March 2017 | by Carlene Van der Westhuizen, IBP South Africa
Financing the upgrading of informal settlements in South Africa is complex. However, understanding how this process works is very important because it enables civil society and local residents to engage with all three levels of government on the funding of informal settlement upgrading. Armed with this knowledge, civil society can engage the national government on whether enough money has been set aside for informal settlement upgrading and engage with metropolitan municipalities on whether they have used funding appropriately.
This brief draws on a review of relevant policy and budget documents as well as interviews with experts to present information about the financing of informal settlement upgrading in metropolitan municipalities in South Africa.
- How are Upgrades to Informal Settlements Financed in South Africa’s Metropolitan Municipalities? (March 2017)
- How Much Does Government Spend on Informal Settlement Upgrading in South Africa? An Analysis of Four Cities’ Budgets (July 2017)
- How Much Money is Allocated to Informal Settlement Upgrading in Cape Town, South Africa? An Analysis of the City’s Draft Budget for 2017/2018 (April 2017)
- The Transparency of Public Funding of Basic Education in South Africa (January 2017)
- Estimating the Cost of Sanitation Infrastructure for Selected Sites in Khayelitsha in City of Cape Town (April 2016)
November 2017 | By Brendan Halloran
For nearly a decade, the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) has been working to realize the rights of marginalized citizens of Khayelitsha, a community on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. Over the past several years, the group has focused on dignified sanitation, advocating for the provision of adequate and permanent infrastructure rather than the proliferation of temporary toilets that have been the city’s preferred approach to the issue. As the sanitation issue has become increasingly visible and so more political, revealing the deep exclusion still prevalent in post-Apartheid Cape Town, SJC has had to navigate a treacherous landscape of engagement with authorities. Analyzing the municipal budget and mobilizing citizens to engage in the budget process has grounded the group’s advocacy in something specific and concrete and has enabled them to maintain a clear focus on their goal.
Even as their core demands for safe and sustainable sanitation remain unmet, SJC’s members have made gains of other sorts, both in the improvement of services and in the encouragement of active citizenship by excluded groups.
This case study demonstrates that pro-reform actors need to develop diverse capacities, strategies, and approaches in order to navigate what is often a weak accountability ecosystem.
- Budgets that Exclude: The Struggle for Decent sanitation in South Africa’s Informal Settlements (Case Study, November 2017)
- Without a Will, Is There a Way? Kenya’s Uneven Journey to Budget Accountability (Case Study, November 2017)
- Dancing with the System: Samarthan’s Efforts to Strengthen Accountability in Rural India (Case Study, November 2017)
September 2017 | By International Budget Partnership South Africa
Governments often experience social audits as a challenge to their authority. As a result social audits often push government, the people and civil society further apart. This short film tells the story of how residents, elected officials, administrators, and civil society organizations worked together to improve sanitation in Wattville, near Johannesburg in South Africa.
Work done by Planact, the Social Audit Network, IBP South Africa, and the government of Ekurhuleni led to faulty portable toilets being replaced, improved relationships between government and residents, and a commitment to scale up a collaborative approach to social accountability. Watch the video below, or click here to watch on YouTube.
Access to information is one of the biggest challenges organizations that try to engage in the budgets of local governments in South Africa face. Some of the key documents are not published and the formal access to information machinery seldom brings the desired results. For this project, IBP South Africa, Planact, and the Social Audit Network used a networking approach to access the information they needed. This graphic explains how they did it.
- Access to Information: Finding the Right Municipal Official (September 2017)
Building Power, Demanding Justice: The Story of Budget Work in the Social Justice Coalition’s Campaign for Decent Sanitation
July 2017 | by Dustin Kramer, Former Deputy General Secretary, Social Justice Coalition
The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) is a social movement from Cape Town, South Africa. Launched in 2008 as a loose coalition concerned with the underlying issues of inequality and poverty, today SJC has a core membership of informal settlement residents across Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Philippi, and Nyanga.
In 2009 SJC members consistently raised sanitation as a primary issue affecting safety in informal settlements. Sanitation had rarely been treated as either a political or safety issue, but SJC members shared stories of being attacked while using a toilet, walking long distances at night, and using the bush. Toilets came to symbolize the greater indignity and loss of life resulting from spatial segregation, inequality, and lack of housing and basic infrastructure.
SJC first started campaigning publicly on sanitation in 2010. In 2014, with support from the International Budget Partnership, SJC began using budget analysis and advocacy to support the broader advocacy campaign.
In this account and reflection, former SJC Deputy General Secretary Dustin Kramer discusses SJC’s use of budget work within a mass-based campaign, how the campaign unfolded, and the lessons learned.
- Building Power, Demanding Justice: The Story of Budget Work in the Social Justice Coalition’s Campaign for Decent Sanitation (July 2017)
- A Guide to Local Government Budget Advocacy in South Africa (April 2017)
- A Guide to Conducting Social Audits in South Africa (November 2015)