WATER INFRASTRUCTURE ASSET MANAGEMENT: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THREE URBAN WATER UTILITIES IN SOUTH AFRICA
Free (open access)
927 - 938
ELKINGTON SIBUSISO MNGUNI
Water and sanitation services in South Africa are characterized by both achievements and challenges. Over the past two decades, the government’s main focus has been on the eradication of backlogs with respect to access to basic services, including water and sanitation. However, the government has, over the past decade, reprioritised the planning and implementation of water infrastructure asset management (IAM) systems by water services institutions (WSIs). Well-managed and cared for infrastructure ensures economic growth, social development and environmental integrity. This paper presents an appraisal of water and sanitation IAM systems in South Africa’s three urban water utilities: the cities of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane. Aspects analysed and evaluated were the Asset Inventory and Condition Assessment, Level of Service, Critical Assets, Life-Cycle Costing and the Long-Term Funding Strategy. The study found that the three water utilities have well developed IAM strategies and plans in keeping with national legislation. However, they face funding shortages to implement their plans. Skills shortage is another area of concern. Although it is not severe in metropolitan areas, skills development is still an area that requires a special focus by the utilities. The study sought to understand the current state of IAM practices in these key utilities with the aim of adding to the body of knowledge available and to suggest solutions to challenges being experienced.
water, sanitation, infrastructure, asset management, skills, funding, sustainability