By Neelam Rahim
The Action for Accountability, the A4A project, is cofounded by the European Union and implemented by The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, Accountability lab South Africa and the public service accountability monitor.
Radio Islam discusses this project with Funeka Manzi, a civic activist officer at Accountability Lab South Africa, and Zarina Motala, a community facilitator for Lenasia ward 9.
Funeka says, “The project works to enhance public service accountability and good governance been implemented in four areas. Lenasia, Mondeo, and Finetown represent the city of Johannesburg and Makhanda in the Eastern Cape. We want community-led action and advocacy and using certain citizen-based monitoring, usually termed social audits. We want to train citizens on these monitoring tools and how to use this information to hold the government accountable.”
It’s about bridging the communication gap between the community, their councillors and the council.
Zarina says, “We had an open session for the Lenasia area. Unfortunately, the attendance was poor. However, the input and content made by the attendees were absolutely useful. It’s time to hear the community and take their voices up.”
These areas have reached different demographics.
“Expanding on the civic actions team model itself, it is citizen feedback in dialogue community voice platform. There is training involved in how to use these particular monitoring tools. We want to ensure that the collection of information is not used for reporting to donors but what it means to citizens themselves,” says Funeka.
Those interested and wanting to get involved can contact Zarina Motala at 071-851-3627. I will forward a sheet for participation.
Funeka also says, “The European Union was particularly interested in the accountability issues of the crisis we have seen in the country. When it comes to state capture and corruption issues, they have provided funding specifically around the issues of accountability and empowering citizens on this particular subject. Although they are the main funder, I wanted to highlight that this project has been implemented in other countries and has been successful.”