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Durban University of Technology (DUT) 2021

Reducing water consumption in low-cost housing areas in the eThekwini Municipality

Thakur, Rookmoney

Titre : Reducing water consumption in low-cost housing areas in the eThekwini Municipality

Auteur : Thakur, Rookmoney

Université de soutenance : Durban University of Technology (DUT)

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration - Peace Studies 2021

Résumé partiel
South Africa is facing a water crisis and local municipalities are finding it difficult to mitigate the gap between supply and demand. Although the government’s policy to allocate a basic supply of 9kl of free water per month to indigent communities is commendable, the rapid exhaustion of the free supply by low-income communities necessitating a tariff applied for additional water consumption, is concerning. Whilst this consumption-based tariff is used to encourage conservation, municipalities nevertheless face a revenue loss due to a non-payment culture. This study argues that behavioural change is more beneficial than punitive economic measures and seeks to develop a strategic intervention to assist the eThekwini municipality to promote water conservation behaviour in one low-income community, called Waterloo. The Theory of reasoned action (TRA) is used to identify the beliefs, attitudes and subjective social norms towards water conservation and the Nudge Theory is used to incentivise water users towards behavioural change. A mixed method exploratory sequential design method is adopted. The qualitative phase of the study consists of semi-structured interviews with eight key informants from government and the public sector ; and four focus group discussions with 22 residents of the Waterloo community, to determine the factors that influence their water-use behaviour. Participation in this study was voluntary with confidentiality maintained. The data was recorded and transcribed to ensure credibility. The results were interpreted and analysed against existing literature using thematic content analysis. The quantitative phase of the study investigates the power of the TRA. Results from a survey comprising 304 residents indicate that low-income householders generally have very positive attitudes towards water conservation and saving practices, nonetheless these positive attitudes are not consistently translated into actual behaviour.

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Page publiée le 24 juin 2022