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TitleWater access and provisioning in UMzumbe Local Municipality under the Ugu District Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal
AuthorDuma, Clifford Mhlanyukwa
Subjecttop-down and bottom -up approaches --water provisioning --neo liberalism --privatization --regulation and project management
AbstractAccording to the Constitution, Act No.108 of 1996 of the Republic of South Africa, every person has the right to clean water. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry’s Community Water Supply Programme was established in 1994 to achieve this objective. Access to safe drinking water is the basic need to human life and wellbeing, and is a key to public health issues. The UGu District Municipality is the water distributor to the Umzumbe Local Municipality residents. The study area for this research is the Umzumbe Local Municipality, which is the second largest municipality under the UGu District Municipality. Communities, especially in rural areas under the Umzumbe Local Municipality, are still unable to access adequate safe drinking water which meets the national standards for protecting human health. The main concern of this research was to assess water access and provisioning in the Umzumbe Local Municipality, under the UGu District Municipality. The research assessed the water supply system in the UGu District Municipality by engaging with all the stakeholders involved in water provision to verify their roles in the water supply and development of water service delivery projects. The study was predicated on three theories which were assumed to explain water provisioning. The first theory is the top-down and bottom up approach to service delivery. The second approach is the privatisation concept which is based on neo-liberalism. This explains that buying what could hinder efficient delivery, mostly in poor environments. The final theory of the study deals with project management. This theory asserts that the way a project is packaged and commissioned will have implications in the delivery of services, in this case, water delivery. The research employed mixed a methods research design. The reason for employing both qualitative and quantitative methods is because the research sought to obtain a comprehensive interpretation of the occurrences in the research area. The adoption of qualitative data alone is likely to provide limited vision which would not be sufficient for the research without the inclusion of quantitative data. The population for the research consisted of the Umzumbe Local Municipality residents, both males and females from twenty one years of age, upwards. Seventy participants were chosen for the research. Interview schedules and survey questionnaires were used as data collection instruments. vii The findings showed that the UGu District Municipality infrastructure does have some challenges, which come in the form of skills challenges, and capacity challenges. Other challenges that the study identified include inability to access municipality’s infrastructure grant (M.I.G) and bulk infrastructure grant (B.I.G). The UGu District Municipality areas that are far inland are likely to have water, and also the problems because of the low capacity of engines that are used to pump water also the problem is exacerbated by power failures. The findings further indicated that unskilled contractors could be the cause of water outage in the Umzumbe Local Municipality. It has been established that contractors who are hired to run projects have a tendency of abandoning projects that have not been completed. The findings presented that the UGu District Municipality does not consider the involvement of community members when they take decisions on project matters. The research established that water tankers do not provide community with adequate water and the utilization of water tankers is an expensive option that can cause community not to be served. The findings also indicated that some of the water infrastructure is old and it can be the cause of water shortage. Lastly, the findings showed that the Umzumbe Local Municipality has low income opportunities, causing its inhabitants to be unable to pay for water services. On the basis of the findings the study recommends that the UGu District Municipality needs to adhere to the principles of monitoring and evaluation of all activities and projects that relate to water provisioning. At a broader scale the study suggests that further research be done to determine whether the Department of Water and Sanitation can consider the construction of water reservoir in UMzimkhulu River. The reservoir should be linked with the Umgeni Water Board to provide water to communities during water outage.
AbstractA dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Arts in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master’s in the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Zululand, 2015
PublisherUniversity of Zululand