Spotlight on Vuthela – Survey Findings

A survey was recently undertaken amongst the almost 1 000 role players and stakeholders who receive the Vuthela Spark newsletter to assess the perception of the Vuthela iLembe LED Support Programme and the usefulness or not of the Vuthela Spark newsletter.

With the Vuthela Project Coordinating Unit wrapping up in September 2023 (municipal transferred projects will continue until December 2024), it was decided to assess the perception readers have of the impact, relevance and effectiveness of the Vuthela Programme and the usefulness of the Vuthela Spark newsletter.

A digital survey was created and sent to the Vuthela database on 22 November 2022 and closed on the 7 December 2022. While only 30 responses were received, this article presents some of the key findings from the survey.

Who responded?

So, who were the people who took the survey?

  • Most (a third) were from the private sector, followed by provincial government (17%) and local government (13%)
  • Most of the respondents (40%) were from KwaZulu-Natal, but outside iLembe. A third were from iLembe, and a quarter were from South Africa, but outside of KwaZulu-Natal.
  • The vast majority (83%) of respondents knew about the Vuthela Programme through their work while 7% knew about the programme through the Vuthela Spark.

Views on the Vuthela LED programme

Respondents were asked their views on the impact, relevance, and effectiveness of the Vuthela Programme.

Views on Vuthela Spark

We wanted to understand how the Vuthela Spark readers used the newsletter and their views, and also their topics of preference. Most of the respondents (86%) had read Vuthela Spark,18% of these respondents read the whole newsletter, while a third read mostly the whole newsletter. Another third read one or two articles.

Asked how useful the information in Vuthela Spark is, nearly two-thirds of respondents indicated that they found the information very or extremely useful. One-third responded that they found the information somewhat or not so useful.

This was elaborated on further with the next question in the survey where respondents were asked to evaluate the extent to which they agreed or disagreed that the Vuthela Spark has contributed to their understanding of the range of issues that impact on the performance of a local economy. The response was overwhelmingly positive with 95% agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statement.

So which articles are of interest to our readers? Respondents were asked to indicate little, some, or great interest in our broad topics. A weighted average was applied to show the following;

We wanted to find out what articles people had found particularly interesting.

The importance of effective municipal budget management – Spark 2

The local economy is key to business success – Spark

Municipalities must improve implementation of SCM policies

Mandeni TVET SMME programmes

Bulk infrastructure apportionment

Developing business continuity

Skills development for market opportunities


Asset management to be strengthened at municipalities

KwaDukuza Municipality to digitalise systems and processes


As part of the knowledge management and sharing of lessons. we plan to share several more issues of Vuthela Spark with you in 2023. We asked our readers if they could make suggestions on subjects for future articles. These are their responses:

New infrastructure programmes

The impact of rural LED interventions in de-congesting urban centres

Maybe featuring one or two youth or SMEs (interview-like) doing some notable work (related to the programme) or beneficiaries

Green economy support and circular economy with links to just transition

Project risk management

Asset maintenance plans for all local municipalities and the district. Demand management to the service delivery to communities.

Climate change

Development and access of sports and sporting facilities


Finally, we thank all those who responded as this gives us a better idea of how the Vuthela Programme is perceived and helps us make Vuthela Spark more relevant and useful.

We wish you a peaceful festive season and a happy New Year.