Investigating the Efficacy and Impact of Sustainability Indicators in South African Cities


The heightened uncertainty and vulnerability brought about by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has highlighted the importance of socio-economic indicators for providing accurate and critical insight into the current and future local needs of South Africans across a range of municipalities.

In February 2020 the SACN released a Codebook of Common Indicators for South African Cities, which gives an overview of the sustainability indicators cities are required to report on, as required by the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) Circular No.88. Whilst the codebook gives an overview of city compliance and reporting requirements, there is a need to understand whether cities are effectively monitoring and evaluating the efficacy of the sustainability indicators they currently collate.

In partnership with ICLEI Africa, OneWorld was contracted to investigate the efficacy and impact of the sustainability indicators currently reported on across nine South African cities. In addition, the project will make recommendations for additional lead indicators and/or for improvement to existing indicators to ensure cities are on track towards meeting their sustainability goals.

Project Data

Client: South African Cities Network

Project duration: June – September 2020

Region: Buffalo City, City of Cape Town, City of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Mangaung, Msunduzi, Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane