Section 153 (a) of the Constitution states that local government must give priority to the basic needs of the community. Your right of access to sufficient water is protected in Section 27(1)(b) of the Constitution. 

Local government is responsible for the provision of basic services such as water, electricity and sanitation to all households across South Africa. Local government is also responsible for providing a minimum amount of electricity, water and sanitation free of charge that is sufficient to cater for the basic needs of a poor household. All municipalities receive money from the national budget to cover the cost of providing free basic services. 

Free basic municipal services are services provided at no charge by the municipality to poor households that are registered as indigent. It is important to access your municipality’s indigent policy to find whether you qualify to be registered as indigent. 

This film shows how the community of Mpolweni, in KZN, with the help of BESG, has taken matters into their own hands.