18 MAY 2015



EThekwini Municipality scooped the Municipality of the Year title at the African Utility Week Industry Awards in Cape Town last week, in recognition for its exceptional Water and Sanitation service delivery project, where the lives of 500 000 residents living in informal settlements have been improved.

Other finalists competing for the top prize were the City of Cape Town, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality and Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.

These prestigious industry awards welcomed 700 of Africa’s most distinguished power and water industry professionals to recognise those that represent a benchmark of excellence for the industry. Categories vary from Power Utility of the Year Award, Clean Energy Project of the Year to Municipality of the Year. A new category this year is the Outstanding Woman in Power/Water Award.

EThekwini Municipality identified the need to provide temporary ablution blocks to address the shortage of inadequate supply of water and sanitation services in informal settlements.

The Municipality then designed an effective temporary solution in the form of Communal Ablution Blocks, which are modified shipping containers, each fitted with two showers and a door for privacy, two flush toilets with doors, two hand basins and a small locked storeroom for cleaning supplies. Four basins used to wash clothes are attached to the outside of each ablution block. 

Lighting is provided at night for the safety of the users, particularly women and children. These Communal Ablution Blocks are connected to the Municipal sewerage and water systems. They are located in 350 informal settlements in pairs- one for women and one for men.

EThekwini’s Communal Ablution Blocks project was hailed by judges as an “excellent project” because it solved the problem of inadequate provision of water and sanitation services, created jobs and improved the lives of 500 000 people.

EThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo said as part of our commitment of being Africa’s most liveable city by 2030, the Municipality has provided interim electricity, water and sanitation services to thousands of residents currently living in informal settlements.

“EThekwini has long enjoyed the reputation for being at the forefront of change, change for the betterment of our environment and improved quality of life for our citizens. The Municipality of the Year award bears testimony to our commitment to delivery services effectively and restore the dignity of residents living in informal settlements,” said Nxumalo.


Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Head, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information contact Gugu Mbonambi on 0313114855 or email:gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or email: princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za