Sinanovic, Edina, Mbatsha, Sandy, Gundry, Stephen, Wright, Jim A. and Rehnberg, Clas
Water and sanitation policies for improving health in South Africa: overcoming the institutional legacy of apartheid
Water Policy, 7, (6), .
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The burden of water-related disease is closely related to both the socio-economic situation and public health
issues like access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene services. Poverty eradication, through improved access to
water and sanitation, is the South African government’s major priority. This is partly achieved through subsidising
the cost of water and sanitation provision to the poor in rural areas. Whilst the new policies have made a
remarkable impact on improved access to water and sanitation services, a general problem since the new approach
in 1994 has been the lack of integration of policies for water and sanitation and health. This paper analyses the
policies concerning rural water supply and sanitation in South Africa. It considers the structure of institutions, the
division of responsibilities and legislated and financial capacity of the South Africa’s water sector. A more
integrated approach for the policies aiming at water access, sanitation and health is needed. In addition, as the local
government’s capacity to implement different programmes is limited, a review of the financing system is
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