Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel says government’s infrastructure programme has played an important role in the country’s sustained economic growth since the 2008/09 downturn.

Patel says government’s infrastructure programme is sparking new investment deals and is helping to combat the effects of the recession, Engineering News reported.

Speaking to an infrastructure cluster media briefing, Patel said the Industrial Policy Action Plan’s investment incentives have resulted in approximately R143 billion in private sector investments. This has created about 144 000 jobs and retained another 200 000 jobs in sectors that were either in distress or needed help in exporting.

Patel emphasised the progress made on transport infrastructure. This includes Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system which now transports more than 40 000 people a day and Cape Town’s MyCiti BRT which transports 10 000 people daily. Additionally, roads paving the way for more public transport in Tshwane, Rustenburg and eThekwini are under way and transport Minister Dipuo Peters said feasibility studies are being carried out to explore the possibility of extending the Gautrian to Mamelodi and Naledi.