SA Cities Open Data AlmanacBETA
Partners in City Development Strategies

How to Use the Data Explorer

The website is an open data repository and exploration platform that has been designed to be easy to access, visualize and download key data. The core dataset is the State of Cities Open Data Almanac which contains 102 indicators of city performance. In addition, this platform allows users to explore a prototypical demographics modelling system for Johannesburg and EThekwini (currently).

SCODA offers an interactive user platform comprising:

The Explorer
The Explorer allows users to download full datasets for the SoCR Almanac as well as other key data sets. Data can be downloaded as a csv file or visualized and downloaded as a PNG graphic file. Over time, all data sets generated by the SACN will be made available to download here. The demographic modelling data can also be downloaded in CSV format.

Data visualisations (infographics)
The Indicators button allows users to explore 12 key city indicators as interactive infographics. Each infographic contains an explanation of the indicator as well as reference to where the data was sourced. All of the data for these Indicators is contained within the Almanac

The Map highlights the Cities whose data is contained within SCODA as well as key data. The SACN, through a partnership with the CSIR, has also supported the development of more detailed spatial analyses and visualisations of city development which are available at:



Member Cities Map


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.

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.

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 ISO 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

Photo Acknowledgements
Photos used on this site are from the 2015 SACN Instagram competition and we acknowledge the photographer, 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.

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

Other Important Links