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PDG is a public sector consulting firm that supports decision-making in the public interest


We are a multi-disciplinary consulting firm that provides research, policy, evaluation, strategy planning and management support to the public sector with the ultimate goal of improving people’s quality of life.

We have successfully completed over 1000 consulting projects since establishment in 1990. PDG’s success is built on the foundation of over thirty years of consulting experience in providing quality advice and support to a wide range of government departments in all three spheres of government and other public sector stakeholders in South Africa and across the Africa continent

What We Offer

PDG’s core value offering is that of a mixture of high-level professional skills and experience that can be applied across a range of government processes and activities across several sectors. These services are organised into six practice areas.

Showcased Projects

Beyond the Gap Scenarios for Water Services in South Africa

South Africa has endorsed the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets and has committed to achieving these by 2030. In 2019, the World Bank produced a global report titled: Beyond the Gap: How Countries Can Afford the Infrastructure They Need while Protecting the Planet. The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) partnered with the World Bank to take stock of South Africa’s progress towards achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through applying the Beyond the Gap methodology in a number of sectors.

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Large-scale project and portfolio financial viability models

Latent development demand exists in South African cities but is often constrained by the lack of available bulk infrastructure. Municipalities face financing constraints to provide the large, lumpy investments for bulk infrastructure, particularly for large-scale development, and the lack of this infrastructure delays growth and development in the country. To try and address this pressing issue, the Development Bank of Southern Africa has developed an off balance sheet financing product, Vumela, to assist municipalities to provide the required bulk infrastructure.

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Reclassifying district municipalities in the Western Cape

The role of district municipalities in South Africa has been the subject of much debate and research over the past decade or more, with the financial sustainability of districts being a key concern. Against this background, the Western Cape Provincial Treasury commissioned PDG to conduct research into the processes required to enable the reclassification of C1 municipalities to C2s, as well as the implications of this, and to make recommendations to the province about whether to pursue this change in authorisation.

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Defining and costing the public interest function of Catchment Management Agencies in South Africa

Catchment management agencies (CMAs) are responsible for ensuring that water resources in South Africa are managed efficiently, and to fulfil the Constitution’s requirements that everyone has access to sufficient water. The catchment management agencies levy tariffs on raw water, however, some of the activities of the CMAs have impacts that extend beyond the customers who pay for these services, and therefore it is necessary that the CMAs are subsidised by the fiscus. This project sought to identify these functions, called public interest functions.

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Latest News

Welcome to PDG

We would like to welcome David Karpul, our newest member, to the PDG team. David has honours and masters degrees in engineering, and a PhD in Engineering and Medicine. Through his research background, he has strong skills in bulkdata analysis and automation, simulation and optimisation, statistical analysis and study design, and data visualisation. The recurring theme in his career is a desire to have an altruistic element in his work and has subsequently made the transition to the development sector from academia and private consulting. While his quantitative skills are used generally to support PDG, his primary focus is in Urban Data Analytics.

Clients' Experience

“Very good value for money, we got really good expertise, high performance, and they kept the project on track, and focussed on what it need to achieve.”

"There is just something about PDG, like a worldview of how they see things, they have an ability to interpret and respond in term of the need and to respond in an intelligent way".

“I think their great strength is their understanding of municipal and governance systems, how it works, how municipalities work. They are very well clued up on tariff setting for water, electricity, rates etc.”

“I like them, I have peace of mind, they are one of those organisations."

“I was a little worried that they might not do the work within the budget that they indicated, but ended up thinking that we overestimated the cost. Definitely value for money.”

“Communication skills are very good and keep you abreast of what’s going on, always interim emails, to give you a sense of what is going on and not waiting for the formal forum.”

“I think that in this field and space, there are limited consultancies that understand the whole concept, assessing the worth and using the theory of change and M&E framework, and PDG understand this.”

“PDG comes on as a genuine partner, also willing to listen to the client and build that in. I really liked seeing was that PDG seemed to bring junior people in as capacity building too."

“The same attitude and work ethic comes through in all the projects, the tariff one was very good and the work is on the website for others to use.”

“PDG is a boutique, specially-focussed outfit with a real, obvious passion for working on South African governance issues. I would recommend them for issues pertaining to municipal governance without hesitation.”

“They bring value beyond a particular project and grapple with complex problems. The team was great to work with.”

“Their reputation, which becomes a circular argument, but it enabled us to get municipalities to engage and share information. That was great, they had a lot of relationships or networks established, and people trust PDG.”

    Palmer Development Group