Local service delivery problems and trends in South Africa's water governance (1994–2010)

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 6
  • Abstract:

    A notable feature of South Africa’s political landscape between 1994 and 2010 was the high rate of municipal service delivery protests. It is argued in this article that discontent with inferior water and sanitation services played a significant role in the protests. In an effort to comprehend the complex circumstances better, attention is focused on the evolution of water governance in South Africa after 1994. Water was central to the socio-economic transformation of South Africa to a multiracial democracy. Water was also a prominent theme of public discourse in the country’s politics. The government started operating as the custodian of the country’s water supplies on behalf of the people. Moreover, the symbolic value of water has also been turned into a basic human right, according to the country’s Constitution. It is the right of all the country’s people to have access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation. Despite the exceptionally progressive legislation the country, by 2004 , faced considerable water governance problems – primarily at the municipal level. Some of the underlying issues are discussed. Attention is also given to the manner in which plans were implemented to try and stem the tide of local civil discontent