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An empowered voice? : an assessment of the participatory process conducted to draft a proposal for the… Anderson, Aileen Jennifer 2002

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r A N E M P O W E R E D V O I C E ? A N A S S E S S M E N T OF T H E P A R T I C I P A T O R Y P R O C E S S C O N D U C T E D T O D R A F T A P R O P O S A L F O R T H E E S T A B L I S H M E N T OF T H E I N K O M A T I C A T C H M E N T M A N A G E M E N T A G E N C Y , M P U M A L A N G A , S O U T H A F R I C A by A I L E E N J E N N I F E R A N D E R S O N B.Sc. , The University of Cape Town, 1997 B.Sc. (Honours), The University of Cape Town, 1998 A THESIS S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T OF T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF S C I E N C E in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S (Department of Resource Management and Environmental Science, University of British Columbia) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard May 2002 © Aileen Jennifer Anderson, 2002 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v ailable for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scho l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of th i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Depar^aaer-rt. u l ~ KespUfSe. lAanajemenfc c n j Enisiro**it»\i* I The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date I U Z O O Z Abstract i i Public participation is becoming increasingly important in the management of natural resources. South Africa has recognised the link between environmental management and public participation through the passing of the National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998), which legalised the establishment of 19 Catchment Management Agencies (CMA's). One of the objectives of these C M A ' s is to delegate responsibilities at the catchment level so that interested parties can participate. Social equity in decision-making is therefore seen as an important aspect of sustainable catchment management. This thesis focuses on social equity in decision-making, given South Africa's lack of experience in this regard. The objective of this thesis is to assess the public participation process conducted in 2000 to draft a proposal for the establishment of the Inkomati Catchment Management Agency, the first C M A in South Africa. The framework for the assessment was based on the literature of procedural justice and empowerment. The present research elucidates the context in which the participatory process was conducted, and assesses the participatory process with respect to the empowerment of stakeholders. The research methodology followed a qualitative research paradigm. Information was triangulated between 62 semi-structured interviews with stakeholders who were involved in the process, observations in the field, and documents relating to the case. The findings illustrate that the public participation process was not completely procedurally just nor was it completely successful in empowering stakeholders to make informed decisions. To assist in ensuring more social equity in decision-making, multi-dimensional learning, encompassing technical, ecological, and social knowledge of water management is recommended as a process goal. To achieve this the following mechanisms were identified as important: 1) Sufficient finances and external support; 2) Effective representative structures; 3) Creative and diverse opportunities for interaction; 4) Adequate opportunities to allow stakeholders to have an influence; 5) Transparent, dedicated, and empowering facilitators; and 6) Adequate information and avoidance of misinformation. This research offers a unique perspective on a participatory process that forms the building block for the establishment of sustainable Catchment Management in South Africa. iii Table of Contents Abstract ii Table of Contents " i List of Tables vii List of Figures • i x Preface 5 1 1 Acronyms Used xiv Acknowledgements xv Chapter 1 Introduction 1 Chapter 2 Context: Sustainable Water Resource Management and Public 4 Participation 4 2.1 Sustainable Development 2.1.1 Social emphasis on sustainable development 4 2.2 Public Participation in Water Resource Management 5 2.2.1 Riparian rights system 6 2.2.2 Prior appropriation system in the western part of the 6 United States of America 2.2.3 Systems of administrative disposition of water 6 2.3 Catchment Management 7 2.3.1 Early civilisations 8 2.3.2 Multi-purpose development 8 2.3.3 Opposition to the concept 9 2.3.4 International acceptance 9 2.3.5 Environmental rehabilitation in the 1990's 10 2.4 Catchment Management in South Africa 11 2.5 Customary Water Law in the African Context 11 2.6 Comparison of Approaches to Catchment Management... 13 2.6.1 Australia 13 2.6.2 England and Wales 15 2.6.3 United States of America 16 2.6.4 Canada 17 Conclusion 19 Chapter 3 Context: South African Water Law 21 3.1 Biophysical Environment of South Africa 21 3.2 Development of South African Water Law 21 3.2.1 Roman Law 21 3.2.2 Roman-Dutch Law 22 3.2.3 English Common Law 22 3.2.4 Post-Union statutes 23 3.2.5 Water Act 54 of 1956 23 3.2.6 Water management during apartheid 25 3.3 The Drafting of the New Water Act 26 3.3.1 Water Services Act 26 iv 3.4 Key Innovations of the National Water Act 27 3.4.1 State control 27 3.4.2 The concept of the Reserve 27 3.4.3 Water User Associations 28 3.4.4 Charges for water use 28 3.4.5 Catchment management 28 3.4.6 The organisational structure of Catchment 29 Management Agencies Conclusion 34 Chapter 4 Procedural Justice and Empowerment as Frameworks for the 35 Assessment 4.1 South African Experience in Public Participation 35 4.1.1 Arnstein's ladder of citizen involvement 36 4.2 Introduction to Procedural Justice 36 4.2.1 Aspects of procedural justice 37 4.2.2 Application of procedural justice to public 3 8 participation in natural resource management 4.2.3 Critiques of procedural justice in circumstances of 38 inequality 4.3 An Introduction to Empowerment 39 4.3.1 Power imbalances and misinformation 40 4.3.2 Empowerment in the establishment of Catchment 40 Management Agencies 4.3.3 Multi-dimensional learning 40 4.4 Questions Used to Guide this Assessment 41 4.4.1 Three perspectives to guide the assessment 42 Chapter 5 Methodology 44 5.1 Qualitative Research 44 5.1.1 Interested in process 44 5.1.2 Interested in context 44 5.1.3 Interested in giving meaning 44 5.1.4 Interested in social processes 45 5.1.5 Interested in narrative knowledge 45 5.1.6 Interested in active learning 45 5.3 Case Study as a Method of Inquiry 45 5.3.1 Selection of the case 46 5.4 Validity Checks 46 5.4.1 Triangulation 46 5.5 Qualitative Data Analysis 54 5.5.1 Sense of the whole 55 5.5.2 Summary report 55 5.5.3 Coding process 55 5.5.4 Interview summary 56 5.5.5 Interview codes 56 5.6 Research Constraints 57 Chapter 6 Case Study 59 6.1 Natural Characteristics of the Basin 59 6.2 Economic Activity 60 6.3 Water Use in the Catchment 64 V 6.4 Water Management Concerns 69 6.5 International Consideration 72 6.6 Social Aspects 74 6.7 Political Dimensions and Institutional Arrangements 76 6.7.1 Local government transition 76 6.7.2 Homeland policy 76 Chapter 7 Introduction to the Participatory Process Conducted to Establish the 80 Inkomati Catchment Management Agency 7.1 Summary of the Participatory Process 79 7.1.1 Summary of the participatory process in the Komati 79 Catchment . 7.1.2 Summary of the participatory process in the 81 Crocodile Catchment 7.1.3 Summary of the participatory process in the Sabie- 82 Sand Catchment 7.1.4 Summary of the participatory process in the 82 combined Inkomati Catchment 7.2 Factors in the Inkomati Catchment that Affected the 83 Participatory Process 7.2.1 A murky atmosphere: Mistrust of those involved .... 83 7.2.2 An imbalanced atmosphere: Extensive power 86 imbalances 7.2.3 An uncharted atmosphere: A high level of 86 uncertainty and change 7.2.4 A turbulent atmosphere: A history of conflict beyond 86 the scope of the process 7.2.5 A pressurised atmosphere: A high level of socio- 87 economic stress Conclusion 88 Chapter 8 Findings 89 8.1 Representation 90 8.1.1 Approach to representation 89 8.1.2 Difficulties experienced in achieving representation... 90 8.1.3 Range of sectors involved 95 8.2 Opportunity for Interaction from Diverse Stakeholders .... 107 8.2.1 Structure of meetings 107 8.2.2 Language Difficulties 109 8.2.3 Venue and scheduling of meetings 109 8.2.4 Time allowed to complete the process I l l 8.3 Facilitation of the Participatory Process 112 8.3.1 Treating all with equal respect 113 8.3.2 Trust of facilitators 114 8.3.3 Empowerment of Stakeholders 115 8.4 Information 116 8.4.1 Current water resource conditions 117 8.4.2 Aspects of the C M A 121 8.4.3 Reasons for the lack of clarity on the information 124 provided 8.5 Stakeholders' Influence in the Process 127 8.5.1 Agricultural sector's response to the proposal 129 8.5.2 Concerns raised by the emerging farmers 133 vi 8.6 Growth of Stakeholders in the Process 137 8.6.1 Payment for services in white areas 138 8.6.2 Learning about other stakeholders 139 8.7 Financial Support 140 Summary of Findings 141 Chapter 9 Recommendations 144 9.1 Approach to the Participatory Process: The Proposal as a 145 vision 9.1.1 Technical knowledge of water management 146 9.1.2 Ecological knowledge of environmental management 148 9.1.3 Social knowledge of water management 149 9.2 Mechanisms to Achieve Multidimensional Learning 151 9.2.1 Sufficient finances and external support 151 9.2.2 Effective representative structures 153 9.2.3 Creative and diverse opportunities for interaction .... 154 9.2.4 Adequate opportunities to allow stakeholders to have 156 an influence 9.2.5 Transparent, dedicated, and empowering facilitators 157 9.2.6 Adequate information and avoidance of 158 misinformation 9.3 Adaptive Management 158 References 160 Appendix A The Codes Used to Analyse the Data 170 Appendix B Summary of the Meetings Held Through the Participatory Process 173 List of Tables V l l Table 5.1 Validity threats and the approach used to address them. 46 Table 5.2 Profile of the 62 candidates that were interviewed in this research. The researcher, based on discussions with the candidate, determined the "level of involvement." 49 Table 5.3 The percentage of individuals representing different sectors based on the Inkomati Reference Group list, compared with the number of individuals that were interviewed in this research. 51 Table 5.4 Activities, other than interviews, that provided additional observation-based 52 data. Table 5.5 A list of regions that were visited during fieldwork. 53 Table 5.6 A summary of the approach used to analyse the data. 54 Table 5.7 An explanation as to why only 55 interviews were available for transcription. 54 Table 5.8 The following interview codes are used, in this thesis, to identify characteristics of the interview candidates. 56 Table 6.1 Mean annual discharge for the catchments in the Inkomati Basin (DWAF, 2000b). 59 Table 6.2 Total irrigated area in the catchments of the Inkomati Basin (DWAF, 2000b). 60 Table 6.3 Total permitted afforested areas in the catchments of the Inkomati Basin (DWAF, 2000b). 60 Table 6.4 The main industrial users of water in the Komati and Crocodile Catchments (DWAF, 2000b). 60 vi i i Table 6.5 Estimated present day water use of land use activities in the catchment of the 64 Inkomati Basin (DWAF, 2000b). Table 6.6 Summary of the international treaties pertaining to the rivers of the Inkomati 73 Basin between South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique (DWAF, 2000b). Table 6.7 Present population figures derived from the 1980, 1985, and 1991 census 75 (excluding Mozambique) (DWAF, 2000b). Table 8.1 Proposed stakeholder representation in the participatory process as outlined in 95 DWAF (2000a). Table 8.2 The main aspects to be included in the proposal for the establishment of a 116 C M A , as outlined in DWAF (1999b) and specified in the Water Act (s77). Table 8.3 Elements to be covered in the description of the water resources in the 117 catchment area. (DWAF, 1999b). Table 8.4 Questions that were raised by the stakeholders after the participatory process 124 had concluded in relation to water management in the region and the implementation of the new legislation. ix List of Figures Figure 2.1 The 19 Catchment Management Areas defined in South Africa (Hamann, 12 1999a). Figure 3.1 The C M A is a body corporate (Section 78 of the Act) established by the 29 Minister. A C M A ' s organisational structure will depend largely on local circumstances, the functions which it takes on and how the C M A decides to carry out these functions (WISA, 2000). Figure 3.2 The proposed stages for the establishment of a C M A (WISA, 2000). 33 Figure 5.1 An overview of the approach to triangulation that is used to answer the 48 research questions (Adapted from Grant, 1996). Figure 6.1 A topographical map of the Incomati Basin showing the rivers rising on the 61 highveld, at about 2000m (dark blue), flowing across the Lowveld (pink and green) to the Mozambique coastal plain and the Indian Ocean (NOWAC, 1999). Figure 6.2 A map of the Incomati Basin. The Inkomati River Basin crosses into three 62 countries: South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique. The proposed Inkomati Catchment Management Area falls predominantly in the South African Province of Mpumalanga (DWAF, 2000b). Figure 6.3 The Inkomati Catchment Management Area consists of three major 63 catchments: the Komati, Crocodile, and Sabie-Sand. The Nwawitsontso and Nwandezi Catchments fall within the borders of the Kruger National Park and are not discussed beyond their important conservation value. This map illustrates the major settlements in the area, with Nelspruit the largest town and the capital of Mpumalanga (DWAF, 2000b). Figure 6.4 Percentage breakdown of different water use according to different land use activities in the Komati Catchment (Data from DWAF, 2000b). 65 Figure 6.5 Percentage breakdown of different water use according to different land use 66 activities in the Crocodile Catchment (Data from DWAF, 2000b). Figure 6.6 Percentage breakdown of different water use according to different land use 67 activities in the Sabie-Sand Catchment (Data from DWAF, 2000b). Figure 6.7 Percentage breakdown of different water use according to different land use 68 activities across the entire Inkomati Basin (Data from D W A F , 2000b). Figure 6.8 A map of South Africa showing the homeland areas and the old provincial 78 boundaries that were in place before the first democratic elections in 1994 (Smith and David, 1992). Figure 9.1 The three aspects of multi-dimensional learning and the mechanisms needed in 147 the participatory process to achieve them. Figure 9.2 The mechanisms needed to create a more procedurally just participatory 152 process. The diagram shows the interaction between the mechanisms. The central aspects of the process are closely interlinked and are entrenched within the need for external support and effective representation. Preface xi I was born in 1976, the same year that the Soweto riots began. Before I was to celebrate my first birthday these riots would cause the death of 570 black South Africans. I grew up in the comfort of white suburban Johannesburg. I am grateful now, although perhaps not so much at the time, for a father who, over endless dinner conversations, reminded me of the political injustices of my society. It was through my father that I obtained a banned copy of the movie "Cry Freedom," which depicted the life and brutal death of a black political activist. A liberal-minded religious education teacher at my Catholic Convent allowed us to watch it, and I still have vivid memories of the ensuing discussions. My piers dismissed the incidences of police brutality and would not accept that this oppression was occurring beyond our safe, white world. Although I was exposed to some of political realities around me, I was extremely sheltered from the day-to-day experiences of apartheid; such was the intention of the propaganda regime. It still chills me to think that while I was competing in school swimming galas (in facilitates for whites only), black children my age were fighting and dying for the right to be educated in their mother tongue. It chills me to recognize that my privileged education and financial comfort was, in some ways, bought at a severe cost to my fellow South Africans. I am grateful that my youth gave me a comfortable excuse not to challenge the status quo. If I had been older, during the height of apartheid, would I have had the courage to take the bold steps towards resistance or would I, like so many other white South Africans, have endorsed the injustice through my silent benefit of it? I am glad that I never had to face the hard realities of that decision. During my final year of high school, apartheid came to an end and democratic elections were held for all. Unfortunately, my age discriminated against me and I missed being able to vote in the first democratic elections by 4 months. In the midst of my comfortable upbringing I was also exposed to the beauty of the natural environment. For as long as I can remember, I have always been concerned with the preservation of natural systems. Perhaps the interest arose from the many idyllic holidays I spent on my grandfather's farm in the Langeberg mountains, the heart of the rich fynbos biome; or, perhaps it was the constant splash of colour that filled our house from my father's orchid collection, or my mother's rose garden; perhaps it was sparked through family trips to the Kruger National Park where I would stare endlessly at the dry bush, hoping to reap my parent's financial reward for seeing the first lion. My interest was most likely shaped by a combination of these experiences. My childhood left me with two distinct emotions, somewhat in opposition to each other: I was distressed and confused by the social order around me, and I was inspired by the magnificence of the natural environment. In retrospect I see, ironically, that my privileged upbringing, in some ways, perpetuated the first but also allowed me to experience the second. xii My interest in the natural environment lead me to pursue a BScfHons) degree in Environmental and Geographical Science. During the final years of my degree, I became particularly interested in the management of freshwater systems. My honours research took me to a magnificent river system in the midst of the Ceres Mountains, outside Cape Town. I focused my research on the conservation of a threatened indigenous fish, and spent many hours swimming through the cold mountain streams, admiring the large, golden bodies of the beautiful yellowfish. Human effects on the river were impacting on the fish habitat and I was touched by the prospect that such an animal may be lost for future generations. I spent many subsequent hours gruelling over taxonomic keys, trying to identify, and then to count the incredible array of invertebrates that inhabited the river. I did well in the project. Perhaps further scrutiny would have revealed a few flaws, but, in essence, I was told that the science of it was good. However, my conservation plan made no difference to the survival of the yellowfish. A trout fishing syndicate had decided that their lucrative fishing business was far more important than some silly, indigenous fish and that was that. I began to realise that conservation was not just about science-1 needed to broaden my interest into the social, legal and political fields. I came to Canada to do a Masters degree with a specific interest in a new piece of water legislation, hailed by scientist, environmentalists, and legal experts. My experience with the yellowfish made me realise that a good plan is just the first step: the implementation and realisation is the real test. I began to explore the intrinsic linkages between the two desires that had sprung from my childhood: the injustices of South African society and the conservation of the natural environment. The interactions between these aspects are particularly relevant to the management of water resources. For example, returning to the yellowfish, I could rationalise the importance of conserving the yellowfish over the maintenance of a trout-fishing syndicate but I could not rationalise the conservation of a yellow fish over the domestic and agricultural needs of an impoverished community. How does one make these choices? And perhaps a more fundamental question: Should one have to make these choices? I began to see that effective resource management requires decision-making processes that are able to achieve a delicate balance between competing demands. These experiences, sensitively guided by the knowledge and experiences of my academic supervisors, brought me to the present thesis topic. My fieldwork was an amazing experience, more inspirational than the silent interaction with the yellowfish. I was welcomed into the lives of many South Africans who, under the pretext of a conversation about water management, shared with me a piece of their lives. Blacks reflected on their stories of oppression, whites shared their fears of change, and many shared the disappointment of ten years without real improvement in their day-to-day existence. I became more and more convinced that the management of natural resources cannot just be about science, because people are not just about science. xiii In the midst of the learning experience, I also had many moments of fear. I was told, in a whisper, to guard my interview tapes, not from the inevitable crime, but from some individuals who may be threatened by the information that they contained. The politics of water has an ugly past. I was often terrified as I drove alone through black townships who's names I remembered for their history of political unrest. As I drove, I would pray that my car would not break down, while I kept my cell phone on my lap, automatically programmed for an emergency call. In the midst of it all I was greatly inspired by the generosity of the people. They were generous, not just in their gifts of free accommodation, meals and the odd live chicken, but in the way they freely opened my eyes to the realities of what it means to live in South Africa. And, even if my plan to improve the management of water resources, once again, has no effect, I will be content with the knowledge that I have emerged greatly enriched by their stories. xiv Acronyms Used A A C M An Australian company providing research, development and management services to private clients, Government agencies, industry associations, and community groups CEO Chief Executive Office C M A Catchment Management Agency C M C Catchment Management Committee DBSA Development Bank of South Africa DWAF Department of Water Affairs and Forestry EIA Environmental Impact Assessment I C M Integrated Catchment Management IEM Integrated Environmental Management K O B W A Komati Basin Water Authority KRIB Komati River Irrigation Board M A F U Mpumalanga African Farmer's Union N E M A National Environmental Management Act NIEP Nkomazi Irrigation Expansion Project NOW A C Nkomazi/Onderberg Water Action Committee N R A National Rivers Authority (United Kingdom) N W C National Water Council (United Kingdom) R A River Authority (United Kingdom) R W A Regional Water Authorities (United Kingdom) SRWG Sabie River Working Group T L C Transitional Local Councils TRC Truth and Reconciliation Commission TSB Transvaal Sugar Board W R C Water Research Commission W U A Water User Association X V Acknowledgements To my supervisor, Tony Dorcey, for his constant wisdom, guidance, and encouragement. Thank you for your belief in my ability. To Les Lavkulich for his constant support and understanding. Thank you for always taking an interest and for having an open door. To Jutta Brunnee for wanting to stay involved despite a move to Toronto, for reading my draft on short notice, and for always offering insightful comment. I am grateful to the following institutions/individuals for their financial support: The Department of Resource Management and Environmental Science, University of British Columbia The School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia Financial Aid, The University of British Columbia Smart Memorial Scholarship, University of Cape Town PEO International Scholarship, Iowa Green College, University of British Columbia Directorate of Catchment Management, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Pretoria Alex and Jenny Anderson (Mom and Dad) A special thanks to the staff of the DWAF Mpumalanga Regional Office and the facilitators of the participatory process (particularly those who put me in touch with the Inkomati case study), who offered continued support and information during the fieldwork. Thank you to the following people who provided very useful comments and insight into various pieces of this research: Eustatia Bofilatos, Tisha Greyling, Ralph Hamann, Timothy O'Riordan, Kevin Rogers, Terri Satterfield, Tamsyn Sherwill, Maritza Uys, and Derek Weston. To the following people who provided me with various documents, pieces of information or insightful discussions: Lynette Dreyer, Ralph Hamann, Michael Leaf, Michelle LeBaron, Solly Manyaka, Timothy O'Riordan, Kevin Rogers, Tamsyn Sherwill, Brandon Stobbard, Tony Turton, Romy Van Jarsveld, and Ernita Van Wyk. To the following people who helped with proofreading: Heather Bears, Kara Breams, and Rachelle Fulford. xvi A special thank you to Monu Wu for providing me with a computer during a crisis. To Gina Bestbier for assisting me with scanning images. Thank you to the following individuals who looked after me during my fieldwork: Edwin and Pam Green, Flint McGregor, and Cherry and Huffy Pott. Thank you to my family (Mom, Dad, Hilary, Andrew, Graham, Tombi, Murray, Megan, and Jenna) for their unwavering support and belief in me, even though I was far from home. Thank you to the following people who offered prayer, support, and friendships during some trying times: Heather Bears, Anna Bedzsak, Kara Breams, Melanie Edinburgh, M r Frog, Rachelle Fulford, Arthur Howard, Pete Jordan, Kristin Kopra, Emily Lai, Lisa Miller, Gavin McDonald, Catalin Mitelut, Derek Olive, Lana Stuart, U C M , and the community of Green College. Finally, to the people of the Inkomati Catchment for the generous manner in which you shared your homes, possessions, and stories. Thank you for making the fieldwork such an enjoyable experience. 1 1 Introduction Over the last ten years, South Africa has undergone a dramatic political transformation. Democracy has emerged as a new tenet of society, and with this an emphasis on processes that engage the public in various forms of government decision-making. Although public participation is now a prevalent feature in a range of government policies, transforming these into tangible processes, poses significant challenges for a fledgling democracy. These challenges include the complex task of reforming government institutions that during apartheid were completely removed from the realm of citizen participation and accountability. In addition, there is limited expertise amongst practitioners and the public on how to conduct participatory processes. Involving the public in decisions around highly contested resources, such as water, further heightens these difficulties. South Africa's approach to water resource management is based on sustainability. A sustainable approach recognises the need for social equity in decision making (ethically loaded sustainability), ecologically based water management (ecological sustainability) and an institution that is both economically and organisationally efficient and effective in completing its assigned functions (livelihood sustainability) (O'Riordan, 2000) . This thesis focuses on social equity in decision making, considering South Africa's lack of experience in this regard, but it acknowledges the need for ecological and livelihood sustainability as equally important goals of sustainable water resource management. Ethically loaded sustainability acknowledges the need to go beyond biophysical dimensions and accept that societies rely on socio-political processes for survival. These processes relate to networks of communication and trust as well as institutional structures in government. Experience has shown that these processes can be more effectively considered in water resource management if institutions are structured around the catchment level, allowing community values to be integrated into the decision-making process. South Africa has recognised this link and has legalised the establishment of Catchment Management Agencies, within 19 catchment areas across the country. The purpose of these agencies is to delegate responsibilities at the catchment level so that interested parties can participate. Initiating effective public participation in catchment management is one of the greatest challenges facing water resource management in South Africa and it will require extensive time and effort to be realised. There are two objectives to this research: firstly, to assess the public participation process conducted to draft a proposal for the establishment of the Inkomati Catchment Management Agency as a basis for achieving sustainable catchment management in South Africa. This case study is illustrative of similar processes that have been initiated in other parts of the country. Secondly, to make recommendations that could guide similar processes that will be initiated in other parts of the country Specific objectives of the research are: 2 1. To describe the evolution of public participation as an important aspect of sustainable water resource management. 2. To describe the development of catchment management agencies as the most appropriate institutional arrangement for sustainable water resource management, and to draw examples from Canada, United States of America, Australia, and the United Kingdom of public participation in water resource management. 3. To describe the historical origins of South African water legislation and the development of catchment management agencies as institutional arrangements that emphasize public participation in water resource management. 4. To develop a framework for assessing public participation process in South Africa, recognising that participatory processes in South Africa are often not procedurally just nor do they sufficiently empower stakeholder through the process. Based on this discussion questions were derived that guided the assessment of the public participation process conducted to draft a proposal for the Inkomati C M A . The following questions were derived: 1. How was representation achieved in the process and how did the stakeholders respond to it? a) Were all relevant sectors involved? b) Were the representatives legitimate? 2. How did the stakeholders respond to the facilitation? a) Did the facilitators treat all with equal respect? b) Were the facilitators trusted? c) How did the facilitators empower participants? 3. How was the process structured to allow input from diverse stakeholders? 4. How did the stakeholders respond to the information provided in the process and was the information sufficient to allow them to make informed decisions? 5. How did the stakeholders influence the process? 6. What did the stakeholders feel that they learned through the process? 7. How did financial constraints affect the process? 5. To conduct a case study assessment of the participatory process that was run to draft a proposal for the establishment of the Inkomati Catchment Management Agency. The assessment used the questions listed above. The questions were answered through a qualitative approach to research. Information was triangulated between interviews with stakeholders that were involved in the process, observations in the field and documents relating to the case. To make recommendation as to how the catchment management process should be designed to facilitate more social equity in the decision-making process, leading to more sustainable catchment management. Particular emphasis will be placed on the importance of multi-dimensional learning in both the decision-making processes and the institution as a whole. 4 2 Context: Sustainable Water Resource Management and Public Participation 2.1 Sustainable Development In 1987 the Bruntland Report initiated the concept of sustainable development.1 Sustainable development is defined as development that does not jeopardise future well-being by reducing the capacity of the environment to meet the legitimate needs of future generations (Adger, 2000; O'Riordan, 2000). In order to achieve this, good development needs to be cognisant of the triple bottom line: planetary maintenance (ecological sustainability), social equity (ethically loaded sustainability) and economic enterprises (livelihood sustainability). Sustainable development is a manifestation of culture, history, land, people and institutions and so its character will be revealed differently depending on its geography (O'Riordan, 2000). South Africa's socio-economic climate offers severe challenges to the realisation of sustainable development. These challenges are similar to those faced on the global scale. The unequal distribution of wealth in South Africa has been described as a microcosm of the global North-South development debate (Ngobese and Cock, 1997). Under these conditions sustainable development is often criticised for putting too much emphasis on future generations and ignoring the structural inequalities experienced by current generations (Ngobese and Cock, 1997). In South Africa, the new National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) defines sustainable development as: "integration of social, economic, and environmental factors into planning, implementation, and decision-making so as to ensure that development serves present and future generations" (xxix). This is a suitable definition for the South African context as it recognises social, economic, and environmental factors while also emphasising the needs of present generations. 2.1.1 Social emphasis on sustainable development Environmental protection has negative connotations for many South African citizens because the formation of conservation areas, during apartheid, often meant the dispossession of people's lands, without sufficient compensation or concern for community well being (Ngobese and Cock, 1997). This legacy led to criticism of sustainable development because it placed too much emphasis on the services of the natural environment, while ignoring other community needs. Environmental management must include a concern for the "many social and political issues that are salient globally, across religions, within individual countries and sub-populations" (Hart, 1992, p. 53). Sustainable development is about building on the strengths of people's histories and cultures. It is about building capacities and seeing people's collective wisdom (Sandercock, 1997). South Africa's approach to sustainable development needs to go beyond important biophysical dimensions to accept that societies rely on socio-political 1 Report prepared by the world Commission on Environment and Development, established by the U N and chaired by the former Norwegian prime minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland (O'Riordan, 2000) 5 processes, norms, and expectations for survival. Understanding sustainable development in this way emphasises the importance of processes that incorporate social values into environmental decision-making. These processes relate to networks of communication and trust as well as institutional structures in government and the economy (Hamann and O'Riordan, 1999). Public participation offers an important means by which public values can be incorporated into decision-making process. Public participation can be defined in many ways. For the purpose of this research it will be defined, broadly, as processes that allow the public to advise and make decisions on matters under government authority, that augment or supplant decision making through established channels of representative government (Dorcey and McDaniels, 1999). Facilitating public input presents a great challenge for a country whose institutions have historically been removed from the realm of citizen participation and accountability (Hart, 1992; Latib, 1997). Government oppression, on a variety of political and non-governmental organisations, led to a break down in co-operation between the South African state, civil society and the private sector (Hart, 1992). One of the less recognised environmental impacts of apartheid was the extent to which it supported top-down, highly centralised, control-orientated bureaucracies, which polarised institutions that were built outside of the government. Consequently, South Africans display a lack of knowledge about public institutions and participation processes (Houston etal., 1999; Gorgens etal., 1998; Greyling, 1997). Research has shown that the South African public is often willing to participate but they believe that their inputs will not be adequately considered in the decision-making process2 (Houston et al., 1999). In 1994, South Africa changed from authoritarian rule to democracy. The new government recognised the undeniable link between public participation and a healthy, robust democracy. This is because public participation promotes legitimacy and public support for legislation and government policies, which assist in creating democratic stability (Houston et al, 1999; Roefs and Liebenberg, 1999). 2.2 Public Participation in Water Resource Management Public participation has been transferred into many aspects of environmental management, including the management of water resources. The following section will introduce different legal approaches to the allocation of water rights and explain why public participation is essential to the management of water resource under state control. Teclaff (1972) discusses the three major system of acquiring water use rights: 1) the riparian right system, based chiefly on customary or common law, but codified in some countries; 2) the prior appropriation system, which has been transformed, in most instances, into a prior-appropriation permit system and which is prevalent mainly in the western part of the United States of America; and 3) the 6 system of administrative disposition of water use rights, in which the administration has a varying degree of power to grant or withhold such rights. A brief description of these three approaches will be discussed below.3 2.2.1 Riparian rights system This system, in its widest scope, embraces all those situations in which the right itself or the claim to obtain a right to use water belongs only to those who possess access to water through ownership of land abutting a stream. Following this definition, the riparian rights system may cover instances in which the riparian owner uses water without the intervention of any administrative agency (ipso iure) as well as instances in which he must obtain a licence even i f he is the only person to claim the right or has priority in claiming it. According to the riparian rights doctrine, the right to use water is attached to the land and usually lasts as long as that land remains contiguous to the stream. These rights cannot be lost through non-use. Riparianism has never been confined to any particular climatic zone and persists in Muslim countries in arid regions, as well as in the more humid parts of Europe and the United States of America (Teclaff, 1972). 2.2.2 Prior appropriation system in the western part of the United States of America The system was first introduced on the North American continent by miners in the United States of America, and it grew and developed in the mining camps of the Sierra Nevada during the Californian gold rush of the 1840's. Under this doctrine, the person who first made a valid appropriation of water has a superior right to all subsequent appropriations and has acquired priority of right. Under this system, water rights are acquired for an indefinite period; but they can be lost i f they are not used for a period of time, usually from two to five years. This system was adopted by 17 states in the western part of the United Sates of America, as well as the state of Mississippi in the eastern half of the country, and by Alaska, which switched to prior appropriation in 1966 (Teclaff, 1972). 2.2.3 Systems of administrative disposition of water The riparian rights doctrine and the prior appropriation system, in its earlier primitive forms, permit the acquisition of water rights on major streams without interference from administrative agencies of the State. As a rule the system flourished either in humid conditions, where there is an abundance of water, or in circumstances where the government organisation is weak and under-developed. For example: the prior-appropriation in Californian during the Gold Rush. When resources start to become scarcer, government tends to assume a more active role in the disposition of the available supply. Although this trend is most noticeable in arid countries, the trend towards 2 They administered a survey to random clustered national probability samples of 2 200 throughout the Republic of South Africa in March 1999. 3 See Trelease (1977), Teclaff (1972), and Caponera (1992) for more detailed descriptions. 7 administrative disposition is only indirectly related to climate. Rather it is a function of supply and demand, where demand outgrows supply, administrative control intensifies. A common characteristic of this system is that before any water, declared public, can be used some kind of authorization from the government is necessary (Teclaff, 1972). This approach has become the main feature of newly derived water codes, such as that developed in Israel, and is most commonly implemented when water laws are modernised. For example: Iran's new water law. Teclaff (1972) compared 250 pieces of water legislation from 47 countries to amass broad trends in water legislation. He found that there is trend towards a decrease in the allocation of water rights without interference or mediation of a state agency. The new South African Water Act has followed these global trends and has reformed their water legislation away from private ownership, towards allowing the State and administrative bodies to manage water allocation, with consideration of public input (Geldenhuys, 1997). Experience elsewhere in Africa has shown that state-centred administrations often do not effectively consider public input in water resources management because the state either alienates the local population, or simply leaves customary practices intact (Du Bois, 1994). Neither of these options is desirable, especially in South Africa where customary practices are not well developed and current distributions of water rights favour a privileged minority. The move to state centred management of water resources is hazardous i f institutions do not mobilise popular support and allow equal participation from the public. Du Bois (1994) argues that the role of law in environmental guardianship is to "democratise environmental control by enforcing administrative accountability and charting avenues for public participation." State-centred approaches to water management can only be effective if public participation is effectively integrated into decision-making processes. Teclaff (1972) argues that with an increase in the role of the Government in water-supply allocation, there is also an increase in the importance of users' associations and public input in decision-making. This is because, firstly the involvement of local users constitutes a counterbalance to the powerful producer, which is the State and, secondly, it is easier and more convenient for the State to deal with users' association than with individual users. These water users' associations provide a more effective means of incorporating public input into the allocation of water resources. The South African Water Act has created numerous opportunities for public participation through various catchment-based institutions. These institutions allow the public, in conjunction with the State, to participate in determining strategies for water allocation and management. Extensive effort is now needed to effectively implement these approaches. 2.3 Catchment Management To effectively allow communities to participate in decisions relating to their water resources, institutional water management bodies are often delegated to the catchment level. The management of water at the catchment level allows for a natural recognition of the links between social, economic and 8 environmental aspects of the fluvial environment. A catchment (also known in the literature as river basin or watershed) is a topographically delineated area that is drained by a stream system. The catchment is a hydrological unit that has been described and used both as a physical-biological unit and as a socio-economic and socio-political unit for planning and implementing resource management activities (Dixon and Easter, 1986). Catchment management requires the integration of biophysical models with the consideration of social values (McGinnis et al., 1999). The following section will discuss the economic, environmental and social influences that have led to recognition of catchment-based authorities as the most appropriate institutional arrangement for sustainable water resources management. 2.3.1 Early civilisations The first and most widespread association of human activity with the hydrology, relief, slope and stream networks of river basins was initiated through the communal construction, operation and maintenance of irrigation systems (Smith, 1969). The beginning of irrigated agriculture traces back to 7000 BC, when ancient civilisations were drawn to the fertile soils and irrigation potential of riverbanks. The drainage basin formed the framework for the human settlement of early civilisations: guiding the direction of primary settlement, river navigation and the context for irrigation works (Smith, 1969). These civilisations also developed hydraulic engineering such as canal and storage systems for irrigation to a degree that has not been surpassed until modern times. A single centralised political authority evolved to maintain the canals and control the distribution of water (Smith, 1969). These civilisations flourished over long periods of history as they attempted to manage their resources in a way that harmonised economic objectives with the integrity of the environment. However, to survive these civilisations needed to be maintained by highly organised and authoritarian structures that slowly forced more and more oppressive structures on to their societies (Saha and Barrow, 1981). As the socio-political systems declined in power, so did the irrigational and fluvial activities. Saha and Barrow (1981) argue that the demise of these civilisations illustrates a moral which modern society should learn from: "economic development can be sustained as a continuous process only i f it is ecologically sound and socially just" (p 11). 