National Treasury visits Japan
In South Africa, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is dependent on National Treasury (NT), representing the Government of South Africa, to make informed decisions on how best to utilise technical assistance from the Government of Japan by appraising multisectoral project proposals. As greater emphasis is being placed on service delivery at especially municipal level, it’s vital for NT to have a thorough understanding of Public Finance Management (PFM). Hence, JICA is supporting NT in capacitating its own officers to better understand PFM for maximising resources.
Photo: Whilst passing through Tokyo, participants paid a courtesy call to the Embassy of South Africa in Japan. Pictured here are participants with Ambassador Beryl Sisulu and colleagues.
At first, locally, JICA implemented a project with customised training based on an in-depth needs assessment, covering topics such as public sector budgeting, financial statement analysis, policy analysis, and soft skills, followed by a seminar on Japan’s PFM.
JICA is now implementing a project with two components; capacitating selected Limpopo municipalities through training on Municipal Minimum Competency Regulations (MMCR), and adding value to the Cities Support Programme (CSP) with the Western Cape as backdrop.
JICA contracted local academia to conduct research on the evolution of Japan’s financial landscape, focusing on PFM, urban development, and capacity building. Research results, compiled through literature reviews and a visit to Japan, culminated in the design and implementation of a customised study tour to Japan for eight NT officers, seven from various units within NT Headquarters, and one from provincial treasury. The study tour spanned from 22 May 2016 to 4 June 2016, with training and site visits to both Yokohama and Hokkaido.
JICA has assigned a Special Advisor and a Project Coordinator, both hosted at NT, to work closely with project counterparts for overseeing project implementation.