Build­ing a ca­pa­ble, eth­i­cal state

DDM in­volves three lev­els of gov­ern­ment work­ing to­gether


ý In­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment and de­liv­ery has tra­di­tion­ally oc­curred in si­los in SA. There is, how­ever, a recog­ni­tion that to achieve scale and im­pact, in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment and rollout re­quires a whole gov­ern­ment ap­proach.

The district de­vel­op­ment model (DDM) was cre­ated to speed up the pro­vi­sion of public ser­vices in 44 district mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to be­come cen­tres of ser­vice de­liv­ery, job cre­ation and eco­nomic growth.

Es­sen­tially, the DDM is an op­er­a­tional model for im­prov­ing co-op­er­a­tive gover­nance aim­ing to build a ca­pa­ble, eth­i­cal de­vel­op­ment state char­ac­terised by high per­for­mance and ac­count­abil­ity.

The ap­proach in­cludes all three spheres of gov­ern­ment, and state en­ti­ties work­ing in uni­son.

Michael Sut­cliffe, for­mer city man­ager of the ethek­wini metropolit­an mu­nic­i­pal­ity, said at the Sus­tain­able In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment Sym­po­sium of SA that to strengthen ca­pac­i­ties across lev­els of gov­ern­ment in­volved in public in­fra­struc­ture, sev­eral fac­tors need to be in place.

Th­ese are: ca­pa­ble peo­ple work­ing lo­cally; syn­chro­nised de­vel­op­ment; re­new­ing and re­plac­ing re­silient in­fra­struc­ture; a pol­icy around reusing dor­mant in­fra­struc­ture; en­sur­ing multi-use in­fra­struc­ture; and en­abling off-balance sheet de­vel­op­ment.

The Covid-19 cri­sis presents a good time for a re­set when it comes to in­fra­struc­ture de­liv­ery, says Chuene Ram­phele, group ex­ec­u­tive for in­fra­struc­ture de­liv­ery at the De­vel­op­ment Bank of South­ern Africa (DBSA).

He be­lieves the DDM is the right in­stru­ment to strengthen lo­cal gov­ern­ment’s abil­ity to de­liver ser­vices and of­fer tan­gi­ble re­sults.

“The DBSA has been a long­stand­ing part­ner of lo­cal gov­ern­ment. Our aim is to strengthen the ca­pac­ity of the state to de­liver in­fra­struc­ture,” says Ram­phele.

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