Government working on anti-corruption strategy to support infrastructure plan

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille says government is working on a more effective system to monitor projects more effectively and put systems in place to detect and prevent corruption.

“This will bring a greater level of transparency and will give credibility to the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment Plan,” de Lille said.

Addressing the Infrastructure South Africa Project Preparation Roundtable and Market Place, de Lille said all projects will be subjected to an independent due diligence process as well.

De Lille said transparency is the best deterrent to root out corruption.

“As government we are showing that we are capable of turning the situation around by holding the corrupt and delinquent visibly accountable.

“We are putting in all possible measures to mitigate against this as we implement the Plan, starting with the 62 Strategic Integrated Projects,” de Lille said.

De Lille said the Infrastructure Plan will be underpinned by an anti-corruption strategy, together with the Special Investigating Unit, and her department was in the process of setting up an anti-corruption forum with representatives from the public and private sector, based on the same principles of the anti-corruption forum set up within the Health Department.

“We spend too much time finding out what went wrong afterwards with commissions and inquiries when we should be investing those scarce resources into project preparation now to prevent mistakes,” de Lille said.

With regard to Infrastructure, de Lille said government has already started with the development of the National Infrastructure Plan 2045, which will be in line with the NDP and National Spatial Development Framework.

“The National Infrastructure Plan 2045 is to be based on a solid foundation of the infrastructure development indices in order to ensure integrated infrastructure investment and implementation,” de Lille said.

De Lille said one of the components of creating an enabling environment for project preparation is the establishment and consolidation of well-governed public institutions.

“Cabinet approved the establishment of Infrastructure South Africa (ISA) as the single-entry point for all infrastructure projects. ISA has been tasked to drive the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment Plan.

“One component of ISA is that it is the administrative arm of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission Council which is chaired by our President, to assist with blockages, unlocking funding and create a conducive environment for infrastructure investment,” de Lille said.

De Lille explained that ISA was established to allow the state to develop its own internal capacity to bring the requisite skills into government.

ISA’s structure is made up of branches, namely:

a) The Infrastructure Investment Planning, National Infrastructure Plan and Oversight;

b) The Infrastructure Delivery Management: this includes the comprehensive infrastructure project pipeline, project preparation and packaging;

c) Infrastructure Investment Funding inclusive of financing, oversight of the Infrastructure Fund, green financing and investment strategy; and

d) The property, land and building portfolio management, inclusive of public land maximisation and revenue generation which will for example look at how we can sweat the state’s assets.

“Public land and public buildings must be used for the public good. ISA is also in the process of adapting the infrastructure procurement framework to enable public-private partnerships and unlocking new funding mechanisms for major infrastructure investment.

“ISA is now also building capacity to prepare and package projects and to ensure oversight in the implementation of South Africa’s Infrastructure Investment Plan.

“The project preparation process done well ensures the identification and elimination of key risks at the earliest possible time and maximises development opportunities by ensuring that projects are well conceptualised and ready for implementation,” de Lille said.

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Government working on anti-corruption strategy to support infrastructure plan