Pre-paid water metering pilot project was implemented in
Klipheuwel, Cape Town, South Africa in 2001. It was anticipated
that the implementation of pre-paid water meters would help improve
the management of water service delivery in the Cape Metropolitan
Area. However, just four years after its implementation the project
has collapsed. This study investigated the social factors that
contributed to the failure of the pre-paid water metering pilot
project in Klipheuwel. In particular, it examined water users'
experiences and attitude toward pre-paid water meters. It also
examined community perceptions of the project with regard to the
administration of free basic water; the promotion of paying for
water services; and the promotion of a water conserving behaviour.
The study findings suggested that the project was not abandoned
because the community disliked pre-paid water meters. In addition,
that it is inadequate to base the abandonment of the pilot project
on its failure to achieve some of its anticipated water management
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