Infrastructure Development Bill debated

Public hearings on the Infrastructure Development Bill are underway.

FILE: Public hearings on the Infrastructure Development Bill are currently underway.

CAPE TOWN - A proposed law aimed at fast-tracking the government's infrastructure development plans is under the spotlight in Parliament.

Three days of public hearings on the Infrastructure Development Bill started today.

The bill was introduced by Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel in the National Assembly last November.

It spells out the powers of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission, chaired by President Jacob Zuma.

The commission is overseeing the roll-out of 18 strategic infrastructure projects (SIPS) that are intended to unlock economic development and create jobs.

The draft law aims to improve coordination between national, provincial and local government for faster implementation of the projects.

But the South African Local Government Association (Salga) is not happy.

Marx Mutariwa says Salga, which represents local government, was not properly consulted.

"We are requesting that we get an opportunity to be meaningfully consulted."