The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport has invested more than R30 billion in the past three years on public infrastructure projects.
“The investments have been on improving our freeway and provincial road networks, the Gautrain, the modernisation of Metrorail and the roll out of bus rapid transit systems in metropolitan municipalities.
“This is apart from that which has been spent on social infrastructure projects such as schools, hospitals and clinics,” Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi said.
The MEC was addressing the Gauteng Trade and Investment Conference and Exhibition on Wednesday.
“The injection of funds into transport projects is meant to facilitate improved mobility, allow for social inclusion, stimulate economic growth and enable the development of small and emerging contractors,” MEC Vadi said.
The provincial department has, since 2014, spent over R3 billion undertaking heavy and light rehabilitation of the road infrastructure along various corridors in the province.
“In the current financial year, the department’s allocated budget is R6.8 billion, with R1.9 billion specifically earmarked for transport infrastructure,” MEC Vadi said.
He said the infrastructure spend has played a decisive role in pushing forward the empowerment of historically disadvantaged individuals (HDI) and black firms.
In construction and professional services, the department is spending up to 91% of the budget on HDIs.
“It is therefore critical to ensure that there is true empowerment of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) so that they become more sustainable and contribute to economic growth and development.
“I would also like to encourage companies to partner with the provincial government’s Tshepo 1 Million initiative aimed at empowering the youth by equipping them with the necessary skills and opening opportunities for them to generate their own income and wealth,” MEC Vadi said.