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Incentives to serve the urban poor: South Africa's case

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conference contribution
posted on 12.02.2018, 15:08 by Sam Kayaga, Richard Franceys
Urban water utilities often fail to provide adequate water supply services to low-income urban communities for various reasons: a poor infrastructure, a difficult topography, utility perceptions that low income communities are financially unreliable and transient, and/ or lack of the will. As a result, up to 31% and 57% of the urban population in Africa, and Asia, respectively are not served by piped water supply (WHO/UNICEF, 2000). In order to improve service provision to the urban poor drastically, there must be institutional and technological innovations. Institutional innovations can occur at three levels: within the community; at the interface between the community and the utility; and in the national government policies and strategies. This is a case study on provision of water services to low-income communities of Durban, South Africa where a combination of technological innovation and incentives from the central government have greatly improved service coverage to the urban poor.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


KAYAGA, S. and FRANCEYS, R., 2001. Incentives to serve the urban poor: South Africa's case. IN: Scott, R. (ed). People and systems for water, sanitation and health: Proceedings of the 27th WEDC International Conference, Lusaka, Zambia, 20-24 August 2001, pp. 237-240.


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