Asivikelane National Releases

Asivikelane publishes a monthly release comparing the delivery of basic services within informal settlements in municipalities across South Africa.

23 June 2022

Asivikelane 28 reports a positive response to informal settlement residents’ budget submissions in most metros. Increased budget allocations have resulted in improved service delivery in some metros, while metros that reduced allocations have seen a sharp decline.


26 May 2022

Asivikelane 27: informal settlement residents look at draft budgets from all 8 metros and tell us what changes they want to see.


22 April 2022

Asivikelane 26 reports that metros are improving informal settlement services on a much larger scale than before. Especially in metros where officials are communicating with informal settlement residents. Residents are also doing what they can to participate in metro budget hearings.


24 March 2022

Asivikelane 25 reports that now is the time for mayors to budget adequately for repair and maintenance of taps and toilets, since many informal settlement residents are still without water and sanitation.


24 February 2022

Asivikelane 24 reports that metros keep installing but not maintaining and repairing taps and toilets, meaning that informal settlements residents continue to be without adequate services.


24 November 2021

For this edition of Asivikelane 23, we ask informal settlement residents themselves what sanitation they need.


20 October 2021

The first 100 days after elections are crucial. Asivikelane 22 looks at what new municipalities should focus on to improve basic services in informal settlements.


22 September 2021

Asivikelane 21 10 million people live in informal settlements. Their services should be central to the campaign of every political party. Yet, while these political parties campaign, informal settlement services stagnate and deteriorate.


25 August 2021

Asivikelane 20 shows that for women access to basic services in informal settlements is closely tied to safety. We report on the experience of women where poor basic services delivery exposes them to many vulnerabilities and risks.


21 July 2021

Having restored peace and calm after last week’s events, government must work to restore the peoples’ trust. Asivikelane 19 outlines some recommendations on how they can do so.


28 June 2021

Asivikelane 18 reports 45% of residents say that when a tap or toilet breaks, they are never fixed. Another 30% say that it takes longer than a week for maintenance to happen. We don’t yet know why. But here are some elements of the puzzle.


19 May 2021

On the surface Asivikelane 17 traffic lights appear bad. But if you take the time to look closely, you will see many green shoots of service delivery improvement starting to sprout.


26 April 2021

Asivikelane 16 reports many examples of the delivery of new taps and toilets, repairs to these services, improved toilet cleaning and better waste collection in several communities. But overall the situation remains dire as not a single municipality scored a green light.


24 March 2021

Asivikelane 15 reports that upgrading projects are failing to deliver. Half of residents have been promised, but not received, services.


24 February 2021

Asivikelane 14 reports that water, sanitation and refuse removal services in informal settlements have deteriorated all over the country in the last few months, with not a single green traffic light for metro service delivery.


18 November 2020

Metros: As 2020 comes to a close, release thirteen focused on what municipalities and the Asivikelane campaign should do in 2021.

Non-Metros: In release thirteen, some municipalities have responded, but access to water and sanitation remains limited.

29 October 2020

Metros: While national government reduced conditional grants to some metros, they all benefited from the R11 billion increase in equitable share funding in the national adjustments budget approved in August. Consequently, we see an overall increase in spending, but not for informal settlement services. The result is that services to informal settlements are slowing down or, in some cases, even declining.

Non-Metros: Some improvements have been noted in Witzenberg, but not much has changed in the non-metro municipalities. Access to all three services remains a challenge in many municipalities, with access to water and sanitation particularly concerning.

23 September 2020

Metros: Up to 45% of informal settlement residents contracted the coronavirus in the first wave. The sharp increase in the number of red traffic lights in Asivikelane 11 makes us worry that the second wave of infections will start and spread in informal settlements.

Non-Metros: The situation in non-metro municipalities remains stable with reasonable access to water, but with a few persistent crisis points in toilet cleaning and refuse removal. After the situation was initially dire, Witzenberg has provided consistent water and refuse removal.

26 August 2020

Metros: Asivikelane has reported many persistent service delivery problems in informal settlements – some of which have yet not been addressed. Additionally, informal settlement residents are even more dependent on government services than before with more than 40% of households losing income due to COVID-19.


Non-Metros: Msunduzi and Emalahleni have improved their water access significantly, while other municipalities have maintained their green lights. However, in many municipalities refuse removal and toilet cleaning remain at crisis levels.

27 July 2020

Metros: More than half of the Western Cape’s COVID-19 infections are found in Cape Town neighborhoods that contain informal settlements which are hotspots for infection because they don’t have enough taps and toilets, and these communal facilities are not cleaned often enough. While all metros have responded to the immediate crisis, Asivikelane results point to longer term service challenges.

Non-Metros: Residents in all non-metros reported improved access to basic services, especially water, but Emalahleni and Msunduzi still fall short across all the services. Most concerning in these municipalities is the limited water access, the lack of municipal provided sanitation and lack of toilet cleaning where residents do have access to municipal toilets.

30 June 2020

Metros: Two-thirds of Asivikelane participants are women and most of them say that there is not enough public lighting in their informal settlements. On the bright side, most metros now have green traffic lights for water however sanitation is still at critical levels. We hope that metros will use their share of the R11 billion of additional equitable share funding announced by Minister Mboweni, as well as reprioritised conditional grant funding, to address this problem.

Non-Metros: While there are still too many red lights, almost all non-metro municipalities have improved their services to informal settlements.

17 June 2020

Metros: The provision of sanitation in metro informal settlements has not improved and remains at crisis levels everywhere except Ekurhuleni. Some residents have no access to sanitation and where communal toilets are provided, they are not regularly cleaned or maintained. This situation should be addressed immediately to slow down the exponential spread of COVID-19 in Gauteng and the Eastern and Western Cape.

Non-Metros: While the water situation looks better, toilet cleaning and refuse removal in non-metro informal settlements are still extremely limited. Cederberg, Emalahleni and Msunduzi, for example, do no cleaning of communal toilets at all.

2 June  2020

Release six shows that the good working relationship between Asivikelane and eThekwini, Ekurhuleni and Buffalo City is reflected in the service delivery improvements in those metros. The Asivikelane campaign keeps growing, with 181 informal settlements now participating and separate results for the first time for non-metro municipalities.

19 May 2020

Release number five highlights that the National Treasury gave metros R2.4bn in unspent funding for informal settlement water, sanitation and refuse removal! However, broken, clogged, and irregularly cleaned toilets still remain a problem in many areas.

4 May 2020

Data from release four shows a concerning uptick in COVID-19 infections in the past two weeks and many settlements still don’t have consistent access to water or clean toilets. But, in better news, masks, soap and sanitizer have been distributed across many settlements along with protective clothing so residents can clean toilets.

20 April 2020

Data from release three shows improvements in some settlements with water shortages, broken taps and toilets being fixed. However, the cleaning of communal toilets remains at crisis proportions and could contribute to the spread of COVID-19 if left unaddressed.

6 April 2020

Data from release two reveals some settlements are still experiencing issues with access to water, clean toilets and waste removal, however, there have been improvements and the Minister of Human Settlements has asked for a briefing on week one data.

30 March 2020

Release one is in with good and bad news on access to water, clean toilets and waste removal.