CAPE TOWN — The South African Institute of Civil Engineers has warned that if work on road infrastructure does not start soon it could be too late for SA to deliver on its 2010 promises.

Jan Coetzee, chairman of the institute’s transport committee, said last week there were projects on the list of implementation that should have started already.

To start the projects now would mean they would be only 60% completed by 2010, given current capacity in the construction industry.

Coetzee said at the institute’s annual lunch that the country’s transport operational plan needed to be implemented as soon as possible . While there was a plan in place, it lacked detail and co-ordination, he said.

The main message that needed to be conveyed to the government was to focus on the operational plans.

“This is a real time event, and needs time management and the co-ordination between the different services,” Coetzee said.

In any other country there would probably have been a team of 30 professionals overseeing the implementation of transport system delivery, but “ here we have one or two individuals driving the process”, he said.

Coetzee said government needed to be realistic in what could be delivered and what was needed was to prioritise the projects and focus on what could be delivered.

Included in the problems of implementing infrastructure were the environmental-impact assessment process, the time it would take for procurement and contractor capacity, which was “a huge problem”.

What also needed urgent attention was the co-operation and integration between different partners responsible for the smooth running of 2010, including transport, the police services, emergency services and those organising accommodation. “They need to talk to each other,” Coetzee said.

Click here to read the SWC 2010 – SAICE Report.

AUTHOR: Chris van Gass
DATED: 22nd October 2007