Policy analysis of core municipal documentation was conducted, which is available on an annual basis in the public domain at mfma.treasury.gov.za. Each year Isandla Institute will update the Index with the latest data presented in core municipal documentation, which we understand to be:
Integrated Development Plan reviews (IDP): Drafted in terms of section 25 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, (Act 32 of 2000). The annual review of the city’s statutory IDP outlines the programmes and policies of the city over a five-year term.
Built Environment Performance Plan (BEPP): Required in terms of section 14 of the Division of Revenue Act (DORA) of all metropolitan municipalities to access conditional Schedule 5 capital grants. The BEPP outlines cities’ capital grant expenditure programmes (e.g. transport, human settlements, electrification, etc.), and how these contribute to spatial transformation. Every year National Treasury releases BEPP Guidelines to guide the required content of a financial year reporting cycle.
Service Delivery Budget and Implementation Plan (SDBIP): Annually required in terms Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) (Act 56 of 2003), the SDBIP contains details of the implementation of service delivery and the budget for the financial year in compliance and forms a contract between the municipality and the community.
Medium Term Revenue and Expenditure Framework (MTREF) Budgets: A medium term financial plan, usually for a 3-year period, based on a fixed first year and indicative further two years’ budget allocations.
Other municipal documentation: Available in the public domain such as by-laws, strategies, plans, and council reports.
Following policy analysis, indicators were developed and categorised in a database. This was taken as evidence in designing a scorecard system to appraise cities’ performance on commitments towards informal settlement upgrading targets, which includes issues of land, organisational capacity, budgets, spatial targeting (via Urban Networks), and programmatic approaches (e.g. assessment and categorisation of informal settlements).
Indicators were developed per assessment category, and guidelines for application accompany each indicator.
Each indicator is explained in the Index. Based on the analysis and evidence gathered, Isandla Institute developed more than 40 indicators organised in five categories:
Isandla Institute deems core municipal documentation available in the public domain as the best available data
for the purposes of assessing informal settlement upgrading and backyarder support strategies.
Data might exist in different tiers of government, such as cities’ rapid assessment and categorisation of informal settlements, Provincial and National evaluations of subsidy (e.g. UISP) instruments, background papers and analysis.
A central assumption informing the research is that guidelines for best practice should inform city strategies.
A number of documents were consulted in what constitutes ‘good practice’, and a link to useful reports,
documents, videos and websites is included. As a minimum, the cities are required to:
Collect data, appraise, and categorise over successive financial years to upgrade, improve services or relocate informal settlements.
Create institutional capacity for sustained participation, empowerment, and collaboration of local residents in upgrading projects.
Adopt policies, strategies, programmes and projects related to planning law, transport, different forms
of tenure, land assembly and release, engineering services, social and economic development to
support informal settlement and backyarder upgrading and improvement.
Use spatial planning to incrementally integrate informal settlements with well serviced parts of the city. This requires multi-disciplinary area-based planning rather than isolated projects.
Utilise available municipal and grant funding to finance the informal settlement upgrading programme over successive financial years.
Government offcials undoubtedly have access to much more information currently not in the public realm. Accessing this data can only happen through a request for access to record of Public Body in terms of Section 18(1) of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000). However, this is often a lengthy and complex legal process. The data presented is therefore an analysis of documents in the public domain, most of which is uploaded annually to ~ Mfma.treasury.gov.za
Some issues were encountered in the analysis of municipal documentation, which meant that: some indicators
Reliable sources of data are only available once per annum, which means the Index can only be
Cities tend to report on their targets in different ways which means some indicators had to be discarded based on non-comparability.
Policy and content analysis is a descriptive method and explains a city’s stated position, but may not
reveal the underlying motives.
The Index is limited to what exists in policy, but due to the lack of available data, performance and delivery on the group is not measured.