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An assessment of revenue management of water and sanitation : a case of Harry Gwala District Municipality.

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Rural municipalities in South Africa are beset by poor revenue collection and management and the Harry Gwala District Municipality is no exception. In this regard, public finance is a decisive and overriding factor in determining the financial viability of municipalities. Failure to collect revenues properly compromises the quality of service delivery including the provision of water and sanitation. In general, financial viability of urban and rural municipalities differs respectively. This claim is based on the fact that some municipalities are self-sufficient while others remain dependent on national revenue for survival and the revenue base in most rural municipalities, including the Harry Gwala District Municipality, is weak and unsustainable rendering service delivery ineffective and unsatisfactory. Arguably, the transition to democracy has instilled a culture of non-payment and a culture of entitlement even though households are able to pay for service charges. However, 22 years later the government is still providing free services to such individuals. The study intended to assess the revenue management of water and sanitation in the Harry Gwala District Municipality. The study explored the communication challenges being experienced by this municipality in the provision of metered services in water and sanitation service delivery. The study assessed the challenges relating to the billing system and to the management of the revenue collection for water and sanitation in the Harry Gwala District Municipality. Data collection methods were interviews as the primary data collection strategy. The researcher interviewed 4 focus groups. The instrument that was used was interview guides. Based on the empirical data collected and analysed, the study was able to determine the financial standpoint for the municipality along with the recommendations. The study recommends how best the local authorities or Water Services Authorities can improve water and sanitation revenue inflows to ensure availability and sustainability of revenue sources in order to operate, maintain and refurbish the existing infrastructure.


Master of Commerce in Public Administration. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville 2016.