Rodina, L. (2016). Human right to water in Khayelitsha, South Africa – Lessons from a ‘lived experiences’ perspective. Geoforum 72: 58-66. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2016.04.003
Abstract: This paper investigates the implementation of the human right to water through water services provision in an impoverished urban area in Khayelitsha, South Africa, through the lens of lived experiences of water access. Narratives of experiences with communal and in-house water services reveal the uneven nature of water access that would remain invisible if we only consider service coverage data. This research shows that residents of Khayelitsha are effectively penalized for water consumption above the free basic amount, and shack dwellers’ access to water is limited to often unsafe and unacceptable forms of water access. As such, the rather narrow framing of the right to water effectively equates fulfilling the right to water and sanitation to basic service delivery, which may have only limited success in ensuring that poor and marginalized people have adequate and safe access to water.