Challenges in developing water management institutions : the case of catchment management agencies (CMAs) in South Africa
Mofokeng, Andiswa Cynthia
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The study is about Catchment Management Agencies (CMAs) and the challenges associated with the establishment of water management institutions. The objective of the study is to investigate and to explore the salient transformation issues related to the establishment of water management institutions in South Africa, identify the CMAs function within the existing policy and legislative framework in Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), identify measures that are in place to resolve existing impediments to CMA formation and to identify additional strategies that can be introduced to achieve desirable outcomes. The study centred on the framework of water resources management provided for in the National Water Act (Act No. 36 of 1998). This framework provides for different water management institutions and different levels through which water resources can be managed at. The first tier is the Department of Water and Sanitation, which acts as a custodian of water resources. The second tier is the catchment management agency responsible for the implementation of catchment management strategy. The third tier is the water user association (WUA) managing water resources at a local level. Since 1994, the South African government has introduced significant reforms aimed at addressing rural poverty and inequalities dating back to the apartheid era (1948-1994). But there has been little or progress since the National Water Act (Act No. 36 of 1998) was passed in 1998. Different challenges have been identified that seem to slow down the establishment process of the CMAs. The Department of Water and Sanitation is currently exploring different options of the institutional model that will be suitable for the water sector’s need, minimising red tape and improving communications. The findings of the study showed that the establishment of CMAs is fully supported and current networks support the activities of the CMAs as they also contribute to the institutional deepening of democracy in South Africa
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