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Monitoring and evaluation regulatory policy in South Africa

Similar to many other developing countries such as Ghana and Kenya, South Africa has an official ministry responsible for M&E and also an M&.E unitestablished in each government department (Abrahams, 2015). The Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Department for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) have been established as statutory organizations with responsibility for M&E the performance and service delivery of government (Dassah & Uken, 2006). The PSC derives its powers from Sections 195 and 196 of the 1996 Constitution of South Africa. As a part of their mandate, the PSC is responsible for investigating, monitoring and evaluating the performance of all programmes of the South African public service. The investigatory M&E role is predominately centered on the financial accountability of the public service.

According to Engela and Ajam (2010), the Government-Wide Monitoring and Evaluation System (GWM&ES) was established in 2005 to address the fragmentation in government M&E. Abrahams (2015) argues the GWM&ES served as a “system of systems” as it extracted germane information from all other independent M&E systems of all government departments. The DPME was also established in 2010 by the Presidency and headed by a minister. The DPME is responsible for the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP), the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) and the five-year implementation plans and adopts a citizens’ feedback mechanism as the M&E tool. The prime focus of the DPME is, however, on the implementation of the government policy to gather relevant information for management decision-making to inform future policy direction. The South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA) was also established in 2005 as an umbrella body of individuals and organizations involved in the evaluation functions. SAMEA provides support and guidance and strengthens the development of M&E as a profession, as an industry and also as an independent voice (governance tool) providing expert advice to the DPME (Abrahams, 2015; Basson, 2013).

In summary, legislative policies and an enabling environment for M&E in the South African public sector include but are not limited to the following:

i The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

ii Bat ho Pele White Paper, 1997

iii Public Finance Management Act (Act 1 of 1999)

iv Treasury Regulations, 2002

v Policy Framework for a Government-wide Monitoring and Evaluation System, 2007

vi National Treasury Framework for Managing Programme Performance Information, 2007

vii South African Statistical Quality Assessment Framework (SASQAF), First edition (2008) and Second edition (2010)

viii Green Paper on National Performance, 2009

ix Guide to the Outcomes Approach, 2010

x National Evaluation Policy Framework (NEPF), 2011; and

xi Performance Monitoring and Evaluation: Principles and Approach, 2014 (Mtshali, 2015).

Municipal infrastructure project implementation and M&E in South Africa

In South Africa, municipal infrastructure project delivery is guided by a legislative, policy and institutional framework. The framework outlines a structured process in infrastructure delivery at the local level, provincial level and the national level. While projects are implemented at the local (municipal) level, there is the need for supporting roles at the provincial and national levels since funding for infrastructure delivery is made available through the central government. The responsibility of municipal infrastructure project delivery is distributed to the national departments. These responsibilities suggest that the Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG) monitors the cross-cutting conditions and overall progress of projects executed while the respective sectorial departments such as the Department of Transport (DoT) and the Ministry of Public Works monitor the performance of municipalities regarding sector-specific criteria and the overall sustainability of sector infrastructure.

Also, the Department of Public Works is tasked with the monitoring of the poverty alleviation criteria whereas the responsibility for the financial reporting and revenue-related criteria lies with the National Treasury (Department of Provincial and Local Government, 2006). At the local level, three distinct levels are established with each level performing a specific task in the infrastructure delivery process. These are the project level, the local sector level and the municipal level. The provincial level has two separate levels, namely the provincial sphere and the provincial sectors, while at the national level, the national sphere and the national sector describe the two distinct levels for implementing project task in the delivery process. Figure 10.1 shows the four-phase infrastructure project (service) delivery life cycle, namely the policy, planning, implementation and service provision phases. The implementation phase describes the M&E role of the local, provincial and national stages.

10.5.4 The South African Construction Industry

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