2.3.2 Multi-purpose development By the end of the 20 t h century, the demand for water development had grown to such an extent that it became desirable for water, within a single basin, to be used for as many tasks as possible. The technological advances of the time-such as concrete, steam and electric power dredges, dynamiting equipment and particularly hydroelectric power and long-distance transmission—made multi-purpose projects a viable consideration (Teclaff, 1985). For example under the Tennessee Valley Authority, 38 large dams were built, which provided power, controlled floods and improved navigation (McCully, 1996). Valley authorities were responsible for broad economic and social development within the 9 entire basin. The wide-ranging possibilities for water resources development inspired the idea of multi-purpose development (Teclaff, 1996). The US congress combined irrigation and power in the construction of three major dams (Pathfinder in 1909; Buffalo Bil l in 1910 and Roosevelt in 1911). These projects were initially of a modest scale but the Hoover dam, that stood an incredible 85 metres, higher than any other dam in the world, ushered in a period of mega projects during the 1920's (Teclaff, 1996). By the end of the 1930's, multipurpose projects had become well established in the United States and abroad (Teclaff, 1985). River basin planning became an operational unit through the synthesis of three interrelated concepts: multi-purpose projects, the unity of drainage basins and state intervention for the promotion of social change. 2.3.3 Opposition to the concept The establishment of river basin authorities was challenged in 1937, when Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed to divide the United States of America into seven regions for the development of water and other resources, the divisions were only partly concerned with drainage basin boundaries. There was a sense that in some circumstances, other administrative units might be more advantageous. Grand schemes of inter-basin water transfer began to arise such as the Pacific Southwest Water Plan, 4 the North American Water and Power Alliance5 as well as the Siberal project.6 In 1963 the Bureau of Reclamation claimed that the river basin was outmoded as an isolated unit of development (Teclaff, 1991). Further opposition to the concept of river basin management stemmed from the need to meet the municipal water supply of growing urban centres. Many metropolitan water supply systems, such as London, New York, Los Angeles and Birmingham, outgrew local supplies and needed to draw water from other basins (Teclaff, 1996). Many countries were moving away from water basin authorities, a move supported by economists who advocated that river basin management involved too much regulation and that it was better to let the market dictate how water should be used (Teclaff, 1996). 2.3.4 International acceptance In 1956, the U N Secretary General stated that river basin development is an essential feature of economic development and that integrated river basin development would promote human welfare (Saha and Barrow, 1981; Teclaff, 1991). Individual water projects would not be undertaken unless there were broad plans for the entire drainage basin (Teclaff, 1996). The United Nations Water Conference, held in Mar del Plata in 1977, encouraged countries to consider "as a matter of urgency the establishment and strengthening of river basin authorities" (Recommendation 48d). The acceptance of catchment-based management was spurred on by the rising tide of environmental 4 Transferred water across drainage boundaries from rivers in northern California to the lower Colorado basin 5 Diverted surplus water, via canals, from Alaskan and Canadian rivers through to the Western United States and Mexico. 6 A canal link between Siberian rivers and the Soviet Central Asia. 10 awareness, which began in the 1970's and led to the emergence of the ecosystem concept as a guiding principle for resource management. Reynolds (1985) defines the ecosystem approach as: The anticipatory approach to planning of river basins and general problem solving that is based on the knowledge of the operation and interrelationships of systems in nature and, in consequence, the necessity of ecological behaviour and desirability of adoption of an ethic of respect for other systems of nature (p. 41). In 1978, the ecosystem concept was incorporated into the Canadian and American Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, which addresses water pollution issues in the Great-Lakes-St Lawrence drainage basin.7 The growing acceptance of the ecosystem concept led to a natural recognition of the river basin as the appropriate management unit. The management of water resources at this level allowed all activities, which affected the basin's ecosystem, to be managed through a holistic approach. 2.3.5 Environmental rehabilitation in the 1990's The 1990's saw widespread evidence that waterworks, constructed for economically beneficial purposes such as: flood control, hydropower production, and irrigation, had caused significant damage to freshwater ecosystems (Teclaff, 1996). This initiated numerous projects that attempted to undo some of the ecological damage and to initiate a move holistic approach to water management. The experts who prepared proposals for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development at Rio de Janeiro in 1992 specified that "integrated water resource management, including the integration of land-and water-related aspects, should be carried out at the level of the catchment basin or sub-basin level, taking into account existing interlinkages between surface and ground waters (at 519, paragraph 20).8 In 1992 the Dublin Statement on Water and Sustainable Development made an important contribution to supporting the principle that the effective management of water resources demands a holistic approach that links social and economic development with the protection of natural ecosystems (Teclaff, 1996). The Economic Commission for Europe's publication (1993) on the "Protection of water resources and aquatic ecosystems" emphasised that planning activities "based on entire catchment areas or significant parts thereof should allow different uses of water and other ecosystem resources to be placed on an equal footing" (Economic Commission for Europe, 1993 p. 5). Provoked by economic, environmental and social factors, the catchment is now recognised as the most suitable organisational unit for water management. 7 Great lakes Water Quality Agreement, Nov 22, 1978, U.S.-Canada, 30 U.S.T. 1384, T.I.A.S. No 9257. 8 Protection of the Quality and Supply of Fresh Water Resources: Application of Integrated Approaches to the Development, Management and Use of Water Resources, U .N . Conference on Environment and Development, Agenda Item 21, Ch 10, 1 at 22 par. 19, U .N . Doc. A/Conf.l51/PC/100/Add., reprinted in 1 Agenda and the Unced Proceedings 513, 519. 11 2.4 Catchment Management in South Africa South Africa has recognised the importance of catchment-based management and has legalised the establishment of Catchment Management Agencies, within 19 catchment areas across the country (Figure 2.1). The main objective of these agencies is to delegate responsibilities to the catchment so that interested parties can participate (DWAF, 1996b). The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) envisions that catchment processes will tap into community energy and resources, facilitate change in people's behaviours, empower people to take control of their neighbourhood environment, and allow people to own the catchment process and its implications (Gorgens et al., 1998). Chapter 3 of this thesis elaborates on South Africa's approach to catchment management. Many countries are now integrating public participation into catchment management. This is a challenging task and the following section will discuss public participation in and institutional arrangements for water management in Australia, the United States, England, and Canada. However before doing so, recognition must be given to the importance of customary water law in the African context. 2.5 Customary Water Law in the African Context Customary law has two main elements: a set of social rules derived over a certain duration and the aptitude by those who follow these social rules to consider them as binding. These customs and practices have been observed over time and are often not written down in a specific text (Caponera, 1992). In many African countries customary law is an important source of law, particularly in relation to water law because of the level of respect that this resources holds for many communities. One of the first anthropological surveys of customary law in Southern Africa contains a detailed description of water law9 (Du Bois, 1994). In the African context, Caponera (1992) argues that customary law is "generally based on the principle that land and water belong to the community and, therefore, the individual has only a right to use water, according to the communal, tribal, or community customary tenure system prevailing. The concept of private ownership is unknown" (p. 98). Du Bois (1994) recognises the surprising structural similarity between the pre-colonial laws in parts of Africa inhabited by populations vastly different in culture and economic activity. He identified that across Africa the most common pattern of customary water law is one that supports "stable core-entitlements, rigidly protected from competition, but circumscribed by rules enforcing a regime of sharing" (p. 78). 9 See Schapera (1938) 12 ZIMBABWE BOTSWANA 1. Limpopo 3. Crocodile (West) and Marico MOZAMBIQUE .H 4. Olifants 2. Luvuvhu & Letaba .5. Inkomati Upper Vaal \ \ \ •. •. ^ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ *_ -~" 7 ,6. Usutu to Mhlatuze Thukela ' Durban ,11. Mvoti to Umzimkulu 12. Mzimvubu to Keiskamma East London ort Elizabeth 15. Fish to Tsitsikamma Figure 2.1. The 19 Catchment Management Areas defined in South Africa (Hamann, 1999a). 13 More specifically in his review of Tswana law and custom, Schapera (1938) described a rigid protection of collective and individual water rights with flexible access (Du Bois, 1994). While, Akiwumi (1998) referring to research done by Huet (1978) on the Dogon of Mali , stated that "the emerging holistic or ecological "new" philosophy of science and the notion of sustainable development have long been recognized among indigenous African groups" (p. 2). In South Africa, customary water has been undermined, to some extent, by apartheid planning which broke down many traditional practices. However, many customary practices are still in place, particularly in the former Homeland areas, and South African legislation is placing renewed emphasis on this import aspect of law. An understanding of African customary approaches to water law is particularly significant to the implementation of catchment management because, as Caponera (1992) argues, participation in the management of water resources is more easily achieved "where less individualistic and more community orientated approach exists in respect of the ownership, use and distribution of water as well as within the organisation of water users' associations, consortia or cooperatives. Such an approach, which is difficult to introduce in western societies, is congenial to the African environment, where the existence of traditional forms of community organisations may facilitate its institutionalisation" (p. 99). Acknowledging customary water law could be an important factor in the realisation of sustainable catchment management in South Africa. 2.6 Comparison of Approaches to Catchment Management 2.6.1 Australia Australia shares with South Africa serious dilemmas in all of the five main types of water resource problems: droughts, water storage difficulties, floods, pollution, and sedimentation (Crawford, 1985). These problems have made the management of water resources a major focus in the economic and social development of the country. Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) evolved in the 1980s when it was incorporated into the resource management strategies of State governments. I C M is defined as "a holistic natural resources management system comprising interrelated elements of land and water in a river basin, managed on an ecological and economic basis. The system favours the integration of environmental policy across government, community, and industry sectors through partnerships and extensive stakeholder inclusion" (Australian Water Association, 1999). A national focus was developed in the late 1980s. A key initiative was the "Landcare" movement, initially with agricultural coordination at a local "grassroots" level and Landcare is now the tool for implementing and delivering ICM. The key to I C M is the involvement of grassroots stakeholders in a, partnering approach between state agencies, local government authorities, community organisations, corporate groups and individuals (Australian Water Association, 1999). 14 Reflecting on a decade of experience in catchment management, Curtis and Lockwood (2000) conclude that, "recent experience in Australia suggests that state-sponsored citizen participation can work" (p. 61). They also recognised that increasing public participation in decision-making does not automatically resolve conflict but that participatory processes need to be designed to accommodate conflict (Landre and Knuth, 1993). With the right management and support, participatory processes can establish productive partnerships, leading to effective catchment management (Curtis and Lockwood, 2000). The approach is adaptable to suit regional situations, with each region having local issues requiring local solutions. The application of I C M varies widely throughout Australia at present, with some states (e.g. New South Wales) having established legislation, while others (e.g. Western Australia) having no generic legislative powers. The following section will take a more detailed look at the approaches followed by the states of Victoria, New South Wales, and Western Australia. 2.6.1.1 Victoria Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) is probably the most advanced in this state. Initially a technical "top-down" approach was imposed but this was not successful and there has been a move towards more community involvement in the drawing up of management plans. Legislation, such as the recent Catchment and Land Protection Act, developed in response to these needs. A State Catchment and Land Protection Council has been established to act as an advisory body to the government, and to ensure co-ordination between community, government agencies and the new Catchment and Land Protection Boards. The generally successful development of I C M approaches in Victoria has been greatly aided by the introduction of a broadly based management function, which relies on community-based planning processes and avoids restrictive legislative frameworks (DWAF, 1996a). 2.6.1.2 New South Wales fNSW) In New South Wales, the passing of the Water Resources Commission Act of 1976, led to the formulation of a new management strategy and the passing of the Catchment Management Act (Crawford, 1985). This Catchment Management Act gives a statutory basis for integrated catchment management. There are three main institutional levels: • Local action groups address issues of concern related to land and water resources. • The Regional Catchment Management Committees co-ordinate integrated management policies and programs at the regional or river basin level. These bodies consist of voluntary stakeholders and are responsible for the preparation of regional strategies and the co-ordination of agency roles. • The State Catchment Management Co-ordinating Committee provide central co-ordination and includes representatives from the community, from Catchment Management Committees (CMC), industry, environmental groups, local government agencies and state government agencies (DWAF, 1996a). 15 In 1996 the Minster of Land and Water Conservation commissioned a review of ten years of catchment management. The review identified a strong sense of commitment and confidence from those who participated in the management committees but that this commitment had not been transferred to the broader community ( A A C M , 1996). The review identifies many key issues that needed to be addressed, many relate to fostering closer links between the government and the public. In addition, government organisations need to develop: better co-ordination between departments, clarify goals and organisatal roles, and provide better financial resources and support to initiatives. Martin and Locke (1993) recognised that structural works and measures alone cannot achieve integrated catchment management but that catchment management depends on the willing co-operation and involvement of all stakeholders. 2.6.1.3 Western Australia (WA) In the late 1980's, communities became concerned about the number of environmental issues that were mismanaged by government. In 1987, Western Australia created the Integrated Catchment Management Policy Group to develop an Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) strategy that would better co-ordinate government activities and reduce and manage environmental impacts from land uses. Several government agencies were involved in formulating the plan and I C M was introduced as a state policy in July 1988 (Wallis and Robinson, 1991). I C M aimed at resolving land and water degradation by improving the co-ordination of state agency policies and activities, and by increasing public involvement in the identification of problems and the implementation of alternative solutions (Mitchell and Hollick, 1993). A key aspect to the adoption of I C M was the co-operation of state government, local government, farmers, conservation groups, and the community to solve existing problems and manage resources for the future. State authorities were also encouraged to work towards common objectives by consultation, responsibility, and joint financing. Reflecting on ten years of experience in I C M , Mitchell and Hollick(1993) emphasise the need for more collaborative approaches from all involved. Collaboration requires more than just the amalgamation of agencies but involves fostering co-operation and team spirit. 2.6.2 England and Wales In 1948, the pollution of rivers, as a result of war damage, was identified as a concern. This led to an organisational change and the formation of 32 catchment-based river boards. In 1959, a severe drought occurred across England and Wales, leading to an examination of control mechanisms for water abstraction. This examination led to the formation of River Authorities (RA), responsible for both water quantity and quality throughout entire catchments (Sherriff, 1995). The RA's were replaced by Regional Water Authorities (RWA), under the 1973 Water Act (Teclaff, 1985). The RWA's incorporated the water supply and sewage disposal of the local authorities with river management responsibilities held by the former RA's . The RWA's initiated the idea of a more 16 participatory approach by including wide representative interests such as local authorities, industries, agriculture, consumers, as well as selected technical experts. They were set up as quasi-autonomous bodies, but were under the supervision of the Department of the Environment (Sherriff, 1995). At the national level, the 1973 Water Act established the National Water Council (NWC), as a consultative advisory body that would draw together issues of common concern and provided a link between the government and the RWA's (Stott, 1985). For the 15 years of their existence RWA's were considered to be a model arrangement. The administrative bodies achieved significant co-ordination and realisation in integrated water resource management. However, the New Water Act of 1989 (ch. 15, art. 4:11) called for the privatisation of the RWA's . The reasons for the privatisation were: • The RWA's had become dependant on government funding in water-sector projects. • Borrowing requirements were to increase due to European Community Directives, which would require associated improvements in drinking water quality. • Some RWA's were seen as bureaucratic and inefficient. • The government had initiated a policy to privatise public services. • It was difficult to keep costs down and there was subsequently much cross-subsidising between RWA's (Sherriff, 1995). The 1989 Water Act also established the National Rivers Authority (NRA) as the guardian of the water environment. The N R A mission was to protect and improve the water environment through effective management of water resources and by substantial reductions in pollution. An important role of the National River authority (NRA) included advising governments on matters relating to water resources, preparing national plans for water resource management, developing to meet the needs of the public water supply, industry and agriculture. Further changes in the institutional arrangements resulted in the establishment of one environmental agency in England and Wales, which will take on the responsibilities of the NRA. This allows the processes and functions of environmental protection and management to be matched to the catchment boundaries and controlled through a single authority (DWAF, 1996a). The preparation of catchment management plans calls on consultation with National Rivers Authority and other public and private organisations with an interest in the catchment but it seems that much of the planning and decision-making is undertaken by government agencies on behalf of the communities involved (Sheriff, 1995). 2.6.3 United States of America The implementation of the watershed approach in the USA is similar, in principle, to that of Australia and the U K . The Approach is made up of three key elements: • A geographic focus where watershed boundaries, including groundwater recharge areas, are used as the primary unit for planning any activities which are related to the utilisation and management of natural resources. 17 • The development and use of sound scientific data, tools and techniques to inform the planning and management of processes. • Partnerships and stakeholder involvement in designing and implementing goals for watersheds (DWAF, 1996a, p. 37). 1 0 In 2000 a workshop was held that brought together American researchers with experience in United States watershed initiatives. 1 1 They discussed experiences and considered implications for new watershed partnerships and natural resources policy. The new watershed approaches involved decentralisation, shared decision-making, collaboration between stakeholders, and renewed ecological concern (Genskow and Born, 2001). This approach differed from the traditional, fragmented approach to management. The new watershed approach was embraced by President Clinton's Executive Office and by 18 federal agencies. A study to determine whether watershed management is a useful tool for improving environmental conditions in a watershed was conducted by the National Academy of Public Administration (Imperial and Hennessey, 2000).12 The review cautioned government and practitioners to use the strategy of collaboration and participation wisely and that collaboration should be valued only i f it produces better organisational performance or lower costs than can be achieved without it. Participatory planning and collaboration emerged, through the review, as the dominant strategies used to improve environmental conditions and enhance the governance of the watersheds. Duram and Brown (1999) further support these findings in their research, involving a mail survey o f 126 watershed-planning initiatives. They found that participation was perceived to be most helpful in the planning stages of outreach, identifying issues, and prioritising issues In the United States, public participation in watershed management is the dominant strategy but to be successful, the approaches need to be carefully applied and considered with sufficient resources and training (Duram and Brown, 1999). 2.6.4 Canada Public participation in Canadian environmental governance has been increasing since its initiation in the 1960's. However the following section describes the ebb and flow o f public participation in Canadian environmental governance with reference to Dorcey and McDaniels (1999). In the mid-1960's, an increased public concern for environment and human health risks of pesticides and other chemical pollutants spurred the Canadian government to initiate public participation in environmental decision making. This led to a remarkable period of innovations in 1 0 See also http://www.epa.gov/OW/ 1 1 The workshop brought together a dozen researchers with experience in water and land resource management issues, who had collectively conducted assessments involving multiple watershed initiatives across 25 American States. 1 2 The study was initiated in 1998 and examined six watersheds (Delaware Inland Bays; Narragansett Bay; Salt Ponds; Lake Tahoe; Tampa Bay; Tillamook Bay) through a variety of research methodologies that included interviews with over 200 participants from a variety of organisations. 18 environmental policies and their associated public participation processes. River basin management was a focus of these new innovations, with the federal government funding, in 1967, a comprehensive river basin planning experiment, across the provinces of Canada. Subsequently, major river basin planning studies were undertaken across Canada during the first half of the 1970's. In addition the federal and provincial government reviewed cost-benefit analyses that had been done for certain developments with reference to their environmental and social impacts, for example, the James Bay hydro project. These reviews required an increase in public participatory process, which initiated the experimentation of a wide range of communication and participation techniques13. In the mid-seventies the development of mega-energy projects (For example, the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry) set new precedents for public participation. These participatory processes were considered to be highly successful events because they introduced increasing innovations into the traditional public hearing processes. However, some parties did not overwhelmingly support these new innovations. River basin studies were beginning to be seen, by some, as unproductive in resolving issues and were too time consuming and costly. As the Canadian economy weakened negative perceptions persisted and in second half of the 1970's there was a lack of enthusiasm and a questioning of public involvement in environmental decision-making. The Brundtland report (released in 1987) was a catalyst for a re-surfacing of public interest in environmental issues. The national task force on the Environment and the Economy, established by the Federal government, was an example of projects that brought in a new generation of public participation. Examples of these in British Columbia include the British Columbia Round Table on the Environment and the Economy in 1990 and the BC Commission on Resource and Environment in 1992. By 1992 numerous multi-stakeholder and consensus processes had been initiated by all tiers of government as well as by some non-government groups. By 1993 the extent of these processes meant that stakeholders were struggling to handle the time and energy that was required to participate. Consequently, there was an inevitable backlash from stakeholders and, in the context of a weakening economy and an approaching election, the provincial government closed down or restricted many of the initiatives. However, the Fraser River Basin Management Board (now the Fraser Basin Council) and the Land Resource Management Planning (LRMP) continued. Many watershed roundtables also seemed to be weakening with declines in government funding and stakeholder burnout. The late nineties saw a second period, like the 1970's, where great innovations were followed by doubts and backlashes. There is evidence that once again momentum for participatory process is rising but the extent of this remains to be seen. 1 3 However, the James Bay project has been criticized, in more recent times, for its lack of consideration of First Nation Communities. 19 Although the last 30 years has had significant rises and falls in participatory approaches to governance, the overall trend in Canada has been towards an increase in participatory forms of governance in a variety of contexts, including watershed management. Conclusion As demands exceeds available water, water allocation systems are placing more emphasis on the government's role in the disposition of available water supplies. State-centred approaches to water management can only be effective if public participation is effectively integrated into decision-making processes. Customary practices of water law support a culture of sharing with little recognition of private ownership. In the United States, Canada, Australia and England water management has been delegated, to a greater or lesser degree, to the catchment level. Catchment-based approaches have placed extensive emphasis on engaging the public in decision-making. Bardach (1998) in his book, "Getting Agencies to Work Together" argues that "we should not be impressed by the idea of collaboration per se. That collaboration is nicer sounding than indifference, conflict, or competition is beside the point. So, too, is the fact that collaboration often makes people feel better than conflict or competition" (p. 17). Bentrup (2001) maintains that proponents of collaborative planning espouse improved dialog as the main measure of success for good watershed planning. He argues that "while improved civility and dialogue are important intangible measures of success, the acid test will be if these efforts can improve the management of natural resources in an equitable manner" (p. 747). While evidence from the case studies discussed in this section seem to suggest that improved participation leads to improved water management, one must not be blinded by the greater objectives of catchment management, which involves the sustainable management of water resources. The section also recognised the complexity of establishing effective institutions that allow all stakeholders to participate equally and effectively in the decision-making process. The implementation usually requires considerable, resources and skills along with courageous leadership. The design of South Africa's policy on catchment management was drawn out of international experiences, particularly from the Australian model.14 The next chapter, Chapter 3, discusses South Africa's policy, in the context of South African water law. While understanding approaches in other countries helps to guide policy development, this research recognises that the implementation of these policies is shaped by the unique socio-economic context of South Africa. The variety of different approaches to participatory management indicates that there is no "blue-print" to effective participation 1 4 Specifically the Victorian legislation, which has set a precedent followed by many arid countries (Personal Communication with Dr Heather MacKay in 1998). 20 but that each watershed approach needs to be relevant to its socio-economic, political, and biophysical environment. 21 3 Context: South African Water Law This section presents the historical context for South African water law, which is an intriguing combination of Roman Law, Roman-Dutch Law and superimposed principles of English Common Law. This section introduces the new Water Act (Act 36 of 1998) and outlines important aspects in the legislation, focusing specifically on the structure, the function and the process of establishing a Catchment Management Agency. 3.1 Biophysical environment of South Africa South Africa is an arid country with limited water resources. The average annual rainfall for the country is 497 mm, which is 60% below the world average.1 Coupled with this, the rainfall is unevenly distributed, with 65% of the country receiving less than 200 mm. The average annual runoff (the quantity of water that reaches the oceans) represents 9% of the total rainfall, compared to a world average of 31%. This is one of the lowest conversions of rainfall to runoff in the world (Rabie, 1996). South Africa's legal system was derived from areas with abundant water resources, which led to an inappropriate legal framework for the management of scarce water resources (Rabie, 1989). 3.2 Development of South African Water Law 3.2.1 Roman Law Roman law has had a profound effect on legal systems throughout the world and its influence is still evident in current water legislation (Caponera, 1992). Roman law was the first to define the concept of public and private streams and these terms formed the basis for the initial approach to South African water law. In Roman law, there was no quantifiable threshold to define the size of the watercourse, but watercourses were either rivers (flumind) or streams (rivi). In many instances, the distinction between the two was unclear and the decision was usually left to landowners that were acquainted with the seasonal flow of the water. Rivers were further divided into perennial rivers (perennid) or ephemeral rivers (torrential) (Caponera, 1992). Ephemeral rivers were considered private property, while perennial rivers were regarded as public things (res publicae). A l l streams were considered to be private waters, unless they flowed over a public domain, when they became public rivers. Res publicae means that rivers were destined for the use and enjoyment of the general public but ownership was vested in the state (Rabie, 1989). Under Roman law, the use of water flowing in public rivers was subject to state control, making the state dominus fluminis to control public rivers in the public interest (Rabie, 1989). 1 These figures are for the whole of South Africa. Chapter 6 wil l elaborate more on the biophysical environment of the Inkomati Catchment Management Area, which has an average rainfall of 736 mm. 22 3.2.2 Roman-Dutch Law When the Dutch came to the Cape in 1652 they brought with them the early definitions, derived from Roman Law, of public and private water along with the concept of the state as dominus fluminis (Hall and Burger, 1974). The Roman-Dutch system was based on abundance of water in the Netherlands, with an emphasis on the navigability of public rivers (Rabie, 1989). The system did not place much emphasis on the conservation of scarce water resources. Compared with European rivers, African rivers are prone to drought during the summer months. Under Roman-Dutch law they would be classified as ephemeral and therefore non-navigable. Non-navigable rivers were classed as private waters. Many important water sources were therefore placed under private ownership, often leading to over extraction of water. The Dutch soon realised that the preservation of a limited water supply was a priority in the arid environment. The colony prohibited, in 1652, any interference with the furrows and watercourses of the Table Valley (Hall and Burger, 1974). From 1655 to 1740, the Council of Policy resolved disputes on the appropriate use of the streams in Table Valley. The Council regarded the government as dominus fluminis, with the authority to grant water rights to whomever it chose with the stipulation that they could be removed at any stage (Hall and Burger, 1974; Hall, 1970). 3.2.3 English Common Law In 1806, the British took final occupation of the Cape from the Dutch and this led to a drastic change in the system of land tenure.2 Under the new system each lessee was given ownership over his land on condition that he pay the government an annual quitrent (Hall and Burger, 1974). Under common law, riparian landowners had a proprietary right to use water that flowed onto their land. However, they were required to use the water in such a way that it would not cause any material injury to the owners down stream (Hall and Burger, 1974). The Roman-Dutch principle of dominus fluminis slowly became less dominant in South Africa, when it was applied in conjunction with English property rights. English property rights became entrenched into the South African system through Supreme Court lawyers, who were trained in the British Isles. These English lawyers supported the concept of riparian rights to water use and to them the state control of water was an unfamiliar concept. The Cape Supreme Court began to play an important role, in the latter part of the 19-century in producing legislation that was appropriate for a country that did not conform to Roman Dutch Law or English Common Law. In 1856, Justice Bell rendered a far-reaching decision in Retief v Louw, which introduced the principle of proportionate sharing of perennial streams by riparian owners (Hall and Burger, 1974). 2 To prevent the Cape from falling into the hands of the French during the French revolution, Great Britain occupied the Cape. A British expedition force captured Dutch officials in 1795. The Dutch, then the Batavian Republic, regained the Cape under the Treaty of Amiens in 1803. The Dutch were ousted again in January 1806. British sovereignty over the colony was confirmed in the eyes of Europe in the peace settlement of 1814. This was concluded without any consultation with black or white South Africans (Thompson, 1990). 23 Water that rose on private land was still the exclusive property of the landowner but the land-owner's rights were now subject to the ancient custom rule. This rule states that a landowner can not do whatever he pleased with water rising on his land i f it had once flowed beyond his land in a known and defined channel (Rabie, 1991). Justice Bell also introduced prioritising water use between users (Hall and Burger, 1974). Primary was defined as use by humans and animals, secondary was for irrigation and tertiary was for mechanical purposes. These priorities were described as brilliant for their time (Findlay, 1969). They set a precedent for future judgements; such as, in Vermaak v Palmer where an upper proprietor, although still entitled to private ownership of the water, was not entitled to the exclusive and unlimited enjoyment of the water but had to show concern for lower uses (Rabie, 1991). The framework of South African water law was based on the early precedents of riparian ownership, which were first codified in the Cape Colony Act 32 of 1906, which related to the irrigation and use of streams (Hall and Burger, 1974). 3.2.4 Post-Union statutes On May 31 s t 1910, the Cape Colony, Natal, the Transvaal and the Orange Free State joined to form a British dominion called the Union of South Africa (Thompson, 1990). The first post-union statute, which affected the provision of water, was the Irrigation and Conservation Act of 1912. This Act kept the emphasis on riparian ownership that was codified in the Cape Colony Act of 1906 but entrenched the state as the supervisor and protector of water sources. The Act ensured that riparian landowners had exclusive and continuous supply of water for irrigation and was responsible for the codification of the primary, secondary and tertiary use categories, which had been defined by Retief v Louw. This predominately private dimension of water law prevailed for almost a century until the passing of Water Act 54 of 1956. Even after 1956, a considerable portion of the water law still remained private (Rabie, 1996). 3.2.5 Water Act 54 of 1956 The Irrigation Act of 1912 was in force for 40 years, until it was clearly incompatible with the requirements of a rapidly developing and industrialised country (Rabie, 1989). The Union reached a stage of industrial development, which could not allow industry to take second place to agriculture in its claims to public water. A Water Law Enquiry was appointed to draft a new act, which resulted in Water Act 54 of 1956 (Hall and Burger, 1974). This Act was in place until the New Water Act was passed in 1998. Many aspects of the Water Act of 1956 Act received criticism, it was accused of being "un-analytical" and based on "muddled thinking," and over 30 amendments to the Act were brought before parliament (Findlay, 1973; Rabie, 1991). Some elements of the Act are discussed below: 24 3.2.5.1 Definition of private and public streams The act was severely criticised for its lack of clarity regarding the definitions of private and public streams, leading to confusion over the legal status of rivers. The Act concerned itself predominantly with the control of public water and any water that can be freed from the definition of public water, was essentially free from the provisions of the act.3 Private water, on the other hand, was under the sole control of private landowners and so a clear definition of private and public water was critical to the enforcement of the Act 4 (O'Keefe et al., 1994). 3.2.5.2 State control Under the Act, the state control of public water was inhibited through the protection of riparian rights. This aspect was criticised because public rivers constitute the most important source of water for an arid country and should be managed by the state in the interest of the public, instead of under the monopoly of riparian landowners (O'Keefe et al, 1994). The government could exercise control over public water by declaring a Government Water Control Area (GWCA), within which the control of water, in any public stream, was vested almost entirely with the Minister (Rabie, 1989). 3.2.5.3 User categories The Act was criticised for the removal of user categories for appropriate allocation, leading to debates over the selection of criteria to determine water rights. Regardless of who has ownership over water, be it state or minister, a decision is still needed about who has the right to claim for water use, to do this a basic hierarchy of rights is necessary. The removal of user categories opened the way for a battle between towns, industries and irrigators over water utilisation (Findlay, 1969). L 3.2.5.4 Control of groundwater Unless a subterranean water control area was declared, the Act exercised limited control over groundwater. This meant that a substantial source of water was not included under the provisions of the Act. The definition of public and private water did not include consideration of subterranean water. The Act did not recognise the interconnected nature of freshwater resources (O'Keefe et al., 1994). 3 A public stream is defined in Act 54 of 1956 (si) as "a natural stream of water, which flows in a known and defined channel, whether or not such channel is dry during any period of the year and whether or not its conformation has been changed by artificial means, if the water therein is capable of common use for irrigation on two or more pieces of land riparian thereto which are the subject of separate original grants or on one such piece of land and also on Crown land which is riparian to such stream. Under this definition, i f a farmer collects sufficient rainwater, which becomes capable for common use, it could be seen to be defined as private (Act 54 of 1956, s33). In order to be qualified as public, it must extend over two pieces of riparian land, which are the subject of original grants but should the entire course of the river be contained on one piece of land, such river will be a private river, even if the land is subsequently subdivided (Act 54 of 1956, s6). 4 Private water is defined in the Water Act (s. 1) as "water which rises or falls naturally on any land or naturally drains or is lead onto one or more pieces of land which are the subject of separate original grant, but is not capable of common use for irrigation purposes" 25 3.2.5.5 Institutional arrangements The institutional framework for water resource management was extremely complex, with numerous areas of overlap. There were provincial structures, regional service providers, water boards, local governments, irrigation boards, and numerous non-governmental organisations. The jurisdiction and responsibility of these various bodies was unclear, creating extensive red tape and jurisdictional confusion. Irrigation boards were defined as statutory bodies, serving the interests of groups of irrigation farmers and could be established in declared irrigation districts. They were required to exercise general supervision over all public streams within irrigation districts (Rabie, 1989) More specifically the functions of the irrigation boards included: • Protecting the source of rivers • Preventing the waste of water in any public stream in the district concerned • Preventing the unlawful abstraction or storage of public water or subterranean water • Removing any obstruction unlawfully placed in a public stream • Preventing any unlawful act that was calculated to diminish the quantity of water in any part of a public stream (Rabie, 1989). Irrigation boards differed in their status and powers whether they fell within a Government Water Control Area (GWCA) or not. Within GWCA's the government had control over all water abstraction so the adherence of irrigators to the irrigation board was mandatory. Outside of G W C A area, irrigation boards were arranged similar to irrigator organisations and they did not control water use along the whole length of rivers (Woodhouse and Hassan, 1999). 3.2.6 Water management during apartheid During the 1960's, South Africa was divided into nominally independent homelands within which DWAF had no jurisdiction (Abrams, 1996). The land allocated to these homelands was generally more arid in nature and required substantial agricultural inputs (such as fertilizers and irrigation), which many black communities did not have. Hence, black South Africans, in addition to their lack of political or economic power, had to subsist on a restricted and eroded land base. The high population densities in these areas further exacerbated the demand and supply scarcities. Percival and Homer-Dixon (1998) stated that the structural arrangements under apartheid had left 12-16 million people without access to a potable water supply and over 21 million people without adequate sanitation. Within the former homelands, there were also few environmental controls, which led to severe industrial pollution in rivers and ground water supplies (Abrams, 1996). In South Africa, the water-borne disease, diarrhoea, is responsible for 20% of all deaths in the one to five years of age group and an annual estimated 43 000 deaths and 3 million incidences of illness (Bourne and Coetzee, 1996). 26 In addition, areas of economic growth developed around mineral resources, which were often situated far from water supplies. In order to accommodate the water demand, inter-basin transfer schemes, amongst the largest in the world, developed across the country. A significant number of rivers in South Africa are already dammed or diverted, and there are too many people competing for limited resources. Davies and Day (1998) estimated that South Africa, at current water demand rates, has between 10 and 15 years left before the country reaches a situation of permanent drought, which is the stage at which the resource cannot provide for further increases in demand.5 De Villiers (1999), based on research by Gardner-Outlaw and Engelman (1997), estimated that a medium projection for South Africa's per capita water availability in 2025 will be 698 cubic metres per annum. De Villiers (1999) states that most hydrologists accept the recommendation that 1 700 cubic metres per person per year is the cut-off between water stressed and reasonably comfortable. In comparison, the United Kingdom's per capita water availability, in 2025, is estimated at 1 193 cubic metres per annum, the United States at 7 453, Australia at 14 333, and Canada at 79 731. 