Shadow MEC for Roads, Pine Pienaar, told MPLs at the recent sitting of the Eastern Cape Legislature that a DA-run Eastern Cape would ensure that more was spent on infrastructure in the province.
Below is an extract of his speech:
When we rule the Eastern Cape – and believe me it’s only a matter of time before we do — one of the first thing we will do is to increase the amount spent on infrastructure like roads, rail and electricity.
We will immediately involve the private sector to invest through public-private partnerships to broaden the base of shareholders of the state-owned enterprises by setting up targeted listings to empower ordinary South Africans with shares.
We will do this to elevate this province out of the doldrums of under-investment and the detonation of infrastructure as so clearly can be seen from the portfolio committee report.
And when I say we will do all these things, it is not as though we have not done it before. It will merely be a copy of the implementation we have already successfully applied in the City of Cape Town where we are connecting citizens across the city by increasing transport budgets and expanding broadband internet infrastructure.
Fundamentally we do not disagree with the sentiments of the ruling party that they want to create a better life for all. We agree, but we actually know how to achieve this.
Unlike the ruling party we are serious about the extended public works programme. To the DA it’s not a matter lip service. We want to see it work.
We are working for change, and working for jobs. If elected to national government, the DA’s plan will change the economy by making it easier to invest, to start a business, to grow a business, to hire more workers and to trade with other countries, especially in Africa.
The extended public works programme has to potential to at least give these people opportunities to work within their communities, develop infrastructure and get paid for it.
Thousands of graduates are battling to find jobs because of the bad economy and we have to get them involved in development.
Who will benefit? Everybody – you can go all over the province and see where we can achieve success. Like in the Baviaanskloof where the re-gravelling project in Patensie stopped because of lack of funds. The Department of Roads and Public Works should make funds available to this project in order to finish up the aspects of the project that remain outstanding. In this regard, the Department should request the Gamtoos Irrigation Board to submit a proposal/business plan of the project for the outstanding work. The Gamtoos Irrigation Board must also submit a proposal for the upgrade of the gravel road from the Baviaanskloof to Steytlerville.
If we use a similar, integrated approach to every problem being identified in our province, we will eventually reach success, but this will only happen once the voter realises that the ANC does not have the political will to achieve just this.