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Better water delivery and revolts Greg Ruiters. Theory of revolts and Service delivery SD revolts … well known but not well understood Absolute needs.

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Presentation on theme: "Better water delivery and revolts Greg Ruiters. Theory of revolts and Service delivery SD revolts … well known but not well understood Absolute needs."— Presentation transcript:

1 Better water delivery and revolts Greg Ruiters

2 Theory of revolts and Service delivery SD revolts … well known but not well understood Absolute needs …fallacy of basic needs Relative is much more important than absolute poverty as causes.. Rel. means: Who do we compare with … (London riots) Revolution and injustice … always relative PLUS when people see their suffering as unnecessary (Barrington- Moore’s thesis) Dignity… is relative Plus rising expectations … in an upturn… These factors dangerous for any state

3 class and racial, gender identity, dignity, memory In South Africa, the colonial white supremicist state denied blacks political, social and ecological citizenship. Apartheid was very much a project to dominate & humiliate black people. Unemployment…barren townships and homelands, cheap labour, landlessness This is not over yet since Yet people see others living in luxury … “conspicuous consumption”…

4 South Africa, post-1994: Fallacy of basic “Everyone has a right of access to basic water supply and basic sanitation”. Section 27 (1) of the Constitution. The Water Services Act of 1997, Section 3(1) Water ladder … (Kasrils) RDP from basic – a short term measure -- to intermediate to full The 1996 Constitution split responsibilities for water: the national government manages national water resources while most of the 284 local governments were responsible for delivering basic water and sanitation services. Problems:Municipalities are an autonomous sphere of government, also largely self-financed with 90% of their funds from own revenue in (NT, 2006).

5 Access to Flush toilets by race: 2006

6 Yard tap.. No flush …incompatible service levels

7 White standards… Former white suburbs in metros account for more than fifty percent of total residential water use but make up less than 8% of total population (Rose 2005). Black farmers cannot access water, free basic water is not enough for consumptive, let alone productive use and with the government’s willing selling willing buyer land policy, whites own the best land. In 2004, well-off Johannesburg residents (mainly in former white areas) used 60 kl ( litres) or more per month (Hunter, 2005:331). Those who command money, command water and could make it flow uphill”.

8 Basic needs for blacks?

9 Death and Water

10 SACP criticisms of throwing deliverables at townships… in 2009 the Communist Party ideologue Cronin (SACP leader and Transport Deputy Minister) posed a fundamental challenge: “in 15 years of democracy we have failed to transform the spatial patterns of apartheid. Our social geography continues to reproduce grotesque levels of racialised inequality and separation. Where you live determines what education you are likely to get, what possibilities you have of future employment... We’ve abolished pass laws, influx control and group areas, but a grossly inequitable property market continues to separate poor from rich with as much severity as any apartheid-era pass-office functionary. Throwing more “deliverables” at townships will not, by itself, transform these spatial realities. We need a different kind of development - more mixed-income, mixed-usage, medium-density cities, not urban sprawl, not matchbox, dormitory accommodation”. (http://www.news24.com/Opinions/QAndA/Cronin-vs-Leon-Service- delivery-protests )

11 Water inequality still there in 2009 In 2009 one four Africans obtained water off-site. RSA, General Household Survey The proportion of Africans using communal taps (offsite water) rose from 22 to 26,5 per cent between 2002 and 2009 Only 2 percent of other groups used offsite water. (GHS 2010).

12 Communal tap… 1 in 4 blacks

13 In SSA in a year some 40 billion hours are spent collecting water, equivalent to a years labour in France (UN 2006: 47) The time diaries of rural South African women “show that the average time spent collecting water was 44 minutes per day for those who accessed water from less than 100 meters from the household, increasing to 71 minutes for those that accessed water more than 1 kilometre for the household”. (Stats SA, 2001:64). A typical rural woman in South Africa might spend up to 4.6 hours per day collecting water and fuel.

14 Cost recovery …self-financing and difficult tasks of Municipality Section 96 of Muni Systems Act… A municipality- (a) must collect all money that is due and payable to it, and (b) must adopt, maintain and implement a credit control and debt collection policy which is consistent with its rates and tariff policies and complies with the provisions of this Act.” Section 15 provides the “power to terminate or restrict provision of municipal services”. The council can make a final demand for payment and then cutoff if a resident “fails to submit written proof of registration as an indigent person in terms of section 23,

15 Free Basic Water (FBW) challenges 6000 l per erf …per month = 25 lppd per person based on 8 persons per stand. Backyarders … ave of 15 persons in Soweto “The fundamental problem of the FBW policy is making sure that users understand that only essential needs are covered…” (AFD Working Paper Sept 2006: 18)

16 Implement FBW: challenges 3 ways to carry out FBW (universal, targeted/indigent list and by service level). In most medium and small towns and rural areas FBW was realised through a targeted or selective approach. By providing a rudimentary level of services such as standpipe for free we got “service level targeting”. But such “free” use came at a cost since users had to walk and queue at taps and then carry heavy water back to their homes. Gradually as more taps broke, users found themselves walking back to polluted rivers for water (Greenberg 2005). We don’t have good info on disconnections and breakdowns

17 Indigents: problems of inclusion the poor must “come forward” with documentation to register themselves and then the state may verify them as ‘indigent”. In 2007, a total of 207 municipalities (two thirds) had FBW indigent support policies in place and 227 out of 283 had Free Basic Electricity indigence policies (RSA, 2009: 14, table 10). Municipalities were able to identify 3,5 million indigent households during 2008, of which only 1,9 million (54,7%) received the indigent water service (RSA, 2009) Only 1,6 million indigent households (44,9%) benefited from the free basic electricity service (RSA, 2009).

18 Contradictions of FBW The problem is formulated as “communities not playing their part” in fulfilling the tacit bargain that will observe rules and pay for “excess” use. The “attitudes of the poor” are a problem. The state saw FBW as a means to separate poor into different “manageable” categories and impose means tests or ‘targeted’ forms of minimal benefits which became available only to the registered poor. The behavioural functions of FBW, the attempted roll- in (reigning in) of the poor through an indigent surveillance system.

19 Contradictions of over-emphaasis on cost recovery in public goods Department of Finance suggested “to make it (FBW) work, only the really proven poor should get these while anyone else should be forced to pay even at higher tariffs” (2001: 132). But how do u define poor.. Two years later the same department noted: ‘there is some evidence to suggest that poor households using more than 6 kl per month are adversely affected due to the steep increase in tariffs after the free 6 kl’ (Dof, 2003: 222).

20 Indigency in most municipalities, the number of registered indigents is admitted to be grossly under- representative of those who actually qualify (CALS, 2008). The government estimates that more than half the population in 40 per cent of towns qualify as indigents (Business Day 1 December 2008).

21 Exit strategies.. Municipalities under pressure to kick hh off indigent register “Municipalities need to start planning realistic exit strategies for their indigent populations to exit from the indigent registers and subsidies. This will entail that the living circumstance of the indigent has improved significantly so that the indigent can afford to pay for their service” (Cogta 2009)

22 Way forward … what can we do Better information More focus on quality and maintenance of services Upgrade … on the water ladder ‘ ADD OTHER IDEAS … Siya bonga Enkosi


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