By Annisa Essack
Gauteng Finance and e-Government MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko announced during her budget speech for the 2022/23 financial year that at least 11 public hospitals in Gauteng are to benefit from a rooftop solar power project. The project aims to ease the burden on the national electricity grid. She added that the project was one of the major initiatives of the provincial government’s integrated green energy strategy.
According to the MEC, the Roof-Top Solar Panel project is a significant milestone and was one of the major initiatives of the provincial government’s integrated green energy strategy. The MEC spoke to Radio Islam International to provide further insight into the project.
The project entails the installation of solar panels on rooftops of provincial government buildings to meet each facility’s electricity consumption. The successful financing and implementation of the Rooftop Solar PV, Phase 1 this year will lead to 11 provincial hospitals harnessing close to 10MW of their own electric power from rooftop solar PVs. She added that they would be supporting the objectives of the Gauteng Integrated Green Energy Strategy.
These hospitals are George Mukhari Hospital, Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, Laudium Hospital, Mamelodi Hospital, Tembisa Hospital, Yusuf Dadoo Hospital, Carltonville Hospital, Tshwane Hospital, Heidelberg Hospital, Edenvale Hospital and Steve Biko Hospital.
The Roof-Top Solar Panel initiative is a project of the Gauteng Infrastructure Financing Agency (GIFA), a government component of the Provincial Treasury. The agency is responsible for sourcing alternative funding for strategic infrastructure projects in the province.
The MEC also announced that GIFA had also completed the feasibility study and business case of the Sedibeng Fresh Produce Market, which is in line with the provincial government’s commitment to supporting the revival and reinvention of the economies of the Southern and Western Corridors. This entails refurbishing the existing market, modernising the facility, increasing its size and introducing an agro-processing component.
She says the project, costing R500 million, will create almost 6000 direct and indirect job opportunities, positively impacting the region’s Gross Domestic Product. MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko said that GIFA and the municipality were working with the National Treasury to deliver the project as a PPP. At the same time, the private party will finance, build, and operate the fresh produce market.
MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko was upbeat when asked about eliminating corruption and irregular spending on such projects. She explained that she would be monitoring the projects with the Treasury and the CEO of GIFA, who would provide regular reports. She promised to visit the sites personally.
She explained the establishment of a War Room within the Treasury. The room will increase efforts to sustain improvements in public financial management in the Gauteng City Region and further cut waste, eliminate corruption, and strengthen public accountability.
The War Room will see the Provincial Treasury, Gauteng Department of Cooperative Governance, Office of the Auditor-General, Audit Committees, National Departments, Academia, and private sector representatives with expertise in specialised areas such as legal, finance, ethics, supply chain and policy unite and using their collective knowledge and skills to address provincial government challenges in four areas: litigation, consequence management, payment of invoices within 10 to 30 days and transformative procurement.
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