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A new model for municipal planning processes

Eastern Cape NGO Coalition

“More than a decade into democracy, the Eastern Cape remains trapped poverty that negatively affects the health and well-being of everyone in the province” — Human Sciences Research Council


protests a month in South Africa, most of them around service delivery

Start date
January 2016
End date
April 2017
Period: 16 months


South Africa is known as the ‘Protest Capital’ of the world. The country sees almost 800 protests per month - most of them around service delivery for poor communities.

The Eastern Cape is one of the poorest provinces in the country. In theory, communities can participate in municipal development planning to ensure that health and education services reach those how are most in need; in reality, there are simply no opportunities for them to do so.

Frustration and mistrust among citizens, especially in the poorer municipalities, is growing.


The Eastern Cape NGO Coalition (ECNGOC) wants to implement and scale a new model for public participation in local governance processes; the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) model.

This 'bottom up’ community driven tool for municipal planning has been successfully tested in two cities and now the team is looking to scale.

They are introducing an e-survey tool that will capture and collect priorities identified by the local communities. These are sent to the municipality, analysed, and fed back to the people, increasing responsiveness of the municipalities. With this model, development planning processes will be more inclusive and transparent, and citizens' needs will be addressed.


The Eastern Cape NGO Coalition (ECNGOC) is an umbrella organisation with around 700 affiliated CSOs of which most are Community Based Organisations (CBOs). It was established in 1995 committed to changing conditions for the worst affected in South Africa.

The ECNGOC is recognised as the most representative structure of the development sector in the Eastern Cape Province. It plays a significant advocacy role in many consultative stakeholder forums and government-led development structures and processes.