3.3 The Drafting of the New Water Act The end of apartheid saw the dawning of a new era of democracy in South Africa. A hallmark of this process was the development of an interim constitution, which allowed for the scrutiny and reformation of legislation through a common Bil l of Rights. This Bil l opened the way for all government departments to initiate a reform of the current legislation. Reform of natural resource legislation became a priority because people's dignity, equality and freedom could not be effectively restored without allowing them access to the most fundamental of all rights, water. The drafting process for the new Water Act began in May 1995 with the publishing of a set of principles, open to public comment. To include the voice of the rural poor, along with other sectors such as agriculture, mining, and the environment, consultative meetings were held across the country. In October 1996, the consultations culminated with the publishing of the fundamental principles and objectives for a New Water Law in South Africa (DWAF, 1996a). These principles were approved in cabinet and eleven technical task teams were appointed to translate the principles into policy, through a White Paper (DWAF, 1996b). Based on the White Paper, a National Water Bil l was drafted and in August 1998 the new National Water Act was passed. Before discussing the key innovations of this new legislation another important piece of legislation needs to be mentioned. 3.3.1 Water Services Act The National Water Act should be understood with reference to another fundamental enactment of the new government approach to water management, the Water Service Act (108 of 5 Calculated with the slowest estimated population growth and the smallest demand for water. At worst, with the highest population growth and greatest water demand, supplies wil l be fully committed some time between 2003 27 1997). This Act addresses issues relates to the supply of water and sanitation. The promulgation of the Water Services Act stemmed from a recognition that during apartheid there was no national legislation dealing with water supply and sanitation services and each city, town, and village had to be independently responsible for its provisions. The purpose of the Water Services Act is to provide a regulatory framework for local authorities to supply water and sanitation services to their respective areas. The National Water Act is generally concerned with the management and supply of water; while the Water Services Act specifically deals with the regulatory framework for the supply of water and sanitation by local authorities and to set out conditions under which these are supplied to consumers (Glazweski, 1998). DWAF (1996b) recognises that the provision of services is actively distinct from the development and management of water resources but the provision of water services shall be consistent with the goals of water resource management. The Water Services Act is concerned with abstracting, transferring, treating, distributing water and sanitation to users, and the removal of wastewater and sewage. While the National Water Act is concerned with allocating water resources that come from rivers, dams, or underground. The National Water Act addresses how water is to be allocated between different users, how users are allocated a quantity for use, how they use the water they are allocated, and how much they will pay for it (Glazweski, 1998). For example, the National Water Act is concerned with allocating resources from a river to various uses, one of which could be a municipality. The way that the municipality (termed "a water service authority" under the Water Services Act) distributes that water to consumers is addressed under the Water Services Act. 3.4 Key Innovations of the National Water Act 3.4.1 State control6 In terms of the government's role as public trustee of water resources, the Act states that the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry must ensure that water is protected, used, developed, conserved, managed, and controlled in a sustainable and equitable manner for the benefit of all persons and according to the constitutional mandate (s3:1). Under the Act, water is a national resource, owned by the people of South Africa and held in custody by the state. The control of water is entrusted in the state with the proviso that it be managed in the public's interest with consideration of environmental needs. This principle reiterates the original position of Roman Law where things belong to no-one, but are available for public use, subject to state control (DWAF, 1996a). 3.4.2 The concept of the Reserve The concept of the "Reserve" has been described as a "key international legal innovation" (Bond et al., 1999). The idea behind this concept is a recognition that water is not just a commodity but and 2005. 6 The references in brackets refer to relevant sections of the Water Act (Act 36 of 1998). 28 that it is an important component of the whole ecosystem. There is a limit to the degree of utilisation that can be sustained by a water resource before resilience7 is lost. A certain base level of ecological integrity and function must be established and protected (DWAF, 1999a). The Reserve is defined in terms of the quantity of water, the quality of water and assurance of water needed to protect basic human needs8, and the structure and function of ecosystems so as secure ecologically sustainable development and utilisation (DWAF, 1999a). The Reserve gives priority to the ecosystem, over agricultural or industrial needs, and forces human development to be cognitive of ecological requirements. A l l water users are subject to the requirements of the reserve and water licenses cannot be issued until the Reserve allocation has been determined. 3.4.3 Water User Associations In the past Irrigation Boards fulfilled an important role in the administration of water resources and the apportionment and use of water. Under the National Water Act these irrigation boards will be restructured into Water User Associations (WUA's). Although WUA's are water management institutions their primary purpose, unlike catchment management agencies, is not water management. They will operate at the local level and are essentially associations of individual water users who wish to undertake water-related activities for their mutual benefit (Gildenhuys, 1997). 3.4.4 Charges for water use Section 56 of the act provides for charges to be levied to fund water resource management, resource development and infrastructure provision, and for achieving the equitable and efficient allocation of water (Hamann, 1999a). It is important to note that the Act specifies that no charge may constitute a tax, a levy, or a duty. In other words, there must be some benefit given for the charges paid (Gildenhuys, 1997). 3.4.5 Catchment management The Act calls for the establishment of Catchment Management Agencies as the main administrative bodies responsible for the implementation of the Act. This requirement supports Principle 23 of the Fundamental Principles for the Water Act: Responsibility for the development, apportionment and management of available water resources shall, where possible and appropriate, be delegated to a catchment or regional level in such a manner as to enable interested parties to participate (DWAF, 1996b). If no C M A is in place, DWAF will perform the functions of a C M A . The following section will provide an introduction to the function, organisational structure, and establishment process for the C M A . 7 Resilience depends on maintaining a certain base level of ecological integrity and function (DWAF, 1999a). 8 The original proposal to meet human needs was 25 litres per person per day. Although there have been some proposals to increase the amount to 50 litres per person per day. 29 3.4.6 The organisational structure of Catchment Management Agencies 9 Under the New Act, the C M A is a statutory body. A Governing Board, reflecting the interests of all relevant sectors, as well as having appropriate expertise, experience, demographic, and gender profile, governs the C M A . The Minister appoints a Governing Board after the Advisory Committee has made recommendations about its composition. Board members are not supposed to serve the interests of their particular sector or organisation, but rather to take decisions on integrated water resource management. Once the Minister has published a notice in the Government Gazette, a C M A will have been formally established. With the appointment of the Governing Board, and after the Board has met for the first time, the C M A becomes functional. The Board must set the vision, mission, and strategic direction of the C M A , within the policy framework set out in the Act, and it must prepare business plans and monitor the performance of the C M A . In terms of the National Water Act, the Governing Board is accountable to the Minister. However, given that the Board is formed via a public participation process, it should also be accountable to the users in its water management area. The Board requires skills in technical water resource management, strategic planning, finance, legal, and public participation matters. To carry out its initial functions, the C M A will need, as a minimum, the operational structure outlined in Figure 3.1. CM:A \ G o v e r n i n g B o~ard~ DWAF Regional O ffic e C h ie f E xe cu live Of f icer - ( C E O ) and S e ere ta ria t T e c h n i c a l M a n a g e r s Water Resources Planning Engine\e rin g Resource Qua lity S p e cia list C M C s * Geographical CMCs C om m u h icatio nsi P u blic P a'rticipatio n O ff icer Financial Manager * C MC s : Catchment Management Comm ittees Figure 3.1. The C M A is a body corporate (Section 78 of the Act) established by the Minister . 'A C M A ' s organisational structure will depend largely on local circumstances, the functions which it takes on, and how the C M A decides to carry out these functions (WISA, 2000). 9 The information for this section, unless otherwise stated, was taken from WISA (2000). 30 3.4.6.1 Catchment Management Committees A Catchment Management Committee (although not specifically referred to by this name in the Act) may be established (s82:5). These bodies should be representative of water users and evolve from catchment steering committees. The members of the Catchment Management Committees (CMC) should be approved by the Minister and may act as an executive committee for the entire Water Management Area or as consultative committees for individual primary catchments. The C M C ' s are not necessarily disestablished once the C M A is established, but may be incorporated into the C M A structure (possibly with a change of membership) (DWAF, 1999b). 3.4.6.2 Advisory Committees The Minister may establish Advisory committees for different purposes and functions (s99), and delegate powers to them (s63). DWAF (1999b) describe three types of Advisory Committees that may be associated with the establishment of the C M A : 1) Governing Board Advisory Committee: This is a compulsory committee that must be established to make recommendations on the composition of the Governing Board of the C M A . This Advisory Committee will evaluate the participation process and will consult with stakeholders before making recommendations about representation on the Governing Board (s81). The following requirements are stipulated for membership on the advisory board: independent of local interests, knowledgeable of local situations and stakeholders, experience in consultation and institutional arrangement, and familiar with the water sector. 2) Process Advisory Committee: There may also be an optional appointment of a statutory advisory committee to develop the necessary capacity as a first step in the process of establishing a C M A . This committee could be involved in guiding, overseeing, and monitoring the consultation and establishment process. The membership requirements for the Process Advisory Committee are similar to the requirements for the Governing Board Advisory Committee. 3) Management Advisory Committee: In some cases the C M A establishment process may have progressed successfully, and representative structures may have been created but the necessary capacity of resources may not be in existence to establish the C M A . In these cases an Advisory Committee may be established to function as a management structure in the interim. 3.4.6.3 The Functions of the C M A Each C M A will be responsible for those water resource management functions that have been assigned or delegated to it, as well as co-ordinating other local water management institutions. The delegation of functions to a C M A will involve initial functions and then other powers and duties can be 31 delegated to them at a later stage (DWAF, 1999b). The initial functions of the agencies focus on planning, co-ordination and public participation: • Acting as an advisory body on the management and control of water in the area. • Developing a catchment management strategy. • Co-ordinating water users and institutional bodies. • Co-ordinating the Act's implementation with other policies that are currently in place. • Promoting community participation in all aspects of implementation (s80). The initial functions of the C M A are intended to lead to greater integration of, and participation in water resources planning and management. Furthermore, the Act places strong emphasis on participative planning, where all water user and interest groups are involved and to which government inputs are applied. The C M A must attempt to redress past racial and gender discrimination and to achieve equitable access to water resources. The C M A can acquire a range of additional powers and duties including: the financial and administrative functions to set and collect water use charges, the technical water resources management functions, and the authoritative functions, such as the issuing of licences. These powers or duties need to be either delegated (carried out on behalf of and may be withdrawn) to the C M A in writing (s63), or assigned (the power is fully transferred to the C M A ) , through a notice in the Government Gazette (s73). Powers and duties are likely to be delegated and then assigned, once the C M A demonstrates that it is able to perform the duty or power (DWAF, 1999b). Functions will be delegated in a gradual and progressive manner, since full implementation of initial functions, across the entire Water Management Area, is a significant task for a new institution (DWAF, 1999b). C M A ' s will have to have the following operational capacity in place before taking on the important task of issuing water use licenses: • An effective administrative system, • An appropriate information system, • A comprehensive Catchment Management Strategy, prepared by the C M A and approved by the Minister, including an outline of how the strategy will be implemented, and • A water use allocation plan (DWAF, 1999b). The agency must act prudently in financial matters and seek to achieve co-operation and consensus in the management of its water resources. A C M A may carry out its functions in a number of ways, ranging from exercising them all in-house, to delegating a wide range of functions to other parties, such as, to C M C ' s or other water-related institutions. The preferred organisational model is a small, highly skilled management team that will co-ordinate and manage other organisations, with only priority functions being performed in-house. 32 3.4.6.4 The process of establishing the C M A The general phases in the process of establishing the C M A are illustrated in Figure 3.2 In some areas the C M A establishment process will move through all four stages (WISA, 2000). In others, it may pass quickly through one or more stages, depending on local needs and circumstances. Stage 1. Initiating participation Most C M A establishment processes will start with awareness creation, public participation and the formation of catchment Forums. The emphasis is on developing a constructive and trusting relationship between all parties, and a common view of the way forward. Where these Forums provide adequate representation of all stakeholder interests, a proposal can be developed and the C M A established (thus going directly to stage 4), without going through stages 2 and 3. Stage 2. Formalising participation As the participation process progresses, stakeholders may feel it necessary to create a formal, but non-statutory, relationship in the form of a Catchment Steering Committee/s, representing all stakeholders and guiding the further process of establishing a C M A . The emphasis of this stage is the strengthening of relationships and planning for the future. Stage 3. Interim management arrangements In some Water Management Areas, capacity and resource constraints may cause the establishment of a financially and technically viable C M A to be delayed for some years. Interim management arrangements may be necessary such as delegating certain functions to either a single Advisory Committee or to a number of Catchment Management Committees that represent different catchment areas. Stage 4. The C M A The ultimate goal of the process is the establishment of a C M A , with the appointment of a Governing Board based on the recommendations of the Advisory Committee. 33 Before establishment After establishment DWAF acting as the CMA (s72)* initiation of tfce establish went pfocess, ] either *>W AF or stakeholders ^1 Stakeholder consultation and participation Establishment investigation (s78(2)) Proposal for a CMA (s77) CMA establishment (s78) and appointment of Governing Board (s81) DWAF performing some CMA functions (s72) Ongoing consultation Interim management arrangements if required i | I I I First meeting of theilifeoverning Board * Relevant sections of National Water Act • CMA development (s80; 73; 63 (1)c) Figure 3.2. The proposed stages for the establishment of a C M A (WISA, 2000). 3.4.6.5 The proposal for the establishment of the C M A A proposal for the C M A is required before it can be established. This proposal is produced an outcome of public participation. The proposal should provide the following information: • A name for the C M A and a description of the proposed Water Management Area; • Information on the protection, use, development, conservation, management, and control of significant water resources in the area; • The functions of the C M A , including the functions to be assigned or delegated; • Information on how the C M A will be funded; • An indication of the feasibility of the proposed C M A , with respect to technical, financial and administrative matters; • An indication of whether there has been consultation in developing the proposal (Act s77). The proposal is to be submitted to the Minister who, in conjunction with an advisory body, will consider the proposal on its merits. The proposal should only be rejected if: • There is no sincere attempt to involve the stakeholders. The planning process should ensure that there is appropriate representation, involvement and information sharing with stakeholders. 34 • D W A F regional office is not apart of the process. The regional office must play a critical role in facilitating the establishment of the C M A ' s . The proposal must indicate whether there has been consultation in developing the proposal by describing the process and outcome of stakeholder participation (DWAF, 2000a). Conclusion This section provided an historical perspective on South African water law, from Roman-Dutch and English Common Law, to the incorporation of a new Water Act, under a new democratic order. The section described some of the inadequacies of previous legislation and how these were addressed in the New Water Act. Important elements of the new Act were discussed, including, state control, the concept of the Reserve, Water User Association, water use charges, and Catchment Management Agencies. Specific emphasis was placed on describing important aspects of C M A ' s including, Catchment Management Committees, Advisory Committees, functions of the C M A , the process of establishing the C M A , and the proposal for the establishment of the C M A . The section also discussed the importance of public participation in the establishment and functioning of C M A ' s . The following section will discuss public participation in the context of South African catchment management and build a framework to assess the public participation process conducted to establish the first C M A in South Africa. 35 4 Procedural Justice and Empowerment as Frameworks for the Assessment This section builds a framework for assessing the public participation process conducted to establish the Inkomati Catchment Management Agency. The framework is based on an understanding of procedural justice and empowerment. Before discussing these concepts, recent experiences in South African public participation will illustrate the need for more procedural justice and empowerment into the design of participatory processes. 4.1 South African Experience in Public Participation Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) is a procedure used to conduct Environmental Impact Assessments in South Africa.1 The procedure was designed to ensure that the environmental consequences of developments are understood and adequately considered in the planning process (Preston et al, 1992). The IEM process has received some criticism (Ngobese and Cock, 1997) for its neglect of social impacts and public participation. The process has been described as "elitist" because it emphasised objective data, ignored social tensions, and gave only a "token nod" to public participation in the process (Ngobese and Cock, 1997). Arising out of a positivist stance, the language was often overly scientific, carrying immense power in comparison to indigenous ways of knowing. Indigenous cultures have consequently been excluded from debates on environmental management. The IEM procedures have now been revised to comply with the requirements of the new National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) (No. 107 of 1998). Under N E M A public participation is now a prerequisite for environmental management and communities must be able to contribute, meaningfully, in unconstrained discussions over political and policy issues. However, based on the experiences of the earlier version of IEM, it could take some time before meaningful participation processes are integrated into the mindset of policy implementers, engineers, and environmental managers. Evaluating public participation processes for land use planning in the Garden Route of South Africa, Hamann (1999b) found that public participation procedures tended to be unfair. He distinguished between substantive and procedural fairness and identified the latter as requiring the most explicit consideration.2 In addition public participation processes should encourage social learning and build social capital so that the group's engagement in the decision-making processes focuses on collective benefits rather than narrow interests. Schoeman et al. (1996) assessed communication between stakeholders and the implementers of water supply and sanitation projects. The results showed significant miscommunication, related to the use of extensive technical jargon. There was a one-way flow of information and insufficient 1 A detailed description of this process can be found in Preston et al. (1992). 2 Substantive fairness relates to the outcome, while procedural fairness relates to the process. 36 attempts at creating effective communication through a shared dialogue. Many of the rural communities were unfairly treated in the decision-making process. Many of the engineers felt the projects were successful, while a significant proportion of the community members doubted their success. None of the engineers saw issues of training or empowerment as integral to the project. Other authors (Dryer, 1998; Friedman, 1998) have identified the following factors as contributing towards the failure of water supply projects: ineffective communication with communities, inadequate contribution from all community members, a lack of trust in government institutions, and weak community leadership. Many projects planned for the communities, instead of empowering communities to influence the planning process. 4.1.1 Arnstein's ladder of citizen involvement Public participation in South Africa has been characterised by unfair, inaccessible processes that often only benefited those in power. These experiences can be understood in relation to Arnstein's (1969) seminal paper on citizen participation. This paper was written in the United States of America during the 1960's, at a time when racial tensions were similar to what South Africa is facing now. The paper responded to a need that is relevant to South Africa: to understand why disadvantaged and embittered members of society are so powerless to deal with the inequalities and injustices of their daily lives. Arnstein clarified what citizen participation is and illustrated that there are significant graduations of citizen participation. Drawing from experience in federal social programs, she recognised the critical difference between going through the empty ritual of participation and having real power needed to affect the outcome of the decision-making process. She defined a ladder of citizen participation that consists of eight rungs from manipulation to citizen control. Referring to this ladder, South African experiences in public participation have mostly been degrees of tokenism (informing, consulting, and placation). For meaningful participation in decision-making public participation processes need to move towards degrees of citizen power where citizens are given enough power to make target institutions responsive to their views, aspirations and needs (Arnstein, 1969). To achieve this public participation processes need to emphasise more procedurally just processes. A discussion of procedural justice and empowerment will provide a framework for an assessment of the public participation process used to draft a proposal for the Inkomati C M A . 4.2 Introduction to Procedural Justice The essence of procedural justice is that i f people have to make hard choices their acceptance of the decision will be more likely i f the procedure used to reach the decision is fair. Procedural justice has attracted attention from scientific and political camps: right-wing and left-wing thinkers, lawyers and sociologist (Rohl and Machura, 1997). The initial concepts of this field began in law with the writings of John Rawls but extensive research has now emerged in the field of social psychology. 37 Extensive empirical research in psychology has shown that people tend to accept decisions if they are reached through fair procedures (Greenberg, 1987). Two theories of justice are important in normative theories of procedural justice. Both are similar in "relying on the justice-defining function of their procedures: the outcome is just no matter what (in substance) the outcome may be" (Tschentscher, 1997, p. 113). Firstly, Rawls (1971) argued that justice results from fairness in the basic structure and procedures of society. He suggested two principles as central to ideal process: liberty and equality. Liberty gives each person adequate access to equal basic rights and liberties. Equality means that any socio-economic inequality must be to the benefit of the least advantaged member (Hillier, 1998). Secondly, Habermas assumes that a process will be just i f all participants are theoretically treated as equal and that the process facilitates active communication (Hillier, 1998). Habermas (1992) assumes that the abstract democratic representation is no longer sufficient to provide participation in framing principles of distribution. Habermas uses the ideal situation of rational discourse as a measure for justice. The discourse principle is where "all norms of action are valid that can be agreed upon in rational discourses by all persons potentially affected" (Tschentscher, 1997, p. 112). These two theories of justice shape the realisation of procedural justice.3 4.2.1 Aspects of procedural justice Defining a specific set of variables for procedural justice is challenging as the literature emphasises different aspects in certain contexts. Thibault and Walker (1975) emphasise process control as key a variable. Rohl (1997) refers to Lind and Tyler (1988) and combines process control with voice. In criminal processing, Rohl (1997) noted that procedural justice is influenced by the way that defendants are treated during first contact with police, whether the lawyer spends time with his client, listens carefully, and does not make unrealistic promises. Other important criteria were identified by Leventhal (1980) to include: correctness of information, consistency, avoidance of prejudice, equal representation of parties, and ethical appropriateness (Rohl 1997). Neutrality, lack of bias, honesty, efforts to be fair, politeness, and respect for citizens' rights are also important (Rohl, 1997). Drawing on the work of various authors4 Hillier (1997) identified the following aspects as important for procedurally just decision-making process: being able to express one's opinion and tell one's stories; being listened to with respect; having adequate information; being able to question others; having some degree of control over the decision-making procedure and resultant outcome; demonstrating that decisions are made impartially; receiving good feedback; and perceiving 3 This discussion of Rawls and Habermas offers a very brief and somewhat inadequate introduction to their theories of justice. For the purpose of this research the description was deemed sufficient but additional sources will provided more adequate descriptions of their work (Tschentscher, 1997; Habermas, 1992 and Rawls, 1971). 4 Lind and Tyler (1988), Earley and Lind (1987), Thibault and Walker (1975), Leventhal (1980), and Leventhal et al. (1980). 38 trustworthiness, honesty and mutual respect. Recognition of these principles in decision-making processes will lead to better outcomes and greater satisfaction with those involved. 4.2.2 Application of procedural justice to public participation in natural resource management Many authors have recognised that the history of natural resource management developed from a positivist framework where decisions were seen as answers to technical problems that could only be applied through scientific expertise (Lawrence and Daniels, 1997; Wondolleck, 1988). Lawrence and Daniels (1997) contend that public involvement programs conducted by natural resource agencies are often unresponsive to public desires. Based on the theory of procedural justice, they advocate for an emphasis on procedures as well as outcomes. They argue that in resource management, quality technical decisions and appropriate procedures need to work together in the planning process. They discuss issues that arise when principles of procedural justice are applied to public participation in natural resource management. Although they do not refer specifically to the South African context, two of the issues that they raise are pertinent to South Africa. Firstly, the number of people who participate in processes could be seen as measure of success for the public participation programs. Many people do not participate because they are frustrated with a process that does not consider their inputs. Procedural justice research would support the conclusion that an increase in procedural fairness will increase participation in natural resource decision-making. However, a lack of procedural justice may not be the only reason why people don't participate. Disadvantaged groups may not be able to participate adequately in the process because they have limited resources even if they are significantly affected by the decisions. Only focusing on procedural justice is unlikely to increase participation from these sectors. In the design of a procedurally just process, careful attention needs to be given to ensure that all sectors are adequately represented (Lawrence and Daniels, 1997). Secondly, a history of mistrust in public participation processes often results in negligible, short-term reaction to procedural justice. Mistrust towards government may be so high that any attempt to improve procedural fairness may not increase participation satisfaction in the process. Under these circumstances it may take some time before the full benefits of procedural justice are realised. An increased concern for procedural justice should eventually spiral towards an increased level of trust in public participation processes and government institutions (Lawrence and Daniels, 1997). In the South African context it may take some time for procedurally just processes to be received without scepticism. 4.2.3 Critiques of procedural justice in circumstances of inequality The application of procedural justice faces criticism in the context of an unequal society. By treating people as equals in an unequal society one may simply exacerbate inequalities (Hillier, 1997). In conditions of established inequalities of power, participants may not be able to contribute equally 39 and procedurally just procedures, on their own, may not sufficiently recognise these differences. Institutions may try to act for the collective good but may end up reproducing relations of unequal power and authority. For example they may marginalise the concerns, for instance, of particular groups of disadvantaged people (Leach et al., 1997). In South Africa hierarchies of power and privilege have formed complex patterns of power relations (Taylor, 1997). Under these circumstances participatory processes must be designed around principles that explicitly recognise power imbalances and seek to overcome them. In a world of severe inequalities in power, strategies that treat all parties as "equal" ultimately end up reproducing the very inequalities that they sought to overcome. Strategies must be put into practice that anticipate and counteract structural inequalities of power. These strategies should empower stakeholders in the participatory process. Empowering stakeholders requires a participatory process that emphasises mutual learning, proving opportunities for the disempowered to obtain knowledge that will allow them to be more effectively engaged in the decision-making process. 4.3 An Introduction to Empowerment Rocha (1997), inspired by the realisation that the literature on empowerment is "diverse and incoherent,' conducted an analysis of empowerment. She explored variations in empowerment and offered five ways of thinking about it. Of the five types, socio-political empowerment is the most relevant for the South African context because it focuses on "developing the people who comprise the community as the first priority, then the neighbourhoods in which they live" (p. 37). The apartheid regime created oppressive structures, which were directed at taking away people's physical power within the political environment, but it was also extended into the individual psyche, through racism and prejudice. Hamann (1999b), in his research on public participation and sustainability, discussed the need for a multi-layered approach to empowerment and he quotes from O'Riordan and Preston-Whyte (1998): Empowerment refers to procedures that ensure that groups at the local level are treated with self-respect, with dignity and with a capability to reach consensus decisions that fully take into account the legitimate needs and aspirations of others. To achieve this there has to be a network, or networks of communication and trust that allow the few to speak on behalf of the many. But there has to be an educational and civic consciousness-raising process that provides those formerly disenfranchised and marginalised to gain the capacity and self- confidence to form alliances and to participate meaningfully and authentically, i.e. in a manner that is true to their needs and objectives (p. 20). The marginalised communities in South Africa experience both an internal sense of powerlessness (subjective) and the actual experience of powerlessness (objective) (Rocha, 1997). Empowerment on the individual level seldom succeeds without an awareness that individuals belong to groups, and that individual empowerment is often dependent on group empowerment (Cook, 1997). Socio-political empowerment strives to reach for empowerment on the individual level while at the same time, realising that social networks and social structures are integral to the empowerment process. 40 4.3.1 Power imbalances and misinformation Forester in his book, Planning in the Face of Power (1989), examines how the relation of power shape the planning process. He argues that planners, or facilitators, may have little influence over the structural ownership of power in the society but they can influence the conditions that render citizens able (or unable) to participate, act, and effectively organize around issues that affect their lives. A key source of influence is the facilitator's control of information. Facilitators can understand sources of power by focusing on the practical issues of information control, misinformation, and distorted communications. They are different sources of misinformation. Firstly, the source could be ad hoc, or random, for example, this would occur when some one speaks too quickly or unwittingly uses extensive technical terms. Secondly, the misinformation could be a product of political economic relationships. For example, industry representatives may exaggerate the likely financial benefits of a project, while environmentalist may exaggerate the negative effects of the same project. Misinformation can also be unavoidable, for example there are always divisions of expertise within society. Every individual has a different set of skills to bring to a participatory process. For example, the interpretation of information by a farmer may be different to that of a lawyer. However, some misinformation is avoidable and is socially unnecessary, produced through deliberate propaganda. To empower stakeholders, facilitators need to identify the sources of misinformation and actively counteract how it could arise in various political processes (Forester, 1989). 4.3.2 Empowerment in the establishment of Catchment Management Agencies In the context of catchment management, empowering stakeholders both individually and within social networks must be seen as a process goal or a philosophy that guides the process. The public is not being empowered to gain control over the resource itself but needs to be empowered in the process of deciding how the resource should be managed. The goal of catchment management is not to empower, per se, but it is an approach that openly recognises the need to assist stakeholders so that they are able to participate meaningfully in the decision-making process. This pertains to the consideration of adequate information, education, resources, and effective representative bodies. Stakeholders are empowered in the process if their contributions are able to meaningfully affect the decision-making process. 4.3.3 Multi-dimensional learning In the South African context, where so many stakeholders have been removed from decision-making forums, empowerment requires a particular emphasis on multi-dimensional learning. Multi-dimensional learning requires an emphasis beyond simply the technical aspects of water management. The importance of learning for many disadvantaged South Africans is captured in an analysis of the mass democratic movement in South Africa. This analysis recognised that people need to understand that to address their physical or material conditions they have to liberate their minds from propaganda 41 and misinformation. "When people change their thinking about themselves they are able to mobilise from a deep conviction. This happens through a process of education" (Taylor, 1997, p. 232). Within the context of catchment management education is particularly important because the process is complex and foreign to those involved. The complexity is further enhanced by the diversity of cultures and stakeholders that are involved in the process. Each sector has a different understanding of the issues under discussion and understanding and respecting other perspectives is a crucial component of the decision-making process. Reflecting on experiences in watershed planning process in the United States, Duram and Brown (1999) commented that the planning process brought about an awareness of concerns that other people may not have thought about or recognised as a problem. When landowners become aware of what a watershed really is, they start to think about others, rather than just themselves. Sherwill and Rogers (2001), reflecting on South African experience in water management, recognised that in building consensus it is often more important that participants talk and listen to each other, rather than to a facilitator or technical team. An emphasis on technical aspects may prevent stakeholders from understanding the overall context of the issues as well as how their needs impact upon those around them. To understand each other opportunities need to be created for active listening. Forester (1989) emphasises the importance of listening in the decision-making process. "To be able to listen we must respect the life of the person speaking; without that, we have only prejudice, stereotypes, the racism and sexism that deny the lives of others-and we have no possibility of building a common world" (p. 117) Listening is particularly important for facilitators because if they fail to listen carefully to members of the public, they will loose any reputation for responsiveness or fairness. Empowering stakeholders in catchment management means that imbalances of power in society need to be taken seriously and must be actively addressed. The process must not only be procedurally just but must be structured in a way that all sectors have the information, resources, and ability to make informed decisions that move beyond their own range of interests. In South Africa, financial resources are often limited; therefore, recognition of financial limitations is also an important consideration in designing and assessing public participation processes. The financial resources that were available to conduct the participatory process will also be discussed. 4.4 Questions used to guide this assessment This section has discussed an approach to public participation that is needed in South Africa. If catchment management is going to be sustainable it needs to find mechanisms that allow social values to be integrated into the decision-making process. A combination of procedural justice and empowerment presents such an approach. Based on this discussion questions have been derived that will be used to guide the assessment of the process in the Inkomati and thereafter initiate a discussion of how public participation can be more effective in achieving sustainable catchment management. 42 1. How was representation achieved in the process and how did the stakeholders respond to it? a) Were all relevant sectors involved? b) Were the representatives legitimate? 2. How did the stakeholders respond to the facilitation? a) Did the facilitators treat all with equal respect? b) Were the facilitators trusted? c) How did the facilitators empower participants? 3. How was the process structured to allow input from diverse stakeholders? 4. How did the stakeholders respond to the information provided in the process and was the information sufficient to allow them to make informed decisions? 5. How did the stakeholders influence the process? 6. What did the stakeholders feel that they learned through the process? 7. How did financial constraints affect the process? 4.4.1 Three perspectives to guide the assessment 4.4.1.1 Based on the response of the stakeholders Assessing public participation process is complex and value laden. The questions outlined above, which were based on the literature, will be used to guide the assessment of the Inkomati C M A process. There are four possible viewpoints that could be taken to answer these questions: 1) the sponsor of the process; 2) the stakeholders themselves; 3) the larger society, or 4) an external analysis (Dorcey and McDaniels, 1999). In assessment of this process, the questions outlined above are answered, predominantly, through interviews with the stakeholders involved in the process. Insights from the sponsors of the project as well as an external view also assist in the assessment. This approach is congruent with the philosophy of public participation principles because it desires to hear the voice of those involved. The approach has been used in other assessments of public participation processes (Grant, 1996; Tuler and Webler, 1999; Schuett et al., 2001). The approach is also deliberately selected for the South African context, in response to apartheid that silenced the voice of many South Africans through authoritarian rule. Even within a new democratic government the voices of marginalised communities are often silenced sometimes deliberately, but usually through misperceptions, cultural barriers or insufficient political will. One must also clarify that the marginalised communities in South Africa are not only the disadvantaged black communities, although they often are, but there are distinct aspects that are now silencing the voice of many white communities. These relate to cultural barriers, political agendas of a new government and mistrusts based on a perception that whites are inherently racist. With this in mind, this research conveys the perceptions of the stakeholders involved in the process. 43 4.4.1.2 Based on the process and not on the outcome The evaluation of this participatory process focuses on the manner in which the decisions were made and not on the outcomes of the decisions. This approach is consist with the concept of procedural justice in that that even if resource managers make a "proper" decision, the manner in which that decision was made will affect public acceptance of the outcome. The outcome of the participatory process, in this case, produced a proposal to the Minister for the establishment of the Inkomati C M A . The participatory process used to reach a decision on the proposal is evaluated and not the proposal itself. 4.4.1.3 Based on the context of the process In assessing the participatory process, extensive emphasis is placed on understanding the context in which the process occurred. This allowed for a more informed interpretation and understanding of the responses and perspectives of the stakeholders. Before discussing the responses of the stakeholders this research first elucidates the context in which the participatory process occurred. In assessing the public participation process, emphasis is placed on listening to the stakeholders, focusing on the process and understanding the context. This type of approach requires a qualitative research paradigm. The following chapter discusses qualitative research and introduces the methodology used for this case study research. 