In July 2003 the Minister of Water Affairs, now known as Water and
Sanitation appointed the Mopani District Municipality in the Limpopo
Province as the Water Service Authority for their area of jurisdiction
as determined by the Municipal Demarcation Board. According to
section 11 of the Water Services Act 108 of 1997, every Water Service
Authority has a duty to all consumers or potential consumers in the area
of jurisdiction to progressively ensure efficient, affordable, economical
and sustainable access to water services. In response to this obligation
the Mopani District Municipality appointed all five local municipalities as
water service providers. In addition, the Mopani District Municipality has
signed a bulk water supply agreement with the Lepelle Northern Water
Board in the area of the Ba-Phalaborwa and Greater Letaba municipalities
based on the fact that the board has the abstraction license and the bulk
infrastructure for purifying water. This article examines the manner in
which the Mopani District Municipality provided water services and the
factors affecting the provision of sustainable water services. The findings
suggest that the provision of water in the Mopani District Municipality
is not sustainable owing to the ageing infrastructure, inadequate water
resources, poor planning, limited capacity in municipalities and the nonpayment
of water services by the households. The results show that it will
take considerable time for the service to be sustainable, especially in the
rural areas unless the upgrading of the infrastructure as well as effective
and efficient conservation management is prioritised.
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