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Efficiency evaluation of urban and rural municipal water service authorities in South Africa: A data envelopment analysis approach

Warren Brettenny
Gary Sharp


In recent years the local governments in South Africa have faced numerous public protests with regard to service delivery and particularly the provision of basic services such as water and sanitation. In response, South Africa has introduced benchmarking systems (Blue Drop, Green Drop) to improve the quality of potable water and sanitation services. These systems have seen some success; however, the efficiency with which these water services are provided is yet to be assessed. This study uses data envelopment analysis (DEA) to evaluate the efficiency with which several South African water service authorities (WSAs), including both metropolitan and local municipalities, provide water services to the public in both urban and rural areas.

Keywords: efficiency, data envelopment analysis, water service provision

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1816-7950
print ISSN: 0378-4738