PDG prepared long-term financing plans and identify bankable infrastructure projects in five intermediate city municipalities. Following in-depth engagements with the municipalities, the plans were developed through bottom-up infrastructure modelling to project the expenditures, revenues and financing options over a 20-year period to ensure financial sustainability.
PDG assessed the strength of the municipal revenue base in 24 municipalities and their ability to generate sufficient revenue from property rates and municipal services to communities. PDG developed a data-driven diagnostic model which simulates the impact of hypothetical interventions on the financial position of the municipality to identify and quantify the impact of the root cause(s) of non-viability for a given municipality.
PDG analysed the financial sustainability of water services, electricity services and solid waste management. The work included assessing: long term financial trends; the cost of Free Basic Services provision; allocation of the Equitable Share; the impact of various tariff increase scenarios; asset condition as a key indicator of long term sustainability; affordability to consumers; and the potential for efficiency gains.
PDG led a team to develop national guidelines and tools to assist municipalities in calculating and implementing the proposed Municipal Development Charges legislation and regulations for National Treasury. In addition to producing an online toolkit, the team developed an implementation and support strategy for municipalities.
PDG designed a grant for Intermediate City Municipalities (ICMs), previously known as Secondary Cities. The project included the development of a grant framework, and stakeholder engagement around the proposals. Key features of the new grant design were the consolidation of several existing infrastructure grants; the introduction of programmatic monitoring against a long-term capital expenditure framework; and the inclusion of a performance-based component.
A web-based process management system was developed for quality assessments of government evaluations (Quality Assessment Tool). PDG was re-appointed for four phases of work in total including to develop an integrated system for managing government evaluations. PDG developed two more components: an improvement plan tracking system, and an upgrade of the public evaluation repository to integrate directly within an encompassing EMIS web-based system. All web-based project components have now been successfully completed and delivered to DPME and more than four rounds of quality assessments of upwards of upwards of 200 government evaluations have been completed to date.
PDG developed an Infrastructure Progression Model (IPM) for the Infrastructure Delivery Improvement Programme (IDIP). The system profiled the capability of provincial departments of education and health to provide infrastructure and plotted this capability against measures of performance. The model was piloted in three provinces and rolled out nationally.
PDG undertook a design and implementation evaluation (formative evaluation) of the Urban Settlements Development Grant, on behalf of Department of Human Settlements, supported by DPME. The evaluation included four metro case studies and concluded with recommendations around improvements to the grant design and systems for its implementation.
PDG led an interdisciplinary team through a series of consultative and iterative engagements with National Treasury, sector departments and metropolitan municipalities to develop a set of rationalised performance indicators for reporting by metropolitan municipalities. PDG also developed a Proof-of-Concept web-based reporting platform as a centralised means of coordinating and consolidating indicator data.
PDG undertook an impact evaluation of services rendered to children under the Foster Care Programme in Limpopo Province to assess whether the programme is leading towards achievement of sustained impacts for the targeted beneficiaries. The evaluation seeks to improve programme implementation, adherence to the Children’s Act, and ultimately the health, educational and psycho-social outcomes of children in foster care.
Between 2015 and 2018, the Western Cape experienced its worst drought in decades, which threatened its water security and had a negative impact on the provincial economy. One of the key responses to the drought has been the accelerated investment in decentralised water supply and treatment systems.
Despite the intentions of the National Waste Management Strategy to implement the waste management hierarchy, the vast majority of waste volumes in South Africa continue to be landfilled because landfill charges are very low, and are frequently not representative of the actual, direct costs of landfill. In addition, the broader costs of landfill, including the social and environmental externalities, are not considered.
Latent development demand exists in South African cities but is often constrained by the lack of available bulk infrastructure. Municipalities face financing constraints to provide the large, lumpy investments for bulk infrastructure, particularly for large-scale development, and the lack of this infrastructure delays growth and development in the country.
Gauteng is positioned in government policy as the ‘engine’ of growth and development in South Africa. Yet there are a number of constraints to this growth, including natural resources and bulk infrastructure. On the strength of the Infrastructure Framework successfully prepared for the Western Cape Government, the Gauteng Planning Commission commissioned a team led by Aurecon to map the infrastructure needs and implications of the province’s chosen development trajectory in the form of Phase 1 of the Gauteng Infrastructure Investment Master Plan.
PDG assisted in projecting national Greenhouse Gas emissions into the future to establish an updated emissions baseline in the absence of further mitigation initiatives. The team identified and analysed mitigation opportunities in key sectors of the economy and conducted a socio-economic and environmental assessment of the identified mitigation options using Multi-Criteria Analyses. The main emphasis of the project is the identification of energy measures to shift away from fossil fuels.
