Parastatals to spur growth

8 September 2005

State companies Eskom and Transnet will spend in the region of R134-billion on infrastructure development over the next five years to stimulate the country’s economic growth.

Industrial Development Corporation economist Lumkile Mondi said the investment would form part of a public sector capital expenditure (capex) programme aimed at developing sectors of the economy such as capital goods and transport equipment.

Addressing delegates at the National African Chamber of Commerce conference at the Sandton Convention Centre on Wednesday, Mondi said the capex programme marked “a return of state-owned enterprise investment in infrastructure.”

Last October, Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin announced a R121-billion multi-project investment to strengthen delivery within Eskom and Transnet over the next five years.

Mondi said employment opportunities would be created through the programme’s spending in various sectors, with the greatest impact in construction, particularly civil engineering.

The capex programme would also try to grow the skills needed to meet the associated increased demand. “We can’t continue importing skilled people because this comes at a price,” Mondi said.

This included increasing investment in the capital equipment sector to optimise local content, he said, adding that this would reduce the government’s import bill.

Source BuaNews