INITIATION DATE: The project was approved on the 7th December 2011.

LOCATION: Makause informal settlement is home to about 15,000 people and is located in Primrose, Germiston on the East Rand. It falls under the jurisdiction of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.

PROJECT IN BRIEF: To install water reticulation infrastructure, upgrade existing 7 existing tap (2 non-functional and 5 make-shift connections), and build four new taps with concrete slabs.

IMPLEMENTING ORGANIZATIONS: With support from ISN and FEDUP, the Makause informal settlement formed a Community Construction Management Team (CCMT) to oversee project implementation and a savings scheme called “Garden of Hope” was established. The CCMT is located in the broader Makause Development Forum. CORC provided technical support. The community formed links with the Mvula Trust, based in Johannesburg, who also contributed capital to the project.

BASIC FUNDING ARRANGEMENT: Through the Garden of Hope saving scheme, the community contributed R1,095 to the project, and made links with the co-funder of the project, Mvula Trust, who contributed R13,000 to the project. CUFF paid the balance of R10,800.

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CONTEXT: Makause informal settlement has only two functioning taps and five other makeshift water connections. The community established the Makause Development Forum (MDF) in 2007 through which they have attempted to engage the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality around the improvement and expansion of services. After years of neglect, the MDF approached the legal NGO Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) to forward an application for review of the City’s failure to implement UISP funds from the Gauteng Province. The MDF has networked with many social movements such as the Anti-Eviction Campaign and Abahlali baseMjondolo to advance their struggle for access to services. Working with ISN, the community submitted a proposal for CUFF funding in December 2011. Mvula Fund was a co-funder of the community’s plans to extend the water connection.

PROJECT IMPACT: The project aimed to provide taps, drainage and washing facilities to at least three sections of the settlement reaching more than half of the community (5,000 people). Sketches submitted to the CUFF board indicated the phased implementation plan. The result of the project has been better access to closer water facilities, which were largely preferable over those located “on the outskirts of the community”. The community has experienced devastating fires that left hundreds of people homeless. In one such fire in October 2012, which razed 18 shacks to the ground, lack of access to water was regarded as one of the reasons why the fire spread so rapidly.


The project consisted of the provision of drainage and washing facilities. According to the community’s proposal, prior to this upgrading project, the Ekurhuleni Metro provided “merely 2 taps in the settlement far away from the community of approximately 15,000 people”. The community thus hoped to “connect from the source of two additional taps with a soak-away and drainage system for each new tap.” The community also hoped to upgrade the three makeshift water connections and non-functional taps into official, well-maintained and functional taps. The total build time of the project was six full days. The project was implemented under very difficult political conditions, and General Moyo commented narrated the experience here. This is how it transpired:

  • Day 1: Digging trenches
  • Day 2: Digging trenches continues
  • Day 3: Installation of pipes and soak-way and drainage system
  • Day 4: Digging, inspection and rectifying the trenches
  • Day 5: Upgrading of the existing stand pipes
  • Day 6: Project completing day

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OBJECTIVES: To install the infrastructure and four new taps reaching deep into three sections of the settlement. These extensions were at different lengths: 190m and 350m, with cross connecting lines of 170m and 90m. In order to achieve this, the community formed three core teams responsible for project implementation:

  • Team 1: Digging trenches
  • Team 2: Laying pipes and making connections
  • Team 3: Soak-away and drainage systems

CONSTRAINTS:  Apart from the severely delimiting political environment  in which the community found itself, the project faced several problems in the construction of the facilities such as lack of on-site technical supervision.