Despite economic growth, inequality is still a challenge in South Africa. Our Building Inclusive Greem Municipalities (BIGM) project linked Canadian municipal experts with local South African governments to help vulnerable people, particularly women and youth.

In South Africa's Eastern Cape Province, which has some of the country's highest poverty rates, we focused on:

  • Reducing poverty
  • Helping local governments deliver services, drive green economic growth and prepare for climate change
  • Empowering women, youth and vulnerable groups, and ensuring their inclusion in their communities' political, economic and social life

FCM's local implementing partner is the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). Through a variety of capacity building interactions, FCM helped SALGA to develop non-partisan election readiness practices and to update its sponsorship policy, including a mapping and valuation of its assets for future revenue generation.

BIGM was designed to strengthen the capacity of six coastal municipalities in the Eastern Cape Province. The project supported pilot initiatives that enhanced local economic development while empowering women, youth, and vulnerable groups. It introduced asset management and climate change concepts with concrete policies and strategies. It also provided institutional capacity building for the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).

BIGM helped four of its partner municipalities develop new tools for business attraction, retention and expansion, including business incubators and rural economic development hubs. The other two municipalities worked on improving their asset management service delivery practices.

All partner municipalities updated and adopted new asset management policies. By updating their asset registries and synchronizing their Geographic Information Systems (GIS), these communities are now better equipped to implement mitigation and adaptation measures to respond to the impact of climate change.

We thank the following municipalities for their participation in BIGM: Surrey (BC), Ottawa (ON), Strathroy-Caradoc (ON), Prince Edward County (ON), Innisfil, (ON), Fredericton (NB).

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This program is funded by Global Affairs Canada and implemented in partnership with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).

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