Lying bare the political and personal intricacies of community struggles, this extraordinary story portrays the historical roots of the service delivery revolts that have swept South Africa in recent years. This novel centers around an engaging and tragic couple: an unemployed ex-shop steward and revolutionary, Monwabisi Radebe, and his wife, Constantia, a former nursery school aide turned local councilor in the fictional Eastern Cape township of Sivuyile. As the council implements an American-financed project of prepaid meters, water cut-offs are visited upon dozens of households. Idealistic Monwabisi faces the most difficult of choices: to remain loyal to the loving wife and mother of his children, who now represents an increasingly discredited council, or take to the streets with disenchanted residents. As Monwabisi and a host of other compelling characters face moral and economic dilemmas of street level organization, this narrative exposes the complexities of post-1994 politics in South Africa.