The 2022 Public Economics Winter School takes place from 30 August to 1 September under the theme: Reviving public infrastructure investment for community development
Our second virtual Public Economics Winter School will offer an exciting opportunity for final year and post-graduate senior economics and social science students and young economists to participate in a range of lectures, panel discussions and student debates that look at the delivery of water and electricity services to communities, and how the delivery of “network goods” is organised and financed, both nationally and at a local level.
Experts in the field will look at South Africa’s infrastructure challenges within the fiscal and institutional architecture, the economics of urban concentration and how municipalities navigate the regulatory, institutional and financial requirements set by provinces and national government.
Through a series of plenary sessions a handful of leading academics and economics practitioners and policy makers will unpack the complexities of these challenges through both national and local lenses, analysing the difficult and important economic, financial, and institutional dynamics that are at play that impact on service delivery to citizens.
What will I gain from attending the Public Economics Winter School?
The Public Economics Winter School offers participants the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills on a range of public finance topics. It is also a great opportunity to network with economists working in National Treasury and its agencies as well as with renowned academics and specialists in the field.
Who can attend?
There is no fee for attending the Winter School but due to limited space, the 2022 Winter School requires the following commitment from interested students and young economists:
- Ability to attend the full Winter School from 30 August – 1 September.
- Participate actively during the workshop. This entails opportunities to facilitate small group discussions, act as rapporteur or chair sessions.
View the Day 1 playlist here.
View the Day 2 playlist here.
View the full Day 3 playlist here.
Day 1: Tuesday 30 August 2022
Setting the context
Day 1 of the 2022 Winter School kicks off with the Acting Head of GTAC, Ronette Engela and Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana, welcoming students and officials to the sixth annual Winter School. The main purpose of the first day is to create context, and to ensure students are familiar with the complex relationship between the responsibilities of national government and municipalities. Although economics and social studies programmes recognize the role of decentralized government and local service delivery responsibilities, it is often underrepresented in theories of development and political economy. As an example, policies and regulations are formulated at a national level, but most delivery functions, such as distribution and cost recovery, happen at a municipal level. Speakers will explain why, despite considerable progress in extending access to services, we are still facing challenges such as load shedding, severe flood damage in some areas and water shortages in others, and why these deficiencies are symptoms of inadequate planning, investment, and network coordination.
Other highlights will include:
- A presentation by Professor Matt Glasser, who assisted National Treasury to revive the municipal credit market, will share his immense knowledge of the South African municipal finance market to reflect on fiscal design, inter-governmental fiscal design, and financial management, in an effort to understand municipal finance.
- Andrew Donaldson and Prof Ivan Turok will present a session titled “Contextualising SA’s infrastructure challenges: Fiscal and institutional architecture”
- Tarafara Setai from National Treasury’s Intergovernmental Relations department will cover how municipalities navigate the regulatory, institutional and financial requirements set by provinces and national government
Day 2: Wednesday August 31 2022
A focus on service delivery in metros and cities
On Day 2 of the Winter School, we will focus on the metro and city perspective. South Africa’s Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF, 2016) helps to articulate the circumstances and development agenda for the country’s major conurbations as it increasingly urbanises. In this set of sessions, a framing address will be presented by Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa who is the former Mayor of Tshwane and current Head of the Investment and Infrastructure Office in the Presidency. He will share what he sees as the key to effectively driving investment and delivery at the city level. Students will then receive and analyse a set of case studies, training on how to take systems view in the diagnostic process. Finally, students will have an opportunity to engage with key actors – practitioners and analysts – from various aspects of the metro infrastructure and service delivery cycle to engage more deeply about emerging themes, issues and intervention opportunities.
Other highlights will include:
- A panel discussion on infrastructure and service delivery in metros and cities facilitated by Nosipho Hlatshwayo, South African Cities Network
- An interactive session on systems thinking led by Samuel Njenga from Systems Thinking Africa
Day 3: Thursday 1 September 2022
A focus on service delivery in district municipalities
On Day 3 the focus will shift to specific services, with a particular focus on the delivery of water and electricity at a local level. These are basic services and are critical determinants of the quality of life of individuals and households, and of business and employment opportunities. Municipalities are mandated to provide and maintain the infrastructure and basic services that support a favourable investment climate, without which disinvestment, deepening unemployment and poverty will follow. However, municipalities have varying degrees of capacity and financial resources, and confront diverse spatial and environmental circumstances. Furthermore, accountability to local residents is sometimes compromised by political dynamics and the local government regulatory environment is complex. At the end of the 3-day programme we hope participants will appreciate the complexity of the delivery of selected basic infrastructure services to communities, and how the delivery of “network goods” is organised and financed, both nationally and at a local level.
