Governance and service delivery a case-study of sanitation in Inanda, Durban.
The sanitation crisis is a growing pandemic in most developing countries, globally, including in South Africa. It is exacerbated by increasing urbanization, poverty, lack of political will, poor institutional response and limited financial resources to address the increasing demands. The sanitation situation in Inanda in Durban is no different. This study examines a ‘trialogue’ of governance, sanitation and service delivery in Inanda. It investigates the approach to sanitation delivery, capturing the impact of policy implementation through the real experiences of communities in Inanda. The theorisation for this study is built on debates relating to governance as an analytical lens. It also draws on Foucault’s theory of governmentality to understand how government functions in an environment internal and external to itself to manage and distribute public resources as a service to the governed. Government employs the ‘art of governing’ through regulation and the rule of law to achieve its service delivery goals. In the delivery of sanitation in South Africa the government adopts a multi-stakeholder governance approach, requiring inter-spheral and inter-department synergy, together with cooperation from the local communities and other sectors. The predominant qualitative account of sanitation governance is achieved through utilising a case-study design as a methodological approach. The case-study design allowed the researcher to delve deeper into smaller cases employing multi-method data gathering techniques. Triangulation increased the reliability and credibility of the findings presented. The empirical investigation of this research concentrates on the experiences of local communities in Inanda, exploring the impact of policy choices for sanitation delivery. In addition, it captures the application of governance principles by practitioners to meet sanitation demands in the varying geo-spatial formations, different housing typologies and absence of bulk infrastructure in the peri-urban and rural settings in the study area. The study paid special attention to imperatives such as local governance and participation; access to basic services as a Constitutional right; access to sanitation to advance a better quality of life through adequate facilities, improved hygiene education and access to water to complement sanitation goals. The study revealed that sanitation delivery in Inanda was fraught with developmental challenges. The eThekwini Municipality’s Water and Sanitation Unit, responsible for the provision of sanitation to the communities of Inanda is challenged with increasing populations, unplanned settlements, weak institutional response to operations and maintenance, limited financial resources, inadequate integrated and spatial planning, and moving targets due to increasing demands for sanitation services in Inanda. Poor sludge management threatens environmental integrity and community health. The Municipality’s interim response to the sanitation needs of informal/unplanned settlements had little impact on user satisfaction as the high cost of infrastructure limits the quantity and quality of facilities provided. Communities find it difficult to utilise governments’ choice of sanitation facilities provided to them due to poor quality infrastructure, inadequate of maintenance and care of facilities, lack of effective sludge evacuation strategies for ventilated improved pit toilets, and inability to use and maintain the eco-san innovations instituted by the eThekwini Water and Sanitation Unit. Inadequate sanitation facilities exposed communities to the hazards of crime, disease, indignity, perpetuation of poverty and discrimination as well as a perception that, approximately 18 years into the democratic era, government has failed the people, as majority of the households in Inanda still do not have their own toilet facility.