Asivikelane means Let’s protect each other" 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 5 million households, 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 200 informal settlements in seven metropolitan municipalities and six smaller towns.

How does it work?

  • Asivikelane is made up of partner organisations working across South Africa (metros covered are City of Cape Town, City of Joburg, Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay, eThekwini, Buffalo City and Ekurhuleni and a few smaller towns, Emalahleni, Knysna, Mossel Bay, Msunduzi and Witzenberg).
  • Partner organisations identify residents in informal settlements willing to participate in the campaign
  • Every month residents are asked three questions, via an sms/whatsapp or telephonic survey.
  • We sometimes add a contextual question (e.g. did government provide you with sanitiser)
  • 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.
  • In order to help maintain social distancing, residents answer questions about their own experience only, they do not need to ask others in their community.
  • 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 and also identify where progress has been made
  • 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 IBP South Africa’s 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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