A community-based approach

Celebrating nearly 30 years of collective action for development.

About the Mvula Trust


Changing Lifes since 1993 

The Mvula Trust is South Africa’s leading and largest Water and Sanitation Non – Governmental Organisation established in 1993. Since its inception, The Mvula Trust has built a good reputation that positioned itself as a change agent and champion of community development. The Mvula Trust has achieved quality results with real and tangible community impact. Our undeviating industry position has and continues to transform and empower rural and peri-urban through qualitative community improvement and incomparable industry leadership.

Our team’s occupational single-mindedness is in implementing and supporting the delivery of Water and Sanitation services in rural and peri-urban areas across South Africa. We specialise in community management, establishment of Community-Based Water and Sanitation service providers and supporting national and local authorities to create and establish an enabling environment for Water and Sanitation sustainability.

  • Labour
    Construction Methods
  • Procurement
    Local labour & materials
  • Training
    On-site implementation

Our approach History

The Mvula Trust

A brief history

The Mvula Trust was incorporated as a non - governmental organization (NGO) in 1993, with funds that were made available from the Kagiso Trust and the Independent Development Trust (IDT). The initial core function of The Mvula Trust was that of a non-profit grant ing institution for community water schemes in rural areas. The founding Trustees envisioned a flexible, innovative and effective vehicle for supporting the work of the new democratic government in dealing with the disparities faced by South Africa at the time.

From 1994, the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) partnered with The 2 Mvula Trust and this enabled The Mvula Trust to make lending facilities available to communities for the creation of community water schemes. The Mvula Trust became the official implementing agent to the Reconstruction and Development Plan (RDP) in 1995 for water, sanitation and related services. Despite legislative changes, The Mvula Trust has remained the NGO implementing agent of choice by the National Government of South Africa, thereby providing support to national, provincial and local government programmes. The Mvula Trust is currently Africa’s largest NGO in Water and Sanitation, when cumulatively measuring annual turnover, number of projects and activities, as well as years of existence.

Years of Foundation
community projects completed
lifes improved
jobs created
Our Approach


The community-based approach


The Mvula Trust is championing the Community – Based Approach model for sustainable creation and development of social infrastructure. The model emphasizes the empowerment of residents and participation in the planning and implementation of projects in their own communities. Training on operations and maintenance is central to the services that The Mvula Trust delivers, as this ensures that communities are able to maintain their facilities.

The Mvula Trust’s objective and approach is to collaborate with government and civil society groups towards empowering communities and strengthening the social network. Community empowerment, capacity building initiatives as well as expertise are combined with local government’s developmental mandate to ensure sustainable, people-centered development. Since its inception, The Mvula Trust has championed a Community-Based Organization (CBO) management model for rural development as well as pioneering a role in developing and testing the model in thousands of projects throughout South Africa.

The CBO management model emphasises practical and hands-on training of the trainees. The Mvula Trust provides remedial training as and when deemed necessary, based on continuous performance monitoring of individual CBO members. Post-project mentorship and support is provided, where necessary, in order to ensure project influence and sustainability. This approach maximises local economic development (LED) opportunities, skills development and community empowerment.

Chronological Process

  • Project Design.
  • The Mvula Trust is awarded a Project.
  • The Implementation Plan Outlining Project Scope and Project Development is executed.
  • Maximization of Community Opportunities - Participation, Labor and SMME Development.
  • Transparency in Identifying Community-Based Task Teams and Community Based Suppliers.
  • Training and Capacitating the Community Workforce.
  • Monitoring and Management of Project Outcome as Dictated by Project Scope.
  • Closure, Evaluation, Reporting in Accordance with EPWP and Project Design.
  • Lessons Learned and Benchmarking.
Board of Trustees

Our board of
Trustees and Exco

The Board of Trustees determines the strategic direction of The Mvula Trust. Its participation in policy decisions as well as supporting and evaluating organizational performance are, among others, some of the board’s duties. Board members also have several fiduciary duties in addition to participating in Board’s subcommittees that oversee risk management, human resources management, policy and programmes management as well as finance and audit committees.


Exco Members

Our Staff

The Mvula Trust team is composed of highly experienced and suitably qualified officials who sensure the successful execution of the strategic and operational goals of the organization. They possess a wealth of multisector experience, which continues to position The Mvula Trust as the incomparable and unparalleled NGO in and beyond South Africa.


We focus on the following

Sustainable water & sanitation

The heart of Mvula’s strategic objectives

The Mvula Trust - Water

Value and protection of water for the good of all

Local government support

Assisting municipalities to be developmental by focusing on their mandates

Training & Advocacy

Poverty alleviation, climate change adaptation and food security.

Infrastructure creation

Livelihood improvements and good infrastructure implementation processes.