44 5 Methodology 5.1 Qualitative Research Qualitative data is defined by Miles and Huberman (1984) as a source of "well-rounded, rich descriptions and explanations of processes occurring in local contexts" (p. 15). Qualitative data allows the researcher to "preserve chronological flow, assess local causality, and derive fruitful explanations" (p, 15). Creswell (1998) defines qualitative research as a process of inquiry that explores "a social or human problem. The researcher builds a complex, holistic picture, analyses words, reports detailed views of informants, and conducts the study in a natural setting" (p. 15). Creswell (1998) uses a metaphor to further expound on the nature of this mode of inquiry. He describes it as an "intricate fabric composed of minute threads, many colours, different textures, and various blends of material. This fabric is not explained easily or simply" (p. 13). Qualitative researchers are able to explore the complexity of the fabric without the constraints of a rigid, pre-determined design frame. The approach allows for a naturalistic pattern of inquiry in understanding complex issues. Quantitative and qualitative approaches are not just different ways of doing the same thing but they each address different questions and have different purposes (Maxwell, 1996). The following section uses Creswell (1998) and Maxwell (1996) to describe the strengths of qualitative research, compared to quantitative research, and to explain why qualitative research is used as the approach for this study. 5.1.1 Interested in process The nature of the questions addressed in qualitative research are "how" or "what" questions, whereas quantitative research usually looks at a comparison between groups, intending to establish an "association, relationship or cause and effect" (Creswell, 1998, p. 17). Maxwell (1996) expands on this by explaining that quantitative researchers are interested in whether and to what extend variance in x causes variance in y. Qualitative researchers ask how x plays a role in causing y; what is the process that connects x and y? The research questions focus on the process of events and actions. Outcomes could become important but this is not the focus. 5.1.2 Interested in context Qualitative studies are particularly aware of the context in which the participants act. Participants are studied in their natural setting and engage in data gathering in communication with other participants. (Maxwell, 1996). 5.1.3 Interested in giving meaning Qualitative studies strive to give meaning to observed reality. One is not only interested in the physical events and behaviour that take place, but also in the way that participants in the study make sense of events and how their understanding influences their behaviour (Maxwell, 1996). 45 5.1.4 Interested in social processes While quantitative approaches are often not sufficiently equipped to explore the complex social challenges that face communities, the hallmark of qualitative research is involvement in issues of gender, culture, and marginalised groups. The problems addressed in qualitative research span topics in the social and human sciences; they are emotion laden, close to the people, and practical (Creswell, 1998). The social contexts of qualitative studies need to be fully explored. The intricacy of these issues could be lost through a quantitative design paradigm. 5.1.5 Interested in narrative knowledge Sandelowski (1991) recognises that humans are narrative in nature and she mourns the devaluation of narratives as sources of knowledge. She emphasises "the moral force, healing power, and emancipatory thrust of stories" (p. 161). A qualitative design permits narrative knowledge and storytelling to convey meaning. Stories are seen as natural mediums, conveying a depth of understanding of the events of every day life. 5.1.6 Interested in active learning Rather than an expert who passes judgement on participants, the researcher is regarded as an active learner, telling the story from his or her perspective. The researcher attempts to convey the complexity of the case and to draw out the issues, based on the researchers experience in the field. In summary, a qualitative paradigm is selected for this study because I was interested in understanding a process that was intricately, and uniquely, linked to its context. The meanings that individuals gave to the context and events were particularly relevant in understanding the social processes involved. The use of narrative knowledge is seen as an important means of obtaining further insight into the day-to-day events and perspectives that shaped the context. Finally, I identify myself as an active learner in the process, seeking to understand and not judge the participants involved. 5.2 Case Study as a Method of Inquiry Creswell (1998) defines five traditions of inquiry: biography, phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theory, and case study. The research does not have to concentrate on only one form but adhering to one assists in keeping the study concise and straightforward. A case study approach is selected as the most appropriate method of inquiry for this research. A case study is an exploration of a bounded system1 or a case over time, involving detailed in-depth data collection with multiple sources of information, rich in context (Creswell, 1998). An important component of the case study approach is the careful definition of the boundaries of the case. In the present research the "bounded system" is the 1 "A bounded system is bounded by time and place, and it is the case being studied-a program, an event, an activity, or individuals" (Creswell, 1998, p. 61). 46 public participatory process conducted to draft a proposal for the establishment of the Inkomati Catchment Management Agency. 5.2.1 Selection of the case The selection of case was guided by recommendations from DWAF. They recommended the Inkomati catchment area because, compared with other catchment areas in South Africa, it is the most advanced in its establishment of a C M A . The Inkomati was considered to be a high profile project by the Directorate of Catchment Management. 5.3 Validity Checks In qualitative research, validity needs to be given extensive consideration throughout the research process (Creswell, 1998). Validity depends on the relationship of conclusions to the real world and validity threats need to be tested to see if they challenge the conclusions (Maxwell, 1996). In the present study several methods were used to identify and address threats to the validity of the findings. These findings are summarised in Table 5.1. Table 5.1. Validity threats and the approaches used to address them. Validity concern Approach That the interview candidates suggested by the facilitators would not give a critical perspective on the process. Used a snowball approach to selecting interview candidates. The interviews could be inaccurately recorded. A l l interviews were recorded on high quality tape and then transcribed by the researcher. The interviews could be inconsistently transcribed or analysed i f multiple researchers were involved. A l l interviews were transcribed and analysed by the researcher. The interview candidates might provide inaccurate information on the participatory process. Information was verified and triangulated with other sources. The researcher could be biased in her interpretation of the interviews. Feedback was obtained from various people familiar with the participatory process. For example: Some of the results were discussed with an academic researcher, familiar with the catchment area and the participatory process. The interview candidates might just tell the positive or negative aspects of the process. Related incidents, which were observed in the meetings, to the candidates to encourage their comments. The interview candidates might not have knowledge of the participatory process. Asked candidates to comment on their involvement in the process. Verified their involvement and attendance at meetings with information in the minutes. 5.3.1 Triangulation Triangulation is an important concept to consider in validating a case study (Creswell, 1998). Triangulation involves the search for the convergence of information between multiple sources. Maxwell (1996) defines this as "collecting information from a diverse range of individuals and settings using a variety of methods" (p. 93). Triangulation is seen as an important approach to this research as Stake (1995) describes: 47 Common sense is working for us, telling us when to look again and where to ask for clarification, but common sense does not take us far enough. In our search both for accuracy and alternative explanations, we need discipline, we need protocols which do not depend on mere intuition and good intention to "get it right." In qualitative research, those protocols come under the name "triangulation" (p. 107). The backbone of qualitative research is extensive collection of data, typically from multiple sources of information (Creswell, 1998). Creswell (1998) identified four basic types of information: interviews, observations, documents, and audio-visual material. This research drew on three of these data sources: interviews, documents and observation. The triangulated approach is summarised in Figure 5.1. 5.3.1.1 Interviews The main source of data for this study involved interviews with representatives involved in the participatory process. Some interview candidates were not involved in the process. They were interviewed to provided an enhanced understanding of the catchment area. For example: to understand the issues faced by emerging farmers2 in the region, I interviewed a representative from the Department of Agriculture. 5.3.1.1.1 Selection of candidates I selected the candidates for the interviews from the Inkomati Reference Group list, compiled by DWAF using information submitted by those who attended the various participatory meetings. I also referred to the list of nominations that had been received for the Catchment Management Committees (CMC's). This list represented people who had a particular interest in the participatory process and had been nominated as representatives for a particular sector. The selection of candidates for the interviews, involved several approaches: • I asked facilitators to identifying candidates whom they felt had made an important contribution to the participatory process. • I attended three stakeholder meetings to identify stakeholders who appeared to be most involved in the process, or who seemed to have an interesting perspective to contribute. • In the final reference group meeting I introduced my research to the stakeholders and invited them to contact me if they wanted to be interviewed. Following the meeting, I constructed my own list of people who requested to be interviewed. • As the research continued, primary or purposeful sampling was used to select candidates (Sandelowski, 1995; Maxwell, 1996). This strategy involved deliberately selecting particular settings, persons, or events to provide important information that is not available from other sources. For example: I interviewed a local government representative to understand why this sector was not consistently involved in the participatory process. 2 The emerging farmers consisted of farmers who were not established in the commercial sector, but were farming, on a small-scale, subsistence basis, with limited irrigation, or who were waiting for the resources and capital to begin farming (See sction 8.1.3.5 for a more detailed description). 48 Observations of events and meetings during fieldwork allowed me to develop a rich understanidng of the case. A review of meeting minutes provided me with a temporal perspective of the process. Other documents, such as the final proposal for the CMA, were used to broaden my understanding of the case. Assessment of the public participation process conducted to draft a proposal for the Inkomati Catchment Management Agency. Figure 5.1. An overview of the approach to triangulation that is used to answer the research questions (Adapted from Grant, 1996). 49 • Finally, I used a "snowball or chain effect" to ensure that no important contributions were left out. This involved asking interview candidates whom else they felt might contribute to the research (Creswell, 1998). 5.3.1.1.2 Choice of the number of candidates to interview The decision on the number of people to interview was based on "information redundancy or theoretical saturation" (Sandelowski, 1995, p. 182). In short, enough interviews were conducted when informants were no longer adding any new knowledge to the case. In addition, the length of time in the field provided a practical limit to the number of interviews that could be conducted. In total I interviewed 62 individuals, twelve of which were not involved in the participatory process. These twelve enhanced the understanding of certain aspects of the catchment area, although they often did have some perspectives on the participatory process. This left 50 interviews as primary sources of interview data on the participatory process. A profile of the candidates that were interviewed is provided in Table 5.2. Table 5.2. Profile of the 62 candidates that were interviewed in this research. The researcher, based on discussions with the candidate, determined the "level of involvement." Category of participant Number Percentage of (out of J62) total Gender (out of 62) Male Female 5 |89 11 [Race Black White 23 39 37 63 Catchment Komati Crocodile Sabie-Sand Other 19 |22 14 V 31 35 23 11 Nomination in process On the CMC list Not on the CMC list Nominated for the advisory board 31 27 4 50 44 Level of involvement High involvement Late Involvement-then consistent Involved but sporadic None to very low attendance (0 to 2 or 3) 37 6 7 12 fco 10 11 19 Sector Established agricultural farmer (white) Government positions • Tourism Environment/conservation Emerging farmer Consultant Community representative Industry FCOBWA/international Established agricultural farmer (black) 11 9 6 5 4 4 4 3 3 18 14 10 8 6 6 6 5 5 50 Forestry 2 3 Hatcheries 2 3 Water board 2 3 NGO 1 2 Tribal Authority 1 2 Energy 1 2 Mining 1 2 Legal advocate 1 2 I obtained additional perspectives from sectors such as emerging farmers through interactions with groups such as the monthly meeting of the Mpumalanga African Farmers Union (see Table 5.4). 5.3.1.1.3 Structure of Interviews I followed a semi-structured interview format, which provided some guidelines but still gave extensive opportunity for candidates to follow new leads and comment on issues that they found important or interesting and related to the participatory process (Grant, 1996; Bernard, 1994). Some candidates responded better to a more informal and conversational-style interview. I found this most useful when sensitive or highly emotional topics were being discussed. Before the interview, candidates were asked to sign a consent form to agree to participate in the research and they were informed that they may withdraw from the study at any time. They were also told that the results would be strictly confidential and their names would not to be revealed in the final document, without prior permission. The candidates were asked to reflect on their experience in the participatory process. The range of questions was kept flexible and adaptable to the candidate. For example: Emerging farmers were asked how their objections to the current allocation of water resources were dealt with in the meetings. The following questions formed the basis for the interviews. 1. How long have you lived in this area? 2. Can you describe some of the difficulties that you have experienced with water management in this area? 3. Do you agree with the principle of establishing a C M A ? 4. When did you get involved in this process? 5. Who do you represent in the process? 6. Could you describe some of the main problems that you experienced in the C M A process? 7. Were you given adequate information to participate in the process? 8. Were all people treated equally in the process? 9. Did the facilitators actively listen and address your particular concerns? 10. Was stakeholder comment encouraged and were comments responded to? 11. Do you think the proposal is a good reflection of the process? 51 12. Looking back could you say that you have learnt a lot through the process? Did you notice others learning? 13. If you were asked to run this process again how would you improve it? 14. What do you think the main function of the C M A will be? 15. What do you perceive to be the biggest challenges facing the C M A , once it is established? 16. Can you recommend anyone, involved in the process that may provide me with a useful perspective? In most cases these questions were used to facilitate a discussion around the participatory process and water management in the catchment. 5.3.1.1.4 Degree of representation Most of the interview candidates were selected from the Inkomati Reference Group List, which provided a record of all individuals who had been involved in the participatory process. The list was divided into different sectors. Table 5.3 shows the percentage of people from each sector that were on the Inkomati Reference Group List, in comparison with the number of individuals that were involved in the study. This comparison gives an indication of the level of representation achieved in the study. Table 5.3. The percentage of individuals representing different sectors based on the Inkomati Reference Group list, compared with the number of individuals that were interviewed in this research. Sectors defined on the reference Percentage of individuals Percentage of group list from each sector represented individuals from each on the reference group list sector represented in (There was a total of 189 study through people on the list) interviews and discussions Agriculture commercial 20 25 Government (National, Provincial and 15 12 international) Local governmentAVater boards 15 12 Emerging farmers 14 12 Civi l society and tribal authorities 10 8 Environment/conservation 6 8 Forestry 6 3 Tourism 5 10 Industry 4 7 Mining 4 1.5 NGO 1 1.5 5.3.1.2 Observations I conducted the research from August 2000 to December 2000. During this time I engaged in several activities which provided a deeper perspective on the participatory process and the catchment area (see Table 5.4). I also engaged in discussions with groups of representatives, such as emerging farmers in the Mzinti and Kanyamazane areas. 52 Table 5.4. Activities, other than interviews, that provided additional observation-based data. Date 2000-2001 Location The activity The Purpose of the activity 8 m August Nelspruit Attended the participatory meeting of the Inkomati Reference Group Be introduced to the process, stakeholders and the facilitators Early September Nelspruit Attended a meeting with the commercial agriculture sector Understand issues facing the commercial agricultural sector 15 t h September Nelspruit Attended the final participatory meeting of the Inkomati Reference Group Introduce the research to the stakeholders and explain its objectives Make initial contact with stakeholders 24 t h October Marite Village Toured Marite Village with local community representatives Visited a local school and water sources for the village Investigate local water supply and infrastructure 1 s t November Clinic in Numbi (Near Hazyview) Visited a local clinic and its water supply and purification system Investigate local water supply and infrastructure Understand water supply needs of the community 15 t h November Mzinti Attended the monthly meeting of the Mpumalanga African Farmers Union Obtained collective responses on their perceptions of the C M A participatory process Understand the many issues facing the emerging farmers Ask members for some of their responses to the C M A participatory process 15 t h November Phiva village Met with a group of 12-15 women from the rural village of Phiva Investigate the issues facing rural women in the catchment; especially with respect to their empowerment and access to resources 15 t h November Phiva village Visited a small scale chicken farm recently developed in the Phiva community Investigate a successful empowerment project 21 s t November Kabokweni Met with a group of 5 women involved in a small-scale vegetable farming project3 Investigate the issues facing woman involved in subsistence farming; especially with respect to gaining access to water 21 s t November Kabokweni Toured Kabokweni township with a local community representative Visited empowerment projects (subsistence farming and brick making) initiated for women in the area Appreciate the success of these projects as well as the challenges 23 r d November Mzinti Organised a meeting between some emerging farmers, agricultural extension officers and a legal advocate Attempt to assist the community by linking them with a legal advocate who was interested in trying to solve some of their legal problems in gaining access to water rights 23 r d November Mzinit i Attended an open day event of the Nkomazi Advice Group, a human rights group in Mzinti Gain a broader understanding of pertinent social issues in the community 3 The project is driven by the Department of Agriculture and aims to get women involved in farming activities 53 24th November White River Met with the co-ordinator of a community project in the area called Spring Ministries that assisted in installing water supply infrastructure to communities in the Elukwatini and Nkomazi districts Understand water supply projects in the area and the challenges facing them 27th November White River Met with the co-ordinator of a community project in the area called Ecolink that assists in installing water supply infrastructure to communities near White River Understand water supply projects in the area and the challenges facing them 29th November Near Kabokweni Attended an end of year community celebration of farmers, facilitated through the Department of Agriculture Gain insight into community activities and their successes 7th January Phiva Visited a local community church Develop an understanding of community needs and social structure I was based in the town of Nelspruit for the duration of the fieldwork but conducted interviews with candidates throughout the catchment4. The candidates selected the location for the interview. This meant that I travelled to different areas in the catchment, which assisted in understanding the social context of the participants and the natural diversity of the catchment area. The locations visited during the fieldwork are listed in Table 5.5. Table 5.5. A list of regions that were visited during fieldwork Komati Crocodile Sabie Sand Driekoppies Barberton Acornhoek Lomati Hectorspruit Bushbuckridge Mzinti Kabokweni Hazyview Phiva Komatipoort Kiepersol Shongwe Lydenburg area5 Marite Dullstroom area2 Sabie Malelane Skakuza Nelspruit Ngodwana White River 5.3.1.3 Documents To gain a temporal perspective on the participatory process, I collected copies of the meeting minutes from the D W A F regional office in Nelspruit. These minutes, although not complete, gave a good understanding of the range of issues that were discussed in the meetings. The minutes verified certain information discussed in the interviews. They provided insight into aspects that the process focused on and the extent of involvement from individuals. The contents of the minutes were 4 Nelspruit is the largest town in the region and the capital of the province of Mpumalanga. 5 These urban areas technically fall out of or on the border of the catchment boundaries but candidates who lived in these areas used the water from within the catchment area. 54 summarised into a table for easy reference (see Appendix B) . In addition to the minutes of the meetings, other documents and reports on the region provided additional insight into the context of the case. Some of these reports were provided from the stakeholders and some from the stakeholders themselves. For example: A n industry representative provided me with a report on the Nkomazi Irrigation Expansion Project. 5.4 Qualitative Data Analysis Miles and Huberman (1984) describe qualitative data analysis as "the most serious and central difficulty in the use of qualitative data" (p. 16). This occurs because methods o f analysis are not well formulated. In their book, Miles and Huberman (1984), try to construct a more systematic method for drawing conclusions, and for testing them explicitly (p. 16). This book was used to assist in formulating an approach to data analysis. Table 5.6 illustrates the steps used in data analysis. The approach was more iterative in nature than the linear fashion laid out in the table. Table 5.6. A summary of the approach used to analyse the data. 1. Grasp the entire data set: Transcribing interviews to get a sense of the whole 2. Summary report: Compiled a summary report which helped to draw out important themes 3. List of codes: A list of codes was derived from the analytical framework and from themes that emerged from step 2. 4. Coding: Interviews were coded 5. Summary tables: Codes were used to summarise interviews into manageable tables 6. Review of these summaries allowed for the answering of the 7 questions outlined in the analytical framework. 5.4.1 Sense of the whole The interviews (55) with completed tapes were wholly transcribed. See Table 5.7 for an explanation as to why not all the interviews could be wholly transcribed. I began the transcribing process during the fieldwork, which greatly assisted in shaping and improving my approach to the interviews. Table 5.7. A n explanation as to why only 55 interviews were available for transcription. Telephone conversations (No transcriptions; Notes were taken) 2 Taping error (No transcriptions. Notes were taken) 1 No tape used in the interview: due to sensitive nature of data participants requested that no tape be used in interview (Notes were taken) 4 Entire interview was taped and transcribed 55 Total number of interviews conducted 62 Transcribing the interviews provided the first step in data analysis, because it allowed for a general review of all information. Creswell (1998) suggests that researchers read the transcripts in their entirety several times. They should immerse themselves in the detail, "trying to get a sense of the whole before breaking into parts" (p. 143). The process of transcribing allowed for an extensive grasp of the entire data set. 55 5.4.2 Summary report The data was partially summarised and analysed by an initial summary report, commissioned by the DWAF Head Office in Pretoria. The report assessed the participatory process and offered insight into how the participatory process could be improved. The drafting of this report allowed me to draw out some of the main themes that arose in the interviews. The report was drafted from only a portion of the data and it was felt that a more rigorous method of analysis should be used for the entire data set. Feedback from D W A F head office on the report was positive and they did not indicate any need for additional clarification or correction on any of the information provided. 5.4.3 Coding process Miles and Huberman (1984) recognise that in qualitative research there is often a problem of "word overload" (p. 56). They recognised that there is a danger that the bulk of the data could lead to the researcher becoming overloaded with more data than can be processed. This data is often spread over many pages, laid out in sequence rather than topic and has little inherent structure. Creswell (1998) describes the need to winnow down the data because not all the data is useful in a study but a sound basis is needed to reduce the data to readily analysable units. To do this effectively, codes were derived. Codes are defined as "retrieval and organising devices that allow the analyst to spot quickly, pull out, then cluster all the segments relating to a particular question, hypothesis, concept or theme" (Miles and Huberman, 1984, p. 56). There are different forms of coding that can be used in qualitative research but the key feature is that the codes are grounded in the data (Maxwell, 1996). In other words, the codes are developed with reference to the particular data being analysed. The qualitative researcher works inductively and develops categories from informants, rather than specifying them in advance of the research (Creswell, 1998). The codes were derived from the themes that arose from drafting the D W A F report as well as the analytical framework (See Appendix A). 5.4.4 Interview summary Once the interviews were coded, each interview was summarised into a table format with the broader codes as the 15 column headings. Throughout the coding and summarising process, cognisance was given to, what Maxwell (1996) calls context stripping. This is avoided by continually linking the coded segments back into the context of the larger interview whole. 56 Table 5.8. The following interview codes are used, in this thesis, to identify characteristics of the interview candidates. Code Method for collecting information Gender Race Level of involvement H= High involvement L= Late involvement, then consistent S= Involved but sporadic N= None to low attendance (2 or 3) Catchment affiliation Commercial Agriculture C A CA 1 Interview M w L K CA 2 Interview M w H c CA 3 Interview M w H K CA 4 Interview M w L S CA 5 Interview M w H c CA 6 Interview M w H c CA 7 Interview M B H K CA 8 Interview M B H c CA 9 Interview M W H c CA 10 Interview M - W H c CA 11 Interview M W H c CA 12 Interview M W H K CA 13 Interview M W S c Tourism To To 1 Interview M w L c To 2 Telephone M w N K To 3 Interview M w H S To 4 Joint interview with To 5 F w L K To 5 Joint interview with To 4 M w N K To 6 Interview M w N c Local Government L G LG 1 Joint interview withLG 4 M w N K LG2 Interview M B H c LG 3 Interview M B H c LG4 Joint interview withLG 1 M B N K LG 5 Interview M B S c International Int Int 1 Telephone M N No Specific Int 2 Interview M S K Int 3 Interview M S K Provincial Government PG PG 1 Joint interview withPG3 M B H No Specific PG2 Interview M W N No Specific PG 3 Joint interview withPG 1 M B H No Specific PG4 Interview M B L No Specific Industry Ind Ind 1 Interview M W N c Ind 2 Interview M W N K Ind 3 Interview M W H c Environment and Conservation E/C E/C 1 Interview M B S S E/C2 Interview M W H c E/C 3 Joint interview with E/C 4 M W H c 57 E/C4 Joint interview with E/C 3 F W H C E/C 5 Interview M W H S Emerging Farmers EF EF 1 Interview M B H K EF 2 Joint interview withEF4 M B H K EF 3 Interview M B H K EF 4 Joint interview withEF2 F B H K EF 5 Group discussion with Kanyamazane farmers F B N C EF 6 Group discussion with Mzinti farmers M B S K Facilitators Fa Fa 1 Interview F W H No Specific Fa 2 Interview M B H S Fa 3 Interview M W H No Specific Fa 4 Interview M W H S Civil Society CS CS 1 Interview M B H C CS 2 Interview M B L S CS 3 Interview M B H S CS 4 Interview M B N C Forestry Fo Fo 1 Interview M W H K Fo2 Interview M W H S Hatcheries Ha Ha 1 Joint interview with Ha 1 M W N C Ha 2 Joint interview with Ha 2 F W N C Water Board WB WB 1 Interview F B H s WB 2 Interview F B H s Mining Mi Mi 1 Interview M W H C Tribal Authority TA TA 1 Interview M B S s TA 2 Group discussion with Tribal Authority M B S s Legal Advocate L A LA 1 Interview F W S No Specific Energy En En 1 Interview M B H K Non Governmental Organisation NGO NGO 1 Interview M W H S S.S Research Constraints There were several aspects that were identified as constraints in the research. These are discussed below: Member checking involves asking participants to examine rough drafts of writing in which the actions or words of the actor are featured (Creswell, 1998). For this research member checking posed several challenges and was not successfully carried out. At the conclusion of the interview process, a 58 letter was sent to all interviewees, thanking them for their participation and informing them that a transcribed copy of the interview was available on request. There was no attempt made from the respondents to obtain copies of the interviews. The fact that the researcher was significantly removed from the case on the completion of the fieldwork made further communication with the participants very difficult. Although there were some participants with whom I can communicate with via email, it was felt that transferring information in this way would disadvantage members of the community without electronic access. Member checking was therefore not possible in the context of this research. Many of the representatives in the participatory process were from disadvantaged communities, without telephone access. This posed a research constraint because most of the initial contact for the interviews happened by telephone. There were many representatives who were on the Inkomati Reference Group list but whose telephone number was no longer valid or who had no telephone number. For safety reasons I could not travel into the rural areas to try and locate people without an arranged local contact. These difficulties presented the possibility of a bias towards the more organised, privileged representatives. To overcome this difficulty, I made contact with community representatives in some of the rural areas and asked them to assist me in contacting emerging farmers. I was then able to meet with groups of representatives from the rural areas. Table 5.3 illustrated that aside from these difficulties I was able to get good representation from emerging farmer and other individuals from disadvantaged communities. 59 6 Case Study 6.1 Natural Characteristics of the Basin The rivers of the Inkomati catchment nourish the lush river basin of North Eastern South Africa and Northern Swaziland. The rivers converge near the Mozambique border to form the Incomati River, which eventually flows through Southern Mozambique and into the Indian Ocean.1 The word "Incomati" means "cow" to local tribes, and, like a cow, the river supplies many needs to the people in the catchment, from economically valuable water for irrigation and industry, to the river's intangible spiritual and aesthetic value. The rivers of the Inkomati Catchment area rise on the South African highveld at an altitude above 2 000m, traverse eastward through the South African Lowveld at an altitude of 150-800m, to the Mozambique coastal plain at an altitude of less than 150m (See Figure 6.1). The total area of the Inkomati basin covers 46 800km2; of this area, 61% falls within South Africa, 5% within Swaziland and 32% within Mozambique (Woodhouse and Hassan, 1999). Figure 6.2 shows that the catchment area is located almost entirely in the province of Mpumalanga, with a small section falling into the Northern Province.2 The area consists of three major catchments: Crocodile, Komati, Sabie-Sand (consisting of the Sabie and the Sand River), and 2 minor catchments: Nwaswitsontso and Nwandezi Rivers (See Figure 6.3). The 2 minor catchments are contained within the conservation area of the Kruger National Park and are therefore not considered beyond their valuable conservation usage (DWAF, 2000b). The area has a summer rainfall and a mean annual precipitation of 736 mm. Table 6.1 displays the mean annual runoff of the various catchments: Table 6.1. The mean annual discharge for the Inkomati Catchment Management Area (DWAF, 2000b).3 Catchment Discharge (millions m 3) Komati 1 420 Crocodile 1 226 Sabie-Sand 750 Nwaswitsontso 12 Nwandezi 6 The Rivers of the Inkomati Basin have experience periods of severe drought and devastating floods. In 1992, a severe drought almost stopped the Sabie River flowing for the first time, while in 1 There is some ambiguity between the use of the terms Inkomati and Incomati. The Rivers within the Inkomati catchment area (Komati, Crocodile, Sabie, Sand , Nwandezi, and Nwaswitsontso) combine in Mozambique to form the Incomati River (Refer to Figure 6.3). Documents on the participatory process use the term Inkomati Basin to describe the whole catchment area. Some sources use the term Incomati Basin to refer to the whole catchment area and so in this research the terms are used interchangeably. 2 The Inkomati Water Management Area is defined in government, notice No 1160, published on the 1st October 1999. 3 D W A F (2000b) uses the term Mean Annual Runoff but discharge was felt to be a more accurate hydrological term. 60 February 2000, the Incomati River, which is fed by the rivers in the Inkomati Basin, experienced its largest recorded flood. The flood was caused by a combination of a very wet season that started in December 1999, followed by a tropical depression that remained stationary over the upstream part of the basin in South Africa, producing extremely high flows in the Crocodile and Sabie rivers (Camo, 2000). The floods were the biggest experienced by the Kruger National Park since its creation in 1898. Fortunately the flood did not cause any direct loss of life but it caused extensive damage to agricultural crops and transport infrastructure. 6.2 Economic Activity Irrigated agriculture is the most important economic activity and it is estimated to cover 87 003 ha of the catchment area (See Table 6.2). The main crops grown are sugar cane, citrus, sub-tropical fruits, tobacco and vegetables. Table 6.2. Total irrigated area in the Inkomati Catchment Management Area ( D W A F , 2000b). Catchment Irrigated Area (ha) Komati (RSA) 34 409 Komati (Swaziland) 15 043 Crocodile 42 321 Sabie-sand 10 273 The total livestock and game numbers, in equivalent large stock units, is 515 000. 2 Exotic afforestation also occurs and covers 365 257 ha (See Table 6.3). Table 6.3. Total permitted afforested areas in the Inkomati Catchment Management Area ( D W A F , 2000b). Catchment Afforestation (ha) Komati (RSA) 90 230 Komati (Swaziland) 32 440 Crocodile 200 000 Sabie-Sand 75 030 Outside of the urban centres there are some significant factories that draw water, including sugar mills, power stations, and a paper mil l (See Table 6.4). Table 6.4. The main industrial users of water in the Komati and Crocodile Catchments ( D W A F , 2000b). Catchment Industry Type Industry (million m3/a) Komati TSB Sugar M i l l at Squamans 0.9 The Mhlume Sugar M i l l in Swaziland 3.2 Eskom 104 Industries in the Olifants Basin 27.5 Crocodile SAPPI mill at Ngodwana 12.4 TSB sugar mill at Malelane 1.5 61 Figure 6.1. A topographical map of the Inkomati Basin showing the rivers rising on the Highveld, at about 2000m, flowing across the Lowveld to the Mozambique coastal plain and the Indian Ocean. The elevation begins at 1500m in the South Western corner of the map, slopes down to 500m at Nelspruit, and then 100m at the Mozambique border (NOWAC, 1999). 62 ^4 O ~ "Z >3l "S ~ • JaJ o S eo S> S « o < "2 S . 1 ^ 1*1 « 63 64 There is an increasing tourist trade within the region: Hazyview, in the Sabie catchment, reportedly accommodated 71 000 tourists in October 1998 (Woodhouse and Hassan, 1999). Much of the tourism is drawn to the Kruger National Park, which attracts over 900 000 visitors each year. The park is home to 507 bird species, 336 trees, 147 mammals, 114 reptiles, 49 fish, and 34 amphibian species and is one of the finest wildlife parks in the world (Murray and Williams, 2000). The Kruger National Park lies between the Crocodile River in the south and the Limpopo River in the north. Its total length north-south is over 350 km, its average width is 60km and it is nearly 1 945 528 ha in extent. 0 6.3 Water Use in the Catchment The current water use in the catchment is displayed in the Table 6.54 (DWAF, 2000b). Table 6.5. Estimated present day water use of land use activities in the Inkomati Catchment Management Area (DWAF, 2000b). Consumer Annual water requirement (million m3) (Including Swaziland but excluding Mozambique) Komati (Figure 6.4) Crocodile (Figure 6.5) Sabie-Sand (Figure 6.6) T O T A L (Figure 6.7) Domestic 36.2 34.6 37 107.8 Industrial 135.65 13.9 0 149.5 Livestock and Game 5.6 2 2.4 10 Irrigation 500.1 307.3 83.2 890.6 Afforestation 145 247.1 128.9 521 Environment/Conservation6 42 60 204.5 306.5 T O T A L 864.5 664.9 456.0 1985.4 The data in Table 6.5 was converted into percentages and graphed for comparison in Figures 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, and 6.7. These graphs illustrate some notable factors about water use in the Inkomati Basin: • Irrigation (45%) is the predominate use of water within the entire Basin, followed by afforestation (26%). • Domestic water use takes up only about 5% of the water used in the catchment. • Industry uses a small portion (8%) of the water use in the Basin. There are some differences in water use between the three catchments: • Compared to the Komati and Crocodile, the Sabie-Sand is unique in its water use. The environmental component in the Sabie-Sand takes up the largest percentage (45%) compared to significantly less in the Komati (5%) and Crocodile (9%). 4 Woodhouse and Hassan (1999) found that there were often discrepancies in the data provided on water use, especially on the amount used for irrigation. The data for this table comes from the DWAF (2000b) proposal, approved by stakeholders in the catchment and is seen as the most accurate data available. 5 Includes a provision of 1315 million m3 to ESKOM and other users outside the basin 6 This is the amount of water required to maintain the resilience and ecological integrity of the system. 65 m 67 69 • There is no industrial use of water in the Sabie-Sand catchment (0%) and very little in the Crocodile (1%) while the Komati uses 16% • Aside from the environmental water use, the largest water user in the Sabie-Sand is afforestation (28%) • Irrigation uses a much smaller percentage in the Sabie-Sand (18%) compared with the Komati (57%) or Crocodile (47%) 6.4 Water Management Concerns There are many competing demands for water resources in the Inkomati Basin. There are also a variety of different cultural perspectives on the value of water, for example some black traditional cultures have a spiritual association with water.7 Box 6.1 uses a story to convey some of these complexities. The Inkomati Basin exhibits several areas of concern for water management: • The provision of domestic water by Transitional Local Council 's (TLC's) and Local government structures is inadequate in many areas, particularly within rural black communities. • A dense and rapidly growing human population is placing an increasing demand on available water supplies for domestic consumption and irrigated agriculture. For example, to meet the growing demand, the Sabie River would be unable to flow during the dry season, a situation which occurred in 1992 (Davies and Day, 1998). • To meet these growing water demands many dam sites have been identified which pose a threat to the conservation status of the rivers. For example, the Sabie River is presently relatively unregulated, relatively unpolluted, and contains a large number of indigenous species, giving it a high conservation status. Rough computer modelling done on the Sabie River indicates that once the Injaka Dam is completed and if the proposed Madras dam is approved the riverine ecosystem in the Kruger National Park could be disrupted leading to a significant reduction in the conservation status of the river (Davie and Day, 1998). • Although water quality is generally within DWAF guidelines, there have been incidences of high levels of the following pollutants: chloride, ammonia, sodium, manganese, arsenic, iron, and aluminium. The sources of pollution come from mining, agriculture, and industry (DWAF, 2000b). • There is an increase in sedimentation in some sections of the river due to agriculture. 7 Only one tribal authority representative mentioned the spiritual importance of water. Representatives generally saw the economic and social value of water as more important than its spiritual value. 70 Box 6.1. A story: Perspectives on the value of water [The names of tribal authorities, individuals and places have been changed] I had been invited to the meeting by the spokesperson for the Tribal Authority. His name was Edward. I drove up the driveway past a faded sign for a coffee plantation, a sign that had eluded me for almost an hour. I felt anxious as I edged from my car to open the rickety gate that led through a row of coffee plants. What was I in for? At the end of the road I saw Edward who greeted me graciously and signalled me into a doorless room. I noticed several other men sitting peacefully in the sun, seemingly unaware of my presence. And then, as i f by some hidden signal, they all gathered chairs and formed a circle around me. "We belong to the Amanzi Tribal authority and the Amanzi Tribal authority was disposed of in 1922 and it only started to get its new recognition..." Edward's voice drifted off as I looked at the hard-gained faces of these men, dressed in tatty T-shirts and toeless shoes. This was the Tribal Authority? "This is the tribal office and these are the councillors his name is... Some have just knocked off work now and the chief himself has just left to go to Bushbuckridge." Their appearances were deceiving because they did not look like "a tribe" but who was I to judge what a tribe should really look like? I listened to their story, told through the passionately ramblings of Edward. He explained that during apartheid they had lost possession of their land and that they were now trying to reclaim it. They were also trying to get a water license for the river that flowed through "their" land. Later I was to discover that others in the community contested their validity as a Tribal Authority. I'm still not sure whom to believe. I inquired about their spiritual association with the river and Edward related what happened when a bridge was constructed over a nearby river. "When that bridge collapsed, who might know what happened? They looked for the information until America; they could not get the information as to why it collapsed. They could not get the information, but they went back to their encyclopaedia and they were told: 'Go and contact the Amanzi tribe.' They came to us and then we told them, 'Look you boys; you don't have to mess up with the river. There is someone staying there, you must do this and that. We have a relationship with the river.' Then we went there, we spoke to that man, who spoke to that river, and that man listened to us. That is why they finished that bridge." I did not understand what he meant by "that man" and so I asked i f it was a spirit. He incredulously responded, "No you know those animals that live in rivers? You know the mad people?" I must have looked blank and so he patiently expanded, "You know one boy was saying that they used to see a white lady sitting there on those rocks when this bridge was being built. While she was sitting there we would say, 'Look there's a white lady! There's... there's a white lady. There!' But when you look there it is vanished. It is like that. If now somebody is trying to be funny, he will go there and he will not come back. You go to the river when you know you have a problem but you don't just go there. So what we are trying to say is that as a tribe we have a strong relationship with the river. Although they would say it is nonsense, it is superstition but a superstition became the truth because they called my tribe to go there and talk to those rocks and the river so that they could finish that bridge." I asked i f I could find out more about the rest of the group who had been listening patiently. Edward went around and introduced each of the councillors with an explanation of their role in 71 the community. He explained that one of them grew a medicinal herb, "There is one plant that is used to treat AIDS. It is available here to treat AIDS. He is looking after those trees. Those trees must not just be destroyed. Traditional leaders must be respected. We respect all these things." After Edward introduced them each individual spoke of how dependant he was on water and how it affected each aspect of his life. One said, "I want the water. I want to drink it. I'm planting the maize: want water. Cabbage, bananas: want water. Self: take the water for porridge. Washing with water. The water is working too much. I want it. I must get the water." At the conclusion of our discussion, Edward extended an invitation for me to visit the nearby village of Mgeni so that I could get a better sense of the water supply difficulties that they faced. A few days later I took up his offer and as I drove through the village with my local guides, Edward's words rang true, "You look at the tanks or reservoirs and look at the actual distribution of water, the infrastructure-there is F*** all. There is nothing." I saw the single water tap that served 1000 people and I thought of what it would be like tomorrow at dawn when woman and children would stand there for hours waiting to get water for the day. I also visited a school and spoke to Maria who explained to me that the lack of water was a community wide-problem, "No, the whole community, we don't have water. We have to use our cars to go far away to get water." Maria explained to me how this situation affected the children in her school, "Yes the children use wheel barrows. They go far away and they come late to school. They come to school exhausted. During break they have to go far away. They came late to school. They arrive even after break. We say it is important that they must get water. We don't punish them when they come late." As I write this story I am sitting on a farm in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. This magnificent, isolated retreat has always been blessed with a good supply of water that runs off the mountains, through gravity- fed pipes, into tanks. However, this morning when I turned on the tap, all I got was a gush of air. After several hours of fiddling with pipes, through telephoned instruction from my father, I realised that graduate school had taught me nothing and I would just have to wait until the manger returned from vacation. So for this week I will have the inconvenience of having to obtain water from a tap outside the kitchen door. My inconvenience will be minimised by the fact that I don't have to rise at 5am and stand in a queue for 2 hours to ensure that I get my share. I also don't have to worry too much about the quality of the water, nor that I will get a backache as I cart the pot a few steps to the kitchen. I also only have to look after myself and I know that in 5 days I will be assured of a warm shower. I'm sure my friends in Mgeni would agree that I have no reason to complain. 