Community Water Management dialogue at
Mayephu on 31st October 2023
Water dialogue are one aspect of improved local water resource management and governance.
This allows all community members to engage, to raise their issues and concerns and to be party
to collective decision making andgovernance. In this way the whole community can gain an
understanding of the operational requirements and limitations of their water supply system and
engage pro-actively in issues of water quality, allocation infrastructure maintenance and access
Water dialogues are crucial in communities as they provide important background information on
how communities become resilient when facing water challenges. It is important to engage with
the relevant authorities, such as the local government, water committee, or any other governing
body responsible for water management. By effectively communicating the issues and concerns
faced by the community, together with potential remedies, when it comesto solving breakages
of boreholes and other water infrastructure, pooling financial resources together can be a
practical option. This collective effort enable the community to purchase necessary supplies,
such as diesel for generators or pipes for repairs, this initiative has been the norm in the
community of Mayephu. Working together, the community can overcome these challenges more
effectively. Partner’s organizations like Tsogang plays a crucial role in addressing water
challenges. Their assistance in putting up reverse osmosisand solar panels provide sustainable
and reliable water sources. Continuously collaborate to ensure the proper functioning and
maintenance of water infrastructure locally. MDF can contribute by focusing on village saving
scheme and agro ecology through their expertise and support, community members can adopt
sustainable agricultural practices that improve water management and conservation. This can
help alleviate the pressure on water resources and promote long-term sustainability. AWARD's
involvement in policy aspects is significant as well providing expertise and guidance in
developing and implementing water policies that address the specific needs and challenges of
the community. By incorporating local knowledge and community input, these policies can be
more effective and inclusive. Community water dialogues are key in communities as they
provide information and background on resilient water practices. Engaging with relevant
stakeholders, pooling resources, and building partnerships with organizations can help address
issues such as infrastructure breakages and maintanance.
Erna said that last time we spoke about climate change related issues and the impacts, we did
garden tours and ascertaining kinds of crops people are planting and how people copewith the
climate change challenges. Now we want to understand water management and system within
the community of Mayephu.
Below in a table is a dialogue between community and partner organisation MDF and AWARD:
Questions from MDF
Answers from the community
How doyou use and access water within the
We have limited water there’s a pipe that has burst
next to the traditional authority. We think there’s
more loss of water within the community that can
help fill-up the water tank
Is that the reason we are all here?
we are all here because we heard the bell ring and
it’s a norm that we attend a meeting to get
How do you collect water within your villages?
We collect with 20lt bucket, 20lt containers at the
stand pipes
When do you get water in your villages?
We collect water only on Fridays and you must have
lots of containers to collect as much as you can and
store within the household for prolonged use.
You must make sure you have lots of 20lt containers
for storage
Water is being pumping from underground from
Sunday until Friday so that the tank can be filled
We all rush to the collecting point to collect water
What does that mean?
It means we all go to the collecting point on Friday
to collect as much water as we can.
Do you all receive water? And how do you collect
Its every man for himself situation, we go to nearest
water collecting point with as many collecting tools
as we can.
Depending on how many containers we have, if I
have 20 20lt containers I makesure I collect as much
as I can.
Do you all understand the issue of Friday water
availability system?
Yes we do , the water tank needs time to be filled
The water pump isslow it takes time to fill the
overall tank.
Load shading is also creating a serious problem as
water pump can’t pump to its capacity.
There’s less water on the underground
Who decided when to open the water?
It was agreed on a community meeting
You can collect as much as one want, the problem is
that those that are next to the collecting point have
illegal connection and down users have to travel to
the collecting point.
Gradient is making us all not receiving water only
those at the collecting receive enough water and
those that have connected water into the
Fixing of issues and problems are agreed upon all
What happened before?
Some will buy water
We will buy diesel with money from community as
We used to collect water in the river
Some people connected on the main pipeline to their
No we didn’t agree
Was this agreed on community meeting that
people that people can connect water from the
main pipeline to theory household?