Other highlights will include:
- Barbara Mgutshini from KZN Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs will cover the delivery of services at a local and district municipal level
- A session on resident/civil society perspective on basic service delivery and oversight facilitated by Kate Tissington, Senior Research at Public Affairs Research Institute
Contextualising SA’s infrastructure challenges: fiscal and institutional architecture
- Incentives and Reform in Government by Ivor Chipkin
- Informal Urban Development: challenges and opportunities by Ivan Turok
- An economic perspective on the organisation of local government by Andrew Donaldson
How do municipalities navigate infrastructure service delivery from a regulatory, institutional and financial perspective?
- How do municipalities navigate infrastructure service delivery from a regulatory, institutional and financial perspective? by Tarafara (Pule) Satai
Framing session: delivery issues at a municipal level
Delivery issues at municipal level
Case studies: lessons from practice
- Makhulong Youth Hub case study by Eugenie Ninhan
- Untangling the complexity of infrastructure projects case study by Eldrid Uithaler
Framing session 1: the delivery of services at a local and district municipal level
Framing session 2: the state of basic service delivery, an in-depth analysis of the Community Survey
Content session: Sustainability of basic service delivery
- SAs just urban transitions by Lauren Hermanus
- Municipal water and sanitation_a critical reflection on the status quo by Lubabalo Luyaba
- Access to basic services by Tracy Ledger
- Alternative funding mechanisms for municipal infrastructure investment by Kolisang Molukanele
- Sustainability of conditional grants by Letsepa Pakkies
- KPMG: The Future of Local Government: Embracing Connectivity and Customer Centricity
- BER: South Africa’s municipal challenges and their impact on local economic development
Resources for specific sessions
Contextualising SA’s infrastructure challenges: Fiscal and institutional architecture
- Why has state capture in South Africa, unlike in China, not lead to growth and development, New Agenda by Ivor Chipkin
Session: How do municipalities navigate infrastructure service delivery from a regulatory, institutional and financial perspective?
- NATIONAL TREASURY LAUNCHES OPEN LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL DATA PORTAL – “MUNICIPAL MONEY”_media statement
- National and provincial budget information:
- Allocations and the flow of funds:
- Initiatives to promoting transparency:
- Legally required local government information:
- Budget and expenditure reviews:
- Policy reviews:
- Personnel information (Published as part of the annual Budget Information)
- Local government budgeting:
- Municipal Budget and Reporting Regulations:
- Publication of local government information:
- Regulation of standard chart of accounts:
- Integrated Financial Management and Internal Control System for Local Government (TRANSVERSAL TENDER):
- BEPPs for the 8 Metros
- Personnel information:
Session specific reading
- Introduction to systems thinking
- Kaiser, G.N. & Smallwood, John. (2014). Towards a systems thinking approach in allocating infrastructure budgets in local government. Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineers. 56. 93-99 available on Towards a systems thinking approach in allocating infrastructure budgets in local government
- Ulrich, W. (1998). Systems Thinking as if People Mattered Critical Systems Thinking for Citizens and Managers available on Systems Thinking as if People Mattered Critical Systems Thinking for Citizens and Managers
- Reynolds, M. (2015). Breaking) The Iron Triangle of Evaluation. IDS Bulletin, 46, 71-86 available on (Breaking) The Iron Triangle of Evaluation
- Framing session: Delivery issues at municipal level: What is the key to effectively driving investment and delivery at municipal level: Observations from national to municipal
- Panel discussion: Infrastructure and Service Delivery in metros and cities
- Local authority responses to climate change in South Africa
- IUDF and Department of Co-operative Governance: Small Town Regeneration Strategy, 2021
Session specific reading
- Reading for framing session 2: The state of basic service delivery – an in-depth analysis of the Community Survey (2016)
- Content session: Sustainability of basic service delivery:
- A panel discussion: Civil society and other perspectives on basic services delivery and oversight
If you have any questions, please email GTAC Winter School