Warning on SA infrastructure

The Institute of Municipal Engineers has expressed concern over the country’s infrastructure.

FILE: The Institute of Municipal Engineers has expressed concern over the country’s infrastructure.

CAPE TOWN - The Institute of Municipal Engineers says that failure to plan for the long-term management of the country's infrastructure is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

Past president of the institute Jannie Pietersen was addressing the National Assembly's economic development portfolio committee.

The committee has been holding public hearings on the Infrastructure Development Bill, which is aimed at enabling the fast-tracking of the government's mega infrastructure projects.

Pietersen had a blunt warning for Members of Parliament (MPs).

"Ladies and gentlemen, there's a catastrophe waiting to happen in our country and I talk from experience."

He says the Infrastructure Development Bill should stipulate the need for long-term management plans.

"We need to understand where our risks are and which infrastructure we should be concentrating on from a risk perspective."

Pietersen estimates the replacement cost of municipal infrastructure in the country's major cities at about R2,000 billion.