Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, says planning is the most effective way of tracking service delivery and holding those tasked with implementing government programmes accountable.
The Minister said this when he spoke at the third annual International Knowledge Sharing Workshop hosted by his department in partnership with the World Bank on Wednesday.
“Good plans are the basis for effective monitoring and evaluation to hold those tasked with implementing development programmes accountable.
“Without good plans, monitoring is rendered that much more difficult. South Africa has these various plans but their quality varies markedly, resulting in poor implementation,” he said.
The Minister said planning could range from high-level to long term planning, as well as detailed day-to-day planning.
He said planning could also be used to tap into the conscience of the nation, its ambitions and aspirations and weaving a narrative that gives hope, builds confidence and reassures that the challenges the nation faces are not insurmountable.
As the country continues to celebrate 20 years of freedom and democracy, government was proud of the strides it has made in improving the lives of all South Africans in by providing free social services like clean drinking water, sanitation, electricity, housing and other infrastructure, the Minister said.
He said, however, that government was not content with these gains as a lot still needs to be done to improve the quality of basic services, strengthen the capacity of the public sector institutions to perform better and unblock blockages that impede economic growth and socio-economic development.
“Some of you may have been aware of the socio-economic consequences of poor service delivery in many instances at our local government levels, leading to what has become known in local lingo as ‘service delivery protests’.
“Some of the main challenges we face at this tier of government is the shortage of skills, inadequate revenue collection by the local government and also corruption,” he said.
Addressing delegates from the World Bank and various countries, including Namibia, Swaziland, Malawi and Nigeria, the Minister said while South Africa has its own challenges, all countries could learn from each other’s plans.
“For us this platform is important for promoting knowledge sharing and peer learning as a way of mutual capacity development. We are acknowledging that as South Africa, we would benefit even more in the areas of planning, monitoring, evaluation and public sector governance by sharing knowledge from the experiences of our counterparts from across Africa and globally.”