Muddying the elephant's water: policy and practice in community water supply
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The South African government that came to power in 1994 was challenged by enormous backlogs in rural water supply. The post-1994 Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) has developed internationally lauded policies. While important successes have been achieved, many problems have been experienced in the implementation of policies and many systems seem to be unsustainable. The relevant debates have been vibrant and the criticism often harsh and selective. In the process hard lessons have been learnt, policies have been adapted and implementation strategies revised. This article focuses on the policies and practices through which the ANC-led government addressed the challenges of community water supply. The authors argue that the gap between policy goals and outcomes in community water supply can be traced to the complex nature and context of policy implementation.