South African Municipal Water and Sanitation Partnership Initiative



Approval Date
Actual Completion Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type
South Africa
Lesson Learned for Cities Alliance Members and Partners
• Efforts to restructure municipal water and sanitation services continue to be very controversial in SA. Anything interpreted by the municipal labor unions to involve outsourcing or privatization has immediately become the target for intense criticism (consultants working in Msunduzi and Mbombela/Nelspruit have been harassed for even considering such options). Much of this opposition has little to do with workplace conditions or possible job losses (losses have not typically been experienced in MIIU-supported PPPs or privatization activities at the municipal level). The potential for this sort of criticism necessitates a great deal of diplomacy and stakeholder consultation as these action plans are developed. • Revenue enhancement activities are an important element in partnerships, whether private or public, as well as in private borrowing.


Urban service delivery under Apartheid was entirely separate for the white and black areas, and as a result of this separation, much of the 90 percent of the population that is non-white still lives in areas not adequately supplied with essential urban services, such as water and sanitation. The proposed activity will support a targeted number of municipalities to extend and improve the quality of water and sanitation services by first identifying needs and opportunities for improvement, introducing management improvements to water and sanitation, and leveraging private finance for capital investment.
1) Identify and implement municipal water and sanitation service management measures, and financing alternatives, that expand and improve service to the urban poor;  2) Strengthening the relationship between the community and local authorities in relation to the investment, management and monitoring of water and sanitation services;  3) Increasing private sector involvement in municipal water and sanitation investment;  4) Assisting the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Unit in deepening community participation in the full range of project development activities.
1) Conducting feasibility studies;  2) Facilitation of negotiations amongst stakeholders;  3) Adoption of Municipal action plans;  4) Implementation of recommendations;  5) Structuring of capital invesment;  6) Identification of indicators and benchmarks to monitor management improvements.
Expected Impacts and Results
1) Overall increased value of expanded water services for historically disadvantaged population (HDP);  2) Increased number of HDP households receiving quality water and sanitation services;  3) Increased mobilisation of domestic capital for expanded municipal water and sanitation services;  4) Improved engagement with stakeholders, including organisations of the urban poor, in setting priorities and in monitoring water and sanitation services;  5) Performance indicators and benchmarks to monitor management impacts.