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.