Process and benefits of community-led multiple use water services: comparing two communities in South Africa.

IWMI Working Paper – 193


van Koppen, B.; Magombeyi, M. S.; Jacobs-Mata, I.; Molose, V.; Phasha, K.; Bophela, T.; Modiba, I.; White, M. 2020. Process and benefits of community-led multiple use water services: comparing two communities in South Africa. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). 43p. (IWMI Working Paper 193). doi: []


The African Water Facility, together with the Water Research Commission, South Africa, as its implementing agent, supported the demonstration project Operationalizing community-led Multiple Use water Services (MUS) in South Africa. As knowledge broker and research partner in this project, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) analyzed processes and impacts at the local level, where the nongovernmental organization Tsogang Water and Sanitation demonstrated community-led MUS in six diverse rural communities in two of the poorest districts of South Africa, Sekhukhune and Vhembe districts – Ga Mokgotho, Ga Moela and Phiring in the Sekhukhune District Municipality, and Tshakhuma, Khalavha and Ha Gumbu in Vhembe District Municipality. In conventional water infrastructure projects, external state and non-state agencies plan, diagnose, design and prioritize solutions, mobilize funding, and implement the procurement of materials, recruitment of workers and construction. However, this MUS project facilitated decision-making by communities, and provided technical and institutional advice and capacity development. Based on IWMI’s evidence, tools and manuals, the project team organized learning alliances and policy dialogues from municipal to national level on the replication of community-led MUS by water services authorities; government departments of water, agriculture, and others; employment generation programs; climate and disaster management; and corporate social responsibility initiatives.

This working paper reports on the local findings of Ga Mokgotho and Ga Moela villages, which had completed construction works. The paper presents an in-depth analysis from the preproject situation to each of the steps of the participatory process, and highlights the resulting benefits of more water, more reliable and sustainable supplies, and multiple benefits, including a 60% and 76% increase in the value of irrigated produce in Ga Mokgotho and Ga Moela, respectively. Women were the sole irrigation manager in 68% and 60% of the households in Ga Mokgotho and Ga Moela, respectively. The user satisfaction survey highlighted communities’ unanimous preference of the participatory process, capacity development and ownership compared to conventional approaches.  


ISSN 2012-5763
e-ISSN 2478-1134
ISBN 978-92-9090-907-1