The Infrastructure Development Act 23 of 2014 (Act) was assented to on 30 May 2014 and creates the statutory entity that will facilitate strategic infrastructure development projects and related approvals, authorisations, licenses, permits and exemptions required to achieve the implementation of the national infrastructure plan expeditiously.

Key Provisions of the Act

Infrastructure 

The Act defines infrastructure as installations, structures, facilities, systems, services or processes  and includes, national and international airports, electricity transmission and distribution, mines, oil or gas pipelines, refineries, ports, power stations, railways, waste infrastructure and water works.  

The Act establishes a Commission which is comprised as follows:

  • the Council, which includes the President and his deputy, certain Ministers, Premiers of provinces, Executive Mayors of metropolitan councils and the chairperson of the South African Local Government Association;
  • Secretariat;
  • Management Committee; and
  • Chairperson.

The functions of the Council are:

  • to coordinate the development, monitoring and implementation  of the national infrastructure development plan;
  • to identify current and future needs and  priorities relating to infrastructure development;
  • to identify legislation that impedes or may impede the Act and advise the Executive accordingly;
  • to identify the impact of strategic integrated projects on employment, social cohesion and economic inclusiveness;
  • to evaluate existing infrastructure;
  • to consider proposals for infrastructure development and maintenance;
  • to promote investment and develop strategies to address any impediments to investment;
  • to encourage and facilitate economic and industrial development associated with infrastructure or any strategic integrated project;portance to South Africa;
  • it would contribute substantially to any national strategy or policy relating to infrastructure development; or
  • it is above the monetary value determined by the Commission; and
  • the Commission has included the project in the national infrastructure plan and has designated the project as a strategic integrated project.
  • to promote the creation of decent employment opportunities and skills development; and
  • to develop and issue guidelines and frameworks to facilitate and align strategic integrated plans.

The Act introduces the concept of Strategic Integrated projects and a project qualifies as a strategic integrated project if it meets the following criteria:

  • it comprises of one or more installation, structure, facility, system, service or process it would be of significant economic or social importance to South Africa;
  • it would contribute substantially to any national strategy or policy relating to infrastructure development; or
  • it is above the monetary value determined by the Commission; and
  • the Commission has included the project in the national infrastructure plan and has designated the project as a strategic integrated project.

A strategic integrated project may include infrastructure that is not public infrastructure, provided it is with the consent of the owner.

The Commission may designate strategic integrated plans by gazette, and may amend existing strategic integrated plans.

Approvals, Authorisations, Licences, Permissions and Exemptions 

Approvals, authorisations, licences, permissions and exemptions are defined as any approval, authorisation, licence, permission or exemption which in terms of any relevant law requires one or more of the following: 

  • the consideration of jurisdictional facts;
  • the consideration of certain requirements or criteria; or
  • the exercise of a discretion whether or not to grant the approval, authorisation, licence, permission or exemption; and
  • includes decisions in respect of environmental authorisations, zoning of land or any planning, use or development of land;

A steering committee determines the approvals, authorisations, licenses, permissions or exemptions required to implement the strategic integrated projects and  informs an applicant (persons that will build or operate projects) to submit applications for all required authorisations simultaneously to allow for concurrent consideration by the persons authorised by the relevant laws.