Current initiatives by the South African Government pertaining to development
include programmes and projects, which are rurally based and which are focused towards improving the socio-economic disposition of marginalised rural communities. However, Government also realises the importance of
ensuring sustainability within such initiatives, which include natural environmental conservation and preservation.
One example of a rural development initiative is the Working for Water
Programme, which is administered by the national Department of Water Affairs and
Forestry, as lead entity. In this article the normative criteria to attain integrated and sustainable rural development are presented and benchmarked against the Working for Water Programme to attempt to establish whether synergies in this regard have been achieved. In addition, suggestions are made with regards to additional programmes and projects to extend and augment this Programme.