2002 Winner
Northern Province, South Africa
Impumelelo Innovations Award Trust
Impumelelo Innovations Award Trust
South Africa
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The Re-a-Shoma Service Delivery Project is an initiative to commercialize road maintenance in the Limpopo Province and was established in 2000. It is a joint venture between the National Department of Public Service and Administration, the Limpopo Provincial Department of Public Work and the private sector. This province is characterized by high illiteracy and unemployment levels, low per capital income and long distances to travel to work and economic opportunity. Coupled to this, the initiative was established because the structure of the Provincial Department of Public Works was not conducive to the delivery of road maintenance service to the community. This was due to a limited budget, an ineffective management system, staff levels that were very high at the lower levels and delays because of the prescribed procurement procedures. The project objectives were therefore to improve the quality of service to the public and other departments, increase the productivity of the Department's workforce and the reduction of the unit costs of the service provided. This was to be achieved by training of staff and forming partnerships with the private sector.

Innovation: The project is first of its kind in a Public Works Department in South Africa and is unique due to the way in which private sector business principles have been applied in the public sector.

Effectiveness: Overall a positive improvement in productivity has been achieved and unit costs of maintenance activities have decreased substantially. Department staff has received training in business principles and project management, gained experience in the application of business principles in the maintenance of roads. This has increased their self-confidence and has encouraged the ownership of day-to-day work. Currently staff work on a level of efficiency where they are able to compete with the private sector and this has resulted in others showing an interest in moving to the private sector and providing maintenance work on contract, which will ensure sustainability.

Poverty Impact: The significant increase in the efficient use of government resources contributes to an improvement in the condition of the road network, which has as benefits reduced travel time and cost and improved mobility. When considering the important role of the transport network in the local economy, the improvement in roads will undoubtedly contribute towards poverty alleviation in the province.

Sustainability: This is achieved by executing pilot projects, which are transferred to other districts. Staff are not involved with day-to-day management but rather provide training, implement systems and provide assistance and advice where required. Funding is not a problem.

Replication: This project can be replicated in other Public Works Departments in the country and has already started in the Gauteng Department of Public Works.

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