Session 9: A regional collabroation: Different approaches
This paper reports on the results of an investigation into the contribution of cooperative management of water resources to regional integration in SADC. The study found that, while a few bilateral projects had contributed to economic development, there was little evidence of a systemic contribution to formal integration. An evaluation of the opportunities and constraints suggests that more effective intersectoral coordination at national level to make better use of resources to stimulate industrial development is the first priority. A more general conclusion is that a functional approach to integration that seeks and supports practical opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation is more likely to succeed than a focus on generic regional institution building.
There has been a global shift in the way that water provision for urban water use is viewed. Governments are increasingly choosing to invest in environmental health. By protecting river systems, governments can reduce management costs. In this brief, examples of international case studies related to such government interventions are presented, followed by a South African case study of the Kromme River.
Authors: Alanna Rebelo, University of Stellenbosch and ASSET Research and Katie Gull, University of Cape Town and ASSET Research
Access to adequate water and sanitation services in South Africa still remain a pipe dream for the millions who are trapped at the bottom of the class structures in the country. The poverty stricken communities living in Townships such as Motherwell, everyday long for water services infrastructure to be built in their places of residence. The costs of accessing water services also becomes a setback for many consumers in the area, this is after the infrastructure has been installed in their areas. The high unemployment rate plays an enormous role in many consumers not affording water services. Bureaucracy between the government department of Housing and the NMMBM also impedes delivery of water services for without formal housing, water and sanitation is impossible to be accessed within the households.
The study revealed from the semi-structured interviews which were held with Mayoral Council official and Ward Councillors as well as with members of the communities NU 12 and 29 that access to adequate water services was not successful and satisfactory. The findings of the research demonstrate that the Municipality has a problem with retaining staff members in the portfolio of Infrastructure, Engineering, Electricity and Energy, which is the responsible department for providing water and sanitation services to the local inhabitants. This study was conducted from April 2009 to November 2009 and it was aimed at finding the Barriers to accessing water services in the Motherwell Township.
This paper was submitted for a Masters Degree Programme in Development Studies at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The paper was supervised by Dr. Deon Pretorius.
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South Africa is in the grip of an electricity crisis marked by a euphemism known as load shedding. The demand for electricity has grown to the point that the supply reserve margin is often under threat, necessitating the electricity supplier to cut supply to some areas, or to shed load. This is a condition unknown to South Africa since the country enjoyed electricity security from the mid-1950s. Are we, however, heading in the same direction when considering water? Is water shedding inevitable?
We ask these questions since South Africa is a country classified has having chronic water shortages, a condition exacerbated by climate change and the rapidly increasing demand for water. Can we avert a load-shedding crisis by being pro-active? In this paper we address this issue by applying a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model using an integrated database comprising South Africa's Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) and sectoral water use balances. We refer to ASGISA, the governments' Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative in South Africa, and conclude that business as usual will indeed dump the country into a situation where water shedding will be inevitable.
Unlike electricity, however, water security is much more serious from a livelihoods and health perspective since there are no substitutes for it. The need for pro-active measures is therefore essential.