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:
a. Cape Town’s planned tap and toilet delivery is the same this year as last year.
b. Ekurhuleni has reduced toilet cleaning in informal settlements from twice a week to once a week.
c. eThekwini estimates that it will take 30-40 years and 70-90 years respectively to eradicate their tap and toilet backlog.
d. Johannesburg’s current plans will leave over 92 000 households without access to basic sanitation by 2023.
Outside of long-term upgrading projects, we currently see very little increase in budgets for short-term improvements in informal settlement services. Metro purses are thin, but small shifts in metro budgets can make big improvements in these services. Over the next month we will release a series of budget analyses and short films to show how this can be done.