Management of The Free Basic Water Policy in South Africa

Anne Stalk & Kimmie W. Alexandersen

Student thesis: Termpaper


Through an interdisciplinary approach it is attempted to assess whether the access to safe water have been improved for the poor part of the South African population due to the implementation of the policy Free Basic Water. Furthermore, the case studies conducted have enabled an identification of the possibilities and obstacles that have occurred in relation to the implementation of Free Basic Water. This has created the basis for the suggestions of possible solutions in order to ensure a successful implementation of the policy. The at present recommended financing methods, which amongst others involves cost-recovery has been identified as being insufficient and inappropriate to apply in South Africa due to the high level of poverty. Therefore, the study concludes that the access to safe water have not improved significantly for the poor. However, it has become clear that access to safe water is crucial in order to reduce the level of water related diseases. Moreover, the drinking water standards set by South African government is compared to international guidelines vague. It is concluded that it in South Africa at present is of greater importance to ensure the population access to water than to comply with the international standards set for drinking water. It is furthermore suggested that the financing of Free Basic Water should rather than being completely funded through cost-recovery to a larger extent rely on a combination of cost-recovery, increased governmental funding and crosssubsidies.

EducationsTekSam - Technological and Socio-Economic Planning, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate
Publication date1 Jun 2004
SupervisorsSøren Lund & Chris Buckley