Deputy Chair, the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission, PICC, was formed in September 2011. It is constituted of a council, management committee and secretariat. The council consists of a number of Cabinet members, nine premiers, metro mayors, and SA Local Government Association, Salga, representatives. It is chaired by the President and in his absence by the Deputy President. The management committee consists of a similar team of Ministers, premiers and Salga representatives and is chaired by the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mr Gugile Nkwinti. The secretariat consists of Cabinet members and Deputy Ministers and is chaired by the Minister of Economic Development, Mr Ebrahim Patel.
The PICC structures have met on numerous occasions. The council has convened two formal meetings. The management committee has met on more than 10 occasions and the secretariat meets at least fortnightly.
In January this year the Cabinet lekgotla, which included Ministers, Deputy Ministers, premiers and Salga representatives, received a report on the draft infrastructure plan and endorsed the proposed plan. The plan was then formally adopted by the PICC council, which met in February this year.
The plan provides for a 20-year project pipeline and includes projects in the 2012-13 financial year and beyond. The plan sets out 17 strategic integrated projects containing road, rail, port, water, sanitation, energy, communications, health and education infrastructure projects. Every province is covered by one or more strategic integrated projects.
As hon members will recall, I made available details of the five geographically and strategically integrated projects in the state of the nation address in February this year. Subsequently, I launched the Port of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape, as well as the Dube Trade Port in eThekwini - two projects that are included in the infrastructure plan.
One strategic integrated project addresses the challenges of Mpumalanga and contains proposals for a shift from road to rail transport in the province, as well as strong logistics corridors between Mpumalanga and Gauteng. The Moloto Rail Corridor is one component but the technical team seeks to develop the idea beyond its simply being for the transport of day labour from Mpumalanga to Gauteng. Instead, it has identified the need to use the corridor to support agro-processing industries, among others. The details of this idea will be pursued further at local level by the team that has been set up for strategic integrated project 1, launched on 13 April 2012.
Two weeks ago we convened a provincial and local government Conference at which the PICC provided details of the 17 strategic integrated projects to MECs, executive mayors, and directors-general, as well as other senior government officials.
Infrastructure is critical to national development. It provides the physical platform for economic development by making available energy, transport facilities, communication and water to industries identified in the New Growth Path framework adopted by Cabinet. So it spurs new investment and jobs. It is an essential component of service delivery, providing sanitation, health facilities, education, electricity and water to local communities. However, infrastructure also creates jobs and, if properly structured, it is a major source of new industrialisation. Our infrastructure plan will focus on the local procurement of components, building materials and construction equipment in order to support local industry.
The infrastructure plan has one strategic integrated project focusing on African regional integration because South Africa's future prosperity is tied to expanding the African market.