Our Business

Specialised, focused to intensive services within the Water and Sanitation sector


The Mvula Trust has a competent Project Management Office (PMO), which is responsible for delivering effective and efficient project management functions of the organisation. This establishment supports implementation of programmes and projects accordingly with our clients.

Project Management Office (PMO)

  • The Mvula Trust has extensive expertise in Project Management and it assists its clients with proper management of projects and programmes in terms of suitable technology that should be utilised on the project, cost effectiveness and quality specifications.
  • We assist our clients to identify appropriate procurement strategies (acquiring Professional Service Providers and Contractors).
  • We coordinate development and approval of service providers’ database for use in accelerated service delivery and emergency projects.
  • We supervise and oversee the Professional Services Providers and Contractors to ensure quality work, timeframe and cost effectiveness is maximised.
  • We have finance systems to support the payment of more than 500 Professional Service Providers and Built Contractors.
  • We are highly experienced for managing stakeholder groups who are directly and indirectly involved in the projects (e.g. Department of Education, Department of Public Works, Department of Water and Sanitation, Provincial Departments, Communities).
  • We assist our clients with planning and review of proposals submitted by various external service providers

Technical Review of Projects

  • The Mvula Trust ensures that projects complies with new requirements such as IDMS, EFMS, Health and Safety, EPWP requirements etc.
  • We ensure that there is proper communication and publicity of projects through different mass communication platforms
  • We lead the process of institutional capacity building and change management in the communities where we implement projects.

Methodology: Assessment of Backlogs for Water Supply Services

  • The Mvula Trust offers detailed assessments of existing water and sanitation services with a view to establish its existing operational condition; identify backlogs and make recommendations in terms of maintenance and refurbishment needs. We also look at possible upgrades on the system upgrades to make sure it can meet demands of the consumers.

Figure 1: Water Assessment and Backlog Model

Assessment of Sanitation Backlogs

  • The Mvula Trust has a methodology used for accurate and efficient assessment of backlogs in sanitation.
    • We use an approach through which local municipalities, district municipalities and councillors get involved, community members are appointed and trained for a week on data collection and survey techniques.
    • After receiving training, identified community members conduct surveys in their wards and summit reports to their local municipalities.
    • The role of The Mvula Trust is to oversee the process to ensure that the data collected meet minimum standards for making conclusions.
    • The data that is collected is collated and compiled into a backlog assessment report, which clearly outlines the state of existing services and quantifies the backlog.
    • The final report is compared against the District existing statistics or figures. If there are interventions required, The Mvula Trust designs plans that can be used to address the backlogs.
    • This approach gives a community an opportunity to be involved from the beginning.
  • The data collected will also enable The Mvula Trust to assist the municipality to develop a Business Plan to access further Grant Funding in order to deal with backlogs in service delivery.

Case Study: UMgungundlovu District Municipality

In 2015/2016 Financial Year, The Mvula Trust assessed the state of household sanitation across the entire UMgungundlovu District.

  • We worked closely with the district and local municipalities as well as the Councilors in each ward.
  • We set up teams of 10 local people in each local municipality or one person in every ward.
  • We trained these residents to conduct household surveys of the existing state of household sanitation.
  • Employees were paid according to the number of households surveyed.
  • The Mvula Trust supervised and checked the accuracy of data from 20% of households visited.
  • The Mvula Trust developed an intervention plan by drawing up a business plan for the District Municipality to obtain funding that assisted them to achieve 100% delivery of sanitation over three (3) years.

Figure 2: Sanitation Backlog Assessment Model

Role of ISD Services in Project Management

The Mvula Trust are specialists in Institutional and Social Development (ISD) and offer this service to the clients during implementation of projects.

  • Communities are informed and get involved in projects taking place in their area from conception to full implementation.
  • Strengthen Community cohesion and Unity when addressing challenges.
  • The beneficiary communities own projects.
  • Communities are capacitated and empowered to sustain partnership with Government and the Private Sector.
  • Ensure sustainability of the provided infrastructure (This entails ensuring that the benefits of the project extend beyond the construction phase).
  • Enhances relationships amongst stakeholders during implementation.

The sustainability of social infrastructure requires the development, implementation and monitoring of a holistic, integrated and multi-stakeholder engagements to address most, if not all, of the issues and challenges affecting social infrastructure delivery, usage and sustainability.

