Towns Action Network: Action for Accountability Gathering, September

Author: Simon Sizwe Mayson


The September session of the Towns Action Network – formerly known as the Changemaker Towns Network – will focus on enhancing accountability from local government. 

The Towns Action Network – formerly known as the Changemaker Towns Network – will hold a full Network session focusing on ‘Action for Accountability’ on 21 September. This interactive gathering will showcase innovations and initiatives that support better functioning towns by enhancing accountability from local government. Individuals and organisations wanting to catalyse local change in their towns are warmly invited to join.

When: 21 September 2022, 14:30 – 16:30

How: via Zoom link (registration is essential)

The ‘Action for Accountability’ Gathering will include

  • Citizen-lead alternatives to destructive service delivery protests
  • Sharing innovative and constructive ways to work together for better functioning small towns
  • How to increase accountability of municipal government to residents and local stakeholders

Why the focus on ‘Action for Accountability’? 

Most of South Africa’s population lives outside of metropolitan cities. Yet small towns across the country are in crisis: 28% of local municipalities have failed or are on the brink of failure. Corruption and mismanagement have led to prolonged power and water outages and the deterioration of roads, and residents and businesses are fleeing. In some towns, service delivery protests turn violent with government infrastructure, including municipal offices and much-needed clinics destroyed.

Yet across South Africa, many changemakers are also working constructively to keep their town functioning. Some organise peaceful protests and petition provincial government to hold their municipalities accountable. Others fix potholes themselves or work with their municipality to sort out billing issues. And even the most defunct municipalities have motivated officials, working to improve the life of residents, despite the challenges. The more successful changemakers amplify their efforts by partnering with others. However, many remain isolated, and sometimes face serious consequences in trying to hold leadership accountable. 

The Towns Action Network (TAN) broadly aims to enhance accountability of local government to local residents, businesses and local organisations to limit further corruption and promote regeneration efforts. This interactive gathering aims to inspire changemakers to continue their efforts by sharing innovations and initiatives that improve town regeneration by increasing local government accountability.  

About the Towns Action Network (TAN)

The Towns Action Network (TAN) – previously known as the Changemaker Towns Network – is a learning and support network for changemakers working towards well-functioning small and medium towns by supporting partnerships within and between towns across South Africa. TAN focuses on what is strong, rather than only what is wrong, and is convened by eight Support Partners who are involved in catalysing change in small towns:  In Transformation Initiative, RanyakaKagiso TrustRestaurare/Citeplan, Accountability Lab, Karoo Development FoundationDemocracy Works Foundation, and the EDP. Over 200 representatives from around 110 organisations have joined TAN since its launch in March 2022.