72 • Inadequate sanitation in rural areas has lead to cases of E. Coli, which pose a serious threat to human health. For example, an outbreak of cholera occurring in the Nkomazi district during the winter of 1998 could be linked to high levels of E. Coli that were detected in the lower Komati River (DWAF, 2000b). • Alien vegetation invades riparian zones, which decreases water supply and destroys the natural riparian vegetation. DWAF has initiated projects such as Working for Water that aim to remove alien vegetation, particular emphasis is placed on removing alien vegetation from riparian zones. • The rivers are prone to extreme flow patterns, resulting in large-scale floods (experienced in 2000) as well as periods of drought (experienced in 1992). • Commercial forestry has reduced the runoff in the catchment. For example, commercial forestry has reduced the runoff of the Sabie by 115 million m 3 y (20% of virgin runoff). • Increased development in Mozambique will likely lead to them requiring more water from the system. South Africa is obliged, under the Helsinki rules, to a release "a reasonable proportion" of water in any river to its downstream neighbour8. • These rivers, particularly the Sabie River, support a unique and diverse fauna. For example, the Sabie River contains 47 indigenous fish species, which is the highest for any river in South Africa, while the Crocodile and Komati Rivers contain a combined total of 32 indigenous fish species. The Sabie River also supports dense riparian forests, which forms the prime habitat for many large mammals in the Kruger National Park (Davies and Day, 1998). 6.5 International Consideration The Inkomati Basin is an important resource not only for the people of South Africa but also for two of its neighbouring countries, Swaziland and Mozambique. Across the three countries, over two million people depend on the rivers of the Inkomati Basin, and this number may soon increase to three million (Matlou, 2000). The resources of the river are being used to the maximum, and effects are being felt by the people of Mozambique who are dependent on it for subsistence. Salt-water intrusion in the Incomati estuary has caused problems for local farmers, and "activities such as rice production and animal husbandry are already being reduced. Many wells are now saline and the productive potential is diminishing" (WRC, 1999). South Africa has been harshly criticised for its neglect of international commitments to shared water resources in the Inkomati Basin. The National Water Act recognised these criticisms and has strengthened commitment to international obligation. This commitment is stated in principle 11 of the fundamental principles for the New South African water law: Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, 17 March 1992, reprinted in I L M 3 (1992) at 1312. 73 International water resources, specifically shared river systems, shall be managed in a manner that optimises the benefits for all parties in a spirit of mutual co-operation. Allocations agreed for downstream countries shall be respected (DWAF, 1996b). Leestmarker (2000) states that even since the promulgation of the National Water Act, South Africa is still not a good neighbour in the Incomati river basin and is not meeting its international obligations. Building the Injaka Dam in South Africa, and a weir at the border of Ressano Gracia/Komatipoort, are examples of uncoordinated development actions. Local, small-scale farmers in Southern Mozambique are most affected by South Africa's water extraction (Leestmarker, 2000). Aside from these tensions, the Mozambique official that I contacted by telephone expressed no concern about South Africa's use of water in the Incomati system and felt that there was a good working relationship between the two countries in terms of the management of water resources.9 There are extensive trilateral and bilateral treaties between South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique with respect to the rivers of the Inkomati catchment area. These treaties are summarised in Table 6.6. Table 6.6. Summary of the international treaties pertaining to the rivers of the Incomati Basin between South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique (DWAF, 2000b). Name of treaty Date initiated Essential elements of the agreement Trilateral treaties between Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa Best Joint Utilisation Treaty 1967 ° Promote the rational development of water resources of mutual interest 0 Provide for collaboration on agreements that are based on joint studies ° Harmonise interests to eliminate, reduce or compensate for damage due to modification of natural flow regime Tripartite Permanent Technical Committee (TPTC) Agreement 1983 ° Prepare reports by the TPTC to recommend optimum schemes that meet the needs of the three States, on the basis of preliminary studies, carried out jointly or individually Piggs Peak Agreement 1991 ° Undertake a joint study of the water resources, demands and development potential of the Inkomati River Basin ° Proceed with phase one of the Komati River Basin Development 0 Maintain a cross-border flow of 2m3/s in the Incomati River at Ressano Garcia (Komatipoort) ° Place limits on South Africa's constructed storage and water abstraction, before consultation with TPTC level in needed. South African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Shared Watercourse Systems 1995 Based on the Helsinki rules and involves the following general principles: 0 Each state uses shared water course systems, without prejudice to sovereign rights 0 Apply rules of customary international law concerning the management of resources ° Maintain a balance between resource development and conservation to enhance sustainable development 0 Establish close co-operation on projects and the exchange of information in relation to shared water courses 9 A representative from ARA-SUL 74 ° Utilise shared water courses equitably ° No waste shall be discharged into systems without a permit ° Notify potentially affected states without delay of emergency situations ° Prevent introduction of harmful alien aquatic species ° Protect systems from pollution and environmental degradation Bilateral Agreements between South Africa and Swaziland Swaziland Ranches Agreement 1948 ° Agree on abstraction of water by Swaziland of the Lower Komati River ° Supersede the agreement with the Komati Treaty once the Maguga Dam is operational Joint Water Commission (JWC) Treaty 1992 ° Co-operate on common resources on the basis of the Helsinki Rules ° Act as technical advisor to both governments on matters relating to common water resources ° Advise governments in a report signed by the leaders of the JWC ° Consider interests of Mozambique in resources of common interests to all three countries ° Supply the JWC with all information or plans relating to water resources Komati Treaty 1992 ° Affirm the use of water on the basis of the Helsinki Rules ° Provide for the development and utilisation of the water resources of the Komati River Basin, specifically the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the Driekoppies and Maguga Dams ° Establish the Komati River Basin Water Authority (KOBWA) Bilateral Agreements between South Africa and Mozambique Joint Water Commission (JWC) Treaty 1996 ° Co-operate based on the Helsinki Rules ° Act as technical advisor to both government on matters concerning water resources of common interest ° Recommend mechanisms to co-ordinate and integrate findings and develop plans relating to water resources of common interest ° Advise governments in a report signed by the leaders of the JWC ° Supply the JWC with any information or plans relating to water resources The Komati Treaty allowed for the establishment of the Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA), which possesses legal standing in Swaziland and South Africa. The objectives of K O B W A are the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of sub-phase 1A (Driekoppies Dam) and sub-phase IB (Maguga Dam), subject to the Joint Water Commission (JWC). K O B W A is managed and controlled by a board of directors which are equally appointed by Swaziland and South Africa (DWAF, 2000b). 6.6 Social Aspects The Inkomati Basin falls within the province of Mpumalanga (see Figure 6.2). The province covers an area of 79 490 km 2 and has an estimated population of 3 114 400. Nelspruit is the capital of 75 Mpumalanga with a population of 105 300.1 0 Figure 6.3 shows the main settlements of the Inkomati Catchment Area, which include: Badplaas, Barberton, Bushbuckridge, Carolina, Eerstehoek, Enyamazaneni (also called KaNyamazane), Graskop, Hazyview, Kamaqhekeza, Komatipoort, Malelane, Mkuhlu, Ngodini, Sabie, Skukuza, Thulamahashe, and White River. Throughout the region there are smaller settlements that are not indicated on Figures 6.2 or 6.3. These settlements are scattered rural villages often without municipal services and often with high levels of poverty and unemployment. They are located, predominately, along the western border of the Kruger National Park (the Park's borders are indicated in Figure 6.2) between Mkuhlu and KaNyamazane, and in the Nkomazi Region (the Nkomazi Region is indicated in Figure 6.3). According to Woodhouse and Hassan (1999), the population density reaches over 50 people/km2 in the lower Crocodile and Sabie, while the concentration reaches over 100 people/km2 in the Sand, lower Lomati and lower Komati sub-catchments. Elsewhere in the water management area, population density is less than 35 people/km2. Overall the population of the W M A is projected to reach 2.5 million by the year 2010~a million more than in the mid 1990's~as a consequence, water requirements for primary use will triple from 67 MnrVa to 188Mm3/a (Woodhouse and Hassan, 1999). Present population figures for the catchments are shown in Table 6.7. Table 6.7. Present population figures derived from the 1980, 1985 and 1991census, excluding Mozambique (DWAF, 2000b).1 1 Catchment Population Komati (RSA) 550 300 Komati (Swaziland) 151 900 Crocodile 497 640 Sabie-Sand 794 900 Nwaswitsontso 840 Nwandezi 840 This region displays the products of apartheid social planning, which marginalised many communities from tenure rights, financial assistance, agricultural support and adequate education. These restrictions resulted in socio-economic divisions along racial grounds, where non-white individuals were unable to actively engage in certain economic activities. The combination of limited access and inadequate education created physical and psychological barriers for socio-economic transformation. The socio-economic divisions are still evident within the ex-homeland area of Nkomazi and in the many townships that surround the urban centres. The Nkomazi area (with a population of 350 000) does not have a single community with waterborne sanitation; it is estimated that over the entire catchment area, 50% of the population has poor access to drinking water and sanitation facilities (DWAF, 2000b). 1 0 Figures for population were based on estimates for 2002 and obtained from www.world-gazetteer.com 1 1 The 1995 census data was not used in the source because of the difficulty in correlating these values with the new Catchment area boundaries. 76 Furthermore 40% of the economically employable population of the Nkomazi area are estimated to be unemployed (Woodhouse and Hassan, 1999). In the Sand catchment, Mokgope et al. (2001) state that 44% of the population is estimated to have water supplies below government minimum levels. 6.7 Political Dimensions and Institutional Arrangements The restructuring of government institutions, since the democratic election in 1994, is an important political issue in the Inkomati area. A critical aspect is the establishment of capable local government that is connected with community needs. 6.7.1 Local government transition In the general election of 1994, much media focus fell on the establishment of the national government and the nine provincial governments, but too little emphasis was placed on transforming local governance (Swilling and Boya, 1999). This is a concern because local governments are responsible for creating improvements in housing, health care, infrastructure, and the delivery services. Huge administrative backlogs, created during the democratic transition, hampered local government's capacity to function efficiently (Pycroft, 1999). Reforming local government in the Inkomati catchment is an immense task, because, under apartheid, local government developed as a confused patchwork of administrative systems with divisions between urban and rural areas, between previously designated white and black areas, between different provincial administrations, and, most problematically, between areas that formerly fell under the jurisdiction of the 'independent homelands' and those within the Republic of South Africa. The former homelands of Kangwane, Gazankulu and Lebowa form part of the Inkomati catchment area. 6.7.2 Homeland policy In the 1960's, the apartheid government declared that native reserves would be grouped into ten territories called "homelands" (See Figure 6.8). These areas were supposed to become an African nation, administered under white tutelage by a set of Bantu authorities, consisting mainly of hereditary chiefs (Thompson, 1990). A statement issued in 1967 by the Department of Bantu Administration and Development states the rationale behind this policy. It is accepted Government policy that the Bantu are only temporarily residents in the European areas of the South African Republic for as long as they offer their labour there. As soon as they become, for one reason or another, no longer fit for work or superfluous in the labour market they are expected to return to their country of origin or the territory of the national unit where they fit ethnically if they were not born and bred in their homeland (Platzky & Walker, 1985, p. 65). The government tried to place all Africans, except those who were employed in white areas as labourers, into the homeland areas. The designated homeland territories, in most cases, did not correspond with the traditional land of the people assigned to that homeland (Moerdijk, 1981). This led to forced removals of communities and an intensification of overpopulation and social disruption. Apartheid focused commercial and industrial development in white areas without any revenue that was 77 accrued to white local authorities being expended in the black areas. The homelands were therefore predominantly residential areas, populated by people who worked in the white areas. Commercial services were available mostly in the white areas but were relatively absent in the black areas, leading to increased black consumer spending in white areas. The financial drain of resources from poor black areas to the richer white areas led to the systematic underdevelopment of the black areas (Swilling and Boya, 1999). The homelands soon became "underdeveloped enclaves within South African society" (Moerdijk, 1981). Though the homelands were officially amalgamated into South Africa in 1994, they are still recognisable as pockets of underdevelopment. To address this, development projects such as the Nkomazi Irrigation Expansion Project (NIEP) have been initiated within the ex-homeland area of Kangwane. This project has achieved some success within the district in establishing black commercial sugar cane growers. NIEP has provided support, funding, and resources to assist in the establishment of 19 irrigation projects, supporting 960 emerging farmers. The programme began in the early 1990's and comprised two phases, phase 1A involved establishing 707 farmers on 5300 hectares, while the balance was to be implemented under phase IB (DBSA, 1998). However, future phases of the project are likely to be impeded due to the lack of an integrated development plan for the region, limited access to water rights and resources, and most importantly extensive institutional transition. So far, NIEP has focused on sugar cane, which is an inefficient user of water compared with sub-tropical crops, such as mango orchards. There is debate as to whether the area should allow any more development of such a water intensive crop (Woodhouse and Hassan, 1999). 78 KaNgwane INDEPENDENT REPUBLICS | Venda Bophuthatswana _ m ( n M toun(toy Ciskei e I S I I Transkei SELF-GOVERNING TERRITORIES Gazankulu KwaZulu KaNgwane Lebowa KwaNdebele { QwaQwa i NAMIBIA j • r ^ s Provincial boundary „ y /TVi I I / * W • Prt lot i* I / TRANSVAAL 'j**™**™* C A P E P R O V I N C E AIMSYAAL n L V-Vv«r«nl9lng Jj KimbWoRANGE FREE S T A T ^ ^ ^ ^ T A L ^ / Slowntonltin HL . PlatarmtfltzbUfB Ocean Indian Ocean East London Cap* Town Port Elizabeth 150 - i . -300 kilometres Figure 6.8. A map of South Africa showing the homeland areas and the old provincial boundaries that were in place before the first democratic elections in 1994. The area of importance to this thesis is indicated with an arrow in the top right hand side of the map. This are is called KaNgwane (Smith and David, 1992). 79 7 Introduction to the Participatory Process Conducted to Establish the Inkomati Catchment Management Agency The following chapter provides a perspective on the participatory process conducted to draft a proposal for the establishment of the Inkomati Catchment Management agency. The first section summarises the approach to the participatory process, based on information provided by the D W A F Mpumalanga Regional Office1 and personal observations drawn from the three meetings that I attended2 (DWAF, 2000b). This summary does not reflect any of the comments obtained from individuals involved in the participatory process. Their inputs will be discussed in the findings section (Chapter 8). Appendix B summarises the meetings that were held throughout the participatory process. The summary was constructed from meeting minutes that were collected from the D W A F Regional Office. Some meetings did not take minutes or did not submit them to D W A F Regional Office and so the table may not be reflective of all the meetings that were conducted in the participatory process. Some stakeholders also expressed concern over the accuracy of the information conveyed in the meeting minutes. The second section provides a perspective on five factors in the catchment that affected the participatory process. These factors contributed to creating a challenging atmosphere for effective decision-making. An understanding of this atmosphere assists in framing the assessment of the participatory process. 7.1 Summary of the Participatory Process The process was initiated with broad objectives of establishing institutions that would be representative of water users, impactors, and spheres of government in the catchments of the Mpumalanga Province. Later in the participatory process, focus was placed on the establishment of a Catchment Management Agency (CMA), specifically the drafting of a proposal for the establishment of the Inkomati C M A . The process began before the National Water Act was promulgated in 1998, which created difficulties because the legislation and supporting documentation governing the process of establishing C M A ' s were still being developed. Bringing stakeholders together, sharing information on future objectives, building capacity and most importantly establishing representative working groups of water users in the catchment that could steer the process, were the main objectives of the meetings. The process was conducted through the recently established, Mpumalanga Regional Office of D W A F in Nelspruit. 1 The full description of the information is available in D W A F (2000a). It should be noted that those who were commissioned to run the participatory process wrote the information contained in this document. 21 attended three meetings in the closing stages of the participatory process (August to October 2000). 80 During the meetings, stakeholders brought water-related issues forward. Issues that could not be addressed directly in the meetings were referred to different sections of D W A F and in some cases additional meetings were held in certain regions. For example, additional meetings were held in the Lower Komati to discuss urgent concerns expressed by emerging irrigation farmers3 in the Nkomazi district. Information related to these problems was shared with relevant sectors in DWAF. Regular meetings were held between policy developers at Head office and the Mpumalanga Regional Office, specifically about the establishment of the C M A . The emphasis in the process was towards establishing a representative body to obtain input on the drafting of the proposal and not an open consultation with the general public. The minutes requested that information be made available to the broader public but it does not seem that much emphasis was placed on this. At many of the meetings large groups arrived that were not a part of a representative forum. This was identified as a concern in the process and was caused by not having strong enough representatives and feedback mechanisms in certain sectors. Workshops were sometimes held in specific sectors (particularly in black, rural communities) to assist them in understanding certain aspects of the legislation. Throughout the process, numerous terms were used such as, forum, steering committee, reference group. My understanding is that there seems to be very little difference between these but that different names for the various representative structures seemed to evolve throughout the process (see Appendix B). After being submitted to the Minister, the proposal will be distributed to interested parties and the general public for further comment and evaluation. Based on the three participatory process meetings I attended and after reading and analysing the minutes, my impression of the meetings was that they followed a fairly set agenda. The facilitators and technical experts would present aspects of the proposal and request comments. There were often opportunity for discussion and the minutes reflected some of the comments made by the stakeholders. The discussions were often heated, particularly in the final stages. At the second last meeting some members of the agricultural community left the meeting and refused to participate because they felt that there inputs were not being taken seriously. At the final meeting some members of the emerging farmers interrupted the presentations because they felt that their concerns were not addressed in the process. Many of the objections expressed in the meetings were not adequately captured in the meeting minutes. 3 The emerging farmers consisted of farmers who were not established in the commercial sector, but were farming, on a small-scale, subsistence basis, with limited irrigation, or who were waiting for the resources and capital to begin farming (See Section 8.1.3.5 for a more detailed description). 81 7.1.1 Summary of the participatory process in the Komati Catchment (Appendix B: Table B.l) The process was initially built on an existing structure formed for water quality purposes in the Gladde spruit on the Komati River. At the initial meeting, held in Nelspruit, it was decided that a full forum of all water users and government departments should be held by the end of 1997 and that the meeting would be chaired by the CEO of the Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA). The first forum meeting was held in Barberton in November 1997, where it was decided to have separate meetings in the upper and lower Komati. The main aim was to ensure that all role-players were involved and that information was adequately shared between sectors on the proposed C M A . Various meetings were held to get specific sectors involved such as emerging farmers and TLC ' s . Sectors that were well organised and involved were industry, specifically Eskom and Tranvaal Sugar Board (TSB), mining and commercial irrigation farmers, through irrigation boards. Many emerging farmers are not a part of irrigation boards but some of them are established into agricultural societies. These societies were represented on the proposed C M A structures. Civic society was also involved through the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) and tribal authorities. Information sharing was emphasised during the meetings and people were usually asked to raise water-related issues. DWAF paid for transport, on some occasions, to assist in getting emerging farmers and civil society to the meetings. In April 1998 the participatory process started focusing on drafting a proposal to the Minister for the establishment of a C M A . In November 1998, consultants were appointed by the D W A F regional office, to assist in facilitating meetings and drafting the proposal for the C M A , outlined in section 77 of the National Water Act. The meetings involved extensive discussions with stakeholders over the information provided in the situation assessment, the purposed functions of the C M A , and the proposed structure of the C M A . 7.1.2 Summary of the participatory process in the Crocodile Catchment (Appendix B: Table B.2) In January 1998 the participatory process was initiated in the Crocodile Catchment. Emphasis was placed on sharing information on the new water legislation and on the process of establishing the C M A . Special emphasis was given to forming a representative group for the catchment. To improve representation, it was decided that it would be beneficial to have meetings with various sectors and within geographical areas. Some of these meetings included: Dullstroom Escarpment committee; Elands Valley Conservancy; Kaap River; White River Conservation Board; Forestry Water Liaison Committee; tourism/conservation; civic societies; T L C and government; agriculture; mining and industry. Many of these meetings were organised by the water users themselves. Consideration was also given to involving grassroots organizations. Meetings were also held with potential emerging 82 farmers and representatives were identified to represent the emerging farmers in the process. The participatory process in the Crocodile was greatly aided by the presence of many representative bodies that were familiar with water related issues. In May 1998, the first joint meeting of the Crocodile and Komati Steering committees was held (See Appendix B: Table B .4). 7.1.3 Summary of the participatory process in the Sabie-Sand Catchment (Appendix B: Table B.3) The process started in the Sabie River with the Department of Water Affairs holding a meeting with the Sabie River Working Group (SRWG). Thereafter, formal meetings were held with other stakeholders from February 1999. During these initial meetings it was decided, with some difference of opinion, that the Sabie and Sand Rivers should form one steering group to be represented in the larger Inkomati representative structure. The process began in the Sand catchment in April 1999 and the first combined meeting of the Sabie-Sand steering committee was held in June 1999. In July 1999 consultants were hired in the Sabie-Sand catchment to assist with facilitating meetings and drafting the proposal. The process in the Sabie-Sand started later than the process in the other two catchments but the Sabie-Sand forum was able to contribute well to discussions due to their knowledge of water related issues. This could be contributed to the work of the SRWG, the Bushbuskridge Water Board and the work of the Save the Sand Project. Stakeholders from the Sabie-Sand catchment seemed to have a more positive engagement in the process than those involved from the other two catchments. This seems to be attributed to the work of other processes in the catchment, such as the SRWG and other NGO's that encouraged integrated water management initiatives. The consultants that were hired to work specifically within the Sabie-Sand catchment were already actively involved in the communities, which assisted in obtaining better representation and engagement in the process. Many stakeholders expressed a desire to try and establish a separate C M A in each of the three catchments. These sentiments were expressed most strongly in the Sabie-Sand catchment because of the different water use priorities within the Catchment. However, nineteen catchment areas were legislated in 1999 and published in the government gazette. This meant that one Inkomati Catchment management area had to be formed, combining the Crocodile, Komati and Sabie-Sand participatory processes into one. 7.1.4 Summary of the participatory process in the combined Inkomati Catchment (Appendix B: Table B.5) Before the three forums were combined, a representative structure for the Inkomati C M A was proposed. This structure proposed the establishment of three Catchment Management Committees (CMC's), one from each catchment, that would allow for more stakeholder representation on the C M A 83 governing board. It was proposed that the members of the C M A governing board be selected from the three C M C ' c . Once the C M C structure was approved in the participatory process, D W A F focused on try to get, from each sector, written nomination for representatives on the C M C ' s . For example, a representative for forestry in the Crocodile catchment required a nomination letter from the forestry sector to support this individual as a forestry representative for the Crocodile C M C . The names of these nominated C M C representatives were included in the proposal to the minister. In October 1999, the first Joint meeting of the Komati, Crocodile and Sabie-Sand catchment areas was held. At this meeting all information was discussed and a decision was taken to draft the first proposal for the establishment of the Inkomati C M A . This first proposal was distributed during December 1999. Numerous comments were received and open discussions were held on the contents of the proposal. The proposal was also discussed with the chief directors of the D W A F Head Office in February 2000. Discussions on the proposal continued amongst stakeholders, specifically on the financial implications for the water users in terms of the new pricing policy. Special meetings were conducted with the agricultural sector and they obtained legal opinion on the proposal. The sector expressed some fierce resistance to certain aspects of the proposal. A subsequent draft was produced and further comments received until a final proposal was compiled and submitted to the minister in October 2000. 7.2 Factors in the Inkomati Catchment that affected the participatory process The participatory process took place within the context of the Inkomati catchment area. The following five conditions in the catchment affected the participatory process. These factors created a challenging atmosphere for effective decision-making. 7.2.1 A murky atmosphere: Mistrust of those involved 7.2.1.1 Mistrust towards different races and sectors Apartheid, through political and economic mechanisms, created a divided society: socially, economically and culturally. In this context stakeholders exhibited mistrust towards different sectors and racial groups. For example, a white female expressed fear towards some of the activities of the black emerging farmers in the process: The biggest problem was the emerging farmers. They were trying to use it as a forum to get what they wanted and it was not a political meeting and they were using it as a political venue. That was a bit off-putting. There were a couple times that I felt rather uncomfortable sitting amongst them as a white woman. That should not have happened there, that was not part of the process (To 4). As a white woman, this individual felt threatened in the presence of a large group of black emerging farmers. This is indicative of a mistrust that was founded on incidents that occurred outside of the participatory process. There were occasions where stakeholders referred to past experiences to explain the behaviour of other individuals in the participatory process. For example, a black government 84 official criticised the participatory process because he felt black individuals were being deliberately excluded. He referred to an incident that occurred during apartheid to explain why this was occurring: Because they have never taken a black person seriously. The situation in the apartheid days was so bad that a black person was not taken as a human being. . . .As an example: I was working, in the bakery division, for the Premier Group There was a white lady who used to work with us and she happened to be the cashier. ... We had about 30 to 50 trucks carrying bread out everyday and the black drivers were bringing cash back. Now [the white cashier] used to interact with those drivers on a daily basis. .. .One day the manager came in there and I can't remember the exact discussion but I remember her response in Afrikaans. Her response was, and she was honest. I was watching her face, she was honest to God. ... She looked at the manager, also an Afrikaner manager and said, " Maar meneer a Kaffir is mos nie a mens nie 4." ... She was brought up in a sense to know that a black person is not a human being.... In other words [she was saying] "What the hell are you trying to tell me that I must deal with these people in a different way than I' m dealing with them because I'm not dealing with a human being."... Now that is how serious the apartheid system was, so you can understand when I say that P W A F ] has to be more assertive. Those officials are getting paid to implement policies (PG 1). Without the history o f racism, under apartheid, this government official might have been more trusting of the white individuals in the participatory process. Some white representatives, in the participatory process, still expressed prejudice against black individuals. The following quote from an interview with a white commercial farmer, illustrates this attitude: C A 13: They are kidding themselves that the only reason why the blacks are poor in South Africa is because the white people kept them there. That is a nonsense story. What about the rest of Africa, where the whites have moved out for the last 40 years? Now they are deadly poor. The only thing that can fix up Africa is that it must be re-colonised. I am serious. Otherwise nothing is going to happen there. Interviewer: You are not very positive about South Africa's future? C A 13: No, I'm not. It depends. If they allow the white capital to stay, I am positive. If they drive it out like they did in the whole of Africa, they will go down to the level of Maputo-nothing. Interviewer: There is not a chance that the white farmers can try and engage and share some of their knowledge and the skills? C A 13: The problem is not with the .whites. Why did the black people drive out all the whites in the whole of Africa? Why did they drive them off? ...It has got to do with a misconception. They don't value expertise. They don't understand it. Interviewer: You don't think it is because they have not been exposed to it? C A 13: They all grew up under white leadership and schooling, plenty of exposure (CA 13). This individual implied that black participants would never be able to grasp the technical expertise required to run the C M A . Involving representatives with these beliefs in a participatory process presents a challenge as effective participation is based on the concept that al l participants should be treated with equal respect. Removing these perceptions w i l l take time and a participatory process provides an opportunity for interact between races and sectors that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices. Some black individuals expressed trust towards white communities and explained that this trust had stemmed from their interaction within the community. A representative from a civic organisation captures this attitude: 85 No, for myself [there was no mistrust]. Because I have worked with white people, I know them so for me to adjust to them is very simple. What I have discovered is that the experienced ones are prepared to help the emerging ones (CS 2). The establishment of a C M A , where all members of the community can work together and have an equal say in the decision-making process, is an important way o f breaking down misperceptions that have built up through apartheid. However, the establishment o f these intuitions in the midst of such mistrust is a formidable challenge. 7.2.1.2 Mistrust towards government A wide range of stakeholders expressed mistrust towards the government. The white commercial farmers were concerned that the government was just trying to obtain more taxes from farmers, which would not benefit them in any way. Many believed that the government was corrupt in the way they used public funds. This perception is captured in the following quote: At the end of the day the government does not have money because they steal the money, waste the money. There are not honest people in places. At the end of the day [they are] taking more and more out of a small cake, trying to distribute the money. At the end of the day [the government] does not look at how to make the cake bigger and how to get the people to invest in the country. It is not going to work (Hal ) . Members of the disadvantaged black communities did not trust that the government was interested in addressing their needs and past experiences have made them reluctant to believe government promises. A black community representative expressed this sentiment as a reason why many black individuals were not extensively involved in the participatory process: In some other villages the people are tired, because one other thing which makes people tired is the government and government promises. The government promises more jobs and everything and it does not happen. Better houses, roads, free education, free medical, and so on but it in never happens. The people are not happy about that. They don't want to be involved in politics but they want to know what is happening. They don't know even what to do (CS 3). Past experiences with the government also exacerbated the level o f mistrust in the C M A process. One emerging farmer explained that the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry had come to the area and promised that the process of establishing the C M A would not hamper further development projects for emerging farmers. However, she got the impression that the C M A process was responsible for hindering development. These broken promises created frustration and mistrust towards government as expressed in the following quote: When the Driekoppies dam was finished the Minister came down and promised those farmers. He made a promise to those farmers that this process of the C M A would not stop the development. It came from the Minister. Now they are surprised that the dam is long ago finished but this C M A did stop the process of getting water. The C M A can continue but it must not stop the development. Now the C M A came in and stopped the development. The development has stopped. I don't say it is the C M A but we don't know who stopped that development. When we go there they just tell you, "No there is no water." They must explain. They must not say that there is no water, .. .without any explanation- just no water (EF 4). 4 "But sir a Kaffir is not a human being.v 86 The government needs to build trust by being more transparent in explaining why applications for water rights are refused or delayed. 7.2.2 An imbalanced atmosphere: Extensive power imbalances The power imbalances, created through the social construct of apartheid, were evident in the process. The imbalances were experienced in sectors that are new to dialogues on water management. . Some sectors, such as the tourism, felt they were unable to engage in a dialogue with more powerful and organised sectors, such as commercial agriculture. This is expressed by a spokesperson for the tourism industry: It is a difficult one because the cane farmers are a very powerful lobby. The trout farmers and recreational dams have not got a lobby yet (To 1). These imbalances created difficulties in the participatory process as the design of the meetings had to cater for a wide range of sectors that had different resources and levels of knowledge about water management. 7.2.3 An uncharted atmosphere: A high level of uncertainty and change The recent introduction of a range of new policies within the government, as well as institutional reform, has led to institutional instability and confusion in many government offices. South Africa does not have extensive experience in participatory processes and so government departments are struggling to implement the processes. In the midst of new legislation, new institutions, and new participatory processes it is not surprising that many people felt lost and fearful of change. A representative for the emerging farmers captured these difficulties in the following quote: There were a lot of fears. Obviously when there is change it is very unsafe. There is lots of uncertainty. It is scary and people do not want to change. It is scary because nobody knows what the change will bring. It becomes a problem (EF 3). Change was a constant factor in the process and adapting and restructuring to new problems further challenged the process. This was the first C M A participatory process to be run in the country and so many government officials were working without any prior experience of how to deal with the questions and issues that evolved. 7.2.4 A turbulent atmosphere: A history of conflict beyond the scope of the process Many individuals came into the process with contentious feelings about external situations, causing conflict between stakeholders in the process. For Example, there was conflict between conservation representatives and some of the Irrigation boards around the building of a weir. The weir was built on a river that flows into a National Park, without first obtaining complete approval from the Park. A conservation representative for the National Park described the situation: It was 1995-1996, .. .they spent a million and a half rand and it is down the river and we won't let go. It is almost now becoming a matter of principle. It is incredible how they have just pushed this thing forward, and pushed it, and pushed it. ... They thought everything was hunky-dory and we were just 87 being obstructive. The thing that they were going to build there was just completely unacceptable. ... A l l sorts of funny schemes and this thing had these huge gates with 2 tonne cement blocks that would fit in like that and they have to be removed the beginning of every summer to score out the silt. We have massive problems in the Olifants River, in terms of silt scoring. There were really huge potential impacts. That is why we opposed it. [The irrigation boards] just think that we are being obstructionists (E/C 5). The conservation representative related that, because of the weir, one of the irrigation board members, "hates me. He almost never greets me" (E/C 5). When asked what he would have changed about the C M A process, he said, "I would have made sure that there was no weir" (E /C 5). Another contentious issue was the government moratorium on building of dams in the catchment. This was particularly contentious for the Dullstroom tourist industry that relies on trout fishing dams to attract recreational fly-fisherman. A tourism representative explained that the moratorium had a negative affect on the economic growth of Dullstroom and was exacerbating unemployment in the area: They are not allowing any dams to be built anyway, which is affecting tourism, which is affecting businesses, affecting employment and eventually affecting the income of Mpumalanga. .. .Let us say that there are 20 more dams in this area. Let us say that might mean 200 fisherman, their wives would be shopping in the town today. I might be fuller midweek; more employment, the whole thing. The ramifications go down to Nelspruit because we need toilet rolls and food. That is what tourism is all about, to generate income and jobs, not to make us rich guys a little richer (To 1). A conservation representative explained reasons for the government decision to place a moratorium on dam building: One guy is a fish specialist and he actually did his PhD on these little Barbus species in the catchment. They have got little pockets for that sub-specie. .. .Now a guy comes and builds a dam there and puts trout in it. You can just see why they have reacted like they did because dams were just everywhere. Suddenly everyone was just getting on to this thing of trout farming and everybody in Sandton had a 4X4 to come trout fishing over weekends and so on (E/C 5). The conflict over this issue was heightened through the way that government explained and implemented the moratorium. Many felt that the decision was implemented autocratically, producing mistrust and anger towards government. A representative from a fish hatchery in the area was enraged by the explanation that he was given on who was able to build dams: A guy walks in here and basically infuriates everyone at the meeting because he came here and made a whole lot of statements and he said, "If you are white you wil l never get a permit to build a dam again and if are black you will definitely get one." That is wrong (Ha 2). These contentious issues created underlying difficulties in the participatory process. They limited the ability for stakeholders to trust each other and build relationships that are needed to establish a participatory decision-making forum, such as a C M A . 