Developing a community-based water services monitoring framework for the OR Tambo District municipality
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Water is both a fundamental and basic human right. The study sought to develop a community-based water services monitoring framework for the OR Tambo District Municipality. This is one municipality in the Eastern Cape Province where residents share open water sources with both wild and domestic animals. Such a sad reality calls for a community-based framework for water planning and monitoring. A qualitative research approach using new public management (NPM) as a guiding theory was used for the study. The data for the study was collected using semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. International best practices in community-based monitoring were used to set examples for deriving lessons for South Africa. The analysis of empirical data followed a rigorous thematic analysis where identify numerous challenges affecting the facilitation of community-based monitoring (CBM) practices in the ORTDM. The findings of the study show that there is a gap between the norm and reality as far as CBM of water services in the ORTDM is concerned. The issues that have affected current community participation and CBM practices in the municipality include lack of community-based solutions, the absence of stakeholder engagement, poor political will, and a lack of communication and feedback in the creation and sustaining for effective CBM practices. To mitigate the effects of the identified challenges, the study proposes a CBM framework which, together with the recommendations in the study, requires inter alia an institutionalisation of CBM to re-orient current community participation practices, encourage the capacity of communities through training towards ensuring that all CBM projects are community-owned, engendering CBM and ensuring managerial competence for those holding the power. The study calls for a universal approach to community participation and development across both rural and urban areas of the municipality.
- Humanities