People decided to connect on their own term and
they are no rules
Are you allowed to fill-up jojo tanks?
It’s not allowed to fill-up but people are using power
to do that. Some people in the village are selfish
they think about themselvesonly
How manyof you in the community uses
Wheelbarrow to collect water?
80% of the people in the village uses wheelbarrow to
collect water to their houses.
There’s lots of illegal connections
Illegal connection causes less water distribution
evenly in the villages, this should be discouraged.
Is connecting to the main pipeline allowed?
Those whohave financial stability are connecting,
those who are not affording will have to collect
water to the main collecting spot.
Connecting to main pipeline has knock on effect on
water distribution evenly in the community and it
should be discouraged.
Illegal connection cause lots of leakages and have
bigger impacts on water distribution and reduce
What is the percentage of illegal connection?
90% of people in village have connected and 10% is
not connected
Is the person safe guarding the water tank or the
solar pump?
What do you use the water for in the community
Vegetable garden
Drinking water
How manyof you in the community collect rain
Most of us do collect rain water when it does rain.
Most houses don’t have gutters how do you
collect water?
Rain fall is rare here in Mayephu but when it does fall
we collect. Hence you don’t see lots of houses with
What do you use to collect water?
230lt drums
How much water does a person uses per day?
According to water act each person is allocated
25lt per person per day if you use more than that
you have to pay.
That allocation is toolow for lots of us , bathing ,
eating and cooking per day is too little
That 25lt is for bathing alone
Maybe people in bigger town can afford to pay us in
the rural outskate of South Africa we can afford to
pay for water.
Yes in the past we used to collect money for buying
diesel for the pump.
Have you collected money for water use within
the community?
With the new government has stopped lots of support
within local community. Department of agriculture
extension officer has lost it teeth. Things are not
free as they were. Services for livestock have
diminish we have dip our own livestock and buy
How doyou feel about doing your own water
We can’t afford as most of us in the village depends
on social grants for buying food within the houses
and other services.
How did you collect money for the diesel in the
We used to collect R5, per household. Some houses
were not contributing the R5 per house.
If a household doesn’t contribute we will not help if
for example death comesto the particular house.
They won’t get water
Who was collecting the money?
The person will be elected from TA meeting
We will ring a bell everyone comes to the community
Every time a person pays we will give a stamp from
the traditional authority to the invoice.
Paying maintenance will be difficult now as we not
financial stable as community but when push comes
to shove we will need to contribute money.
Why those who have access to water contribute
into maintaining the infrastructure breakage.
Democracy has diluted culture people have lost ,
respect themselves and community
No discipline -you can’t discipline someone’s child
when you see them break or misuse community
People have break the community aspect of life now
we are practicing individualism
We are patrolling the water infrastructure but no
management system for water systems.
When project started we agreed to look after the
What is the water committee function?
Looking after the water in the community
Manage water Leakages
Repair and fix broken pipes
We have a been given stoppage valve to control to
manage water by Tsogang
People are paying for private water pipes installation
to the private installer
We dohave manage patrolling committee on the
water infrastructure. We patrol day andnight a
bonus isthat someone has opened a field next to the
solar he will assist in looking after the solar system.
Tsogang has promised us fencing that will beef up
the security alarm system.
Are the patrolling team volunteering or they are
They are volunteering
Was the water committee chosen or its
The committee was chosen in public meeting
How manymembers are in the water committee
7 members are in the committee
How long has been the committee existing?
The committee has been surviving for a long time
before Tsogangbecame part of our community.
What is the responsibility of the committee?
Reporting to the community any technical issues of
water within the community
Maintenance of water issues within the community
Manage illegal connection
Making importance decision on when water shouldbe
opened for distribution within the community.
Where do you report water related challenges
that are above your due restriction
Giyani local municipality
We are the middle man between the community and
Can anyone in the committee go report broken
borehole to municipality?
