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State transformation and policy networks: The challenging implementation of new water policy paradigms in post-apartheid South Africa

Bourblanc Magalie. 2017. State transformation and policy networks: The challenging implementation of new water policy paradigms in post-apartheid South Africa. Water Alternatives, 10 (2) : pp. 303-321.

Journal article ; Article de recherche ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact Revue en libre accès total
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Quartile : Q1, Sujet : WATER RESOURCES / Quartile : Q2, Sujet : ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

Abstract : For many years, South Africa had represented a typical example of a hydrocracy. Following the democratic transition in South Africa, however, new policy paradigms emerged, supported by new political elites from the ANC. A reform of the water policy was one of the priorities of the new Government, but with little experience in water management, they largely relied on 'international best practices' in the water sector, although some of these international principles did not perfectly fit the South African water sector landscape. In parallel, a reform called 'transformation' took place across all public organisations with the aim of allowing public administrations to better reflect the racial components in South African society. As a result, civil engineers lost most of their power within the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation (DWS). However, despite these changes, demand-side management has had difficulties in materializing on the ground. The paper aims at discussing the resilience of supply-side management within the Ministry, despite its new policy orientation. Using a policy network concept, the paper shows that the supply-side approach still prevails today, due to the outsourcing of most DWS tasks to consulting firms with whom DWS engineers have nourished a privileged relationship since the 1980s. The article uses the decision-making process around the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase 2 as an emblematic case study to illustrate such developments. This policy network, which has enjoyed so much influence over DWS policies and daily activities, is now being contested. As a consequence, we argue that the fate of the LHWP Phase 2 is ultimately linked to a competition between this policy network and a political one. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Ressource en eau, Gestion des eaux, gestion des ressources naturelles, Politique de développement, Aide à la décision, Sociologie, Groupe éthnique, apartheid, droits d'utilisation de l'eau, Eau disponible

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Afrique du Sud, Lesotho

Mots-clés complémentaires : Politique publique

Classification Agris : P10 - Water resources and management
E14 - Development economics and policies
E50 - Rural sociology

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 5 (2014-2018) - Action publique pour le développement

Auteurs et affiliations

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

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (https://agritrop.cirad.fr/587106/)

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