7.2.5 A pressurised atmosphere: A high level of socio-economic stress Poverty is an on-going struggle in many of the rural areas, and these conditions affected many of the individuals involved in the public participation process. There is extensive pressure for an increase in economic activity, particularly farming, to alleviate high levels o f unemployment. The 88 economy of the region needs to be diversified into activities that wi l l generate wealth in poorer black communities. A district councillor, who had spent time with many of the farmers in the rural areas, reflected on these difficulties: They are desperate because they want to start farming. .. .Now water is one of the crises that they face because you might get the land but there is no water there. It is a problem. You can't grow there. You can't grow anything because there is no water. So that is the problem because others were just reporting that their crops were dying because after the heavy rains, .. .pumps were washed away and people had to suffer some losses as a result of that (LG 2). There are still discrepancies between the services provided in the historically white and historically black areas. A black consultant, involved in facilitating the process, explained these differences. He compared the facilities in his black village with the services provided in the nearby white towns of Hazyview and White River. He illustrated, on a map, how geographically close these two areas were but how different the service provision was in each: I am staying in this area on the map. I am telling you that all these communities do have water reticulation pipes. The nearest settlement to Hazyview is about 4km away and they don't have clean water and Hazyview is having clean water. From my village ...to White River it is a mere 19km. We don't have clean water here. .. .Here in my community, we last got water, in my house, last November. Now we have got pipes and everything here but the pipes don't have water. .. .The source cannot supply all the people everyday so they have got to regulate the valves. Today they close it and that day they don't close it. Then people forget, and all those things, which is not how we should live (Fa 2). The socio-economic conditions heighten the difficulties in the process. A regional economic plan should be developed that does not hamper the current generators o f wealth, but seeks to address the unequal distribution of wealth across the catchment. Conclusion This section summarised the participatory process that was conducted in the Inkomati catchment based on information obtained from D W A F and personal observations. D W A F established representative forums in each of the catchments to discuss the proposal and other water management issues in the catchment. The forums were combined into one Reference Group for the Inkomati Catchment. This group further contributed to the content of the proposal until it was submitted near the end o f 2000. In addition to the Forum meetings with representatives, open public meetings were held in specific regions to exchange information and discuss representation on the forums. The context of the Inkomati catchment presented significant difficulties for the participatory process: the atmosphere was murky with mistrust, towards government and other sectors; the atmosphere was unbalanced, with different degrees o f power between sectors; the atmosphere was uncharted, with high levels of uncertainty and change; the atmosphere was turbulent, with a history of external conflict between sectors; and the atmosphere was pressurised with a high-levels of socio-economic stress. 89 8 Findings 8.1 Representation In the design of a procedurally just process, careful attention needs to be given to ensuring that all sectors are adequately represented. Without the correct people, procedural justice will have no affect on the process. Representation in this research relates to the selection of individuals to be involved in the participatory process, and not the process of obtaining written nominations for the three Catchment Management Committees. This section discusses DWAF's approach to obtaining representation and the difficulties related to the following issues: the level of representation, the selection of representatives, the vested interests held by representatives, the feedback of information from representatives, and the inconsistent involvement of representatives. Finally, the range of sectors involved in the participatory process is discussed, with particular reference to sectors that were identified as being inadequately involved. 8.1.1 Approach to representation DWAF's approach to representation involved obtaining representatives from structured organisations that were involved or interested in water management issues. The representatives of the sectors were established into three River Forums (also referred to as steering committees), one for each catchment. Representatives were expected to feed information back to their constituencies so that DWAF would not have to run extensive consultation with the general public. D W A F held public forums, within specific sectors or regions, to obtain nominations for the River Forums. For example, D W A F held a meeting with the industry sector in the Crocodile Catchment, on the 14 th of April 1998, to obtain representatives for the Crocodile River forum. Sub-forums were also established to assist in obtaining a wide range of representatives from different sectors or regions in the three catchments. For example, the Komati Catchment was divided into an Upper and Lower River Forum, which eventually combined to form one River Forum. The Komati, Crocodile and Sabie-Sand River Forums were eventually combined into one reference group for the Inkomati Catchment area. The Inkomati Reference Group participated in drafting and commenting on the proposal for the Inkomati C M A . An environmental representative commented on DWAF's approach to representation: They did a very big effort of trying to involve people. There were quite a lot of initiatives. One was inviting people to participate in the bigger forum and then out of those, choosing representatives who would represent different sectors (E\C 1). 90 8.1.2 Difficulties experienced in achieving representation 8.1.2.1 Selection of representatives Representation was achieved by first approaching established organisations such as irrigation boards and agricultural unions. These organisations would then nominate some one to represent them in the process. In cases where sectors did not have representative bodies, individuals were sometimes asked to attend based on their involvement in the sector and not because they were nominated from their constituency. For example, a tourism representative was asked to be involved because he was established in the area but he indicated that he was not aware of who he actually represented in the process and who he should feed information back to. In some cases forums were established that became effective representative structures in certain areas. For example, the area around Dullstroom formed a multi-sectoral sub-catchment committee. There were some stakeholders who felt that the representation was democratic and fair. The following commercial farmer expressed his support of how representation was achieved: We have discussed it and it was a democratic system that took place. Al l people, as I said in the beginning, were invited to the meetings. I really mean everybody. We had to have these very big halls to accommodate the people. There the system was worked out who would be representing the emerging farmer, the irrigation boards, the industry, the municipalities, the trout farmers and there were allocated 2 or 3 members of each. .. .That was done by meetings of all the people and every group. For instance, the crocodile river irrigation board nominated me. .. Down there [he] was nominated. ... We do have woman there, we do have black woman there, we do have black men there but in the minority for the simple reason that in the meetings, when everybody was there, that was the people that were nominated and definitely nobody ever tried to get all white males in there (CA 5). D W A F did provide opportunities, in certain areas, for communities to nominate and discuss representation in the process. For example, meetings, held in Mzinti on the 15 May, 25 May, 3 June, 27 July and 19 November 1998, allowed emerging farmers to select their own representatives for the Komati River Forum. DWAF also responded to representatives in the participatory process who were concerned about the legitimacy of representation. For example, a rural water board representative complained about the legitimacy of the representatives. I was one of the ones who said that the representation was not fine but then I was given a mandate to identify people who would be taken on board. .. .1 don't remember suggesting peoples' names and then found that they were rejected. They accepted everybody (WB 1). Aside from these positive responses to the process of achieving representation, overall the legitimacy of representatives in the process was identified as the most important concern expressed by the majority of stakeholders who were interviewed. Many stakeholders expressed concern at the legitimacy of the individuals involved in the process and were specifically concerned with the number of individuals that attended the meetings without proper nomination from their sector. One 91 representative from the energy sector, who was familiar with several representatives from disadvantaged commumties, raised this concern: I asked them, personally, "Tell me how does it happen that you come to this meeting?" He said, "No, no a certain M r - came to my house in the morning and he called me to a meeting." .. That is what has been happening throughout. .. .In most of the communities, now that the message is starting to arrive at their ears, they are saying, "No we need to revisit everything because I don't know how those people come on board"... There was actually no chance given to communities to select their own people. People were just being picked and that is why most of them do not report back (En 1). 8.1.2.2 Representatives with vested interests The stakeholders acknowledged that illegitimate representatives posed a threat to the participatory process. Illegitimate representatives -those involved in the participatory process to pursue personal interests, instead of the interests of their constituencies—were motivated by • political opportunity • material need • personal gain • power Each of these aspects wi l l be discussed in detail here: 8.1.2.2.1 Motivated by political opportunities The final stages of the participatory process occurred at the same time as local political elections. There were accusations that some representatives became involved in the process for political advancement. One local government representative recognised these motivations in the participatory process: Some of the people there are not necessarily farmers. One was representing a district council, which is in Secunda, and the next time he was representing the traditional leaders. I think those are just political opportunists. He is not a farmer or an aspiring farmer (LG 3). A n environmental representative from a local N G O also reflected on these motivations: This one guy who stood up and said: "I was representing the T L C but now I represent the Amakosi." It was a very stupid thing. Why is he representing Amakosi now, but was representing the T L C before? Where does he stand? It was a political thing. They were campaigning for the local elections. I am very sure they were. They were using that as a platform for local elections. ... When their time in politics comes to an end, they are out of the process. The community is then not adequately represented. The rights and the needs of those communities are ignored (E/C 1). A n elderly emerging farmer involved in the participatory process elaborated, metaphorically, on the dangers o f this type o f vested interest. Political people are like a wind blowing, It is like snow: early in the morning you can see the snow but within 3.5 hour, it is possible that you will see the snow, but then it disappears. The politics is like that. There was too much politics that day (EF 1). 8.1.2.2.2 Motivated by material need 92 Some representatives were accused o f being involved in the process purely because of the material benefits that they could get out o f the process. For example: they would inflate transport costs so that they could make a profit off of travel subsidies provided by D W A F . A facilitator in the participatory process and an environmental representative in the rural areas commented on this problem: The way he makes his living is to serve on steering committees. Sometimes you get paid for attending committee meetings or you get compensated for your transport so you always inflate your figures. It is a form of income for people. When people are very poor it becomes a form of income; they don't have the resources of commercial agriculture. If they are working, they can't take time off work. They don't have their own car or company car (Fa 4). If you want to prove it just come to the point where they want to claim transport monies. They don't actually care about the process. Some wil l actually get to the meeting and, from the start of the process to the end, they never open their mouths to speak. They just go, sit, eat, claim money, and go home. And you wonder i f these people actually represent the interests of the communities? (E/C 1) 8.1.2.2.3 Motivated by personal gain . This relates to those who were motivated out of personal interest in water resource, without concern for other water users. Many representatives had a vested interest to either maintain or obtain control over water resources, often to the detriment of other users. A black commercial farmer related how certain white individuals in this sector were pursing their own interests to protect their control over water resources: Most of the white community tends to be very clever. They say, "No I am representing the blacks, I know them, I know what they want."[But] he speaks one or two words good for [the black community] and then most of the other things are not interested. .. .They do not care for blacks, as far as I know. There is a professional lawyer there, [who's there] to make sure that his clients get the best (CA 8). Some of the black emerging farmers were also accused of attending out o f a personal interest to obtain water allocations, with no interest in trying to understand the process or the legislation. The facilitators explained that the meetings would not directly address their water shortage problems, but, as one stakeholder commented, "50% of the time, guaranteed, [the emerging farmer] is just thinking about the water which he is not getting" ( C A 4). Other stakeholders in the process accused the emerging farmers of using the participatory process to get as much for themselves as possible: There are some very erudite [blacks, but] some of them are purely political motivated. They are on this give-me-brigade. I am afraid that some of these forums change into a give-me-brigade. ...Not only water, [but] money, time, expertise. Not, "What can I do for the system? How can I help? What is my contribution?" I think that is detrimental (CA 10). 8.1.2.2.4 Motivated by power This motivation involved those representatives who were trying to obtain a position on the C M A governing board because of the power that it could bring, rather than the important catchment management role it could perform. One commercial farmer commented, "certain people want to run 93 the C M A . That is a fact" ( C A 3). Another commercial farmer recognised that certain representatives from the irrigation boards were being dishonest in their involvement in the process, but he argued that this was not a problem for the process because, ultimately, it would benefit the region as a whole. He went on to compare these political motivations with black government employees, whom he believed were manipulating the system for personal gain. The politics involved jockeying around position and, also, some of those attorneys down there see job opportunity. You have always got to look at some sort of hidden agenda. ... It was not necessarily bad. .. .Have you heard the old political saying that the dishonest senator does more for his country? The guy who goes into politics for his own benefit is usually settled somewhere and he develops the area and there are fringe benefits. .. Of course some are just looking at their own interest in the process. .. .1 don't approve, but I don't think it is necessarily bad. ... You don't want to do the work and [some of those attorneys down there] want to get a certain financial benefit. Is that any better than the black secretary who can't use a computer or a typewriter but drives a Merc? What is the difference? ... I know there is one guy who gets R8 per hectare per annum, as an administration fee for the Crocodile River, and it is going to be important for him to retain that position. It is important for him to look after his interest there. In the mean time he does some valuable work for the C M A . .. .1 used to be very, very moral about those things (CA 10). Protecting personal allocation o f scarce water resources and maintaining positions o f power over resources was an important priority for some representatives. These personal agenda's create problems in managing resources because it places emphasis on the needs o f a privileged few, instead of the needs of all water users. Representatives who were involved in the participatory process out o f personal interests, motivated by political advancement, material need, personal gain or power, hindered the process because they prevented the genuine concerns of their constituencies from being brought into the discussions. 8.1.2.3 Level of representation Some stakeholders wanted the process to include only structured bodies and expected D W A F to monitor the meeting attendance. While others wanted broad consultation with grassroots communities. This debate arose because at many of the reference group meetings, interested members of the public, not representative of any organisation, arrived and expressed concerns that should have been dealt with through representative channels. A n agricultural representative explained why he felt the process should only focus on structured bodies: I feel that they don't need grassroot consultation. Stick with the elected and official bodies; stay with your bodies representing emerging farmers; stick with your old irrigation boards; stick with local government-they are there to give the service provider side of it; stick to your National Parks Board and your Provincial Parks Board. Then you have a group of people together and it is on a certain academic level, or experience level, or decision-making level. You move much better through the process and you get a much better result (CA 11). 94 On the other hand, some stakeholders, particularly those from disadvantaged communities, felt that "there was not enough consultation on the grassroots, especially to rural areas" (CS 3). Grass root communities were often neglected because they did not have structured bodies to represent them. 8.1.2.4 Problems with Feedback Representatives, particularly in rural communities, often experienced difficulties in feeding information back to their constituencies. Feedback was constrained by a lack o f available resources and was most apparent in poor communities. Two representatives, involved in the poorer communities, related how socio-economic difficulties affected feedback mechanisms: Feedback was another area where a lot of dissatisfaction has been raised. How do you expect a person without resources to feedback to people? To feed back to people, you need communication networks. If they are not available, than how do you feedback to people? ...We have people always sitting in the meetings saying, "We report back," but i f you ask him, "How do you report back? What do you have?" First of all he has no car. How does he go to places arrange meetings and call people together? You can just see that people do not just receive messages. There is no report back- that is for sure (En 1). Most of the structures at grass roots level, because of poverty, the structure dies. People go all over and it is difficult to bring people together and talk about something, without the resources to run the structure. That is the main reason. You wil l also find that one or two people are still involved and then to co-ordinate other people is difficult for them so they attend in order to get knowledge but when sometimes there is a mass meeting, he is going to talk. But maybe the mass meeting takes about 3 or 4 months but that is where the problems are. It takes three months for the committee meetings, where you can give a report and say we have been attending a meeting and this is what we have discovered. We have discovered 1,2,3. The communities only start now to get information along these lines (CS 3). A commercial farmer commented on the difficulties in feeding information back, not because o f material difficulties, but because it was difficult to explain to his constituencies why certain decisions were made in the meetings. Those commercial farmers, outside o f the participatory process, were unable to understand the decision made by representatives because they could not see the issues with respect to the needs of other sectors: Again not everybody attended those meeting and it was difficult to communicate why certain decisions were made. If you are not part of the process, you can't understand why things were done. That is why at certain meetings there were some upheavals because of pressure from the irrigators. So when we reported back, [the constituencies that we represent] said, "Never, can't do that, go back. It is not on." We can't forward just our proposals but we must forward the irrigators' proposal. That is why a lot of irrigation boards don't agree on this because they were not a part of the process and they are only looking at this out of the irrigation perspective (CA 11). It is important to note, however, that not all representatives expressed difficulties related to feedback. Many recounted the diligent manner in which they passed information back and received input from their constituencies. 8.1.2.5 Inconsistent involvement Inconsistent involvement by some representatives was a common concern in the participatory process. This problem frustrated those who were consistently involved because o f the need to 95 continually repeat important pieces of information. Complaints such as the following were received from many different sectors: Basically at all the meetings you sit with new faces. You can't actually follow through your arguments or go further on the process because you have got to repeat yourself and to introduce it to more people. That was quite frustrating, especially when you try and put through a standpoint that has been discussed previously and then you always get two or three guys that have not either attended the meetings or they did not listen to what was said in the meetings. Then you have got to start over again so that took a lot of time. That sitting was actually part of the whole process, even right up to the end. New people arriving and you have got to repeat yourself all the time (CA 9). This problem is not isolated to this particular process but often happens when trying to engage communities in a participatory process. A civil society member explained why representatives from disadvantaged communities found it difficult to be consistently involved in the participatory process: I would say that the problem is that people are engaged in a lot of activities. You come home and you are not actually based on that particular project. You are not employed with the project so it is sort of part time. You go there and attend the meeting and from there you get a document. ... You don't have time to read such documents. That is how I look at it. What makes them to be like that is that most of us black people are not working. To go to the meeting, up and down, some of the people are not going continuously. He is not in one or two meetings but the next meeting he comes and he did not hear what we have been saying last time. He failed to have enough time to read and that is where the whole problem is (CS 3). 8.1.3 Range of sectors involved The sectors that were recommended by D W A F to be included in the participatory process are listed in Table 8.1. Table 8.1. Proposed Stakeholder representation in the participatory process, as outlined in D W A F (2000a). Government and public sector • National • Provincial • Local councils, Regional • Traditional Authorities Para-statal and Utility Sector • Water Boards • Water User associations (Irrigation Boards) • Conservation bodies • Universities • Statutory Research Organisations • Eskom 1 • Telkom 2 Private sectors • Large individuals companies • Chamber of Business • Agri-business • Farmers aggregations • Forestry organisations • Mines Civi l Society • Trade Unions • N G O • Interest Groups • Communities • Rate Payers Associations 1 Electricity service provider 2 Telephone service provider 96 The facilitators placed extensive effort on trying to get all the sectors, summarised in Table 8.2, involved in the participatory process: We tried to contact established structures like communities. .. .But with the idea that i f there are people in the communities that want to participate, they are welcome. Like woman's groups and so on. We also involved all the civil society and that was tribal leaders in the area. We also involved them. Then the people said that they wanted SANCO to be involved, the civic associations and those structures were established before the political changes in South Africa (Fa 1). Overall, the stakeholders recognized these efforts and seemed positive about the range o f sectors that participated in the discussion. The following stakeholders captured this positive attitude: We had the farmers, we had the trout fisherman, we had the tourism people, we had black participation in as much as we had a representative of the Mashekane group, which is a cultural communities based group that do a lot of work in the various communities, and we had a representative of the Dullstroom town council. .. .There was representation for all the sectors there: the sugar farmers, the pastoral farmers, the trout fishing interests...except the local authorities throughout the catchment. Aside from the local authorities there was good representation of the water users in the catchment (CA 6). As far as I am concerned, [the representation] is well balanced. According to my assessment it is well balanced. The reason why I am saying that is because there are people there who are having experience, plus people who are without experience (CS 1). However, some important sectors arrived late in the process and others were inconsistently involved. The following section wi l l discuss the reasons why certain sectors were not consistently involved in the participatory process. Box 8.1 provides an example o f the problems that can occur when important sectors in the participatory process are involved at a late stage. Box 8.1. Impact of tourism's late involvement Tourism's late engagement provides an example o f the difficulties that can occur when important sectors are not consistently involved in the decision-making process. A contentious issue discussed in the participatory process was tourism's contribution towards water use charges in the C M A pricing strategy. If tourism was to be represented on the C M A governing board, they might be expected to contribute towards water use charges. There was a proposal for the implementation o f a bed levy from tourists, which would contribute towards the mrining o f the C M A . Few tourist representatives were present in meetings that discussed this proposal. N o strong objections were voiced to the proposal and so the impression was created that tourism was supportive o f the idea. One agricultural representative captures this attitude: Well the representation should at least be pro rata and definitely tourism must pay more and they weren't funny about that. [Tourism] were the people attending the meeting that I had the least problems with. They were quite prepared to pay their bit (CA 9). When I discussed these issues with several tourism representatives, they indicated that they were not entirely supportive of bed levies and some representatives were vehemently opposed to the idea. One couple explained that they were already charged a variety o f different levies: Part of your hotel bill is a levy to SATOUR for advertising and marketing South Africa oversees. 97 Now you have to pay a water levy, it just keeps on getting more. How much more must one pay? (To 4) A Dullstroom hotel owner objected on the basis that they already paid a water use charge to the C M A for the domestic water supply that they use: Why should I, in my hotel, pay a bed levy for water use, when I am paying for water anyway? My water is metered and I am charged. Why should I pay more? (To 1) A tourist representative who was on the C M C reference list explained to me that he had not been able to attend the meetings and he had decided to no longer be involved. When I mentioned to him the possibility of a bed levy he suddenly became most anxious to contribute to the discussions. The tourism sector might eventually see the logic of making some kind of financial contribution to the C M A , but only i f the sector is thoroughly engaged in the entire decision-making process. The section will introduce the sectors that were involved and specifically explain the difficulties of involving the following sectors: Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA), local government, tourism, emerging farmers and female representatives. These explanations indicate that the inconsistent involvement of these sectors cannot all be attributed to oversight on DWAF's part, but also relate to issues within specific sectors. 8.1.3.1 Commercial Agriculture This sector was compromised of predominantly white, male fanners, although a growing number of black individuals have gained access to the sector through projects such as the Nkomazi Irrigation Expansion Project. The sector was consistently represented throughout the process, through irrigation boards and farmers' organisations. Irrigation boards perform extensive water management functions and their members represent an important source of technical expertise in the day-to-day management of water resources. Irrigation boards held, under the previous Water Act, extensive control over water resources. Some of this control was used illegally. For example, legal decisions over water rights, which should have been authorised through DWAF, were privately settled through irrigation boards. Box 8.2 and 8.3 provide more details on this important sector and explains why other stakeholders in the participatory process treated their activities with a certain amount of mistrust. 8.1.3.2 Forestry The forestry sector consisted of three private forestry companies. The minutes indicate that the forestry sector arrived late in the participatory process but was still able to contribute to the discussions. Box 8.4 describes some of the issues that were raised by this sector during the participatory process. 98 Box 8.2. Irrigation Boards Irrigation boards were accused o f not expressing genuine concern for the needs o f black emerging farmers. One of the accusations was that the irrigation boards were electing black representatives onto their boards as token members, simply to make their boards look more legitimate. One of the facilitators was asked to comment on these accusations: Certainly, that was happening. I did not go myself, but I arranged for a couple of black people, who are quite active, to go and talk to the emerging farmers and discuss it through with them, and that is when the emerging farmers began to realise that they were being used (Fa 4). A report, discussing water management in the Inkomati catchment, characterised the irrigation boards as having a concentrated adrninistrative control and a narrow range o f interest: The visibility of black farmers for the Komati Irrigation Board, and its umbrella Nkomazi Major Irrigation Board, contrasts sharply with almost all other irrigation boards, few of which have black farmers as members. There is little indication that these boards have any knowledge of, nor feel a need to engage with the needs of the black farmers. Rather there is a sense of protecting "their" resource from encroachment (Woodhouse and Hassan, 1999, p. 40- 41). While some irrigation board members may have only been interested in pursuing their own objectives, there were many commercial farmers, on the irrigation boards, that were earnest in their desire to assist the emerging farmers. The following two individuals expressed a genuine concern to assist the black emerging fanners: Those [black emerging farmers] have got a problem and I feel for their problem. I went to [one of the other irrigation board members]... and said to him, "Please go back to those [black] farmers and tell them that [if there is] anything we can do to help, they must just come and ask us." We want to get involved in helping them solve their problem (CA 4). I ' l l tell you right now that I've said openly that on the Komati River, i f I have anything to do with it, not one white farmer wil l get one more litre of water. If there is any spare water to be had around, it wil l go to the [black] emerging fanners. You have probably got about 80 white and you have got about 1000 black farmers and there is land available and there are still white chaps who want to build empires (CA 3). Some irrigation board members were accused o f being involved in the Afrikaner Broedebond. This organisation, founded in 1918, aimed at "promoting the achievement o f a republic, as well as o f improving the social position of the Afrikaners and the status o f their language" (Kenney, 1980). Kenney goes on to state: the Broedebond has acquired such a sinister reputation as a body of clandestine plotters, aiming at securing and maintaining Afrikaner domination in all spheres and at all costs, that objectivity is hardly possible. But some facts about the Broedbond are generally agreed upon. In its heyday during the 1930's and 1940's, it consisted of a small number of Afrikaners known for their commitment to nationalistic causes. There were about 2,500 of them, mostly professional men, civil servants, clergymen and teachers. They aimed at infiltrating vital institutions such as schools and universities in order to promote the triumph of Afrikaner nationalist ideals. To promote and perpetuate Afrikaner exclusiveness the Broedebond, it appears, played the dominate role in furthering the growth of so many distinctly Afrikaner organisations and institutions after 1930 (p. 45). When questioned about whether this organisation was still active in the region, one 99 individual commented that the organisation still held a strong influence in the community: You speak to the Afrikaans-speaking people, ...the Broedebond stick together. No the Broedebond, theoretically, .. .1 mean to me I don't even know what it entails, but the Broedebond is a very, very unpopular organisation amongst the sort of general people, but they are very powerful (CA 3). In response to the names of people nominated onto the Catchment Management Committees, one o f stakeholders commented that all the Broedebonders were in there. He went on to say: The process was compiled, driven, and worked by the Broedebond but I think that many people don't realise it. I think that many, well-meaning people, at the department don't understand that they are being led around by their noses. ...They don't understand what has happened. That is an absolute take over bid by the old order (CA 1). It is possible that perhaps the organisation's sinister and clandestine reputation could have led stakeholders to believe, through unconfirmed rumours, that the Broedebond was still active in the community. The presence o f Broedebond members in the decision-making process, raised concern because of the political connotations of the organisations. They could be accused of only advancing the interested of the Afrikaner minority, as opposed to all water users in the catchment. There were accusations that irrigation board members would not disclose information on water allocation in their irrigation district. The following irrigation board member explained that there is an unfair perception that the irrigation boards are withholding information, when they are willing to offer information to anyone who requests it. He explained that when a black government official approached him for information these perceptions were challenged: I know [the black government official] well, and he phoned me about 2 weeks ago saying, "Can you tell me what the water allocations are for commercial farmers?" I said, "Yes it is all public documents. I can give it to you. I have it all available."... [He wanted it because] he heard that the guys do not want to allocate more water and nobody wants to give him the information. They do not know where to get it. ... There will always be an element, a group of people, who mistrust the people who have got the information. ...If you give him the facts, he wi l l say, "Shit! we never trusted you because we did not know. [We were] told this and this. [I say that you should] just ask (CA 11). Many stakeholders implied that the irrigation boards were not transparent in the way that they administered resources or in the distribution o f information. Box 8.3. A story about the irrigation boards Many stakeholders implied that the irrigation boards held extensive power over water management in the catchment. One example of this was vividly expressed in an interview with a municipality representative and municipal engineer who worked in a rural area near the Mozambique border. It was one of those sticky, humid days that only the Lowveld could produce. I was feeling a little flustered because a few interview had run late and now I was embarrassing late for this appointment. The gentlemen had been waiting for some time but they 100 graciously accepted my apologies. We met in one of the municipal building, a small, basic boardroom, really no more than a room with a long table in it. After initial questioning, I wanted to find out more about the water supply problems in these rural areas. I wanted to find out why many rural areas do not have access to domestic water supplies. Through my interviews I had heard the explanation that the most prominent cause was that the municipalities did not have the resources or infrastructure to provide the service. I wanted to hear from the municipalities how they saw the cause of the water supply problems within their area. As we started discussing the issue, it became apparent that they were feeling uncomfortable with the questions and they seemed to be holding back in his responses. I offered to turn off the tape recorder. They then revealed to me that that during periods of low flow, when water is in short supply, the irrigation boards were able to impose enough pressure on municipalities to ensure that water, which was supposed to supply the local villages was redirected for agricultural purposes. When I pointed out that this was illegal, even under the old Water Act, the engineer indicated that this was of little concern for many irrigation boards. Both individuals were reluctant to give too much detail about when and how these incidents occurred and so I was also unable to verify these claims through another source. A water lawyer in the area could not recall any incidents of this nature. Box 8.4. Forestry Sector The sector was supportive of the concept of a C M A but expressed resistance to the Water Act because it defined forestry as the only stream-flow reduction activity. A forestry representative further explained this concern: We are very concerned about the fact that forestry has been identified as the only stream flow reduction activity. We can't see why that would be? We realise that we use a lot of water but so do a lot of other people and that principle is the basis of many things that is going to happen within the CMA. In principle we are extremely against that. In fact the industry is, at the moment, consulting legal opinion on this issue because it may be unconstitutional. It is discriminating against a particular sector of the economy for no valid reason. It is difficult to say why they have singled out forestry ...The law is unfair not the process (Fo 1). These concerns did not prevent the sector from being involved but this issue could, at a later stage, hinder the forestry sector's support of the C M A . Most of the objections to the Act were lodged from forestry representatives at the national level, rather than the individuals who were involved in this participatory process. The sector did not seem to voice many objections to the pricing strategy and one representative commented that the cost, "is substantially less than we thought it would end up" (Fo 1). Their concerns were more in relation to what services they would receive in exchange for the costs incurred. 101 8.1.3.3 Industry (including Mining and Energy) Although some industry representatives were actively involved in the process, there was some concern that there should have been more representatives involved from industry. D W A F organised individual meetings with the industry sector to encourage more support, but many were apathetic about becoming involved in the participatory process. A n industry representative who was involved in the process reflected on his attempts to include other industry members: I have tried to get involvement from other industries. I have sent out questionnaires and asked people if they want to meet regarding this issue. The general reaction has been quite apathetic. People just don't want to be involved, or they don't have the time, or they don't care (Ind 2). Box 8.5 provides more details on this sector's response to the establishment o f the C M A . Box 8.5. Industry The industrial sectors including mining and energy, were supportive o f the C M A process. The localised control of a C M A was perceived to be more efficient than the centralised control of previous institutions. A representative from the energy sector captured this sentiment. [From an] industrial point of view, I am very positive that there is going to be proper handling of the water management. There are going to be more enhanced ways of dealing with water resources management to reduce pollution and make sure allocation, development and use of water is really taking place in a more structured way (En 1). Some sectors expressed concern about the pollution that was emitted from certain industrial sites. A tourism representative expressed concern over the pollution from a paper mil l : The perception is that [industry] is getting away with murder, while we suffer. We get the pollution and we can smell it through here. Not only pollution, but every now and again there is a spill into the Crocodile River, which kills fish. They get environmentalist to do impact studies and environmental management plans. These guys are employed by [the industry] and they wil l give them the report that they want. [They] also irrigate lands with some of their effluent. What is the quality of that irrigated water? Is it getting into the groundwater system? (To 1). The paper mil l , accused of this pollution, explained their position: Water affairs is putting a lot of pressure on [industry] because we irrigate our effluent and water affairs don't consider that environmentally acceptable. .. .That water is obviously leached into the soil and there are some inorganic components that leach into the river, so they wanted us to do away with irrigation. We have got a whole, integrated water management plan; that whole project has been set up to look at this issue. That project is nearing its completion and we will most likely have to spend a lot of money, over the next few years, to reduce effluent (Ind 3). The mining sector was also challenged on the pollution from arsenic that is used in the extraction of gold. They said they were aware of the problem and continued to monitor it to prevent extensive damage. 102 8.1.3.4 Environmental The environmental sector contributed to the participatory process by ensuring that the discussions on water management were mindful of ecological concerns. The New Water Act gives priority to ecological needs in water management, which has encouraged a renewed interest in environmental protection. A conservation representative explained: "the new Water Act has elevated environmental issues from being nothing to almost being the blue-eyed boys. It made a big difference, [because] in the old days we were really the under dogs" (E/C 5). With this new emphasis, the C M A process became a catalyst for an active environmental response. In one of the catchments, an environmental body was formed to make a more structured contribution to the process. The organisation was called the Crocodile Catchment Environmental Interest Group, and it had a mandate to represent environmental concerns and to ensure that environmental issues were favourably considered in the drafting of water management strategies. In response to the formation of this group one of the members commented: We had enough interest to form an interest group that represented the environment [in the Crocodile Catchment]. We had success because in the past, the environmental people were never asked. Environmental interest people, as a group, now have a say in these proceedings (E/C 3). Although this interest group was only established in one of the three catchments, it is an encouraging indication of what can emerge through the lobbying of sectoral responses. 