Building Power, Demanding Justice: The Story of Budget Work in the Social Justice Coalition’s Campaign for Decent Sanitation

Publication Type: Papers
July 2017 | by Dustin Kramer, Former Deputy General Secretary, Social Justice Coalition
Budget Work in South Africa Sanitation Campaign
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The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) is a social movement from Cape Town, South Africa. Launched in 2008 as a loose coalition concerned with the underlying issues of inequality and poverty, today SJC has a core membership of informal settlement residents across Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Philippi, and Nyanga.

In 2009 SJC members consistently raised sanitation as a primary issue affecting safety in informal settlements. Sanitation had rarely been treated as either a political or safety issue, but SJC members shared stories of being attacked while using a toilet, walking long distances at night, and using the bush. Toilets came to symbolize the greater indignity and loss of life resulting from spatial segregation, inequality, and lack of housing and basic infrastructure.

SJC first started campaigning publicly on sanitation in 2010. In 2014, with support from the International Budget Partnership, SJC began using budget analysis and advocacy to support the broader advocacy campaign.

In this account and reflection, former SJC Deputy General Secretary Dustin Kramer discusses SJC’s use of budget work within a mass-based campaign, how the campaign unfolded, and the lessons learned.

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