The impact of political legitimacy on the management of veterinary services in the former state of Bophuthatswana
Karodia, Anis Mahomed
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This study attempts to capture the role and limits of the erstwhile Bophuthatswana state in implementing a set of reforms directed at the contradictions of uneven development, created by itself. This was undertaken on the basis of an internal hegemony perpetrated upon the rural masses, political patronage, and the role of the land-grabbing elite in supporting the regime on the basis of the resilience of its power. The realization that the Bophuthatswana state lacked the legitimacy, politically required to meet the aspirations of the majority of the people, in respect to sustained development on a democratic basis and, owing to a lack of popular support, resulted in a state which suffered from a fiscal, administrative and discontinuity crisis.The agrarian crisis was characterized in its objective and subjective dimensions in terms of sharply uneven development among the rural power base and in terms of massive rural poverty and political tensions. On this basis the study attempted to look at the management and role of general agriculture, extension, state veterinary services, training, and the failure of rural development initiatives within the former Bophuthatswana. The research hypothesis of the study was that efficient and effective management of veterinary services in the erstwhile Bophuthatswana were flawed due to the legitimacy crisis in state power. An urgent need thus exists and existed for a unifying framework that is sufficiently comprehensive to explain the fact of underdevelopment, and yet simple enough to provide a set of guidelines that can and could be more specific in historical, geographical and ideological contexts, in order to serve as a basis for policy formulation and political action in an emerging new South Africa.The hypothesis and research objectives of the study were validated by means of subjecting them to analysis and, in so doing qualitative open-ended interview schedules were utilized. In addition, discussion by the process of interview with personnel within specific organizations in the agricultural sector and other state departments within the administrative services were conducted overtime. In further validating the hypothesis and research objectives, quantitative structured questions were constructed with the study leader and tested with a pilot group. Field work was conducted at selected sites within the erstwhile Bophuthatswana. The collection and use of statistical data made available by government institutions at the time was also utilized. These methodologies lent themselves to validating the hypothesis and research objectives. The research findings highlight the outcomes of the research and verify the assertions made in this study. Amongst others, it was found that the Bophuthatswana state, entered into a fiscal administrative and discontinuity crisis from the very beginning of its so-called independence.Land reform and rural development programmes can be effective mechanisms in the creation of social articulation and mass based democratic regimes and that; this was not possible in the erstwhile Bophuthatswana; owing to a host of factors which were articulated and confirmed in the study.The study confirms that extension and training within agricultural development can play a pivotal role in accommodating change through the effective development of human resources. The study further confirms the view that non-formal education, extension, training and agricultural development must be pursued and coordinated, in the interest of a more acceptable society. Finally, the contradictions of the agrarian question and unequal development, against the equation of food and massive poverty, can only be expected to deepen in this region of South Africa. The study concludes with a host of recommendations for veterinary services reform, and for further research.