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Rural Amathole villages unite to fix water scheme

Residents of 40 villages are working with the municipality to fix the R125-million Mncwasa water scheme

Article image

Daniel Steyn , Mkhuseli Sizani

26 October 2022



Phefumlela Bam

Media article

Towns Action Network

South Africa

This article describes how a non-profit company based in Nqileni village has joined traditional leaders, ward councillors and community members to work with the Amathole District Municipality to fix the problems facing a large water scheme. The Mncwasa Water Scheme was completed in 2015 to provide drinking water to 33,000 people. The water scheme has since started to have problems and now it's barely able to supply water to residents due to the lack of maintenance. According to community leaders, when leaks became common the municipality would cut the water supply to leaky pipes instead of fixing the problem.

The community together with the Equality Collective joined forces and established the Mncwasa Water Scheme Advisory Committee to find solutions to the water problem by helping the municipality successfully apply for a grant to be used for the maintenance of the water scheme. The Advisory Committee also chose not to go the litigation route as the municipality already has financial issues and litigation is unlikely to have the desired outcome. They chose to work constructively with the municipality. 

Abstract based on source.

Photo credit: Daniel Steyn


Website References


Built environment



Food security



Human settlements




Poverty & inequality



Small Towns

South Africa

Water and sanitation

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