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Rights, Needs and Responsibilities in Water Governance: Reflections from South Africa<br />Synne Movik, Norwegian Universi...
Delhi, Dublin, and getting beyond the dichotomies<br />Delhi – Dublin. Delhi: Environmental health and integrated approach...
Water: not an ‘either-or’<br />Water is firmly entrenched as a human right, which is perfectly compatible with water being...
From dichotomies to governance<br />	The question is not who is providing the water - but rather how needs, rights and res...
The South African experience<br />Major overhaul of water legislation<br />1997 Water Services Act<br />1998 National Wate...
Redefining needs, rights & responsibilities – the Phiri Case<br />	April 2008; High Court supports the residents of Phiri,...
Redefining needs, rights & responsibilities: Speed compromising sustainability?<br />Impressive record in meeting targets ...
Focus on infrastructure development,  functioning & quality of service neglected (skills gap)
Not actually meeting people’s needs – how to re-engage stakeholders to ensure services are sustainable in the long-term? <...
Challenges<br />How to expand and embed in legislation and practice a conception of needs that better reflect people’s dai...
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Rights, Needs and Responsibilities in Water Governance: Reflections from South Africa

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STEPS Water & Sanitation Symposium 2011

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Rights, Needs and Responsibilities in Water Governance: Reflections from South Africa

  1. 1. Rights, Needs and Responsibilities in Water Governance: Reflections from South Africa<br />Synne Movik, Norwegian University of Life Sciences<br />
  2. 2. Delhi, Dublin, and getting beyond the dichotomies<br />Delhi – Dublin. Delhi: Environmental health and integrated approach to waste management; institutional reform, integration and importance of women; community management; and sound financial management. Dublin: Water as finite resource; emphasis on participation; importance of women; water as an economic good. <br />Integration emerged as key word – but so did sets of dichotomies, such as:<br />Human right vs. economic good<br />Public vs. private, formal vs. informal <br />Resource vs. domestic <br />
  3. 3. Water: not an ‘either-or’<br />Water is firmly entrenched as a human right, which is perfectly compatible with water being also regarded as an economic good – depends on effective regulation. <br />UN recently appointed an independent expert on Human Rights, Catarina de Albuquerque. Reaffirms the ultimate responsibility of the State in ensuring rights are met – but it may delegate powers to third parties. Emphasises stakeholder involvement.<br />Public-private debate not addressing the main issues – more fruitful to focus on quality and long-term sustainability of service provision. There are multiple and hybrid publics and privates – shades of grey, rather than black and white. <br />De Albuquerque: Service providers responsible to ensure human rights are met.<br />
  4. 4. From dichotomies to governance<br /> The question is not who is providing the water - but rather how needs, rights and responsibilities are defined and matched in each situation, and how constellations of authority, transparency and accountability are formed. <br />
  5. 5. The South African experience<br />Major overhaul of water legislation<br />1997 Water Services Act<br />1998 National Water Act<br />Constitution recognised water as human right. <br />Introduction of Free Basic Water in 2000 (25 l/c/day, or 6000 litres per household per month)<br />Local government tasked with responsibility of water supply <br />Clear conceptual distinction: Water Service Authority and Water Services Provider (WSAs and WSPs)<br />Impressive record in addressing services backlog, have met the MDGs and achieved – on paper – almost universal access to water.<br />
  6. 6. Redefining needs, rights & responsibilities – the Phiri Case<br /> April 2008; High Court supports the residents of Phiri, Soweto, claims against the City of Johannesburg and Johannesburg Water, health, hygiene and well-being.<br />Pre-paid meters declared unconstitutional<br />Free Basic Water: Increased from 25 l/c/d to 50 l/c/d, reflecting an expansive understanding of basic needs that focuses on health and wellbeing.<br />March 2009: Supreme Court rules that FBW should be reduced to 42 l/c/d <br />October 2009: Constitutional Court decision 180 degree turnaround, gave full support to the defendants. Extremely narrow definition of needs; water for survival only. <br />Not so much a failure of service provision as a failure of exercising judicial responsibility – and an opportunity lost.<br />
  7. 7. Redefining needs, rights & responsibilities: Speed compromising sustainability?<br />Impressive record in meeting targets – but… <br /><ul><li>Popular protests over service delivery failure at an all-time high in 2009
  8. 8. Focus on infrastructure development, functioning & quality of service neglected (skills gap)
  9. 9. Not actually meeting people’s needs – how to re-engage stakeholders to ensure services are sustainable in the long-term? </li></li></ul><li>Redefining needs, rights & responsibilities – bridging the resource/service divide<br />Needs in rural areas: domestic and for small-scale productive purposes (multiple use)<br />Legal contradictions and unclear roles:<br />NWA - Schedule One for domestic & small-scale use<br />WSA – domestic uses supplied by WSPs <br />Strategic Framework for Water Services (2003) – local government should support multiple uses for livelihood purposes<br />Municipal Services Act – limits local governments responsibility to basic service provision<br />What role communities? <br />
  10. 10. Challenges<br />How to expand and embed in legislation and practice a conception of needs that better reflect people’s daily realities?<br />How to promote a progressive realisation of rights through appropriate technologies without discriminating against the marginalised?<br />How to clearly define responsibilities in an emerging complex constellation of diverse governance arrangements?<br />
  11. 11. THANK YOU!<br />

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