Innovative partnerships in access to water and sanitation. Equitable services in the municipality of eThekwini, South Africa

KwaZulu-Natal, one of the nine provinces of RSA, has the second largest provincial population of 10.5 million people and the highest proportion of those younger than 15 (approx. 22%) living within its boundaries.

eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality was created in 2000 and includes the city of Durban, the capital of KwaZulu Natal, and surrounding towns.

Since the extension of the municipal boundaries in 1996 to create a Metro and then again to become a ‘Unicity’ in 2001, the current population has significantly increased to over 3.7 million people18, many of them living in informal settlements and rural areas.

This case study focuses on how the potential for developing innovative ideas and approaches can best be harnessed by an organisation that has an enabling and open culture.

The model presented here is that of a municipal body working proactively in innovative partnerships with other sectors to increase impact.

The objective of this proactive multi-disciplinary, multi-actor strategy is to unearth and meet the ‘right’ incentives for all partners.

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Graphic representation of the case study