Public works empowers black contractors

Posted On Tuesday, 14 May 2002 10:01 Published by
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The Public Works Department allocated R908m in capital works projects to black contractors during the 2001-02 financial year

Political Correspondent

CAPE TOWN The Public Works Department allocated R908m in capital works projects to black contractors during the 2001-02 financial year, Public Works Minister Stella Sigcau said in her budget vote speech yesterday.

The department fully utilised its R1,736bn budget for capital projects and planned maintenance. An additional R850m was spent on the provision of accommodation to client departments.

Sigcau said the state's fixed property portfolio, conservatively valued at R120bn, had a 'chronic' maintenance backlog estimated at R10bn.

'In its entire history the department of public works has been unable to expend completely any capital budget in its allocation,' she said. Sigcau pointed out that for the second consecutive year the department had also successfully spent 100% of the budget allocated to poverty alleviation and rural infrastructure development.

Altogether R374m was spent on building 561 community infrastructure projects, creating 25124 jobs through the community-based public works programme.

The successes followed the introduction of a programme for accelerated capital expenditure, which had introduced a stringent reporting and monitoring system to enforce proper expenditure rates on capital projects and detect early on where under-expenditure occurred.

An amount of R24m was saved through the renegotiation of lease contracts, and more than R156m was generated through the sale of 63 state properties.

Sigcau said plans were advanced for the sale of an increased number of property disposals this year.

This arose from the work of the department's strategic asset management partner consisting of a consortium of six local and international companies appointed last year.

The consortium had proposed a strategic asset management framework to guide government on the management of state properties.

Publisher: Business Day
Source: Linda Ensor

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