Skip to content

About Us

What We Do

The South African Cities Open Data Almanac or SCODA is a city-centric data portal that aims to support the planning, management, monitoring, and reporting needs of cities. With the fast-changing and increasingly complex dynamics of contemporary South Africa where the majority of people now live in cities, monitoring how cities are planned and managed is important. Indicators are critical to effective planning and management in urban contexts, organising information sets into simpler, and easier to understand and compare ‘measures’ of what is happening. Good urban indicator sets allow for a longitudinal perspective (i.e. change over time) and comparisons between cities locally and internationally, enabling cities to see whether or not they are adequately achieving their objectives. SCODA contains data and indicators organised around key thematic areas:

  • Productive cities
  • Inclusive cities
  • Sustainable Cities
  • Well-governed cities
  • City demographics

Each theme has a set of core and secondary indicators.

How We Do It

SCODA is run by the South African Cities Network (SACN), an established network of South African cities and partners that encourages the exchange of information, experience and best practices on urban development and city management. The SACN has published State of South African Cities Reports (SoCR) since 2004, and these reports present a 5-year perspective on the performance and conditions of South Africa’s largest cities, with a focus on the SACN member cities.

The SoCR process has always included a data almanac section, and long-envisaged having an online data portal that allows access to up-to-date data and indicators that are important to cities.

Funding Support

Financial support of this project is provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency as well as the Indigo Trust.

Jica image Indigo image


The SCODA site now provides a framework to enable an ongoing process of making city data accessible. Through a partnership with the World Council for City Data, SCODA also seeks to align to the 37120 Standard on City Indicators so that South African cities can learn from global practice, and also benchmark themselves against international peers.

Further information about the development of SCODA is available at

Soccer city image

Photo Acknowledgements

Photos used on this site are from the 2015 SACN Instagram competition. Here are the photographers, by the indicator and their instagram handle:
People and Households: @amzbooysen
Cities over time: @moography
Population pyramids: @greg_alexander
Economic growth: @gavman18
Unemployment: @justjozi
City finance: @raeharrison1984
Non-revenue water: @pandanicoleium
Access to electricity: @ishotimagesza
Access to sanitation: @kojobaffoe
Education: @dane_forman
Urban Crime index: @iamsoweto
Sources of energy 2011: @drae_savvides

Important Links

South African Cities Network:
2016 State of Cities Report:
Spatial and Temporal Evidence for Planning in South Africa (stepSA):
SALGA Municipal Barometer:
Statistics South Africa: