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New Build Programme creates jobs

Written by Amukelani Chauke
Government’s efforts to create jobs have been given a boost by the Build Programme, led by stateowned enterprises.

State-owned Enterprises are investing millions to boost governments efforts to create jobs through the Build Programme.Transnet and Eskom are set to invest billions of rands in infrastructure programmes to create an enabling environment for private sector investment, boosting localisation and supporting small and medium enterprises.

Speaking in Parliament, Matsietsi Mokholo, the Department of Public Enterprises’ Acting Director-General, said the Build Programme has also helped government address infrastructure backlogs that have delayed investment in the economy.

“The state of our electricity, ports and rail infrastructure is a clear sign that there has not been enough investment in our infrastructure and we have had to play catch up.

“The Build Programme has been helping us do just that.”

Creating jobs

As part of the Build Programme, Eskom has since 2005 been expanding its generation and transmission capacity to meet the country’s growing demand for energy.

In his State of the Nation Address, President Jacob Zuma said electricity supply security is a catalyst to growth and job creation.

Makgola Makololo, the department’s chief director responsible for energy, said Eskom has contributed to its developmental mandate through the creation of direct and indirect jobs.

While the direct jobs have been created within the power utility’s business environment, the indirect jobs have come from contractors servicing Eskom, especially through the build projects.

“Over the past three financial years, Eskom suppliers have committed to create 7 000 jobs and retain 700 jobs when they are awarded a contract.

“As a direct result of Eskom business in the New Build projects, there were 24 251 jobs created by suppliers in Medupi, Kusile, Ingula and the Power Deliver Project at the end of December 2014,” she said.

She added that Eskom had set a target to create more jobs through the New Build Programme in its corporate plan – 16 334 in the 2014/ 15 financial year, 8 317 in 2016, 4 750 in 2017 and 2 000 in 2018.

Transnet on track to create jobs

Transnet has set a goal to roll-out a capital investment programme over a seven year period to contribute to skills development, job creation, localisation, empowerment and transformation.

Kgomotso Modise, the department’s Deputy Director-General responsible for transport, said with the vision of moving freight from the road to rail, while the investments will go towards ports and pipeline infrastructure, a bulk of it will go towards rail.

She said most of these projects would be fasttracked as part of Operation Phakisa, a model which President Zuma introduced in June last year to speed-up the delivery of services in the oceans economy and in clinics as part of the first two phases.

Modise said Transnet aimed to create R1 million jobs by 2022.

“Transnet will create approximately 540 000 direct and indirect job opportunities over the next seven year period.

“Through the build programme, procurement spend will be leveraged to increase localisation and therefore maximise job creation.

“In addition, it is also expected that another 480 000 job opportunities will be induced through Transnet spend.”

With an overall investment of R1 billion a year to be spent on training over the next seven years, Transnet will train 3 000 artisans and 1 600 engineers over that period.