16 May 2017– Residents from Orange Farm and Thembelihle are going above and beyond by conducting their own analysis of the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) budget and investing heavily in putting together detailed submissions that engage with the information in the budget and draw on their own experiences and priorities in their community.

The (CoJ) has been running engagement meetings to engage on both the IDP and the budget, which is required of them by legislation.

Planact and The International Budget Partnership (IBP) organised a two-day budget training, last week, based on the “Informed citizenry being at the heart of a dynamic democracy” principle. Residents from both communities came with very specific service delivery concerns and priorities, and were supported to conduct an issue specific analysis of the budget. This analysis helped them see whether the CoJ’s real priorities, the things they have allocated money to, are aligned with the priorities of the community.

Both communities are acutely aware of all the projects that are currently underway in their communities, as well as many of those have been committed for coming years, and so they were looking to see if the City had committed money to these projects and promises for the coming financial year. They hope that having this knowledge and information will support their attempts to constructively engage with the municipality on the specifics of these projects and plans.

Priority service delivery areas of sanitation, roads and infrastructure maintenance are of main concern in Region G, where both Orange Farm and Thembelihle are located. Residents have until Tuesday the 25th of April to make submissions on the draft budget, these submissions will then be considered during May and the final budget will be tabled in council at the end of May 2017.

The budget training aims to support community members to understand how Municipal budgets work, enable the attendants to support others in their communities to make informed submissions based on their understanding, and to develop a set of budget inputs based on their analysis.

Planact, a civic empowerment organisation, with the support of IBP are equipping community members with relevant skills and information that allow them to meaningfully engage a budget that directly affects, so that they may participate in the governance of the City in which they live.

Did you know that every community needs to know how much they are budgeted for? Contact us and we’ll show you how.