Helping provincial government to plan, budget and manage the delivery of school-related infrastructure to improve the physical environment in which children learn

Operations Support to Mpumalanga Departments of Education and Public Works (Mpumalanga OST)

Country: South Africa
Contract Period: January 2007 - January 2010
Client: Mpumalanga Provincial Treasury

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South Africa's Mpumalanga Province suffers from significant underspending of its capital budget for school infrastructure. This in an environment where children are learning under trees, in unsafe shacks, and with inadequate sanitation and other basic facilities. The consequences of continued underspending will be severe for the province's economic and social development as well as future funding.

The provincial government of Mpumalanga has appointed ECIAfrica to provide Operational Support Teams (OSTs) to the provincial Department of Public Works and Education in Mpumalanga. Each consisting of several full-time experts based in the province, ECIAfrica OSTs assist responsible provincial government departments to deliver and maintain school-related infrastructure. The OSTs bolster the operational and programme management capacity of the provincial departments to ensure that funding available for school infrastructure is spent effectively and in accordance with the developmental mandate of the South African government.

The OSTs' chief responsibilities are to assist the provincial government departments to:

  • ■ Plan, manage, monitor, and report on infrastructure delivery;
  • ■ Establish and ensure that best practice methodologies and systems are implemented and institutionalized within the provincial departments;
  • ■ Build the capacity of provincial department staff to improve the planning and delivery of infrastructure projects; and
  • ■ Ensure that capital spending patterns are improved and rationalised.