8.1.3.5 Emerging Farmers The emerging farmers' sector consisted of farmers who were not established in the commercial sector, but were farming, on a small-scale, subsistence basis, with limited irrigation, or who were waiting for the resources and capital to begin farming. In some cases it was difficult to distinguish between commercial and emerging farmers because some established black commercial farmers were nominated as representatives for emerging farmers. The sector was represented by organisations such as the Mpumalanga African Farmers Union (MAFU), as well as some smaller organisations. M A F U was involved in the process and was a well-structured body with established communication links with emerging farmers. D W A F tried to make the process accessible to emerging farmers by establishing links with community leaders in the farming community. Indeed, the attendance at the meetings shows that emerging farmers did attend many of the meetings. A M A F U leader confirmed this by saying that, "the farmers are involved. They are there, there is no doubt" (EF 2). However, from attending a M A F U meeting in the Nkomazi district, it was apparent that many individuals in the union did not feel that they were adequately represented in the participatory process. 103 D W A F recognised that it is difficult to adequately include this sector in the participatory process because many emerging farmers are not represented in structured bodies. A representative from forestry, who was knowledgeable about the difficulties in the rural communities, captured this concern: I think it is great to think that you have all the different stakeholders on board [but] essentially what you have is your more organised and formal activities. You have your agricultural inputs and your forestry. But when you start speaking about rural communities and who should be represented there, there is such a mish-mash because people see that it is a forum that is going to assist in improving their lot in life. ... pisadvantaged communities] feel that they are being excluded and I think that their concerns are very real (Fo 2). 8.1.3.6 Komati Basin Water Authority In 1992, the Komati treaty between South Afr ica and Swaziland led to the establishment of the Komati Basin Water Authority ( K O B W A ) . K O B W A is an important water management body in the catchment, and it played a major role in the initial phases of the participatory process, especially in the Komati Catchment. For instance, the C E O of K O B W A assisting in facilitating meetings, and their offices were sometimes used as locations for meetings. However, after a year and a half, K O B W A decided to withdraw its involvement in the participatory process. The former C E O of K O B W A , who was asked to resign after disagreements with the K O B W A board on various issues (including their involvement in the C M A participatory process) explained the decision: I was chairing the meetings for [DWAF] when the process started. .. .The relationship between my board and me deteriorated to the extent that in January I was sent on leave and then suspended in February. .. In the interim, they instructed me that I wasn't to participate in this Act anymore. Water Affairs asked me to participate, but my K O B W A board, after a year and a half, said that I was not to participate. To me this was extremely stupid, but then that is why we've had disagreements. .. .1 felt that it was incumbent on K O B W A , as being a catchment management developing agency, put in place by a treaty, to be involved in the C M A process (Int 2). A current member of the K O B W A management board was interviewed to obtain K O B W A ' s perspective on the participatory process. He was reluctant to answer questions related to the C M A process, and requested that the interview not be taped. He was fairly specific about what type o f questions could be answered, because he had not been given a mandate from K O B W A on issues relating to the C M A . In the discussions it became evident that he was not clear on the functions of the C M A and the potential for duplication of functions between the two organisations. A n irrigation board member expressed concern about K O B W A ' s lack o f involvement in the participatory process: There is no communication from K O B W A - not at all. ... They are very, very important. ... They are going to be a very important water management institution in this whole set-up and the board does not have a clue. ... They should be part and parcel of the planning and thinking process as to how water should be managed (CA 11). 104 8.1.3.7 Local authorities Local and municipal governments are responsible for the provision o f local services. Even though D W A F encouraged them to attend the meetings, local government was criticised for low levels of involvement in the participatory process. Several stakeholders highlighted this as a concern: If you look at a lot of local authorities, they never actually had people at the meetings. [During the process] the [consultant] highlighted that [the local authorities] needed to come to the meetings. They don't come because they don't take it seriously (EF 3). When questioned about their low level of involvement, a local government official, involved in the participatory process, explained that the sector found it difficult to attend in light of the extensive confusion and added responsibility caused by institutional restructuring: The change in terms of legislation poses more responsibility to local government. Now we have two tiers of local government, the district council and the district municipality. They have now got more powers vested in it. It has to now do potable, domestic water. It has to plan for quite a number of things. .. .They have to do quite a number of things, amending all this legislation at the moment for local government (LG 3). 8.1.3.8 Tribal authorities Tribal authorities are important representative bodies, particularly in the rural and ex-homeland areas. The tribal authorities that were involved in the participatory process were mainly supportive of the C M A , although most o f them were engaged only sporadically in the participatory process. Obtaining effective representatives for this sector was problematic because o f the difficulties in determining tribal boundaries. For example, a Tribal Authority in the Bushbuckridge area claimed to be a legitimate Tribal Authority, but some stakeholders disputed that claim. A spokesperson for this Tribal Authority defended their legitimacy: We belong to the Tribal Authority and this Tribal Authority was dispossessed in 1922 and it only started to get its new recognition in 1994. .. .This place is where we are a born and where we were forcefully removed from in about 1965. ...We, according to customary and traditional indigenous law, have the right over the snakes here, the locusts here, the monkeys here, the trees here (TA 1). A facilitator in the participatory process who worked in the land claim area explained that "this Tribal Authority is not recognised as a legitimate Tribal Authority in the Northern Province, they are not recognised as a Tribal Authority in Bushbuckridge, but they are recognised in Mpumalanga" (Fa 4). A civi l society member in Bushbuckridge commented that the Tribal Authority was not legitimate because i f you were to ask any person to show you "where these people are, or where their chief is staying- no one could show you" (CS 1). 8.1.3.9 Tourism The tourism sector became involved in the process in the closing stages. Insufficient representative bodies were identified as the main reason for their late involvement. A tourism 105 representative reflected that although he had been nominated to be involved, he was unclear of who he represented. I say to myself too, although I am on the committee, who elected me there? Who am I representing? Can I talk on behalf of any body legitimately? I think that applies to everybody (To 1). The tourism sector is a diverse sector, ranging from restaurants to adventure tour operators, making it difficult to establish an effective representative body. Box 8.1 describes the involvement of tourism as a good example of the potential problems that can occur when a participatory process is initiated without adequate involvement from important sectors. 8.1.3.10 Gender representation The most obvious concern, in terms of representation in the participatory process, was the lack of female representatives. Of the eighty representatives listed on the proposed Catchment Management Committees, only six are women. This is a concern, because in most rural communities women and children are those who deal most closely with water. As explained by a male community representative: At the end of the day, [women] are the people who actually use water, more than men. They wash and they cook. They do everything in the house because they are women and they know what water means. They have got more information about water (CS 3). Certain cultural norms have made women hesitant to take a leading role in how water is managed. The decision-making tasks are left predominantly to the men, as illustrated in the following quote by a male community representative: We black people are different, especially when we look at this western life that we are living at this point in time. You can hear that a woman wants water when she is in the house. When she goes out from the house, she forgets that there is no water in the house and now who must go and fetch the water? Who must go and talk about water? .. .But also women in the rural areas were not allowed to go to the meetings. Those years back, it is only men who were talking on behalf of their women. Now that we are in the new dispensation, they are still shy. The old ideology is still there. They will talk when they are alone, but when they come together they want to hear the men talking for them (CS 3). In spite of these attitudes, during this research two influential female leaders in rural communities were identified. One was a spokesperson for predominantly male farmers' union and another was the co-ordinator of numerous female empowerment programs in rural areas. Conclusion DWAF's approach to representation involved establishing forums of individuals that represented sectors who had an interest in water management. This is a sound approach, but it was apparent that more emphasis could have been placed on establishing effective representative bodies, particularly in black rural communities. Representatives from established organisations, such as irrigation boards and forestry, were effective in communicating with their constituencies. 106 Concern was expressed over the vested interest that many representatives appeared to have in the process. Some representatives were motivated by political opportunity, material need, personal gain and power. Many representatives did not appear to be nominated from a particular sector and so were unclear on whom they represented in the process. Many representatives did not have resources to feedback to their constituencies, leading to a break down in communication. Emerging farmers in rural areas often do not have sufficient representative structures; furthermore representative structures that are in place, such as M A F U , often lack resources to effectively represent and communicate with farmers. The difficulties in establishing effective representatives led to a lack of consistency in the people attending the meetings, which frustrated many committed representatives. Determining the level of representation in the process is a formidable task. While the process should be open to individuals who feel they have a legitimate right to participate, the process can only accommodate a limited number of representatives. The decision-making process will become ineffective if the participants consist of a large group of representatives that are constantly in flux. A closed forum of legitimate representatives could have more effectively conveyed the concerns of all sectors. The process was successful in engaging a wide range of sectors, although more planning in the initial stages of the process would have ensured broader and more consistent involvement through the process. Some sectors such as emerging farmers, Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA), local authorities, tribal authorities, and tourism were inconsistently or inadequately involved in the process. There were particular factors within these sectors that hindered their involvement in the participatory process. K O B W A is an important institution within the Inkomati catchment but their response to the C M A process was not clearly defined. The organisation needed to come forward to support the C M A or should have clearly explained why they chose not to be involved. Institutional rearrangement in local government limited their involvement in the process. More extensive involvement from local authorities would have provided a greater understanding of why 50% of the population in the catchment are still without basic sanitation and potable water. Confusion over tribal land claims and chieftanship made it difficult to involve tribal authorities. There is continued confusion, throughout South Africa, on determining between the role of local government and tribal authorities. Female representatives were insufficiently involvement in the process. This is not surprising considering that a large proportion of women in black communities have been marginalised from all aspects of society, particularly decision-making processes. 107 8.2 Opportunity for interaction from diverse stakeholders Within a multicultural South African society participatory processes need to be structured to allow contributions from all sectors. In South Africa, particular emphasis should be placed on including the many black communities that are still disadvantaged by their lack of resources and technical knowledge. This section wi l l discuss how the participatory process was structured to allow contributions from stakeholders. The following aspects o f the participatory process wi l l be discussed: • the structure of the meetings, • the use of language translations, • the selection of the venue and the scheduling of meetings, and • the time allocated to complete the process. 8.2.1 Structure of meetings The format of meetings involved presentations from the facilitators and technical experts, followed by an opportunity for comments from stakeholders. The format o f the meetings was criticised by the stakeholders for reasons, which wi l l be discussed here. First, some stakeholders, from cultures that rely on an oral exchange o f information, through story telling and metaphorical language, felt that they had limited opportunity to communicate their concerns in the meetings. A member of a Tribal Authority complained that the meetings did not give them the opportunity to speak for themselves: They are sometimes boring, because we don't have any permission to speak. Other top guys that are far away try to force us, which we don't want. It is boring because we don't speak. It is better i f we make some smaller groups. We don't understand the documents. They need to form local groups to discuss the issues here (TA 2). D W A F did hold small meetings, with more of an emphasis on open discussion. However, based on the response from the stakeholders, this type of format was not utilised frequently enough in the process. Second, an emerging farmer articulated that beyond cultural barriers, D W A F often controlled the meeting format through a predetermined and inflexible meeting agenda. This limited opportunities for open dialogue: I don't think that they have had ever time to listen to stories. If they come to us they bring their own agenda. They have got their plan of action that they are following. This meeting is for blah, blah, blah. .. .This meeting is for this, as scheduled and covered up until to 2001 (EF 4). Third, some stakeholders felt intimated by the technical focus o f the meetings. A representative for the emerging farmers acknowledged that the emerging framers did have some opportunity to speak but because they spoke in simple language, they struggled to "put it back into the technical language" (EF 2). They felt that their simple contributions were not appropriate and were often intimidated by 108 the technical emphasis of the discussions. The following comments from a black commercial farmer, captured these difficulties: [White irrigation board members] have got experience. You can't debate with them because they motivate what they want and they know. They have got that experience... [Let us say that] I, some one who has never studied law, debate with somebody who has studied law. .. .He can debate. He can put the facts. ... He can put some act, which I don't know. I don't know that act. He can tell us much, ... and that Act number of so and so. ... Then I just listen, but I do not understand so this is what is happening at the moment. The people that actually know this stuff; know how to talk about it and know how to motivate. [Those that] know how to put the case are still those who have known before (CA 8). Fourth, a facilitator in the process recognised that the seating arrangement of the meetings could also have been co-ordinated to encourage more participation from disadvantaged communities, and to facilitate more interactions between stakeholders: [It] all boils back to the planning of this thing. How well was it planned? When you plan this you also need to put people at ease because, as you rightly observed, in the front you had your white community. It was a three-column seating: you had your white community up front and little bit of them this side and then a few blacks here in the middle and then at the back [the other blacks]. Those are things that needed to be addressed in the planning. Because if I know something and you don't know anything, it is better i f we are sitting next to each other. If you don't understand we can always chat, "So this is what this guy is saying, this is the context of this thing so it is easy to understand (Fa 2). Fifth, problems arose that were manifestations of history. The irrigation board members, almost entirely from the white community, have been managing the water resources for several decades; they are organised and knowledgeable about all of the technicalities associated with managing water in the area. Black community representatives, without the same management experience were aware of these divisions: Emerging farmers don't have a big say. If they are given a chance, they don't participate because maybe they were so ignorant or their expectations were raised and they did not support the process. Somehow they are not very actively participating in what is going on. In that sense, they are somehow eliminated, not by an individual or by an organisation but by the process itself. The process does not include them. The process just eliminates them because somehow they are ignorant (E/C 1). Sixth, during apartheid, black citizens were treated as inferior to white citizens. For black individuals there is often a psychological sense of inferiority in the face o f more powerful white individuals. A Tribal Authority representative used the analogy o f a dog barking at the moon to describe how he felt in the face o f more powerful organisations: The actual people who are suffering, who are the core people, are not on there. You talk about Sappi and you talk about Mondi and all these big guys3. The emerging farmers are the previously disadvantaged. We need to be on board. The emerging farmers are only few. There are only few and what vote do they cast? It wil l be like the dog barking at the moon because we are a few there. You are barking at the moon up there even when you bark and bark it wil l not hear you. It is the same thing there, even if I you go in or you go in, wat gaan ons mark4? (TA 1) 3 Sappi and Mondi are forestry companies in the catchment 4 What can we do? 109 8.2.2 Language Difficulties Despite South Africa's eleven official languages,5 the meetings were primarily conducted in English, although translators were used in some of the smaller meetings in rural areas. The executive summary of the proposal was translated into siSwati, seSotho, and Xitsonga. However, these translations were only available in final stages of the participatory process, and many stakeholders felt that they should have been available much earlier. One rural stakeholder commented that a common complaint from fellow representatives regarded the "excessive use of English and difficult terms" (En 1). An emerging farmer commented that the translations at the meetings were poor, which was a source of great frustration: They must come down here, as they do, but they must bring a pamphlet written in our language. They always bring somebody that can't translate properly into our language. We don't speak the same language. ... It is not wrong but he's not perfect so it is difficult. I remember that at one stage they had to stop [the translator] because we did not understand anything so [a member of the community] had to translate (EF 4). A member of the tourism sector acknowledged that the use of English disadvantaged some Afrikaans-speaking representatives. She was asked to be involved in the participatory process because she was the only English-speaking representative for tourism in the sub-catchment. To accommodate all the languages spoken by participants (Afrikaans, English, SeSwati, isiZulu, seSotho, and Xitsonga), the meetings would have to extend for many hours. One of the facilitators commented on the language difficulties and explained how they approached translations: I think [the use of English] is a problem but we have to have one language, otherwise the meetings go on forever. It becomes difficult. We translated the executive summary into different languages. Basically what we try and say to people is, "if you have trouble, sit next to some one who can translate, because we can't afford the time [to translate the entire meeting]" (Fa 4). 8.2.3 Venue and scheduling of meetings Many stakeholders complained that the venue of the meetings posed some difficulties because they were often not accessible through public transport. Some locations were suitably placed, but most locations disadvantaged certain communities. Several representatives from various sectors reflected on these difficulties: Basically there has been problems with participation from people on the ground. One was a fact that the venues for the meetings were not strategic or accessible. It was a big problem. Only in the Sand sub-catchment was the venue suitable. It was held in a hotel in Acornhoek and it was accessible to every one (Fa 2). At the steering committee level, there was one venue that was used, the Kijaat Club. It is somewhere in the suburbs, where you can't expect some body with a taxi to reach. Even at the Sabie, at Sanibonani, it 5 To cater for South Africa's diverse people, the Constitution provides for eleven official languages: Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, and Xitsonga. 110 was difficult to get people there. .. .The concerns are coming now at this late stage because they feel that certain people, unfortunately the white people, have the resources and are dominating (WB 2). In the Inkomati area it is the same problem because they were saying there are people from right down lower Komati there, travelling from the rural areas just adjacent to Swaziland. Coming up to say Kijaat Club in Nelspruit, somewhere in the suburbs and then you drive and it is not easy to find, there are no taxis and no buses there. So accessibility to venues was a big problem (En 1). The long travelling distances to venues meant that many stakeholders did not bother to make the journey or could not afford the cost of transport. D W A F did try to compensate for transport but this was not done in every instance, as one member of the Tribal Authority noted, "It is a long way to go to Nelspruit and only sometimes do they pay for transport" ( T A 2). The subsidies for transport created practical difficulties for D W A F . Many individuals took the opportunity to exaggerate the costs as a means of income, while others attended the meetings merely because it provided the means for a free ride into town. One of the facilitators acknowledged the need for transport compensation, but reflected on the difficulties it created. They don't have the resources of commercial agriculture. If they are working, they can't take the time off work because the boss, a farmer who is also going to the meeting, wil l sack them. They don't have their own car or company car. But on the other hand you just can't afford to do that. It has got to be legitimate, proper transport costs (Fa 4). .. .Not the last meeting, but the one before, we paid R8 000 in transport. [The D W A F official] sent some of her workers out to record all of the car registrations and people were coming up and claiming transport. We said, "Well your car is not here." They responded with, "Oh, I have put it in for a service," or "I've sent the wife in to town." At the last reference group meeting people came in a taxi and they claimed R70 each and there were 12 of them. Then they came back and there was a dispute because one woman was saying that she had not been paid. We got the taxi driver in and what had happened is that only 10 people had been paid a total of R700 but the taxi driver only charged R340. Now they wanted the other 2 people to be paid and we said, "No, no, no, Hang on you are supposed to give us money back." One stakeholder, representing a rural community near Hazyview, made an interesting observation about the selection of the venue for the meetings. He implied that, although the meeting locations in the process had not been easily accessible to rural communities, this was not necessarily a bad thing for the process. He felt that i f the meetings were held in the rural areas, too many people would arrive without a good understanding of what the meetings were about, which would create unrealistic expectations and frustrations: I don't blame how it has been arranged so far. If it was brought down to the people, ... it would be 100%, in a sense that people will be aware of what is going on. At the same time, it would create the impression that these people are coming here to tell us lies because there is nothing happening here. You must understand that in the rural areas, there is no water. There is no water and now if you talk about C M A , they don't know what it is. They will tell you that we don't have water for cooking (CS 3). In addition to the selection of a venue, one stakeholder reflected that the scheduling of the meetings disadvantaged certain stakeholders in the process because the schedule of the meeting did not correspond with when people were paid: I l l Most of those representatives are not working. I imagine that they were asking or loaning money from the working classes. They would then get compensated for travel costs and give it back to the people who lent them money. Obviously, the rural people only have money or extra cash immediately during the month end or the first week of the following month. If you put a meeting on the 10 t h or 15 t h, depending on the pay day, then you really disadvantage them because all their money would be drained by the budget and they then have no money to [lend to] people. ... Well, look at the area, most of the people there are government servants who get their wages on the 15 t h so schedule a meeting some where from the 17 t h to the 23 r d. So that anyone who has not got money can be able to go next door and borrow R20 for travel and when he comes back he can give it to him (En 1). 8.2.4 Time allowed to complete the process The limited finances available for the project determined the time allocated to the process. In addition, D W A F head office was eager to see the C M A established, in order to create incentives for other catchment areas to initiate their processes. Consequently, many stakeholders were aware that the process Was under time pressure. One of the facilitators commented that he felt the process was too hasty: It was very hasty because we needed to meet deadlines. Do this. Do that. That is not how you set up an institution. It takes time (Fa 2). However, stakeholder opinion varied as to whether the participatory process was too long or too short: I don't think that they are driving the process as such and I think that the process is going to quickly (Fo 2). There is such a lot of repetition at the meetings. It is like these bloody soapies on the TV. If you attend every fifth one you still know exactly what is going on (CA 13). The meeting minutes contained comments stating that the participatory process was moving too slowly, as well as comments saying that it was moving too quickly. Conclusion The design of the participatory process needs to allow for interactions from diverse participants. In the South African context, particular reference should be given to the many black communities that are still disadvantaged through a lack o f resources and knowledge o f the technical aspects o f water management. The following aspects of the meetings were identified as limiting the opportunity for interactions from all stakeholders: an emphasis on written exchanges o f information, an inflexible meeting agenda that limited opportunities for open dialogue, a technically focused exchange of information, "stratified" seating arrangements between sectors, insufficient attempts to address gaps in knowledge between stakeholders, and insufficient recognition o f the psychological sense of inferiority that was felt by black citizens in the face o f more powerful white individuals. A meeting structure that focused less on written, technical exchanges of information and more on oral exchange of knowledge and open dialogue would have encouraged more participation from disadvantaged sectors. 112 Some stakeholders expressed concern about the extensive use of English, but, for practical purposes, it is the most accessible language for the majority of representatives. Translations of important documents were not available from the start of the participatory process and the meetings in rural areas were often not conducted in the appropriate language of the community. The location for the meetings often prevented all representatives from attending because they were held in areas that were not accessible through public transportation. Finally, determining the time required to complete the participatory process was difficult, particularly when new concepts are being explained to groups with varied levels of understanding. The process needed to reach some form of closure as some of the stakeholders had been engaged in the process since July 1997 (most got underway in 1998) and were eager for some kind of outcome. A continuation of the process would likely have lead to burnout and disillusionment with those who were extensively involved. Many representatives from traditional communities felt that they were not given adequate time to understand and contribute to the process. 8.3 Facilitation of the Participatory Process The participatory process was managed through the Mpumalanga regional office of DWAF. To assist them, D W A F hired the services of an engineering consultancy firm and an environmental management consultancy firm. When it became clear that the Sabie-Sand Catchment was also to be included in the participatory process, a non-profit rural development company active in the Sabie-Sand Catchment was hired to work specifically in the Sabie-Sand catchment. This team of consultants, in close co-ordination with the DWAF regional office, assisted in drafting the proposal, including the processing of the financial and hydrological information, as well as designing and facilitating the meetings. Stakeholders acknowledged that the processing and presentation of technical data was of a high standard. Guidelines from the D W A F head office on how to establish a C M A were only provided half way through the process. This meant that the regional office had to embark on a complex process, requiring new areas of expertise, often without clear mandates from Head Office. There were concerns raised about the facilitation of the meetings. These concerns are discussed in this section. Many stakeholders acknowledged the difficulties in facilitating such a complex participatory process, and they appreciated the effort and contribution made by the facilitators. A conservation representative aptly captured this sentiment: I think [the facilitators] did it exceptionally well. Look it was a very difficult process. You can imagine that just conservation and irrigation are totally conflicting sectors. Irrigation and rural settlements are also conflicting. There were a lot of [conflicts]. I think, especially, that the DWAF official did a great job. If I were her, I probably would have stopped after the second meeting. She was just never put off. She just kept on and kept her cool. She just knew where she was going and just went on, which I think is fantastic. I'm prepared to give her a lot of credit (E/C 5). 113 Stakeholders had a variety of different perspectives on what made for a good facilitator. A n example o f the range of different perceptions was captured in an interview with a married couple who had both been involved in the participatory process. They each had different expectations of what made for a good facilitator. One felt that the facilitators needed to be strong with "not much upstairs," while the other felt that what was important was that no one was offended during the meetings: (E/C 3): [The D W A F official] was not made for it. [The official] is a quality control director and basically a chemist and was put into this job. [The official] did an excellent job but often lacked the strong authority to lead the meeting as a chairman. [The official] left it to the [consultants] and they were not always accepted by the other people. ... (E/C 4): I see things differently. [The official] is apparently soft but really has a heart of steel. (E/C 3) To lead a meeting you don't need too much up stairs, as long as you can speak loudly, then you can get through better. (E/C 4) I don't agree with that. I think that [the official] did an excellent job- never offending anybody. If you had a strong chairman some people might have been offended. ...[The official] never offended anybody. Three important aspects o f a good facilitator wi l l be discussed in this section: that they remain impartial and treat all with equal respect, that their actions build trust with those involved, and that they empower those involved. 8.3.1 Treating all with equal respect Stakeholders who felt that the facilitators were impartial in the process were generally those who did not have strong objections to the proposed C M A . The following stakeholders expressed these sentiments: He was really good; very articulate and very good in trying to get everyone to understand. The guy who facilitated did a good job. It was very open and transparent. It did not favour any group over another. (E/C 2). I must be honest, I always got the respect which I think any human being deserves. ... I never felt that there were people who were looked down at. The treatment was equal in most instances. In all cases it was satisfactory (WB 1). Without the facilitators we would have never got there. They did an excellent job. .. .The process was fair. .. .The facilitators who led the meetings were very fair in their contact, in the way they dealt with it. No voice was ever overheard or not given a chance to speak up so I don't think you can fault the process. [The D W A F official] went out of his/her skin to be fair and I think that his/her patience must have been tested almost beyond endurance (E/C 4). Stakeholders who voiced strong objections to aspects of the proposal often accused the facilitators o f not listening adequately to their complaints and o f purposefully favouring certain sectors. The nature o f the objections wi l l be discussed in the section on stakeholder influence (section 8.5), but they were mainly received from the commercial farmers and the emerging farmers. A commercial 114 farmer who expressed strong opposition to aspects o f the proposal accused the facilitators of not listening to his complaints and of being overly concerned with their own financial well being. If [that facilitator] was working for us, we would have fired him long ago and said to him, "You do not want to listen." [He] refuses to listen; he is bull-headed. .. .1 am starting to doubt the man's intelligence. I am not lying to you. I am starting to doubt it because he is so bull headed. He refuses to listen. You tell him something; he then rephrases what you've said to suit him and tells you what he thinks you have been saying. [It would have been better if] he listened to the people and not only the people paying his account but that is a difficult exercise. ... The bringing in of that other guy who sounds half a bit like an Australian, that is window addressing. To make sure that it seems impartial. One outsider, one old insider (CA 1). A Tribal Authority representative criticised the facilitators for not actively responding to their demands: Safcol is a big giant and it is appearing there as a Big giant and we are small but we are accessing the same water. .. It still goes back to the old law of apartheid [that says,] "hiredie een is a kaffir"6 and "hierdie een is a wit mens"7. They must not play marbles; we are not small boys. In the meetings they treat us like kids. One meeting they had this guy from Malelane, he was saying that [the facilitator] is abusing people and he certainly is abusing people. I mean what is the use of not taking the voice from the grassroot? We wil l not allow people to come here and boss us. [The facilitator] is looking for his cash. He wants to make his money and go away. PASOP! 8 . He is not having the whole problem at his heart (TA 1). A representative from commercial farmers responded to the way that the facilitators treated the objections received from both the black and white sectors: I saw something that was a problem. These guys were saying, " Y a that is a good point" but it never came up and it never happened. The thing was pushed into a way. It was pushed, and pushed, and pushed. There was on both sides, the white and black side, inputs that never ever came out. I tell you, I thought up til l the last meeting that this thing was pre-decided and it was just a matter of getting it. The consultant was just hammering on it and he would not listen. I promise you he would not listen. .. .1 sat in many a meeting just thinking to myself but the consultant is not listening. We said three meetings ago, we said it the last, and we are saying it again now. He is not listening. .. .It was a consultation but it was like speaking to a wall. The wall was throwing things at you and you were saying, "Ya , ya that is good but let us try this way." That was the idea that we got (CA 4). 8.3.2 Trust of facilitators In addition to the impression that the facilitators were biased, some stakeholders questioned their motivations and believed that the hired consultants were only interested in pursuing financial gain. Because they were contracted by DWAF, the perception was created that they were more concerned with pleasing their employer than the stakeholders. There was a degree o f resentment towards the cost of hiring the consultants. These concerns were most strongly felt by stakeholders who had voiced strong concerns against aspects of the proposal. Two commercial farmers captured these concerns: 6 Translated from Afrikaans: This one is a kaffir 7 Translated from Afrikaans: This one is a white man 8 Translated from Afrikaans: Be careful 115 This is where I am very upset, we got the first budget on the floor and then it exploded. It is very simple why that happened. .. .The consultants must be consultants and not take such an active part in it. ... [The consultants are] planning two things: number one, to stay in business, and number two, to finance the government with farmer's money. At this stage the whole community is so heavily taxed that the moment that you hear of another tax, you are up in arms about it (CA5). I think what creates conflict is the use of consultants. What do you think they are busy doing? They are planning a future for themselves, they could not care a dam how well or how tough it is on the farmers, or how well the act works... [They should use] community appointed consultants, i f consultants are necessary, not D W A F appointed. .. .This crowd has reaped nearly 2 million rand out of the process of consultation, which I say could have cost nothing. It could have cost nothing, compared to that... They appointed these consultant engineers at enormous fees. I mean the documents that these guys produce are nothing short of a bloody comic. They get paid by the volume. This is the executive summary, have you seen the original document? It is a thing this bloody big (CA 13). Overall the stakeholders were more trusting o f the D W A F official than the hired consultants. However, some stakeholders accused the D W A F official o f trying to establish a large operational and technical structure for the C M A so that current D W A F staff could maintain employment in the C M A : I'm sure that a lot of her energy was addressed to that very point that she might not have a job if the C M A is implemented according to the Act. ... I think it would be a little bit naive to think that there is no agenda. I think it is a little bit naive to do all this to make sure that she does not have a job tomorrow. She would not be doing all of this to get herself out of a job (CA 1). In reality these accusations do not have much basis. Once the C M A is established, D W A F wi l l likely keep some of its functions. The structure of the C M A is unlikely to jeopardise the jobs of the D W A F officials involved in the project. These accusations indicate that all stakeholders in the process did not trust the hired facilitators and the D W A F official. These accusations and breaches in trust are detrimental to a consultative process, and the facilitators did not put enough emphasis on transparency so as to avoid such accusations. Subsequent sections touch on other aspects related to the facilitation, such as, the facilitators' response to comments and the information provided by the facilitators. 8.3.3 Empowerment of Stakeholders The facilitators did try to empower those involved. They conducted workshops in specific areas to try and explain some of the technical details in the participatory process. They tried to encourage contributions from specific sectors that had not been extensively involved in water management. One of the facilitators acknowledged that in the meetings he was actively trying to obtain more input from the black disempowered communities: Yes, obviously. To make sure everybody has a say and no one feels dominated, certain points I'm going to let certain people, who have not spoken before, speak. I would tell those who that had said things three or four times not to speak, "You have had your say" (Fa 4). The facilitators did try and make the process accessible by providing translation of important documents in the closing stages of the process as well as using interpreters at certain meetings in rural areas. A consultant from a communication company was used as a facilitator and translator during some of the first meetings. Although they arrived late in the process, the facilitators did provide 116 translations of important documents. The facilitators did encourage people in the meetings to speak in the language of their choice and to sit next to some one who could translation the information for them into their own language. However, in the reference group meetings that I attended English was still the dominant language spoken and I did not observe any translations happening between individuals. In the Sabie-Sand Catchment a drama presentation was used to convey some of the information more accessibly. While these mechanisms were successful in empowering some stakeholders, as subsequent sections will show (section 8.6), the facilitators needed to so more to actively empower those involved. Conclusion Stakeholders recognised that the C M A participatory process was challenging. The difficulties were heightened by the fact that few D W A F officials had experience in this process and so could not offer extensive guidelines. The important technical knowledge that contributes to the process cannot be overlooked but this knowledge needs to be coupled with good facilitative techniques. A variety of perspectives were expressed on the facilitation of the meetings. The facilitators received most criticism from stakeholders who expressed strong opposition to aspects of the proposal. They were accused of favouring certain sectors by not listening to all the comments that were presented. Many stakeholders did not trust the facilitators and accused them of being more concerned with financial gain than the needs of the stakeholders. The facilitators did use specific mechanisms to try and empower those involved but, overall, there were significant opportunities for more creative and active ways of empowering those involved. 8.4 Information The outcome of the public participation process was supposed to produce a proposal that recommended to the Minister the establishment of a C M A for the Inkomati catchment area. The requirements of the proposal were discussed in Chapter 3 and are summarised again in Table 8.2. Table 8.2. The main aspects to be included in the proposal for the establishment of a C M A , as outlined in DWAF (1999b) and specified in the Water Act (s77). • Proposed name and description of the proposed water management area of the agency: Define a name that will cover the entire water management area Description of the significant water resources in the proposed Water Management Area, and the information about the existing protection, use, development, conservation, management and control of those resources Proposed functions of the CMA, including functions to be assigned to it How the proposed CMA will be funded (estimate the funds that may be raised from water resource management charges under the water pricing strategy): estimate of water use by different sectors at different assurances of supply Feasibility of proposed CMA in respect of technical, financial and administrative matters Indicate whether there has been consultation in developing the proposal and the results of the consultation 117 To draft the proposal, specific information needed to be collected and discussed with the stakeholders. Information needed to be presented on the following two aspects: • The current status of the water resources in the catchment, and • Aspects of the C M A , that are stipulated in the Water Act (i.e. the functions, funding and feasibility of the C M A ) . This section will discuss the information related to these two aspects and then discuss some of reasons for a lack of clarity in the information presented. 