A review of the strategies adopted between 2015 and 2022 towards two South African local government water supply crises

Working Paper 885

This paper reviews combined local and national government water service policies to manage two local short-run water supply crises and lessons learned from them. The respective water supply crises are those of the City of Cape Town (CoCT) 2015 to 2018 and the Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) 2015 to 2022. It identifies the strategies that were used to address the respective crises and deduces that a trade-off exists between water demand suppression and water supply augmentation. It concludes that the efficient trade-off between these two strategies can only be determined through a proper costing analysis. It recommends that future such crises be addressed only after the respective costs of the two strategies have been evaluated and compared because only on that basis can an efficient mix of short-run strategies be determined.

Keywords: Water supply crises, Municipalities, Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay

Working Paper 885
30 June 2023

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