Sustainable Development Goals: how auditors make a difference in the lives of citizens. A South African best practice is emulated in Sierra Leone.

February 2017, by Tassilo von Droste

It all started here: Potchefstroom. The middle-sized town located in the arid North-West Province 120 kilometres from Johannesburg is known for its University and as a major training centre for cyclists in South Africa. Soon, it may well also be known for the quality of its environment. Like many other towns in Africa “Potch” faces challenges in waste management; illegal dumping and untreated waste. These pose serious threats to the environment.  With waste generation in sub-Saharan Africa expected to be twice as high in 2025 as it was in 2010, adequate management at municipal level will be crucial to ensure a safe and healthy environment in the cities of the continent.

Luckily Potchefstroom has some of South Africa’s most eco-conscious auditors.  Together with the Centre for Environmental Management of the North-West University, the Office of the Auditor General of South Africa developed new procedures for auditing municipalities in order to help them to improve how waste, waste water and water are managed.  Over the last five years, auditors in the North-West Province controlled whether municipalities complied with environmental management requirements to provide their citizens with a safe environment. This has resulted in the licensing of 46 landfill sites in comparison to only 12 out of 57 landfill sites five years ago.

Can this success story be replicated elsewhere? It is worth trying. This is why GIZ’s Good Financial Governance in Africa Programme supported the African Organisation of English-speaking Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E) in developing an e-learning tool to disseminate the approach used in the North West Province. Seven African Supreme Audit Institutions participated in the project. Watch our short video to see which results were achieved in Sierra Leone where the best practice was emulated:

The Good Financial Governance in Africa programme is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU). Contacts: Dr Barbara Dutzler ( or Mr Tassilo von Droste zu Hülshoff (