There’s chosen person to deal with such issues
How is the response timeframe?
Sometimes a week or more
How does the pump operate?
The pump operation and maintenance is the
responsibility committee.
How well isthe committee working
Response action is low
Replacing of broke valves and pipes
What are other structure within the community
Traditional authority
Royal Family they are close relatives
Councillor of the Induna inclusive of community
Community related issues are reported to the Royal
All community are involved in issues of the
community. We have community liaison within the
community who is directly linked with the local
Livestock committees
Farmers committee
Ward committee
Council of churches
How do they interact with water committee ?
Any person can participate in more than one
organisation. Usually is through community meetings
Are they outside organisation?
Department of road and transport when roads are
damagedwe report the matter to road. the local
municipality are non-responsive they are not
Department of Agriculture
LEDA they trained us on how to farm with broiler
and chicken layers. Egg production systems and
management. Crop production and composting we
were happy and delighted about their training
All the equipment given to us we will make sure we
managed it fully.
Any changes in water availability since the solar
pump have been installed?
During loadshading the solar system kicks in as a
backup power and reassuring of water continuity.
When the solar breaks who is responsible for
Tsogang will send their tech guys to come and assist
us as we don’t have specialty within our village.
Reverse Osmosis the system processwater
slowly andin turn people could end up receiving
about 4lt per person per household. That is not a
viable system. Do you know the area where the
system will be installed?
The Reverse Osmosis should be put in an area where
every can access.
Assistance requested by the community of Mayephu
Need assistance in fixing the pipe from traditional authority that was broken by
municipality TLB
Helping us with new pump to double-up water availability
We need to use the JOJO tanks that are empty in the village, the tanksneeds to have
water as they will lose the water quality.
How can we deal with lots of illegal connections within the wide community
Can those two tanks that are empty moved to the area where water availability is low.
We need gauging systems at the main tanks to be able to check the level of the tank.
We need stronger water pump to speedup water collection from borehole to the tank
We need to add lots of valves to be able to allocate water equally within the villages
We need to determine the other two extra borehole in the village to see if they are
The water committee plays a vital role in coexisting and managing natural resources, such as
water, together. In the context of water management and availability, the establishment of a
water committee shows the community's commitment to addressing the issue. This committee
manages the allocation and distribution of water in the village of Mayephu, which helps ensure
fair and equitable access for all community members. It’s admirable that the community has
found a way to deal with the limited resources by opening the water supply every Friday. This
strategy helps conserve water and ensures its availability throughout the week. Effective
community engagement and participation are crucial in managing natural resources sustainably.
There is a need for change and improvement in the existing water committee structure. It is
important to addressthe lack of capacity building and training in the community regarding the
maintenance of water infrastructure such as broken boreholes, solar panels if it arises. Capacity-
building initiatives can empower community members to take ownership of the water
management process.
Power dynamics surrounding the daily water consumption need to be addressed as well. It is
crucial to establish fair and equitable distribution mechanisms that accurately reflect the water
needs of the entire community. This can be achieved through open and transparent discussions
within the community, where everyone's voice and concerns are taken into account. Dealing
with illegal connections of water in the village is alsoessential to ensure fair access for all
community members. Awareness campaigns can be organizedto educate individuals about the
negative impacts of illegal connections and the importance of adhering to the agreed-upon
water management policies. Reporting mechanisms can be established to allow community
members to report any illegal connectionthe importance of adhering to the agreed-upon water
management policies. Reporting mechanisms can be established to allow community members to
report any illegal connections, and appropriate penalties can be put in place to deter such
actions. The local government's isolation on water management is unfortunate. It is crucial to
engage with the local government and advocate for their involvement and support in addressing
water management issues. Through collaboration and dialogue, the community can apprise the
local government of the challenges they are facing and seek their assistance in finding
sustainable solutions.