The success and sustainability of such plans and infrastructure delivery requires that these be based on the values and principles of community development and the establishment of relationships with targeted or beneficiary communities for meaningful participation throughout the stages of project implementation.

Below is the table indicating different phases of ISD services in every project:

Initiation Stakeholder involvement and mobilization

Community profiling

Meetings to inform stakeholders about the project. Minutes

Attendance registers

Baseline information

Planning Establishment of communication structures Election of PSC, VWC, VHW/use of SGBs in schools PSC, VHW,SHC,SGB register with contact numbers
Implementation Training and capacity building PSC, SMT,SGB trained on their roles and responsibilities

Collect job creation statistics.

Training reports

Attendance register


EPWP statistics

Monitoring and controlling


Site meetings Convene site meetings to discuss progress, challenges and intervention strategies Minutes

Attendance registers


Operations and maintenance End User education training User trained in correct and safe use of the sanitation facility and water infrastructure Training reports

Attendance register


Close- out Reporting Write close-out reports ISD  ,NEIMS and Close out reports


Figure 3: Institutions and Social Development Model


The Mvula Trust Academy

The establishment of The Mvula Trust Academy is at advanced stage, and it is aimed at   delivering apprenticeship in occupational qualifications. With the country facing high levels of unemployment, these programmes are targeting unemployed youth in urban and rural areas – with a view to prepare them for self – employment.

The Mvula Trust Academy will offer NQF Level 4 training on Occupational Qualifications in the following areas:

  • Welding
  • Plumbing
  • Electrician,
  • Boilermaker
  • Trade Testing

In addition to the Occupational Qualifications, the Academy will offer:

  • Learnership Programmes
  • Skills Development Courses
  • Institutions and Social Development Services
  • Learning Material Development

Accredited Training

 The Mvula Trust is currently accredited in the following qualifications:

  • National Certificate: Water and Wastewater Treatment Process Operations
  • National Certificate: Water and Wastewater Reticulation Services
  • Further Education and Training Certificate: Community Water, Health & Sanitation Facilitation
  • National Certificate: Community Water, Health & Sanitation Promotion

Non-Accredited Training

The Mvula Trust provides non-accredited training in the following areas:

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Basic project management
  • Leadership skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Labour recruitment
  • Brick-making
  • Invoicing
  • Basic bookkeeping and running small businesses
  • User education
  • Health and Hygiene Training and Awareness training
  • Technical training and mentoring in brick-laying and general construction

Operation and Maintenance of Services

Effective management and Operation of Infrastructure is central to acceptable standard of services to customers.

Operation and Maintenance (O&M) includes:

  • An assessment of the state of the infrastructure.
  • Establishment of an Infrastructure Asset Management Plan.
  • Assessing the appropriate Institutional Arrangement to effectively manage and operate the infrastructure.
  • Empowerment and Capacitation/Training of the operators of the infrastructure.
  • Community Capacity building and integration of communities into operation and maintenance of infrastructure.
  • Contracting, management and supervision of municipal O & M employees


Social infrastructure

 To diversify and broaden its areas of project management, The Mvula Trust is in the process of venturing into construction of low cost houses across South Africa.

Our project management and social facilitation skills can be applied across a number of sectors. This expertise is definitely needed in this sector.

We have already embarked on a process of engaging some Provincial department on these issues and have outlined plans on how we can assist in terms of producing quality work.

Water and Soil Conservation

 We have implemented a phase one Water and Soil Conservation project at Ga-Kgatla village in Limpopo on behalf of the Department of Agriculture in the province. The project was completed successfully and we are currently implementing phase two of the similar programme.

 Corporate Social Responsibility

The Mvula Trust implements Corporate Social Responsibility projects on behalf of clients as part of giving back to needy communities. We are currently implementing a Water and Sanitation project at Mphanama Comprehensive School located in Middleburg on behalf of Cummins SA.

 Food Security Projects

We have implemented a successful food security projects in the Eastern Cape on behalf of National Development Agency. Many rural households benefitted from this project and training was provided to ensure that the projects are sustainable.


The Mvula Trust are specialists in implementing the Community – Based Approach model to create sustainable and development of social infrastructure. The model emphasises the empowerment of residents and participation in the planning and implementation of projects in their own communities. Training on operations and management is central to the services that The Mvula Trust delivers. The latter approach ensures that communities are able to maintain their facilities.

