Effects of cooperative governance in the sewage treatment works in the upper Vaal River
Mamabolo, Mmamala Florah
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The Upper Vaal Water Management Area (Upper Vaal WMA) lies in the eastern interior of South Africa. This WMA includes the Vaal, Klip, Wilge, Liebenbergsvlei and Mooi Rivers and extends to the confluence of the Mooi and Vaal Rivers. It also includes major dams such as the Vaal Dam, Grootdraai Dam and Sterkfontein Dam. The southern half of the WMA extends over the Free State province; the north-east mainly falls within Mpumalanga and the northern and western parts in Gauteng and North West provinces respectively (DWAF 2004). Several wastewater treatment works (WWTW) located in this area do not meet the standard set by the present legislation that addresses proper treatment of water. This results in number of problems that affect the quality of water in this catchment. It was noted by the WRC (2006b) that with the challenges of implementation in an environment of shared responsibility, it is increasingly recognised that public/government institutions must foster institutional cooperation and interaction for efficient provision of public services, both at the policy-strategy level and the operational-implementation level. According to WRC (2006b), poor cooperation between institutions in the implementation of their interrelated mandates has resulted in inefficient utilization of scarce resources and/or endless disputes. In order to address this shortcoming, a study that investigated the effects of cooperative governance in the Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) in the Upper Vaal Water Management Area was initiated. The results of the research indicate a lack of cooperation between the three spheres of governance that participate in the sustainable management of water treatment in this area.