Municipal Safety Case Studies Project

Municipal Safety Case Studies Project – Learn how


The “Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention Programme” (VCP III), as a joint South African-German cooperation project, co-funded by the Canadian government, seeks to contribute to the national development priority of creating a safer South Africa, through enhancement of local government safety practice. The programme supports multi-stakeholder-driven interventions towards addressing the root causes of violence and crime in South Africa through activating and supporting different sectors and levels of government for prevention work as well as activating and supporting different non-state societal resources and aligning their efforts.

Municipal Case Studies Project Overview

The Safety Case Studies project, a collection of 18 studies, will facilitate dissemination and discussion of recent safety practice by local government and its partners, some with VCP participation, and some without, to offer an opportunity to reflect on useful learning on evidence informed interventions at local level. This project shares case studies that engage with perspectives on aligned implementation of the recommendations of the White Paper on Safety and Security (WPSS) and the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (NSP GBVF) at local level.


The municipal safety case studies project will:

• Contribute to enhancing institutional memory;

• Share successes and failures for joint learning;

• Strengthen capacities of local practitioners through exchange and learning;

• Showcase municipalities’ efforts advocating for more political and strategic support for localised violence prevention;

• Engage with mechanisms for institutionalisation of community safety practices;

• Promote spatially targeted and context-informed approaches to prevention;

• Investigate tools for multi-sectoral partnerships and active community participation;

• Catalyse more testing and piloting for the replication and upscaling of successful local prevention interventions.


Each theme will include a virtual engagement where key stakeholders present the case studies and facilitate discussion on questions arising from the case studies. The learning from each engagement have been recorded in a succinct publication and all of the content from the series is available here digitally as a reference tool of best practices and reflections to support practitioners in delivering increasingly sustainable and transformative safety work in South Africa.



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Public Spaces

This set of case studies looks at planning, design and maintenance of public spaces as a mechanism for violence and crime prevention. The public spaces theme will engage with a wealth of information on spatial interventions, what makes them sustainable and what barriers there are to their effectiveness.

Galeshewe Cities Challenge

The Galeshewe Cities Challenge project aims to contribute to a more liveable, resilient, safe and economically thriving township. The project followed an inclusive design process to develop and construct an informal traders’ hub in Hulana park that connects Galeshewe Township to the Kimberley town centre. The hub offers a safe, sustainable and gender-responsive environment for local female traders. This case study will share tools and processes for effective stakeholder engagement. It will also share insights into how municipalities can incorporate informal traders into their development plans and how this impacts the safety of particularly female traders.

Galeshewe Cities Challenge Case Study

KwaDukuza Precinct

The KwaDukuza Precinct project contributes to the vision of liveable neighbourhoods through the provision of safe, accessible and inclusive public spaces. The project aims to promote safety by redesigning and refurbishing existing spaces which lacked oversight and became sites of unsafety in recent years. This case study will share the story of the developments in KwaDukuza, including the open streets festival held in 2023, aimed at building a shared sense of community. The case study will share learning on development and management of open public spaces.

KwaDukuza Case Study

The Open Streets Festival returned to KwaDukuza on KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast on Friday, 23 June 2023, to commemorate World Environment Day and envision the future of the city.

Njoli Square

This project focuses on the redevelopment of Njoli Square at KwaZakhele township in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in the Eastern Cape. The project aims to integrate with existing informal use of the space and transform the Njoli Square precinct to support community development through various infrastructure upgrades. This case study will share insights on the challenges encountered in precinct development in spaces with informal uses, and on the engagement and participation required for public space upgrades.

Njoli Square Case Study


Children & Youth


Models for projects designed to respond to the safety needs of children and youth, and to equip them to lead and participate in sustainable safety programmes in their communities, allowing children and youth to grow up in a safe environment, become more resilient and live their best lives.

Masifunde Changemakers Academy

Masifunde’s work has been driven for 15 years by the vision of a united society in which everyone is empowered to initiate positive change in their own lives and the lives of others. The programme supports high-quality education to enable pro-active and confident participation by children in community issues. This case study will share behaviour change tools and processes for learners. It will also share insights on how schools can adopt, contextualise and implement the initiative in their respective schools to enable learners to be changemakers for safe local communities.

Deprived Youth Services

The centre was established in 2007 and focuses on skills development for youth in eThekwini South. The organisation is part of the DREAMS programme – a global partnership to reduce HIV/AIDS in adolescent girls and young women. This case study will demonstrate the role that capacity building plays in offering young people pathways for agency in their own.

Lesedi Educare ECD

Lesedi has been delivering training and support for ECD, and direct ECD services itself, for thirty years. Across a number of municipalities in the Free State Lesedi takes an integrated approach to ECD, offering parenting skills to caregivers of the children it serves, enabling access to social workers and government service providers to alleviate the burdens of poverty and isolation of the families of the children it serves, communicating and advocating community-wide for inclusive ECD approaches. Driven by the notion that no child should be excluded from ECD care, Lesedi goes to great lengths to identify excluded children and find mechanisms for their inclusion. The truest  example of early intervention, Lesedi’s work build resilience, independence and agency in the children that access its programmes and also integrates with a multifaceted approach to building resilience in vulnerable families.


