Implementing the free basic water service policy : perceptions from the Ingquza Hill Municipality.
Matha, Qaqamba Precious.
MetadataShow full item record
Free Basic Water Service Policy is part of the water service delivery provision, where municipalities are mandated to provide such services to the people (DWAF 2002:32).The purpose of the study was to investigate the implementing of the Free Basic Water Service Policy in Ingquza Hill Local municipality. In doing so, the study obtained the perceptions from the Department of Infrastructure and Engineering services within Ingquza Hill Local Municipality, ward councilors and Executive Committee members, to identify the challenges in policy implementation that the municipality under study experiences. Prior to 1994, the Republic of South Africa was divided administratively as a result of its policy of eleven homelands, four independent states “Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei (TBVC) states, six self-governing territories, and the rest of South Africa itself” (Alessandro 2015:113). This situation resulted in a fragmented approach to service provision, with limited or no services being available in the former "black" urban and rural areas (DWAF Report 2002:2). According to the DWAF Report (2002:3), these problems were partly symptomatic of a lack of coordination and responsibility due to the proliferation of institutional structures that existed at that time. Post 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) government has prioritized the integration of basic service delivery. However, twenty-three years post 1994, access to basic services such as basic water services and sanitation still remains a priority. Much of these challenges arise out of the backlogs in the delivery of these services. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) compiled a White Paper on Water Supply and Sanitation Policy (DWAF 1994) to address the backlogs in basic water and sanitation services. This strategy formed the basis of the Community Water Supply and Sanitation (CWSS) programme, which primarily focuses on service delivery in the rural poor and to extend access to basic water supply and sanitation services to all South African citizens in general. According to Mahlatsi (2010:56), the problem is that there are no specific guidelines as to how they would carry out their responsibilities. Since municipal councils play an active role in implementing policies (Mahlatsi 2010:56). This is a case study, with a qualitative approach. The methodology applied to explore the perceptions of Ingquza Hill Local Municipality included interviewing 13 participants over a period of 4 weeks. Thematic analysis was be used which, according to Cooper (1994:56) is the type of analysis mostly used in qualitative research because of the pattern it follows in pin-pointing and recording patterns within data. The findings revealed that the municipality does not understand the importance of implementing this policy: this was evident by the lack of policy implementation elements in place. This is also evident in the findings from the data collected, that the municipality does not have policy implementation frameworks for water service delivery. A strategic policy direction is recommended in order to tackle the issues of poor policy implementation in the municipality.