Municipal Money is a web-based tool designed to inform citizens on their local authority’s financial performance and allows comparisons between municipalities.
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.
This tool draws on the raw data from the Municipal Money API website – www.treasury.data.gov.za and is a clear example of how that raw data can be utilised to enhance civic education and oversight.
Municipal Money is an initiative of the National Treasury, which has collected extensive municipal financial data over several years and would like to share this information with the public. The aim is to make this data widely available in order to increase transparency, strengthen civic oversight and promote accountability.
The South African system of local government is contingent on active citizens and organised civil society vigilantly exercising oversight and holding their municipalities accountable. Municipal Money aims to promote transparency and citizen engagement through the visualization and ‘demystification’ of information about municipal spending.
In sharing one of its most strategic datasets through Municipal Money, National Treasury is demonstrating its commitment to improving transparency and to the cause of open data.
While there is already a vast amount of municipal financial data available through various sources, the reliability and consistency of that data may be questionable. In addition, the time and effort required to learn where to look for different pieces of information, and how to interpret what is found, may be substantial, and potentially off-putting. Municipal Money empowers financial and non-financial audiences alike, by taking complex amounts of financial and non-financial data, extracting pertinent information, summarising that information and presenting it in a user-friendly manner.
You can access the Municipal Money web-based tool https://municipalmoney.gov.za/