Hon Speaker, the purpose of the First Reading debate on any Bill needs to speak to the essence of why the executive believes the said Bill has brought to Parliament for introduction. In this respect, the policy origin of any Bill is critical. The 53rd ANC national conference has firmly declared its support for the National Infrastructure Plan and the development of the 10-year project pipeline by the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee.
This requires all government administrations to focus on the implementation of the National Infrastructure Plan, instead of each administration developing a new plan. This will facilitate market certainty, allow for long-term planning for skills and supplier industries, and provide basic needs to communities.
The National Infrastructure Plan should be used as a major driver of industrialisation through local component requirements, and also by making logistics and other projects available to local manufacturers. Skills development must be a mandatory outcome for major projects with clear targets given to all contractors and penalties for nondelivery.
As the ANC, we believe that state-owned enterprises should be developed in the built environment using the existing capacity as a base. The Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission aims to develop a 10- year pipeline of priority infrastructure investments and to ensure that public investment pays close to 10% over the coming years and increases capacity for infrastructure development at local and provincial levels.
Our economic transformation programme seeks to promote a geographically inclusive economy. This will require that infrastructure development be rolled out in phases in targeted areas In this connection, we must optimise the investments that have already been made in the establishment of industrial development zones through special determinations relating to incentives, and access to adequate and affordable basic inputs such as electricity and water, as has already been mentioned by the Minister.
Nodes that will be the basis for the connection of the outlying areas to the major industrial hubs and enable more rural development must be promoted through this programme. Specific transformative infrastructure programmes should be identified in these nodes and be included in the budget programmes. Composition of expenditure should be changed in favour of infrastructure development.
It is going to be difficult to finance infrastructure initiatives from the fiscus only, thus the question of funding infrastructure and appropriate pricing of infrastructure is key. It would be important for employment creation and for long-term economic growth prospects that infrastructure expenditure be clearly funded through a combination of fiscal allocation, borrowing and user fees.
In conclusion, let me say that whilst the committee must still engage with the contents of the Bill, the Infrastructure Development Bill will assist to remove the red tape and ensure an integrated, co-ordinated implementation of infrastructure projects. The ANC welcomes the introduction of the Bill. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]