Makhanda in the Eastern Cape, formerly known as Grahamstown, has been without water for weeks. Residents’ hopes for relief lie not with municipal workers, or nationally or provincially deployed expertise, but with the fleet-footed non-governmental organisation Gift of the Givers.

Being abandoned by local government is likely to be of little surprise to residents of the Makana municipal area, who took legal action in 2019 to prompt provincial intervention to try to ensure that constitutional service delivery obligations are met...

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