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Informal settlements across Ekurhuleni conduct social audits on sanitation

Planact has supported more than ten informal settlements across the City of Ekurhuleni to conduct a comprehensive social audit on sanitation. The purpose of the audits was to monitor the standard of service against the contractual obligations for the chemical toilets residents use.

Residents were concerned that some of their toilets were not regularly desludged while some of them were forced to share one toilet with fifteen other families in their street.

The purpose of the scaled up social audit is to empower a larger range of communities to engage more meaningfully with their municipalities and to gather evidence that could support the larger scale monitoring of contractors and lead to improvements in service.

Summary of the findings:

  • Contract obligations not met by service providers
  • Lack of monitoring by the responsible municipality, including inspection by officials
  • No systems for reporting of inadequate service
  • Vague bid specifications
  • Lack of community participation and communication
  • Inadequate needs assessment

Planact, together with  community representatives, is currently in the process engaging with authorities to determine a way forward to address community grievances on substandard sanitation. This project is a collaborative effort between Planact, the International Budget Partnership (IBP-South Africa) together with the Social Audit Network and the Ekurhuleni Water and Sanitation Department.

Written by: Chelsea Ndlovu


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Sharing the common goal of promoting participatory, effective, accountable and pro-poor local governance, the network strives to provide an interface for civil society organisations to network and share information towards strengthening local democracy in South Africa.