INITIATION DATE: The project was approved on the 25th October 2012

LOCATION: Delport and Marathon informal settlements are located adjacent to each other in the Germiston area, which falls in the juridical boundaries of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Government, Gauteng. These two neighbouring settlements are home to more than 4,000 households (about 20,000 people).

PROJECT IN BRIEF: To install water reticulation infrastructure and install 24 news taps and concrete slabs in three sections of the settlement.

delport + marathon_lr2

IMPLEMENTING ORGANIZATIONS: As a prerequisite to CUFF funding, the community had to demonstrate that a Community Construction Management Team (CUFF) was established which works closely with other civic structures. Technical support given by ISN Technical team and CORC, while the financial administration was done by CCMT Bookkeeper and uTshani Fund Johannesburg office.

BASIC FUNDING DETAILS: The cost of these two water projects was budgeted at R59,051. Marathon made up 58% (R34,313) and Delport 42% (R24,738) of the total combined project budget. In both these settlement-level budgets, more than 75% was spent on building materials such as pipes, taps, connectors, concrete, bricks, and so forth. The rest of the budget was reserved for labour cost and project contingencies.

In both settlements, savings schemes were formed who contributed 10% of settlement-level budgets:

  • Marathon: Unite Trust saving scheme (R3,431)
  • Delport: Relihlabetsi saving scheme (R2,473)

CUFF’s capital contribution was R53,146

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CONTEXT: In 1994 retrenched mine workers from the area settled on vacant land after the closure of nearby gold mines. Seeking access to job opportunities on the mining belt and access to the surrounding towns, the settlements grew rapidly, and is currently home to more than 4,000 households. The erven are still owned by private owners, who have indicated a willingness to sell the land to the Ekurhuleni Metro. According to the community leadership, there were only five taps in Delport and three taps in Marathon. That is a ratio of 2,500 people sharing one tap! Years of neglect have spurred the community, after initial meetings with other settlements via the ISN, to take matters in their own hands and install more taps in their settlements.

5. building

IMPACT: The impact of the project can be understood in two ways: the social capacitation of working together on a project, and the actual services improved. Working with ISN and FEDUP has brought the community closer together, and the implementation of savings schemes creates a platform for longer term development. Before the project started, access to services was dire. The community initially proposed to twelve more taps (seven in Delport and five in Marathon), which was built on stronger cast slabs. At the implementation stage, the Marathon community decided to install twelve additional taps, bring the settlement total to 17, and the project total to 24 taps. This intervention improves the ratio of people per tap to 625:1.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The community approached CUFF with a proposal to install seven taps and slabs in Delport and five taps and slabs in Marathon. However, upon implementation the Marathon community installed 12 additional taps, bringing the total to 17 and the project total to 24. Some of these taps were not installed on a concrete slab, which complicated the consolidation of the wash-up areas around the taps. A sign was erected at one such a tap reading ”Asifuni-muntu owashala nezingane khana amanzi uwashele khaya” (loosely translated as “no-one is allowed to let the water run freely which erodes the gravel around the tap”). The community should collect water at the tap and take it home. The Delport community constructed seven washstands in the first two weeks of the project implementation.

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It is claimed that the project will assist the broader community in being able to access water, and services will significantly reduce fire dangers in the area. Further, the women of the community will be benefited in particular, as the taps will largely decreased the time they spend washing garments and other items.


The installation of the 5 taps and slabs will make water more accessible to the broader community, help in case of fires and relieve woman from suffering during washing time

CONSTRAINTS:  Probably the most pressing constraint in this project was the community’s perceived insecurity of tenure. Even though there are options to purchase and consolidate the land for development, the City’s slow action to negotiate with the land owner and hence the failure to deliver services is the community’s largest stumbling block from receiving more services.