The Asivikelane initiative gives a voice to informal settlement residents in South Africa’s major cities who face severe basic service shortages.
Residents offer us a window into their daily experiences by responding to various questions, often about their access to water, clean toilets and waste removal.
The detailed results are published monthly and shared with the relevant municipalities and national government departments to enable swift government response.
- Asivikelane means ‘Let’s protect one another’ in Zulu
- The campaign was born as South Africa entered a national lockdown due to the Covid-19 crisis in March 2020.
- South Africa has 3,000 informal settlements with over 10 million residents, many of whom struggle with access to basic services.
- Many settlements are faced with poor water, sanitation and refuse removal services.
- Asivikelane creates a channel between municipal governments and informal settlements.
- The growing network reaches 400 informal settlements in 10 municipalities.
How does it work?
- Asivikelane is made up of partner organisations working across South Africa.
- We work in Buffalo City, City of Cape Town, Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, City of Joburg, Mangaung, Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane, Stellenbosch and Knysna.
- Partner organisations identify residents in informal settlements willing to participate in the campaign.
- Every month residents are asked several questions, via an SMS/WhatsApp or telephonic survey.
- We ask residents about their access to water, sanitation and refuse removal.
- Residents are encouraged to provide further details of their experience with each service. They are also encouraged to send photos and videos.
- Residents are provided with mobile data to their phones so that they can submit their responses and photos.
- Partner organisations capture the residents’ answers and submit to IBP South Africa.
- The results are then collated and analysed by IBP South Africa’s research team and grouped per municipality.
- Municipalities are then given a traffic light rating depending on the access to services.
- The results are then shared to relevant government departments to assist them in identifying where the hotspots are.
The researchers identify hotspots and areas of progress based on the answers.
- All the results are published on a 1 page, easy-to-read document which is shared with partners and on social media.
- More detailed results are provided, with comments from the community members and their specific location are sent to the relevant municipalities so they can act on these needs.
- Partners share the results with communities and keep them informed government actions.
- The detailed spreadsheets with answers to all the questions are published on the Asivikelane website for those wanting more detail.
- All published results are anonymous – resident’s names are not used.
- The network of residents participating in Asivikelane is steadily growing.
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ABOUT IBP South Africa
IBP South Africa is a catalyst for change in South Africa. We are focused on improving service delivery to poor communities through more effective budget implementation.
In global comparisons, South Africa meets the average amount of government expenditure allocated to services like education, health, and housing by similar middle-income countries. Yet there is growing frustration with the type, quantity, and quality of services received by the country’s poor.
IBP South Africa’s goal is improved service delivery to poor communities through larger budget allocations and more effective and efficient budget implementation. We pursue this goal by supporting grassroots campaigns that strengthen and integrate the oversight and accountability system.
Our work pursues four specific objectives
- Monitor the delivery of basic services in informal settlements.
- Analyse and identify the budgetary reasons for poor service delivery.
- Advocate for improved budget transparency and participation.
- Build the ability of informal settlement residents and civil society organizations to engage government about budgets.