The Intervention Strategies for rural water supply system in Vhembe District South Africa

Strategies to improve water supply system


Consistent access to potable water remains a major challenge among communities in rural areas of Vhembe District Municipality (VDM). This is due to the high frequency of water supply infrastructure breakdown due to obsolete infrastructure and inadequate involvement and participation of rural communities in paying for water and maintenance which affect sustainability of water supply system in VDM. This study assesses current state of water supply, challenges and effectiveness of measures in place in order to propose intervention to improve rural water supply system in VDM. The study followed a mixed method research design, which include both qualitative and quantitative methods. Data was analysed using thematic content analysis and chi-square test. The study established that water is inconsistently supplied in VDM. As about 53.5% of the respondents received water once per week which necessitate intervention to improve the situation. All the respondents from the four local municipalities of Vhembe District were not satisfied with the quantity of water received and distance travelled to collect water. The study recommend intervention strategy which included that local management structure to be established and terms of reference agreed with communities including more water supply sources options to be added


potable water; rural communities; strategy; water supply systems; effectiveness

Adeoye, P. A., Adeolu, A. R. and Ibrahim, H. M. (2013). Appraisal of rural water supply: A case of Kwara state, North Central Nigeria. International Journal of Basic and Applied Science, 1 (4): 816 – 826.
Ahmed, M. M. M., EL- Mansory, M. M. and Bushara, I. (2015). Coping strategies to water shortages in Central Sudan (Almanagil Locality). Journal of Environmental Science and water resources, 4(1): 020 – 027.
Akali, D. M., Lorlumun, A. S. and Francis, U. E. (2015). Residents coping strategies with water scarcity in Markurdi Town, Nigeria. Mediterranean Journal of Social Science, 6(4): 1 – 100.
Akhmouch, A. (2012). Water Governance in Latin America and Caribbean: OECD Regional Development Working paper, 2012/04 OECD Publishing. http://dx-
Cobbin, J. E. (2014). Ground water for rural supplies in South Africa. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. SLR Consulting (SA) (PTY) LTD. South Africa.
Cothren, P. G. (2013). Understanding rural water supply and access in South Africa. (Unpublished dissertation). North Carolina. North Carolina State University. South Africa.
Daemane, M. M. M. (2015). Perception of rural communities on ownership and management of rural water supply systems in Lesotho. Global Journal of Human Social Science. Interdisciplinary, 15(6): 20 – 28.
De Vos, A. S. (2013). Research at Grass Roots: A Premier for the Caring Professions. J.L. van Schaik academic. Pretoria.

De Souza, E. V. and Costa Da Silva, M. A. (2014). Management system for improving the efficiency of use of water systems. Procedia Engineering, 17(14): 458 - 466.
Gool, S. (2013). Water supply and sanitation services in South Africa: A cluster Analysis Approach. [Unpublished master thesis] University of Cape Town. Cape Town.
Haylamicheal, I. D. and Moges, A. (2012). Assessing water quality of rural water supply schemes as a measure of service delivery sustainability: A case of Wondo Genet District Southern Ethiopia. African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. 6(5): 229 – 239.
Hoko, Z., Demberere, T. and Siwali, J. (2009). An Evaluation of the sustainable of water rehabilitation project in Zimbabwe: Physics and Chemistry of Earth, 3 (15 – 16): 699 – 706.
Indian Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. (2012). Indian report of the working group on rural domestic water and sanitation 2012 – 2017. India.
Jagals, P. (2012). The impacts of rural small-community water supply interventions in rural South Africa (Water Research Commission). Tshwane University of Technology. Pretoria.
Jayaramu, K. P. (2014). Customer satisfaction with domestic water supply in Hlubi city. A Journal of Environment and Earth Science, 4(9); 105 – 116.
Johannessen, A., Rosemarin, A., Thomalla, F., Swartling, A. G., Strenstrom, T.A. and Vulturus, G. (2014). Strategies for Building Resilience to Hazards in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Systems. The role of Public Private Partnerships. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. Elsevier Publishers, 10 (14):102 - 115.
Kativhu, T. (2016). An analysis of sustainable of communally – managed rural water supply systems in Zimbabwe. A Doctoral Thesis of Philosophy in the Department of Earth Science, University of Western Cape. South Africa.
Kumpel, E. K. (2013). Water quality and quantity in intermittent and continuous piped water supplies in Hubli – Dharwad, India. Electronic Thesis and Dissertations. University of California. Berkeley.
Lorlumun, A, S. and Francis, U. E. (2015). Residents coping strategies with water scarcity in Makurdi town, Nigeria. Mediterranean Journal of social Science, 6 (4): 100 – 108.
Madrigal, R. and Schuter, A. (2010). Determinant of performance of community based drinking water organization in Costa Rica.
Managa, A. (2012). Unfulfilled Promises and Consequences: A reflection on local government performance and critical issues of poor service delivery in South Africa. Africa Institute of South Africa: Briefing no. 76, May 2012.
Marshall, R. S. (2013). Water crisis in Kenya: Causes, effects and Solutions. Global Majority E – Journal, 2 (1): 31 – 45.
Mavhungu, T. C. (2011). The Non- Payment for Municipal Services in the Vhembe District Municipality. University of South Africa. Unpublished thesis document.
Moriarty, P., Smits, S., Butterworth, J. and Franceys, R. (2013). Trends in rural water supply: Towards a service delivery approach. Water Alternatives, 6 (3): 329 – 349.
Mothetha, M., Nkuna, Z. and Mema, V. (2013). Technical reports for Vondo Cluster .CSIR Pretoria. South Africa.
Naiga, J and Wolbring, G. (2015). A comprehensive list of water attitude surveys on people’s perception of water quality, water use and willingness to pay.http//pdf file/0006/222981/CCR2878 Tributaries paper/linked5.pdf.
Obeta, M. C. and Nwankwo, C. F. (2015). Factors responsible for rural residence water supply shortage in South Eastern Nigeria. Journal of Environmental Geography, 8 (3 – 4): 21 – 31.
Republic of South Africa. (1996). the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, Act 108 of 1996. Government Printers. Pretoria.
Republic of South Africa. (1997). the Water Services Act, 108 of 1997. Government Printers. South Africa.

