The perceptions of municipal water service officials on the Blue Drop programme : the case of Nkangala District Municipality
Mtsweni, Dennis Khehla
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The Blue Drop Incentive-based Regulation (programme) was introduced in 2008 by the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) with the aim of maintaining and improving drinking water quality in South Africa. The programme is being implemented in order to protect consumers from water services providers who might not act in the interest of the public. For some years the confidence level of the public regarding the quality of drinking water in South Africa has not been at the desired level. The programme involves annual assessment of water services authorities by the DWA. In order for water services authorities to be awarded the Blue Drop status they are required to comply 95% in terms of the criteria used in the assessments. During the first and second years of Blue Drop assessments a number of municipalities chose not to be assessed but quite a few achieved the Blue Drop status nationally. It is against this background that the researcher undertook a study to determine how water services employees in municipalities perceive the Blue Drop programme. To achieve the study objective the mixed method involving quantitative and qualitative methodologies was employed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with supervisors and management while water treatment works employees completed a survey questionnaire. The qualitative and quantitative data analysis brought to light the following core findings: * The Blue Drop programme has the support of the overwhelming majority of employees who participated in the research. They perceive the programme as an inspiration for improved performance of the water services function in municipalities. * There is a lack of or poor understanding of the water sector legal framework including the Blue Drop assessment criteria by some participating employees. * There is a perceived lack of management and political leadership involvement and support for the water service function. Although the Blue Drop programme has been reported to be an excellent intervention by nearly all the participants, there are certain aspects that can be improved and are dealt with in the last chapter of the mini-dissertation.
- Humanities