Residents of Phase 6 in Bloemfontein were taught how to monitor basic services in their community and conduct a social audit by Asivikelane and Positive Action Campaign at a community event held recently.
Asivikelane is an initiative that aims to give a voice to informal settlement residents in South Africa’s major cities who face severe basic service shortages. The aim is also to equip them with the necessary information and skills to hold municipalities accountable for the lack of service delivery in their communities.
Community members were taught how to conduct a social audit, which is a community-led process whereby residents can monitor government service delivery and expenditure.
According to Rev. T. Masita, who also attended the event, the main issue is that community members look to leaders who will step up and speak on their behalf, forgetting that they have their own voices and they have the right to speak up and fight for their basic rights. “Community members are very aware of the issues they face on a daily basis. Organisations such as Asivikelane and Positive Action Campaign play a vital role in educating people on how they can use their individual voices to stand up for their rights.”
He added that a social audit is essential in their community as there is a dire lack of service delivery in many informal settlements across Mangaung.
Sello Mokhalipi, the general secretary of Positive Action Campaign, said the partnership with Asivikelane hopes to address service delivery as well as monitor service delivery in the community. “We hope to create a link between the community and the municipality by developing an open line of communication and ultimately building a positive relationship with the municipality.”
Mokhalipi said that such initiatives showed members of the community that they had a bigger role to play and that they had to ensure that they hold the government accountable for service delivery in their communities.