Water governance in South Africa: Capacity development in river basin management
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Climate change results in a disproportionately drier earth and the consequences can already be seen all over the world, so too in semi-arid areas such as South Africa. Here, persistent drought, induced by longer and more frequent dry months caused by climate change, increasingly leads to water scarcity. In addition to sufficient water, water quality is of vital importance. This thesis deals with the challenges of clean and sufficient water in South Africa. The results show how eight empowering conditions for policy translation can enable governance capacity developments in river basins for better access to clean and sufficient water in the Pongola-Umzimkulu Proto Catchment Management Agency (CMA). Development of the necessary governance capacity for river basin governance is crucial. The analytical framework of eight empowering conditions has been combined with the City Blueprint Approach. This yields a synthesis between literature and empirical analysis. The results show that four out of eight empowering conditions are present in the case study area. Recognition of the asymmetrical relationship between ‘senders’ and ‘recipients’ of policy and the necessary horizontal collaboration and community engagement are observed. The sender-recipient mutuality is an important element in capacity developments towards an integrated river basin approach, which inherently has a long-term scope. Challenges are contextual adjustments, caused by differences in historical and institutional setting. Yet, continued collaboration and strong stakeholder relationships show that these differences do not necessarily have to be an obstacle for encouraging governance capacity developments for clean and sufficient water in South Africa.