Figure 4: Our Community Based Model


This approach emphasises training, mentoring and strong supervision role of The Mvula Trust. It also provides valuable opportunities for the empowerment and development of local contractors and suppliers.

The Mvula Trust maximises opportunities for community members in terms of job creation, small business support and development, training, O&M, while still retaining responsibility for quality.
The Mvula Trust

Project Managers, Supervisors, Trainers, Quality Inspectors, Registered Engineers, Project Management Office, ISD Specialists and OHS.

The Community Project Team

Project Task Team, Project Labour Desk, Community Liaison Coordinators, Logistics Coordinators, Quality Controllers, Supervisors, SHE Reps, Builders/Local Contractors, Health and Hygiene Educators and off –loaders.

Local Community Transport Businesses.
Local Health and Hygiene.
Local Community Operation and Maintenance Workers.
Local Community Material Suppliers.
All trained, managed, supervised and mentored in the TMT quality management system.


Figure 5: Our Community Development Model


The Mvula Trust models maximise the involvement of local people by ensuring local labour is utilised, not only builders, but also logistics and management workers.

Community workers are all trained, supervised and mentored and this ensures the logistics and management capacity is still available in the community after the project and can continue to provide Operation and Maintenance and M & E services; and small businesses are created within communities during the implementation of a project and that benefits, including capacity building, accrue to local business and suppliers as well.

The model depends highly on local workers and their intricate knowledge of a community.   In each community, local involvement  includes: a number of builders, builders assistants, a quality assessor, health and hygiene and operation and maintenance trainers,  a co-ordinator, a labour controller, a storekeeper; a health and hygiene co-ordinator; local security personnel, local transporters and local suppliers.   Up to 50% of a project budget under this model is spent at community level on wages and materials.

All workers are paid per task and the programme is designed on an outcomes basis where everybody is paid against means of verification of work.  The Mvula Trust’s Quality Management System is utilised to ensure quality and it includes acceptance certificates; health and hygiene monitoring forms, site diaries, and forms for control of workers and materials on site.


The most common application of this model is in the provision of household sanitation, however, the model is also applicable to many other types of projects including: water supply, road construction, low cost housing, some water conservation and demand management functions (leak detection, community plumbers etc.), and operation and maintenance.


Community-based organisations (CBOs) operate as civil society and non- profit organisations that operate within a single local community.

They are potential partners of local government structures in facilitating sustainable development in rural areas and are often the most appropriate vehicle for service delivery and equally for Operation and Maintenance in remote rural areas.

CBOs are usually developed from Project Steering Committees or Village Water Committees that already exist in the villages where there is an implemented and operational project.

They are located according to the schemes available as they are going to play a role of supporting rural water service provision and also operations and maintenance of the existing schemes.


  • VWCs and local operators are responsible for technical and social O&M functions on the water schemes.
  • Daily operations of the scheme and minor repairs
  • Leak detection
  • Customer relations and community liaison
  • Cost Recovery or Revenue collection
  • Basic financial management and reporting
  • Promotes ownership and therefore minimize vandalism and water wastage
  • Response time is reduced because operators are locally based
  • Reduces costs because leaks are detected early and repaired early
  • Basically costs such as transport and wages are minimised

The Mvula Trust CBO Model on Water Schemes Management

  • Facilitate the formation and revival of Community Based Organisations
  • Register Community Based Organisations as legal entities
  • Assessment of the status quo and make recommendations
  • Train and mentor Community Based Organisations on ISD and technical aspects
  • Endeavour to restore a culture of payment for services beyond the FBS
  • Stakeholder engagement

The Mvula Trust CBO Model: Water Supply Scheme

The Mvula Trust
Funder/Client/Local Government


Operation and Maintenance
Project Implementation
Project Sustainability
New water supply scheme – CBO managed

Extension to the Water Board water supply scheme – Water Board managed

Augmentation for existing Local Government water supply scheme – Local Government or CBO managed

Responsibilities of involved parties
Management option

Technical matters

Financial management

Institutional management

Social matters

Environmental matters

Project Management
Project Steering Committee (MOUs Signed)













Guidance and assistance

by project manager


Facilitation by partner



Implementation by



Supervision and Monitoring

by the funder or client or

Water Board






Figure 6: Our Community Based Organisations Model