appropriate value chains through the  Agriculture and Agro-Processing Master Plan (AAMP) and the implementation of Farmer Production Support Units;
  2. Facilitating business development services for rural enterprises through programmes such as the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP); and
  3. Assisting rural women, people with disabilities and youth through targeted capacity building and enterprise development support and actively promoting a procurement policy that favours women and youth.

In the last financial  year, several consultations have taken place within government, through the South African Local Government Association network and via a multi-stakeholder policy platform coordinated by civil society on how to effectively implement these objectives over the MTSF period and beyond in support of Vision 2030.

We have conducted our studies , consulted our people both from inside and outside of government , it is now time for testing our policies and strategies in the court of real life.

Work undertaken in the 2020/2021 Financial year.

1. Farmer Production Support and Rural Infrastructure

Honourable Speaker, in the last financial year we committed to support 15 farmer production support centres with the necessary infrastructure to make them functional. We are pleased to announce that we have supported:

  1. One project in the Eastern Cape in Zanyokhwe;  
  2. Three in the Free State namely in Odendaalrus, Springfontein and Kroonstad;
  3. Four in KZN in Pomoroy, Malenge, Mkhuphula and Hluhluwe;
  4. Two in Limpopo Vleischboom and Masalal, three in Mpumalanga at Sybrandskraal, Mkhuhlu and Kameelrivier;
  5. one in Taung in the North West and with irrigation infrastructure at Ebenheser in the Western Cape.
  6. A total of 64 infrastructure projects to support production and other socio-economic infrastructure we implemented.

2. NARYSEC work

The department created 800 rural jobs and provided skills development opportunities to 1 926 NARYSEC Youth through the District Development Model.

3. Flagship socio-economic projects

  1. One of our flagship socio-economic projects is Die Poort Primary School Development. The programme was aimed at constructing a proper learning facility in the Hekpoort area, Gauteng and was hatched to merge the two primary schools within the area. The learners from the FJ Kloppers Primary School moved to Die Poort Primary Farm School. The Department in collaboration with the Gauteng Department of Education was able to provide 16 classrooms, an administration block, Grade R facility, male and female ablution blocks, a caretaker house and a combination court.
  2. Another socio-economic project was the construction of houses and basic services using alternative building technology for the relocation of evicted farm dwellers in Donkerhoek, Mpumalanga. This led to the utilisation of off-grid energy solutions and solar geysers, an off-grid sanitation solution, water supply and reticulation as well as a 4km gravel access road.
  3. The Department in partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) implemented the Mt Fletcher Spring Water Harvesting, Protection, Development, and Reticulation project between March 2017 and July 2020 in the Fairview villages of the Joe Gqabi District Municipality in the Eastern Cape. Local labourers were also contracted from the three targeted villages in the district and skilled by the service provider. Due to standpipes that are now closer to their homes, women and children do not have to walk far to collect water, which saves time for other activities.
  4. The department is also contributing towards the implementation of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Initiative (PESI) in which 1434 former NARYSEC youth and agricultural graduates were employed on a three-month contract to assist farmers with applications for the PESI funding as part of the Covid-19 interventions by the department.

Programme for the 2021 /2022 Financial Year

For the 2021/2022 financial year we plan to undertake the following programs :

