The role of the department of water affairs and forestry in the empowerment of the Kei district council in the Eastern Cape
According to the Constitution of Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996) it is the responsibility of local government to provide basic and effective water services to all consumers in its area of jurisdiction. The Water Services Act (Act 108 of 1997) further supports this concept and establishes the institutional framework for service delivery and an enabling environment for development of the sector. In the spirit of co-operative governance the department of Water Affair and Forestry is obliged to provide this support to local government around the issues of water services provision but this support needs to be located within the legislative laid out in local government legislation. The nature of capacity support to Kei District Council is that it requires intensive initial support to ensure that it is able to fulfil its service functions, including those outlined in the Water Services Act. This requirement for intensive initial support is due of the following: (a) Kei District Council was previously not responsible for water services, (b) it require support to set up structures and systems for managing and monitoring water Services, (c) it need to develop water services expertise, (d)The Transitional Local Government process places an enormous challenge on Kei District Council to gear up for its role as developmental local government, and (e) the Water Services Act has introduced new requirement and clarified the water services authority functions that municipalities are required to fulfil.