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Investment Case – Area-based violence prevention, South Africa

South Africa’s National Development Plan recognises that safety and security are “directly related to socio-economic development and equality” and require an environment “conducive to employment creation, improved educational and health outcomes, and strengthened social cohesion.” It argues further, safety involves the criminal justice system, local government, community, and private sector and role players involved in economic and social development”. Area-based violence prevention interventions represent a development approach that seeks to address these divergent crime and violence risk factors from an individual, community and structural perspective in an integrated and community centred manner. While it is understood that ABVPI does not always require additional resources, most initiatives involve targeted investments in capital infrastructure, services or training which require funding. The purpose of this document is to explore which sphere or spheres of government are responsible for funding ABVPI initiatives, and to identify potential sources of public funding for ABVPI.

Key findings

  • Does local government have role to play in relation to safety and violence prevention? Constitution’s provisions describing the objectives, developmental duties and powers and functions of municipalities give them an explicit mandate to promote social and economic development, promote safe and healthy environments, and encourage the involvement of communities in matters of local government. Part B of Schedule 4 and Part B of Schedule 5 of the Constitution list matters that municipalities are responsible for, many of which are directly relevant to safety and violence prevention.
  • Is ABVPI an unfunded mandate for local government? ABVPI is not an unfunded mandate for local government. Rather, ABVPI represents a good practice approach for how municipalities should be carrying out their constitutional responsibilities when it comes to providing municipal services to communities, promoting social and economic development, and ensuring safe and healthy environments.
  • What types of activities or outputs are typically covered by ABVPI? The following eight principles that should inform the design of ABVPI point to the types of activities and outputs that ought to form part of an integrated ABVPI in an area: ·
    • Pursue physical upgrades through an urban safety lens
    • Prioritise security of tenure · Work with communities every step of the way
    • Create safe public spaces through partnerships
    • Protect and build social cohesion
    • Support women’s empowerment
    • Support youth and early childhood development programmes
    • Put in place outcome-based monitoring and evaluation of interventions Table 2 in section 3.4 provides further details on typical ABVPI activities.
  • Who are the role-players involved in implementing ABVPI? Municipalities need to play the lead role in planning and implement ABVPI as the majority of ABVPI activities correlate with municipal roles and functions. However, provincial and national departments also need to ensure that their planning is informed by safety and violence prevention considerations, and that they support municipal IDPs and community-led ABVPI initiatives.
  • What are the possible sources of public funding for ABVPI? Depending on the type of ABVPI intervention, there may be different lead government departments located in the different spheres of government. Consequently, public funding for ABVPI lies scattered across the spheres of government and also within municipalities, funding for ABVPI is also scattered across different departments and units. A large part of the challenge is to identify the national and provincial departments / entities that can contribute to or have a role to play in a particular ABVPI initiative and then to co-ordinate their input with those of the local municipality and the community. This requires them to plan together so as to align their plans, budgets and activities for an integrated, area-based development approach. In addition, partnerships, coordination functions and social facilitation are ‘the glue’ of ABVPI, yet funding for these functions is often not specified. While national conditional grants are an important source of funding for ABVPI, it is important to emphasise that the core budgets of provinces and municipalities are potentially larger sources of funding for ABVPI than conditional grants

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