The establishment of catchment management agencies in South Africa : an organisational design perspective
Khorommbi, Konanani Christopher
MetadataShow full item record
South Africa is the 30th driest country in the world. While the country experiences sporadic rainfall patterns, its climatic conditions are characterised by seasonal droughts and floods. The effective management of water, as one of the country’s most precious resource, is thus essential to secure social and economic development. Prior to 1994, the apportioning of water resources was done along racial lines where the majority of South Africans were denied access to this resource. Among others, the white agricultural sector enjoyed the right of access to water through the so- called riparian rights, which allowed them the use of water in line with their land rights. While ”state of the art” water-infrastructure were provided for in most parts of South Africa, prior to 1994, the former homelands, where the majority of the black population people lived were not high on the agenda of the then government. Access to water during that period was thus an issue in these areas that to this day has not been addressed. After 1994, the new government brought with it the Bill of Rights (Chapter two of the constitution) which guarantees an environment that is not harmful to people and which is protected for the wellbeing of all South Africans. The Bill of Rights also guarantees the right of access to clean and sufficient water for all citizens. The constitution of 1996 (Act 108 of 1996) determines that environmental and water legislation and policies should be formulated and implemented to give effect to the Bill of Rights. Hence, the Water Services Act (WSA) (Act no108 of 1997) and the National Water Act (NWA) (Act no 36 0f 1998) were promulgated to address the water issues in the country in order to promote, for instance, the sustainable management of water resources while at the same time promote equitable access to water for all living in the country. According to these legislations, the Minister of Water and Sanitation is the custodian of the nation’s water resources. The Minister should, through his or her appointed director-general (and administration) ensure the sustainable management of the country’s water resources, promote equal access to water for all citizens and redress the past imbalances regarding the provision of water. The said Acts also provide for the establishment of catchment management agencies (CMAs) to manage water at a regional level. The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is mandated by government to act as a regulator and policy developer for the provision of water. Currently there are only two CMAs (out of an envisaged total of nine) CMAs are fully functional, namely the Inkomati-Usuthu and the Breede-Gouritz CMAs. The remaining seven proto-CMAs are at this point in time in various stages of development to become fully operational CMA’s. This study aims at investigating the establishment of CMAs in South Africa from an organisational design perspective. The study focuses only on a number of theories which one way or the other focus on organisational design such as the classical theory, Administrative management theory, Bureaucratic theory, Modern theories and Modern contingency theories. The study specifically addresses organisational design principles, such as departmentalisation, line and staff functions, division of work and work specialisation, centralisation and decentralisation, chain of command and span of control. Understanding these principles helped the researcher to identify problems in this regard in the two functioning CMAs as well as how they fit unto the broader organisational structure of the DWS and the provincial departments responsible for water management and provision.
- Humanities