Republic of South Africa. (1998). National Water Act, 36 of 1998. Government Printers. South Africa.

Republic of South Africa. (2000). Municipal Systems Act, 2000, Act 32 of 2000. Government Printers. South Africa.
Republic of South Africa. (1950). Group Areas Act, 1950. Act 41 of 1950. Government Printers. South Africa.
Republic of South Africa. (2000). Free Basic Services Policy. Pretoria. Government Printers. South Africa.

Republic of South Africa. (2016). the Statistics South Africa. General Household Survey. Government Printers. South Africa.

Rivas, M. G., Beers, K., Warner, M. E., Weber – Shirk, M. (2014). Analyzing the potential of community water systems: The case of Acquaclara. Water Policy, 16 (14): 557 – 577.
Rodriques, A. T., Oyoo, W. S, Odunde, F. O. and Wondu, E. W. (2015). Journal of Water and Health. IWA publishers. Kenya.

Schreiner, B. (2006). Water services: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow-A strategic perspective. Department of water Affairs and Forestry, South Africa.
Tadesse, A., Bosona, T. and Gebresenbet, G. (2013). Rural water supply management and sustainability: A case of Adama area, Ethiopia. Journal of water resource and protection, 5 (13): 208 – 221.
Tremolet, S. (2013). Regulation in rural areas. Briefing Note no.7. The Hague, The Netherlands: IRC International water and sanitation Centre. Netherland.

Tshikolomo, K. A., Nesamvuni, A. E., Stroebel, A and Walker, S. (2012). Water supply and requirements for households in Luvuvhu – Letaba water management area of South Africa. International Journal of Business and social Science, 3 (3): 37 – 40.
United Nations. (2014). investing in water and Sanitation: Increasing access, reducing inequalities. UN –Water Global Analysis and Assessment of sanitation and Drinking water. GLAAS 2014 Report. Switzerland. Geneva.
Vhembe District Municipality. (2009). Integrated Development plan, 2009/10 Review. Thohoyandou; Vhembe District Municipality. Limpopo.
Vhembe District Municipality. (2017/18 – 2021/2022). Integrated Development plan, 2009/10 Review. Thohoyandou; Vhembe District Municipality. Limpopo.
World Health Organization. (2014). Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water. 2014 update, Geneva: WHO/United Nations International Children Education Fund, Joint Monitoring Programme for water supply and sanitation. Geneva. Switzerland.
World Health Organization. (2015). Water, Sanitation and Health. Geneva. Switzerland.

Published : 2021-07-04

Malima, T. (2021). The Intervention Strategies for rural water supply system in Vhembe District South Africa. Journal of Agribusiness and Rural Development, 60(2), 169-182.

Tuwani Petrus Malima
ground water division  South Africa

CitedBy Crossref

CitedBy Scopus

HTML tutorial

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This journal permits and encourages authors to post items submitted to the journal on personal websites or institutional repositories both prior to and after publication, while providing bibliographic details that credit, if applicable, its publication in this journal.