Reflections on Rural Household Water Insecurity: Evidence from Goboti and Khubvi in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo Provinces, South Africa


  • Zibongiwe Mpongwana Walter Sisulu University, South Africa
  • Kemist Shumba University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
  • Sarah Bracking King's College London, United Kingdom



household water, inequities, rural , water resources management, water access


South Africa continues to grapple with water insecurity, especially regarding access to rural household water. Access to water in rural areas is communal, yet its distribution remains uneven. A mixed-methods approach was used to elicit data for this study. Quantitative data were collected from 211 households using the survey method where a questionnaire was administered. Qualitative data were collected using key-informant interviews with 20 participants.  Quantitative data were analysed using the SPSS software. Qualitative data were analysed using the thematic content analysis technique. The findings indicate that water resource management is intertwined with water allocation. Evidence from Goboti and Khubvi reflect structural inequities and the lack of equalisation of opportunities, especially considering the absence of socially inclusive policy interventions, including the Water Services Act (No. 108 of 1997), which has arguably failed to address the challenges impeding rural household water provision. Further, findings unveiled the fallacy that rural households have a greater acceptance of communal water. This study reflects on how the mandate for transformation has been ignored, prompting the need to understand the implications of lack of water in resource-constrained rural settings. Thus, it is imperative to focus on representation and inclusion within rural communities. More importantly, a commensurable allotment of water resources in South Africa’s post-apartheid extractive political economy and political power of water management remains necessary if water access must be attained.


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How to Cite

Mpongwana, Z., Shumba, K. and Bracking, S. (2022) “Reflections on Rural Household Water Insecurity: Evidence from Goboti and Khubvi in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo Provinces, South Africa”, African Journal of Inter/Multidisciplinary Studies, 4(1), pp. 217–233. doi: 10.51415/ajims.v4i1.994.