In an effort to support economic growth the government has decided to prioritise infrastructure through a newly established infrastructure fund.

Speaking at the Union Buildings on Friday President Cyril Ramaphosa said the aim of the South African Infrastructure Fund was to reduce fragmented infrastructure spend and promote the efficient use of resources.

“Infrastructure as we know is a key driver of economic growth. Infrastructure expansion and maintenance has the potential to create jobs on a large scale, attract investment and lay a foundation for sustainable economic expansion,” said the President.

Economic stimulus package

Ramaphosa presented a wide-ranging economic stimulus package which focused on several areas. Infrastructure represented the lion’s share of the package with government setting aside R400 billion to pour into the fund.

To ensure the funds are used effectively, and projects are completed on time and within budget, an Infrastructure Execution Team, which will be based in the Presidency, will oversee implementation.

The Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission will work alongside the Infrastructure Execution Team to streamline coordination across the three spheres of government.

Reprioritised spending

Commenting on the financing of the economic stimulus package Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said funds would be reprioritised from other government programmes to fund the stimulus package.

“Working with the Department of Performance and Monitoring and Evaluation, we are working on moving funds. This would be from under performing programmes and a number of trade-offs will be made. These would be projects that were budgeted for but could no longer be priorities.

“These will be released during the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement,” said Nene

In addition extra infrastructure funding will be directed towards provincial and national roads, human settlements, water infrastructure, schools, student accommodation and public transport.