1. Farmer Production Support Units
  1. We plan to further support 25 projects that would lead to functional FPSUs. From these functional FPSUs rural households and villages in general will be able to obtain a wide variety of support to improve their productivity including mechanization (tractors), implements, inputs (seeds and fertilizers) and storage facilities etc.
  2. This includes the renovation of livestock auction facilities at Kwafene in the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality at Nkangala, Mpumalanga province.
2. Rural infrastructure
  1. We will implement a further 50 infrastructure projects to support production and six socio-economic infrastructure projects continuing from the Die Poort Primary School Development project mentioned above.  A total of 500 jobs are projected to be created in such rural development initiatives and this speaks to our revised strategy of optimising intergovernmental resources.
3. Access to reliable and good quality water
  1. We will continue from where we ended in the Mt Fletcher Spring Water Harvesting, Protection, Development, and Reticulation project and in this financial year there will be an additional 5 innovative technology research projects which will be implemented.   
4. NARYSEC
  • In the 2021/22 financial year, the National Rural Youth Services Corps (NARYSEC) programme will shift gear to place a greater emphasis on recruiting and skilling youth for workplace opportunities within and outside government, entrepreneurship and further education and skills opportunities as part of a basket of services offered to the youth exiting the programme. This change will position NARYSEC Programme to better contribute in dealing with the challenge of high youth unemployment.
  • To this end, the programme has now committed to training 1409 youth across all 9 provinces and budget of R62.4 million has been allocated in this financial year. This youth was recruited during the 2019 and 2020 financial years, but due to Covid-19 the training programmes have been delayed. In addition, the following initiatives are underway:
  • 188 NARYSEC youth will be trained as traffic ffficers in Mpumalanga and the Free State respectively. The intention is for the youth to be absorbed by their local municipalities and these municipalities have already signed commitment letters for employment of these youth upon the successful completion of the training;
  • 93 NARYSEC youth from EC, GP, NC and WC are currently undergoing training with Clicks Pharmacy Group. These youth have been absorbed by the company which is a successful private-public partnership initiative;
  • 98 (73 EC and 25 KZN) youth recruited as part of piloting the District Development Model (DDM) will be trained in Environmental Waste Management Qualification. The King Sabata Dalindyebo District Municipality has provided business opportunities for these youth and they will be absorbed in their waste management unit. The KZN youth will also provide similar services to the eThekwini Municipality. This means that 98 young people from the rural areas will have an opportunity to pursue their small enterprises leading to further socio-economic spin-offs.
5. Presidential stimulus initiative

In contributing to the second phase of the Presidential Stimulus Initiative project the department has extended the contracts of 1209 PESI verifiers for another 12 months (1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022) with a budget of R64 293 072,48 which will go towards paying stipends and allowances.

6. Improving spatial planning in rural areas

Honourable Speaker and members, rural development without ensuring spatial transformation will be equal to maintaining Bantustans and our approach to rural development is linked to ensuring spatial justice.  

You are acutely aware that the Department as the custodian of the Spatial Planning and Land Use management Act 16 of 2013 (SPLUMA) has embarked on various programmes, initiatives and activities towards its implementation.  Significant progress has been made and the Department continues to support municipalities in undertaking their responsibilities in terms of the Act.

The NSDF is currently being finalised and will be presented to Cabinet for consideration in the first half of the year. The current Medium-Term Strategic Framework emphasises the need for spatial integration through Priority 5 focussing on Spatial Integration. 

To address the Spatial inefficiencies and to promote Spatial Transformation, the Department, in partnership with the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, had developed the Draft National Spatial Development Framework (NSDF) which has gone through the extensive consultation as per the requirements of the National Development Plan and the SPLUMA. 

The Draft National Spatial Development Framework National Spatial Development Framework ( NSDF)  has provided a national spatial schema to inform, direct, prioritize and guide all future infrastructure investment and development spending decisions by government, civil society and the private sector; to optimise place-based potentials and spatial interdependencies, and to realize the 2050-National Spatial Development Framework Vision.

Spatial planning remains key in guiding Departmental programmes and to further ensure that these are integrated into municipal Integrated Development Plans and the One Plan process as an outcome of the District Development Model approach being implemented by government.

Initiatives of spatial planning support for land reform include amongst others the implementation of a Strategically Located Land tool which encompasses a myriad of existing spatial planning tools and systems that assist the Department in identifying where Land Reform initiatives should be targeted.  

The Department is also on a clear path to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of communities living in rural areas.

Employing a broad array of geospatial data provided for through the implementation of the Spatial Data Infrastructure Act, the department is performing innovative geospatial analysis, simulation and modelling to formulate spatially balanced and efficient rural development plans that contribute towards accomplishing a low carbon and climate-resilient rural economy.

In consultation with Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, the department is also compiling Climate Change Response Plans for the Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development sector.

Conclusion

We want to take this opportunity to announce to our people in the rural areas that this department cares for you. We want to see and hear every village and every rural community including everyone in South Africa talking about rural development. The real test will be in what we do to transform the rural economy and build sustainable rural communities.

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SA could cut planned infrastructure budget by addressing billions of litres of wasted water

Water waste, leaks, and the use of drinking water for manufacturing is resulting in billions of litres of potable water going to waste, which – if addressed – could reduce the water infrastructure spend that is necessary.

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