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PDG, working in partnership with PwC, was commissioned in 2019 to develop a spatial demographic model which disaggregates citywide population projections to small areas based on the City’s land use model.
The City of Cape Town wanted to, as part of its broader goal, to harness properties within the gateway precinct, the City needed to acquire an evidence-based understanding of market dynamics within the office residential and retail property sub-markets within the precinct and the broader Cape Town CBD. With the COVID crisis reshaping commuting habits and affecting the visitor economy, obtaining expert insight into the future trajectory of the property market in terms of both demand and supply was crucial. To this end, the City needed to take the pulse of local market dynamics, with a particular focus on the next decade.
The Gauteng Provincial Government identified the need to extend the rapid rail network in the Gauteng Province. The feasibility study identify that a project of this magnitude will require an investigation of alternative funding sources. PDG was commissioned by Pegasys to assess the impact of the proposed extension of the Gauteng rapid rail network on the surrounding property market. Claus’s role was that of a Property Economist which included significant quantitative data analysis, drawing on his background in urban economics and well developed analytical skills.
In rapidly growing cities in the Developing South, an increasing proportion of poor urban households live in informal settlements located in areas that are prone to flooding. The World Bank Research Group received funding from John Hopkins University to create new knowledge products to support urban policies for climate change adaptation in developing countries, given the high degree of vulnerability to adverse impacts of climate change faced by cities in developing countries across the world.
PDG produced a synthesis report on the evidence-based policy process to date regarding reconfiguring district government. The work involved collating prior research undertaken on the topic and synthesising the recommendations for implementation by national government.
The Gauteng Office of the Premier working with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), municipalities and other stakeholders developed the Gauteng Intergovernmental Relations Framework (GIGRF), adopted by the provincial Executive Council and the Premier’s Coordination Forum (PCF) in 2010. Outdated and non-reflective of the vision of the then provincial government’s Fifth Administration which introduced the Ten Pillar Programme to transform the province into a Global City Region (GCR), was in need of review.
PDG assessed the functionality of the national and provincial intergovernmental relations structures constituted in terms of the Intergovernmental Framework Relations Act. The project assessed the functionality of all the nine Premier’s Coordinating Forums, the six sector Ministerial/MEC Forums and the President’s Coordinating Council. Lessons were documented on the challenges and obstacles faced by these structures in discharging their legislative mandates.
PDG assisted in developing a policy document on the institutionalisation of the Gauteng City Region. Consultative workshops were held with key stakeholders and the functions of existing apex institutions were analysed to develop proposals for more effective institutional arrangements in the province.
PDG assessed the functionality of the current framework governing the division of powers and functions between the three spheres of government and drafted a new governance, policy and legislative framework for managing the allocation of these powers and functions.
Climate change is a global concern, and measures are being taken within all spheres of the South African government to mitigate impacts. The Western Cape Government had undertaken previous research on energy and climate change to develop an energy and greenhouse gas emissions database, which provided important baseline data tounderstand the energy use and emissions profiles per sector in the province. This study sought to use and build on this research by identifying the emission reduction potential of a range of climate change mitigation scenarios.
Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, South Africa is committed to contributing its fair share to global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) mitigation efforts in order to keep the temperature increase below 2°C. In order to meet this obligation and in developing a comprehensive policy framework for responding to climate change, Government has developed the National Climate Change Response Policy, which required defining desired emissionreduction outcomes for each significant sector and sub-sectorof the economy based on an in-depth assessment of the mitigation potential, best available mitigation options, science, evidence and a full assessment of the costs andbenefits.
The field of environmental governance is a vast and complicated area of South African law. While local government has an important role to play in environmental management, and there are numerous Acts, Frameworks and Guidelines available, this role is complex, and often difficult to understand.The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the Department of Environmental Affairs jointly funded a study aimed at defining the role of Local Government in Environmental Management and establishing the costs of performing environmental management functions.
Municipalities in South Africa have adopted different institutional models and mechanisms for delivering the municipal solid waste function for a range of reasons: strategic choices, historical reasons, or based on a need to supplement shortfalls in capacity or resources. However, there are a range of service delivery mechanisms for solid waste activities which may be available to municipalities in different circumstances. The available options depend on the scope of the change in municipal service which is being envisaged, and the extent to which this municipal service is a core service, as provided for by the Constitution.
PDG assessed the financial and non-financial impacts of sprawling versus. compact growth development scenarios in Mossel Bay over a 20-year horizon. The study was an extension to the earlier Municipal Financial Sustainability of current spatial growth patterns work undertaken for the Western Cape Provincial Spatial Development Framework.