Strengthened Grassroots Voices
Scaled up Social Audit on Sanitation
Six hundred thousand informal settlement residents will receive better quality sanitation services as a result of community-led monitoring and engagement in Ekurhuleni
Planact in close partnership with the International Budget Partnership South Africa (IBP South Africa) and the Social Audit Network (SAN), as well as 13 informal settlement communities in Ekurhuleni conducted a social audit on the provision and maintenance of portable toilets.
A social audit is a community-led process of engaging government about poor services by monitoring service delivery on the basis of government commitments contained in budgets and other official documents.
The social audit itself involved 20 000 informal settlement residents, 157 community volunteers, and seven ward councillors, and was done in close partnership with the city’s Water and Sanitation Department.
The two main problems identified by the social audit were: (1) vague tender specifications and, (2) poor monitoring of the delivery of the service. Both of these problems, as well as other secondary problems, were addressed in the new tender specifications. We attach the final report of the social audit, as well as the new tender specifications, with highlighting of the sections that were impacted by the social audit.
To ensure implementation of the terms of the new contract, Planact, SAN, and IBP South Africa have built a strong and growing network of informal settlement residents and organisations, ward councillors, and key actors in the Ekurhuleni Metro. This network is driven by community members themselves, and not by external actors. This makes the network more sustainable and scale-able, as can be seen from the fact that communities and ward councillors have already turned their new skill and confidence towards other services like housing and pedestrian footbridges.
What is even more impressive is that residents have not just improved services, but they have also unblocked the procurement systems that provide these services. While this makes these improvements more sustainable, it also shows that community driven campaigns can go beyond localised service delivery improvements and improve broader government service delivery systems.
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