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Water governance decentralization and the setting-up of catchment management agencies in South Africa : when a social transformation agenda competes with a managerial one

Bourblanc Magalie. 2011. Water governance decentralization and the setting-up of catchment management agencies in South Africa : when a social transformation agenda competes with a managerial one. Montpellier : CIRAD, 48 p.

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Additional Information : Safewater-Arise module 1 : final report on the "Collective action and local water management" research project (how social, organizational and institutional features of water management at the local level react and adapt to external norms and policies)

Abstract : This research project initially aimed at analyzing the establishment process of catchment management agencies (CMAs) across South Africa through a comparative methodological framework. However the "institutional realignment" process initiated in 2007 at the national level unilaterally suspended CMAs' establishment progress and substantially impacted the empirical work that had to be conducted. Therefore the research expanded to include more cases to study and re-focused at the same time on the post-establishment process and current functioning of two already gazetted CMAs: Inkomati and BreedeOverBerg. The research emphasized the instrumental role of irrigation boards and of organized commercial farming interests in the setting-up of CMAs. As regard the functioning of already existing CMAs, the research further concludes on one major challenge for the future of CMAs, i.e. the existence of two competing paradigms within the organization, a managerial one and a social transformation one. Hence, if economic and financial sustainability are a pre-requisite of CMAs' existence, this managerial imperative should not be raised as its core goal. Indeed, CMAs cannot be taken as mere "companies". Their governing board in particular is a political arena in the most generic sense of the word: not a world of politics (or of political factions) but a polity which arbitrates among different -sometimes conflicting- uses, and whose mandate is to ensure a socially equitable share of water resources in order to redress past inequalities in water allocation. This crucial objective has to be reflected in the governing board's composition and in the division of tasks between the governing board and the CMA's staff. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Gestion des eaux

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Afrique du Sud

Classification Agris : P10 - Water resources and management

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Bourblanc Magalie, CIRAD-ES-UMR G-EAU (ZAF)

Autres liens de la publication

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (https://agritrop.cirad.fr/561555/)

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