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An analysis of revenue management in water and sanitation in Harry Gwala and Ugu water services authorities.

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Local government municipalities in South Africa are beset by poor revenue collection and management and the Harry Gwala and Ugu WSAs are 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 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, 25 years later the government is still providing free services to such individuals. This study intends to conduct an explorative analysis of revenue management of water and sanitation with specific reference to Harry Gwala and Ugu WSAs. The study explored the communication challenges being experienced by both WSAs in the provision of metered services in water and sanitation service delivery. It assessed the challenges relating to the billing system and to the management of revenue collection for water and sanitation in the Harry Gwala and Ugu WSAs. Furthermore, the study investigated the challenges of compliance management for water and sanitation businesses in Harry Gwala and Ugu WSAs. The research approach uses a qualitative research method. Data collection methods were interviews and questionnaires as the primary data collection strategy. Based on the empirical data collected and analysed, the study further developed and introduced a normative model/new conceptual framework on revenue management for water and sanitation service delivery which the researcher has found as being a gap in the literature. The normative model/conceptual framework will contribute to the body of knowledge and reinforce existing theories, which will assist in determining the financial standpoint of rural and urban water services authorities. The study has recommended how best the WSAs 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 to ensure that the future generation is not deprived an access to this precious ecological resource.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.