Thabo Mokwena, SIP7 Coordinator and Guest speaker at the Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) Gauteng Presidential function, made an impassioned plea for CESA members to work together with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to assist with the lack of capacity at Municipal level. He stated that CESA needs to work closely with PRASA and support the 12 identified municipalities to roll out projects. Last year CESA and PRASA signed an MOU to take the process forward.
He discussed the Polokwane Rapid Bus Transit System where they are struggling to get the planning on track and appealed to CESA member firms to ‘roll up your sleeves and get down to business to get the project on track’.Mokwena strongly stated, “Capacity needs are there and they are serious”. He cited the R5billion ITS system for Buffalo City Municipality that has been held up with court proceedings for the past 3 years and shows no sign of getting off the ground for another 2 years. He reiterated that it is the responsibility of CESA and its member firms to actively assist in unlocking projects. He particularly appealed to CESA to assist with the planning phases of projects. “Simple input on simple lives are the projects that Mokwena is interested in”, he stated.
Mokwena believes that of the trillions allocated by Government to infrastructure development mostly will go out of the country as most (approximately 80%) of the money will be spent on technology. He stated that the debate around technology is the most important issue and that it is important for South Africa to start technology industries to ensure the sustainability of the country.
Info on SIP7
The Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission’s (PICC’s) seventh Strategic Integrated Project (SIP 7) focuses on using coordinated development of urban and integrated transport networks to establish cities as engines of growth and development. The aim is to accelerate infrastructure projects in a coordinated manner. The focus of the SIP 7 committee is the planning and coordination of integrated public transport networks, building sustainable human settlements and the development of complementary economic and social infrastructure.
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) performs a key role in assisting the SIP 7 committee in the coordination and evaluation planning and implementation of transport and integrated infrastructure development.