Wednesday, April 05, 2006


water in South Africa

Water is an essential commodity, as Cyrille Mutombo suggested in his article Water in Africa. In 1996 South African government adopted GEAR as new economic policy. This policy included privatisation of government services such as water. The idea behind the privatisation of water is that in the townships people were not paying for water, because they could not afford or simply because of the culture of non-payment.

Access to water is right to all South Africans, those who can afford to pay and those who can not. However it becomes a problem for service providers to serve a good service if communities are not paying for the services, since they depend on water payments to do so. For instance they need to pay municipal workers, to fix the infrastructure and other things. This statement can justify the privatisation of water.

At the same time what about those people who can not afford to pay for water, because they are unemployed. I know that the government supports those households by giving them 6000 litres of water per month. But I do not think that it is enough, because most of black South African households you can find more 10 people living in the same households. Tell me what 6000 litres of water can do for them?.

I know water has been wasted before especially, in the areas where water was not paid before, but I believe that government could help those areas by teaching them how to save water and also introduced flexible ways of paying for water. Water is an essential commodity and no one can survive without it. The privatisation of water would force people to live in the unhealthy environment, such as untidy toilets.

We all have great need for water; however water should be treated with care ad respect, because it is a scarce commodity

Hi Zanele and readers, If you are interested in water issues, there's a great organisation started by a friend of mine called Waterlution - it's at Take a look Karen is based in Canada but actually came to present to the World of Work students in 2004. - Mille (Pioneers of Change)
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