South Africa: Treasury Launches Open Local Government Financial Data Portal – ‘Municipal Money’


National Treasury is proud to launch “Municipal Money“, an open local government budget data portal which provides citizens and other stakeholders with access to comparable, verified information on the financial performance of each municipality. Municipal Money aims to promote transparency and citizen engagement through the visualisation and ‘demystification’ of information about municipal spending.

The creation of this portal is in response to the commitment made by the Minister in his 2016 Budget speech to launch a data portal that will provide stakeholders with municipal financial information, in order to stimulate citizen involvement in local governance. It is also in line with international best practice, in terms of which governments are increasingly opening up their data to the public and specifically budget data – to promote oversight, transparency and accountability. South Africa has demonstrated its commitment to open government by co-founding and participating in the Open Government Partnership – a partnership of more than 69 countries committed to working together to develop and implement ambitious open government reforms.

Municipal Money is a user-friendly website that utilises a variety of media and tools to present key municipal financial information, and also to explain the related financial concepts and their relevance to citizens. The website is designed for an audience who may or may not have any financial knowledge or background, but also caters for the more data-savvy user who may want to trace and grapple with the actual datasets. To this end, Municipal Money draws on the raw data from a linked database, which is now also available for anyone to view, download and re-use. In fact, it is envisaged that the raw data will be used by analysts or app developers in conjunction with other data sources to create innovative, interesting and valuable new applications for municipal financial data.

Read the press release here.