Water supply and sanitation in South Africa

South Africa underwent a major transition to a full democracy in 1994. The new government embarked on an ambitious program to eradicate backlogs in water supply and sanitation, underpinned by development of sound sector policy and legislation. Initially, this program was driven by the central government. In 2003 responsibilities for service provision were devolved to local government in line with the constitutional allocation of functions. Although much has been achieved, significant challenges remain. There is a need to build and sustain capacity at the local government level to continue to invest in, operate, and maintain services; to innovate and create more effective delivery pathways to reach the “hard to reach”; and, to improve the sustainability of services already delivered.

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