Municipal Money is our money, spent in our name
As active citizens, we should know how the money entrusted to local government has been spent, and should also have a say in how that money will be spent in the future to better our lives.
An initiative of National Treasury, with development support from OpenUp, Municipal Money is a web-based tool designed to inform citizens on their local authority’s financial performance and allows comparisons between two municipalities at once.
Local government is contingent on active citizens and organised civil society being vigilant as they exercise oversight and hold their municipalities accountable. This new and improved version of Municipal Money cuts through complex monetary jargon to empower both financial and non-financial audiences. It does this by extracting the most important bits of information from government documents, summarises and presents it in a user-friendly manner.
First launched in 2016, Municipal Money is getting a makeover, with a series of exciting new features coming over the next few months as we enter the next phase of development.
The most recent addition to the tool is data on nearly 13,000 Municipal Infrastructure Projects, which means that you can now search for and access information on upgrades and planned projects happening in and around your municipality. With this new feature, you will be able to see exactly how municipalities are spending their money.
This is especially pertinent in the light of the tabling of the 2020/21 National Budget in parliament last month, where spending was shifted around and allocated in such a way that displays a change in priorities by the government. It is important that the average person has access to information that is directly related to their living situation, within the context of the country’s spending.
Municipal Money is designed to inform citizens on their local authority’s financial performance and allows comparisons between municipalities. Now, you’re able to search and filter the different infrastructure-based projects happening in your municipality. Projects with geographic coordinates are shown on the map and can be accessed by exploring the map. This will give you a very good overview of municipal capital investment within your community, and will assist you in holding local government accountable.
The website is designed to present key municipal financial information to a general audience, who do not necessarily have any financial background or knowledge. This is done by using a variety of visual elements and tools — including interactive maps, charts, graphs and short videos. We have also provided different levels of detail in explaining key financial concepts, so our audience can select the amount and level of information they want access to.
Each project detail page has both visual and content information of the project. It provides an overview, the estimated cost of the project, estimated completion period, as well as spend per quarter since project inception.
We also have a similar feature available on National Treasury’s budget data website, Vulekamali. You can find information on national and provincial infrastructure projects. With over 17, 000 provincial infrastructure projects and nearly 70 national projects, you can now get a very good overview of capital investment in your province, and in the country as a whole.
If you have ideas on how we can improve Municipal Money, or you’d like to tell us about how you’re using the website, please share this with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always keen to hear from you!