Africa, WASH, and the Millennium Development Goals: A Local Systems Case Study of How South Africa Achieved MDG Target 7c

Democratic dispensation in 1994 created a political and social platform that reshaped life in South Africa. There was a surge in common belief that the inequity and wrong of Apartheid should and could be rectified. Equity of access to water and sanitation were obvious targets for improvement. In 1994, an estimated 14–15 million South Africans were without access to an improved water supply, while close to 21 million—more than half of the population at that time—did not have access to improved sanitation facilities. These problems were most severe in poorer rural areas. The water and sanitation sector became unified by the vision of universal access for all South Africans. This case study documents the progression of the sector between 1994 and 2016, and analyzes the impact of local systems created in South Africa to respond to the water and sanitation challenge.