Community Driven


Examples of community-driven approaches. This theme will offer learning on benefits and drawbacks of different community-driven approaches. It will also investigate how municipalities can be most useful to such approaches to ensure their sustainability.

El Kero Park

El Kero Park is situated in Hillbrow which is in the inner-city of Johannesburg. The area is characterised by organised crime syndicates. Johannesburg’s inner-city has been undergoing a rejuvenation process from the public and private sector for over a decade. City Improvement Districts across the space have a core focus on ‘safe and clean’
public urban management. This project is supported by eKhaya Neighbourhood Improvement District which has a focus on creating a strong residential community in a poverty-stricken area. With the support of the neighbourhood coordinator’s relationship with the community, the community was enabled to lead the development of El Kero Park. This case study will share the story of how community members can collaborate to improve their public spaces. It will also share insights on how municipalities can support such interventions.

Brixton Light Festival

The first Brixton Light Festival was in 2010, and comprised a walk around the suburb, looking at Christmas lights. It is now a much more ambitious annual event. The Festival is a community festival of lights and celebration by ‘Brixies’ for those who live in Brixton*. The festival is organised, set up and then taken down by dedicated volunteers in the community. This is a celebration of creative spirit and it demonstrates the impact of community cohesion. The city supports the festival in a range of ways. This case study will share tools and processes for effective community led interventions.

*Residents call themselves Brixies rather than Brixtonites because they say the ‘ton’ of Brixton refers to the stone on the ridge that run through it. This defines the watershed of Johannesburg – on the one side the water runs north and on the other, south.

Hoekwil-Touwsranten Community Dialogue

The Hoekwil-Touwsranten Community Dialogue is the first local Violence Prevention Forum. It was established in 2021 in the Western Cape after residents of Touwsranten and Hoekwil identified a need for the two neighbourhoods to engage across lines of race and class to explore safety and build trust. Participants represent the diversity of Hoekvil and Touwsranten, there because they have a shared interest in building a safe and prosperous community. This case study will share insights on how to establish, manage and sustain community forums.



This set of case studies provides the opportunity to reflect on the opportunity represented by data and data-driven approaches. This theme will engage with qualitative / quantitative data values and approaches, will demonstrate the value of data on local lived experience for designing and measuring safety programmes, and share some emerging digital tools which can make data collection and analysis accessible and useful to municipalities.

Tshwane Public Employment Programme Community Safety

The Tswhane Public Employment Programme provides employement opportunities to unemployed youth and through the Community Safety project these youth were better able to understand, and contribute to, community safety.  In the safety audit project young community members were trained on safety and safety audits and how they can be used in building community safety plans. Local lived experience data aligns to to the municipality's mandate to develop, manage and maintain safe public spaces such as transport routes and parks.  Community Members reporting on their feelings and perceptions of the safety of municpal managed spaces enables teh city to maintain and manage these spaces in a way that promotes community safety.  This case study shares tools and processes to empower community members to better understand safety in their own environments and to generate data that can assist the City to promote improved local community safety. 

Safe Women Safe Cities

Safe Women Safer Cities is a data-driven project with a focus on creating safer urban environments for women. The project offered the eThekwini municipality an opportunity to work with gender experts to use innovative technology to improve the safety of women and gender minorities, while expanding their capacity to collect evidence on an ongoing basis to reflect the experience of women’s mobility around the city. This study will share insights on how municipalities can use local lived experience data to strengthen safety strategies. The study will also reflect on the importance of integrated service delivery and the institutionalisation of women’s safety within the municipality.

Planact and Google Plus Codes Project

Planact, in partnership with Google, implemented the Plus Codes Project in Thebelihle informal settlement in Lenasia, Johannesburg. Most informal settlements in South Africa do not have formal street addresses, which results in adequate access to basic municipal services and related essential services. This initiative aims to enable residents of Thembilihle to exercise their rights to access to services by using Plus Code technology to create street addresses for residents. The addresses make it possible for residents to access city services - development planning, maintenance of municipal services and provision of social amenities. This study looks at the democratising force of emerging technologies and how they can be used to enable safer, better functioning communities. 


Safety Journeys

This set will tell the stories of cities which have taken multifaceted approaches to institutionalising safety in their municipalities over a number of years. The safety journeys theme will demonstrate that safety practices take years to show impact and how the transformation is incremental and must be systemic.

King Sabatha Dalindyebo Local Municipality

King Sabatha Dalindyebo Local Municipality

Steve Tshwete Local Municipality
uMhlathuze Local Municipality


Collective Thinking

Shared experiences in different settings. This theme will take the form of documented conversations, between practitioners, networks and capacity building entities. The collective view on experiences will provide insight into strategic approaches which can be taken by existing networks to continue to leverage shared experience and knowledge and to continue to build strengthened capacity.

Urban Safety Reference Group
Mapping Capacity Building Initiatives
Personal Journeys: Three Experienced Practitioners
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