8.4.1 Current water resource conditions Table 8.3 outlines the information that was required in the description of current water resources in the catchment. Table 8.3. Elements to be covered in the description of the water resources in the catchment area (DWAF, 1999b). • The information should provide an overview of all elements of the water resource, specifically including the following: • The institutional arrangement (bodies and institutions) in the Water Management Area that undertake integrated water resource management and related functions. • The demographics and socio-economic conditions of people in the water management area • The catchment characteristics (natural features, land-use patterns and water resources) • Water resource infrastructure (bulk distribution for water supply and waste disposal) • Water resource operating policies and procedures (including yield) • Existing water resource management strategies and water allocation plans • Existing permits and registered water users (abstraction, discharge and in-stream) • Estimates of water use and water conservation initiatives • Status of the water resources (water quantity/ water quality/aquatic ecology) • The water resource class, reserve and resource quality objectives • Estimates of the existing level of cost recovery for water supply The information was compiled from a variety of different technical documents from irrigation boards and engineering firms. Before the proposal was drafted, Woodhouse and Hassan (1999) compared different water use data available for the catchment and identified inconsistencies in the collection, recording and reporting of water use data. The information collected for the C M A proposal represents a more accurate set of water resource data for the catchment. The data was presented to the stakeholders for comment and went through several drafts to include the comments collected from different sectors. Although few stakeholders seemed to dispute the final compilation of this information, this does not necessarily mean that the information is accurate, as many stakeholders may not have the knowledge to recognise inconsistencies in the data. What is clear through this research is that the information provided in the process was not sufficient to address some important water 118 management issues in the catchment. This is illustrated through the different perspectives that were held amongst stakeholders on two important issues: • the amount of water that was available for allocations, and • the steps required to allocate water to emerging farmers so that they could begin farming projects. These two issues wi l l be discussed in more detail. 8.4.1.1 How much water is available in the catchment for water allocations? The D W A F official managing the process described the Inkomati catchment area as a water-stressed area where no further water licences would be permitted without careful planning. However, stakeholders in the process had a variety o f perspectives on whether there was water available for allocations. A commercial farming representative captured this confusion: I think there are a lot of perceptions regarding water availability. If you talk to the Kruger Park, they have got a certain perspective. If you talk to [representatives in] the area up at Bushbuckridge, they have a certain perspective. But there are still so many perceptions and that is a problem with the whole process. We as irrigators understand the system. We understand this. The other sectors do not have this perspective. That was one of our problems. We told them that there was enough water. They did not believe us (CA 12). Black, rural communities were told that they were not going to be issued allocations because the catchment was facing water shortages. During the meetings, tensions were raised when i l l informed individuals said that there was plenty o f water available. A water board member in the Sabie-Sand area explained this difficulty: We were all puzzled when one guy from one water board, around White River area, was saying that they have a lot of water, to the extent that they no longer know what to do with water. You think of people who are without water for basic human consumption, it makes you angry and it reveals some miscommunication (WB 1). The confusion over water allocations can be attributed to the difficulties in determining the Reserve. The Reserve is a legal requirement specified, as the amount of water needed to meet ecological needs and basic human needs. The amount for the Reserve needs to be determined before allocating new water licenses. During the participatory process no Reserve calculation had been determined for the Inkomati River and so it was difficult to determine exactly how much additional water was available for allocations to water users. A stakeholder from the forestry sector was aware of this difficulty: I think that the information that they are using [in the proposal] is the best information that they have, but it is based on historical use. A n historic use was private and public water. The rules of the game have changed and they have not taken that into account. I think that you needed to say up front, "Well this is the reserve, this is what it is about and this is what it is made up of" (Fo 2). After the final Inkomati reference group meeting an irrigation board member, involved with D W A F in addressing water availability and planning in the catchment, explained some of the problems that had been experienced in determining the amount of water available for allocations. He had just 119 attended a meeting where he received information on the requirements for the ecological reserve. Based on this information he realised that there is a water supply problem in the catchment. The following quote captures his response to the new requirements for the Reserve. The Reserve is the problem at this stage. In the past there was no Reserve allocation. In the future there will be a Reserve allocation. The problem at this stage is that there are no guidelines so if you leave the greenies alone to make a proposal regarding a Reserve, it is not realistic. It is simply not realistic. We have known this system for the last 50 years. We have figures on the flow in the river for the last 50 years. If they want to leave the Reserve as they propose, it wil l mean no development for the emerging farmers and that is a problem. The Reserve is a problem. At this stage we have to look at it and get a more realistic Reserve. We need to look at the management of the system and see i f we could manage the system much better. .. .The one problem is that before now there was not enough information available for D W A F to make that decision. They did not know whether there would be enough water to allocate to the emerging farmers. Now with this model they know that there is a problem. .. .1 received this about 3-4 weeks ago at one of those task team meetings. So now we must look at alternatives. We waited for the Reserve allocation, which was the problem up to now. Now we can look for alternatives: cut back on the Reserve; we irrigators can cut back on the volume of water that we want; Eskom can cut back on their water or the assurity of water. We could look at better management of the system so there are a lot of alternatives. ... Water allocation in the Nkomazi region is quite a sensitive, political issue. The problem is that, in the past, D W A F indicated that would be water available after Maguga Dam. Now we are in a position to start tackling that because there is enough information (CA 12). 8.4.1.2 W h y are emerging farmers unable to get access to water to develop farming projects? Emerging farmers in the process expressed concerns at the difficulties in gaining water allocations. These allocations were needed to develop farming projects in the area. The following extract from two emerging farmers in the Nkomazi area captures some of the frustration experienced by the sector in applying for water licenses. The problem lies to the Department of Agriculture. They are the ones that are allocating water for farmers. The farmers did not know that they must direct their allocation to the Department of Agriculture so they directed them to the irrigation board. [The irrigation board] said that they have got no problem with it but it is not the irrigation board that gives rights, you must apply to the Department of Agriculture. When you go to the Pepartment of Agriculture] they say, "No, there is no water." Without explanation they say, "No water." ...No one is willing to tell us exactly what is going on. We ask for the real details. We were given so much water and only so much of the portion has been developed so it means that basically we still have water. Where is that water? It is hiding in books. It is hiding in books (EF 4). A n official from the Department of Agriculture explained that he is no longer responsible for allocating water but that it is the job of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. What normally happens is that the farmer goes to the irrigation board or to the water users' association and says, "I'm asking for a water allocation." What do they do? They send their application to Water Affairs. What does Water Affairs do? They send it to me. Well, I just told them I haven't got any more water available anymore. Water Affairs must answer the farmer (PG 2). A water allocation for 1 600ha in the Nkomazi district was still to be allocated and was mentioned by several stakeholders: A n emerging farmer in the Nkomazi area related that: There still is water that is left from the previous water that we had before from the Department of Agriculture. We can plough 1 600 ha but now it has stopped. We are not allowed to anymore. When we go there, they just tell you, "No there is no water." They must explain. They must not say that there is no 120 water. Just make an application and they just write back to you, "No water. We are sorry, no water." Without any explanation-just no water (EF 4). Two other people in the process gave different explanation as to why the 1 600ha had not been allocated. In an interview, a facilitator in the participatory process blamed the government, while a commercial farmer blamed the tribal authorities. The government is also not performing. They have got 1 600ha of water rights in the Komati right now reserved for small farmers and they are not developing it because there is a lack of funds. Who is going to pay for it? It is nice to say that you have no water rights and then you divert the issue to somebody else. But my question is that there are water rights so why are you not developing? They do not have the financial resources (Fa 3). On the Komati River, 1 600 ha been allocated to upcoming black farmers. Now it is not the problem of the D W A F or the C M A to see that those people get their fair share of that water. In their tribal community they must organise themselves and the chief must give it to them. It was allocated. At our last meting one of the black people stood up and he said, "He wants his lOha of water to go to a bank to get some money because they have got not water." It is his Tribal Authority or his chief who does not allocate his water to him. .. .They have been given 1 600ha, that is the figure they named that day, and the Tribal Authority in that area should say, " M r X here is your ten hectares and there is your lOha and here is your documents." It is the way of the people in this area. It is the history of the black people; the chief controls everything. Now they can't come and say it is the C M A or it is the government's fault (CA 2). The confusion surrounding water allocation in the Nkomazi area is linked to the water allocations that occurred under the KaNgwane Homeland government. Under the previous legislation D W A F would be responsible for block water allocations to the KaNgwane government and these would then be allocated to farmers through tribal authorities. N o w that the KaNgwane administration has been dissolved it is difficult to determine how much water was allocated and to whom (Woodhouse and Hassan, 1999). The Nkomazi region was allocated water rights for 17 farms, totalling 7 327 ha, along the Lower Komati River. A t the same time 7 196 ha was also proclaimed for use on white farms. A decade later only 400 ha had been developed for irrigation in KaNgwane but the total for the Lower Komati measured 14 335 ha. This suggests that either the white commercial irrigation boards permitted South African commercial farmers to use the KaNgwane allocation, or that 7 000 ha of allocation was found elsewhere, which would mean that the entire KaNgwane allocation has not been used (Woodhouse and Hassan, 1999)9. A water lawyer, representing a major irrigation board in the district, explained that it is easy to obtain water allocations but the problem in developing farming projects is related to other aspects o f the development project, such as funding and milling contracts. He explained that once the emerging 9 There is some discrepancy in these figures. D W A F (2001b) states that the total for the Lower Komati totalled 15 022 ha of which 7 695 ha was part of South Africa and 7 327 ha was in KaNgwane. A notice in the Gazette No 388 states that temporary permits for the extraction of surplus water could be issued. Irrigators in South Africa applied for these permits while no application were received form KaNgwane. There is a further discrepancy between the figures from D W A F and from the Komati River Irrigation Board (KRIB) as to the area 121 farmers "get their ducks in a row," regarding funding, land rights and milling contracts, they wi l l be able to get a water license. The main difficulty facing farming development in the region, according to him, is not access to water licences: The [emerging farmers] came to see me after the meetings and I said, " Look guys, for a successful license application for water there is not a resource problem because we know that there is enough water being allocated for that area." [I explained that] they wil l get a license but the department is not going to give them a license unless all the other issues are in place. [I told them that they] must know exactly how they are going to develop the project. Where are they going to abstract the water? What is the infrastructure? Do they have milling capacity at the mill to crush additional 3 000 hectares? Sugar is difficult, you have got to do it in co-operation with the miller. That is who wil l buy the cane (CA 11). This lawyer maintained that water licenses could not be given out without a viable development project in place, with the right funding and milling contracts. However, in discussions with the local milling company (TSB), they indicated that they couldn't award a milling contract until they have proof o f a water license. The milling company has reached its capacity but plans to expand to accommodate more emerging farmers. They wi l l only go forward with the costly expansion i f they have assurances for all aspects of the development project, such as water licenses and funding. T S B identified water as the most significant obstacle in obtaining a milling contract: The guys come to see me and they want a contract because we have contracts with all our growers. I say, "Well at the moment we do not have mill capacity but before you get there you have got to have the land in place with all the land acts- community registration. Then the water must be in place and then after that the finances for the project must be there. These guys are going to D W A F and the Land Bank. ...It is a big chase-your-tail, but really water is the key issue. ... We, at TSB, have got to say, "Is the land there? Is the water there? And, are the finances there?" Once we know that, we can go and to our directors for the expansion of the mill. We can say, "Look we can guarantee you that all those steps are in place, you can go and invest 170 million in the mill and you will get your returns because we know that things are in place (Ind 2). The emerging farmers explained that water allocations were the main hindrance in developing farming projects, because without water they could not be assured of a milling contract or a bank loan. However, according to the irrigation board member, water allocations w i l l not be given out until the milling contract and bank loans are in place. It is not surprising that so many emerging farmers are exasperated by a bureaucratic system that is unable to meet their needs. These two examples show that the process did not clarify crucial water management issues in the catchment, which proved to be very frustrating for those engaged in the decision-making process. 8.4.2 Aspects of the C M A Stakeholders needed to understand the legal stipulations of the Act, which included the function, structure and funding of the C M A . This is complex information to convey to people who are not familiar with this type of information. Throughout the participatory process many meetings were for which temporary permits were issued. D W A F ' s figure is 5 675 ha, while the KRIB maintains that permits for 122 held to try and explain this information, this research indicates that the stakeholders still displayed a great variety of perspectives and levels of understanding about certain fundamental aspects of the C M A , including the function of the C M A . 8.4.2.1 How did people understand the function of the C M A ? The participatory process did not successfully provide stakeholders with a common vision as to what the C M A would do and why it was needed. This is indicated by the variety o f perspectives expressed as to why the C M A was a good idea. The ranges of opinions held by stakeholders on the rational o f the C M A are described below. Individuals do not necessarily fall into one or either of the groups but could relate comfortably to multiple rationales. 8.4.2.1.1 Economical People adhering to this rationale supported the C M A because they thought it would offer more opportunity to control the pricing o f water, and because they thought that the cost of water management would now be distributed among more sectors, h i the past, only certain sectors (particularly commercial farmers) paid for the distribution o f water. N o w other water uses (such as forestry and industry) would have to contribute more towards the cost o f water management. A C M A would allow more local control over the distribution of water use charges. With the new C M A story everybody is into the picture. With the old crocodile irrigation board it was only the irrigating framers. They were the ones that were paying and they were the ones that were controlling the water (CA 5). 8.4.2.1.2 Sceptical of government's ability Other stakeholders supported the C M A because they wanted certain functions to be taken from a government that they viewed as being incapable of managing resources. They believed that the skills needed to manage water are now only found at the local level so it made sense to allow local authorities more control. Well we must make it work. No body else can make it work. It is now a constitutional right to make it work. We would be completely lost i f we kept on expecting government to make everything work. They have not got the capacity; they have not got the skills; they have not got the interest (CA 13) 8.4.2.1.3 Benevolent Some supported the C M A because of the opportunity it provided to aid the plight of the poor in the community. The C M A was seen as vehicle whereby the privileged individuals would assist in making life better for the poor, through access to water and the acceleration of development projects. Why did government put this C M A forward? [It was] to monitor the poorest of the poorest. Poor people will have a share with those who have been rich before (EF 1). up to 6 482 ha were issued. 123 8.4.2.1.4 Egalitarian Others supported the C M A because it would allow black members o f the community the opportunity to become involved in the water management sector. Knowledgeable white farmers, who have historically had a good understanding of water management issues through irrigation board activities, w i l l now be able to pass information on to black C M A members. Last time only white people were on those boards but black people now are coming to this industry. There is a need to establish that C M A , to include everyone. It is sort of a transformation, which we need (CS 1). 8.4.2.1.5 Civically responsible Some believed the C M A would allow for local decision-making and generate social responsibility towards finding solutions to water management problems. This would only work i f all parties were involved and i f there was a genuinely participatory approach to decision-making. We can work together, communicate and make a plan for the catchment. .. .Before nobody took any notice because the guy who worked with that was in Pretoria, a government official. He has not got the interest of the people that live here. That is the problem. Now it comes down to the people that live in the area. They look after it. So if you see a guy throwing away a paper, or polluting a river, or taking fish from the river, then everybody is up in arms: "What is he doing? " In the past nobody cared. The guy in Pretoria must come and look after it but nobody did. Now there is local interest (NGO 1). Some stakeholders accepted that many of these rationales were good reasons for establishing a C M A . However, there were some stakeholders whose rationales excluded those held by others. For example, those that followed the economic rationale were not supportive of the benevolent attitude, and those that were sceptical of government's ability did not appreciate the egalitarian approach. These differences are indicative of a lack of a common understanding of C M A functions. One representative from a commercial agricultural union, who worked closely with the black communities on his farm, summarised how the process was unable to create a common vision for the C M A : I promise you, i f we had to go to that meeting and we had to pull out 4 okes 1 0 and you interviewed them and said, "What do you think this thing is going to be and what is going to look like?" Ask him, "Tell me what you think the C M A is going to look like?" You are going to be bloody amazed, I promise you. You are going to be amazed. The white or commercial farmers is going to tell you, "Look this thing is gong to be one massive palace with B M W ' s and Merc's parked in front with big petrol tanks and cars and cell phones." A black or emerging farmer is going to tell you, "Look this is a place that we can go to get water." And it is not one of the two (CA 4). Table 8.4 lists further questions about the C M A that the stakeholders identified in the interviews as being unanswered through the participatory process. These questions indicate that the participatory process left the stakeholders with many unresolved issues about water management, C M A functions, C M A financing and the organisational structure of the C M A . individuals 124 Table 8.4. Questions that were raised by the stakeholders after the participatory process had concluded in relation to water management in the region and the implementation of the new legislation. General water management questions Who is currently responsible for supplying domestic water to rural areas? What is the difference between the Water Service Act and the National Water act? How wil l they work together? Has the ecological reserve for the catchment been determined? What spiritual association do some cultures have with rivers? Financial questions Wi l l the C M A have to pay for the water that is allocated to Mozambique? How much funding wil l the government contribute towards the C M A ? What is the intrinsic value of water and how does this fit into the pricing strategy? What wil l happen if the C M A is unable to collect water use charges? How wil l the "polluter pays principle" be dealt with in the pricing strategy? Can the pricing strategy be changed to allow more sectors to contribute to water management? Questions about the function of the C M A Wi l l the C M A be able to assist in addressing water supply issues? Wi l l the C M A be responsible for allocation of water to emerging farmers? What specific services will the C M A provide? What is wrong with current water quality management? Why do we need to pay for additional management? Questions about the organisational structure of the C M A Wi l l the C M A be responsible for international communication around water management? What wil l be the link between the C M A and D W A F regional office? Wi l l D W A F staff be absorbed into the C M A structure and how wil l this be managed? Wi l l the C M A governing board members get paid? What is the role of the advisory committee and how will they be elected? Has the advisory committee been established yet? How wil l "Working for Water" fit into the new C M A institution? What is the legal mandate for the Catchment Management Committees? What legal protection wil l governing board members receive? D W A F did attempt to clarify many of the issues discussed above, and the questions in Table 8.4 were frequently asked in meetings. Public information meetings were held in various communities and many steering committee meetings attempted to build a common understanding of water management in the catchment. There were many stakeholders who did grow in their understanding of the process, and these aspects will be discussed in a subsequent section. However, overall there seemed to be a lack of clarity among stakeholders on many other substantive issues in the process. The reasons for the confusion will be further elaborated on in the following section: 8.4.3 Reasons for the lack of clarity on the information provided 8.4.3.1 Lack of clarity and consistency in the information provided from D W A F The facilitators sometimes conveyed inconsistent messages about important issues in the participatory process. The following story, related by one of the facilitators, illustrates that there was even disagreement amongst the team of consultants in charge of the process: 125 I remember one meeting in Acornhoek, where... the special advisor to the minister came down, who is also the chairperson of the National Save the Sand Steering Committee. We were running this community meeting in Acornhoek and [this person] came to the meeting. [One of the facilitators] put up these overheads that I had complained to him about before but he would not listen. He has these overheads showing water use and at the top he has these huge red blocks saying, "surplus" and "runoff." Now we are arguing that the Sand River is in a water deficit and he is putting up these tables saying surplus, runoff, in big red blocks. This gives everyone the impression that there is all this water to be used and there is not. He is making no allowance for the Reserve. So when he got to that point, [the special advisor to the minister] flipped out and stopped him presenting and just took over the meeting. I've still seen [the facilitators] putting up those overheads and I am saying, "You are sending out the wrong message" (Fa 4). This incident occurred in a meeting in the Sand Catchment where many rural communities live without reliable access to water resources. To be given mixed messages about water availability in the catchment is a frustrating and confusing experience for these stakeholders. Mixed messages were also conveyed in meetings on the Komati River. A stakeholder who had been extensively involved in attending and facilitating some of the initial participatory meetings related an example of this: We came back to the meeting at Mzinti and [the community said,] "Where is my water? You promised us this and you promised us that." And water affairs, very poorly informed said, "Well, there is water. There is enough. It is coming down the river. You have got to just abstract it." So this is the very angry message, which came through in many of the C M A meetings. That is why these meetings have been disrupted because they feel this whole C M A situation is not addressing their needs as such and they are not prepared to move onto a new dispensation when the old one has not given them what they want (Int 2). The D W A F regional office, managing the process, tried to keep in close contact with D W A F head office in Pretoria and often sought their assistance when difficult questions arose. However, it seemed that the information received from head office was not always congruent with the information provided by those managing the participatory process. One stakeholder, quoted above, reflected on these difficulties: There were deputy directors, from head office, who were not particularly well informed. [The deputy director] was not particularly well informed- that was not [this person's] fault. When you come into a new job, you have got to have time to learn it or a build the job with you. [This person] had not been informed well enough and there was a public meeting here where we were given mixed messages. Mixed messages are fatal for any process. We even had different messages from two people at head office on the same day. That is a big problem (Int 2). Another example of legal confusion over the new Water Ac t was related by a commercial farmer who contacted head office with a specific question relating to the implementation o f the new Water Act . The response he got indicated to him that head office was i l l informed on the implementation of the new Water Act: You go and ask these guys up country. I have contacted their legal department, and they have not got a bloody clue, with all due respect, of how this law applies. I am talking about head office's legal people in Pretoria (CA 10). One of the stakeholders, from the forestry sector, indicated that he felt there was a rift in communication between D W A F head office (also called the national office) and the regional office (also called provincial office): 126 Where we see a big rift is when we make submission directly to the D W A F national office and then at provincial level you see the implementation of issues where at national level they have said that they do not have an opinion on. For example: the pricing strategy or the in stream flow requirements. .. .There is no clarity from national level on how that is going to happen but already we have a draft proposal for the Inkomati C M A . We have not even determined the in-stream flow requirements. What are we debating here? (Fo 2) Aside form the problems related to the actual information provided, there were other factors that affected the distribution of accurate information in the participatory process. These include the technical nature of the information and the inconsistent involvement of representatives. 8.4.3.2 The technical nature of the information During the participatory process, accurate information was often conveyed to stakeholders but it was often misunderstood, or was conveyed in complex and inaccessible terms. These difficulties were particularly pronounced for the disadvantaged communities, where many individuals are uneducated and unfamiliar with technical terms. The following comments came from stakeholders representing energy, environment, and civi l society. The other thing that confused them a lot was the excessive use of technical terms. Some of them have not gone to school up to Std 5 1 1 , at most Std 10 1 2, so you wil l really see that they needed quite a lot of capacity building before the actual process begins (En 1). Sometimes they will put figures and calculations on the screen and black communities wil l go out without understanding anything. Even other communities wil l go out without understanding anything and then people just get frustrated (E/C 1). The emerging farmers are more or less illiterate people who do not understand the whole thing but they have got farming tactics on their minds. They cannot read and to understand the documentation is too complicated (CS 1). 8.4.3.3 Inconsistent involvement Inconsistent involvement from representatives in certain sectors also contributed to a lack of clarity in the process. When stakeholders missed meetings, they found it difficult to catch up and keep informed. This meant that some issues that may have been dealt with at earlier meetings often resurfaced several times. The following stakeholders commented that those who consistently attended meetings had a better understanding of the issues involved: Like I indicated there were gaps in attending meetings. You find that i f you don't attend this meeting it becomes difficult to catch up. .. .Those who were really consistent in the process can now articulate what is happening better. They are focused and know what the issues will be i f this process succeeds and an agency is appointed. D W A F did a good job in educating those people that were there (WB 2). If you jump on a wagon when it is right through the water already and you don't know how to get through the water, you don't know what you are talking about. He was not there at the previous meetings and they come at the end and raise their voices. Why were they not there from day 1? A lot of people talk there 1 1 A school year equivalent to grade 7. 1 2 A school year equivalent to grade 12. 127 about things that were discussed a year ago. We would sit there every month and know what is going on and know where we come from and now suddenly there is a new chap, raising his voice and saying, "I want this and this and this" but he does not know what happened a year ago (CA 2). Conclusion This section discussed the information that was conveyed in the participatory process. To draft the proposal, specific information needed to be collected and discussed with the stakeholders. Information needed to be presented on the following two aspects: • The current status of the water resources in the catchment, and • Aspects of the C M A , that are stipulated in the Water Act (i.e. the functions, funding and feasibility of the C M A ) This section discussed specific examples of the lack of clarity among stakeholders in relation to the following issues: • the amount of water that was available for allocations, • the steps required to allocate water to emerging farmers so that they can begin farming projects, and • the function of the C M A . Some stakeholders did learn through the information meetings, but overall most stakeholders, particularly in the disadvantaged communities, remained uninformed about important water management issues and aspects of the C M A . The following aspects contributed to a lack of understanding: • Information was often not accurately and consistently conveyed through the facilitators and DWAF officials. This prevented some stakeholders from engaging in effective and productive discussions • The technical information was often not accessible to disadvantaged communities • Representatives were often not consistently involved so as to understand the range of issues being discussed. Representation has been discussed in an earlier section but, in terms of information, it is easier to convey complex information to a consistent group of stakeholders. Reaching an informed decisions on a suitable institution to address water management issues is challenging when the information does not allow for a common understanding of present water management issues as well as how these could be addressed under a new institution. 8.5 Stakeholders' Influence in the Process In a procedurally just process, the stakeholders should have an influence on both the design and outcome of the participatory process. For example, the scope of the process should be flexible to address the concerns raised by the stakeholders, and comments and objections should be noted and 128 fairly documented. Feedback should be given on the comments received and the outcome of the process should clearly reflect the inputs of the stakeholders. Many stakeholders felt that they did have an influence on the process and that comments were received and that feedback was provided. The following environmental representative positively reflected on how comments were received and dealt with in the process: At every single meeting opportunity was given to comment in writing, and at the following meeting, always follow up on all comments, so they have included everyone's comments. .. It was always done and in all the meetings there was always a feedback sessions. We received such and such comments in writing and we also received these comments verbally and then [the facilitators] would present them (E/C 2). When an individual from the forestry sector was asked whether he agreed with the stakeholders who felt that there had not been enough feedback in the participatory process, he emphatically responded. "Absolute nonsense. [The proposal] has been revised many times" (Fo 1). A representative from civi l society reflected similarly: "I am taking that proposal as our proposal. When people commented it was always put in the paper and at the next meeting it was read and accepted" (CS 2). The sectors that were satisfied with the feedback and influence that they had in the process were generally sectors that did not voice strong objections to aspects of the proposal (See Table 8.2 for a summary of what should be in the proposal). Any comments that they may have presented did not require major adjustments to the proposal and were easily responded to. For example, the following industry representative was satisfied with the way his comments were dealt with: We did not make a lot of comments because there were not a lot of points that we felt needed to be commented on. One of them was that there must be qualified people [on the C M A governing board] so they had a section in the proposal on what qualification they should have so they did address that (Ind 3). The commercial farmers and emerging farmers raised more fundamental objections to the process and it was the response to these objections that gave many stakeholders the impression that the participatory process followed a top-down approach, without adequate consideration of stakeholder input. A representative from commercial farming stated: "it was consultation but it was like speaking to a wall . The wall was throwing things at you and you were saying: ' Y a , that is good but let us try it this way ' " ( C A 4). The following section discusses the stakeholders' influence over the process by elaborating on the objections raised by the commercial farmers and the emerging farmers, and how these objections were dealt with in the process. Both the Agricultural sector and emerging farmers expressed their objections to the process during the meetings. A t the second last meeting, some members of the agricultural community left the meeting and refused to participate because they felt that there inputs were not being taken seriously. A t the final meeting, members o f the emerging farmers interrupted the technical presentations because they felt that their concerns were not addressed in the process. 129 8.5.1 Agricultural sector's response to the proposal The agricultural sector expressed two main concerns in the process: against the proposed representational structure and against the proposed pricing strategy 8.5.1.1 Response of objection on representational structure The commercial farmers were divided in their response to the representational structure of the C M A and many abandoned the discussion. The reasons for these objections are discussed in Box 8.6. One of the facilitators explained that the commercial farmers, who chose not to participate in the meetings, were trying to derail the process simply because they did not accept that a new government was in power. The facilitator did not believe that one could even talk or reason with some of these farmers: The other problem was that the white commercial farmers, down that side, were clearly trying to derail the process. ...Basically, I think they don't want to accept there was an election in 1994 and they don't accept the new water law and they want to continue to control the resource. .. .1 think they are trying to protect their own interests, at the end of the day they are prepared to be a little bit more flexible but they are trying to protect their own interests and they are still not really accepting the changes in the law. .. .1 think that Frank was just out to derail everything and he made it quite obvious, "I oppose everything." Not understanding that the legal situation has changed, that private ownership of water no longer exists. ... At the end of the day you couldn't talk to Frank (Fa 4). A discussion with Frank (him name was changed to protect identity), who abandoned the discussions, revealed that he certainly could be reasoned with, and that he had a valid rationale for his objections, based on a good understanding of the new Water Act (See Box 8.6). Compared with the commercial farmers that supported the proposal, Frank expressed more genuine concern for the needs of the emerging farmers, and he recognised the importance of a genuine transformation of water management structures. The rationale for the concerns that he raised was never really explored or allowed to influence the participatory process, because the facilitators had not really listened or taken their concerns seriously. 8.5.1.2 Response to objections on the pricing strategy In addition to the issues around representation, the agricultural sector expressed unanimous concern over the increased financial commitments that would be incurred through an increase in water use charges. These objections are discussed in Box 8.7. The facilitators responded to many of these objections by, once again, assuming that the commercial farmers were being intentionally objectionable to the concept of the C M A . The facilitators presented several different pricing options to the commercial farmers but the commercial farmers deemed none of these suitable. The commercial farmers maintained that their concerns were not being adequately addressed. 130 Box 8.6. Objections to the representational structure of the C M A A concern over the narrow range of interest held by certain irrigation boards members, lead to a division within the commercial agricultural sector. The accusations were that certain irrigation boards were using the proposed C M A as a means to maintain or increase their power and control of the resource, to the exclusion of disadvantaged communities. The legal advocate, who worked closely with many of the irrigation boards in the region and was also an advisor to the Minister in drafting the National Water Act, captured these concerns: I am frustrated with the irrigation boards because they still stay old South African irrigation boards. .. .They have got one purpose of why they want to establish the CMC's [Catchment Management Committees] and that is power. They want to sit there and do all of the decision making from there. The same people want to regulate or control all the irrigation boards in the entire catchment. They want to have the final say. We can't allow these guys, even if they have the most beautiful looking proposal. We can't allow them to establish this thing unless we appoint certain people. You can't allow them to elect all their people because it will be the wrong people. ... You need to talk sense into the heads of the people who are sitting here with the decision making power. Talk some sense into the heads of DWAF because all of what is going on in the CMA is politics (LA 1). To overcome extensive local involvement and politics leading to an emphasis on a narrow range of interests, some commercial farmers advocated for a C M A structure that was more distanced from local water users. They proposed a C M A where individuals would be elected based on their expertise in water management. They presumed that an objective C M A would make better management decisions, as it would be devoid of vested, local interests. This concern resulted in several irrigation boards objecting to the proposed C M A . These objections are captured in the following extract from a document that was drafted by the above legal advocate on behalf of several irrigation boards. An Afrikaans commercial farming representative orally translated the following section from the document: We acknowledge the information in the document and the proposal, as far as the resources and the status of the catchment area is concerned. We agree that we have been consulted but that we don't support the proposal. We oppose this proposal because the proposal is prescriptive about the advisory committee and that is against the ideas of the Act. It is not objective and this proposal is also prescriptive as far as the structure of the CMA should be and the nomination of the people on the board, who should and should not be there. This should be an independent decision process, based on the proposals of the advisory committee and the minister's nomination process. This proposal is actually an obstacle in the nomination process and if the minister reads this he will actually be biased towards what is going on. Written on behalf of the Nkomazi, Lomati River, Komati River, Malelane, Tenbosch, Crocodile, Lower Cape, Eureka, Low's creek and Kaalrug Irrigation Boards, as well as the Malelane and Komati Cane Growers Associations (CA 9). During the participatory process, a division occurred between the twelve organisations that wrote the document mentioned above. Some felt that the whole C M A process should be abandoned, while others decided to support the process with limited objections. The legal advocate, who wrote the document, related this division within the commercial farmers: The new chairperson of the Lomati Irrigation Board, as well as representatives from some Barberton-boards, supported stronger objections [to the participatory process], while the Malelane-based Boards proceeded with the participation in the CMA meetings, held by DWAF. I then lost interest while [the Lomati Irrigation Board] pursued the matter further, turning up at every meeting and creating havoc and drawing lots of support, especially from the black farmers attending these meetings. Eventually the [Lomati Irrigation] Board asked DWAF to stop these senseless meetings and submit the proposal because at every meeting they did not accommodate the comments [that they] submitted at previous meetings. [They wanted the 131 proposal] published in the gazette, so that people could get a legitimate forum to submit written comment, which would then be in the hands of the Minister himself, who couldn't merely ignore them the way the facilitators did. And with this fierce debate and lack of consensus, nothing further happened (LA 1). The commercial farmers were divided about the representational structure of the C M A and many chose not to participate in the participatory process. The sector also raised objections against the pricing strategy, which is discussed in Box 8.7. i Box 8.7 Objections to the pricing strategy Due to the removal of government subsidies and increased competition in international markets, many commercial farmers were under considerable financial pressure. One commercial farmer explained these difficulties: I mean in the old days it went quite well, the farmers made money. But I can tell you since I've been on the farm, which is ten years now, I've seen it bloody slide, but big time. I am not only speaking of the avocado industry but I am speaking of the whole farm industry (CA 4). These financial concerns meant that some farmers were reluctant to pay more for water and expressed strong objections to the proposed C M A pricing strategy. Many individuals, including the facilitators, did not recognise the financial difficulties facing the farmers and believed that the farmers were over playing their demands. A businessman in the tourist town of Dullstroom expressed this sentiment: You know the farmers tend to gripe and moan a hell of a lot. ... As a South African you will understand what South African farmers are like. A l l their lives they have had it laid on: there have been subsidies and potato boards and all that. They have been protected all along and now all of a sudden they are let loose in the cruel world and they moan like bloody hell, they really do. ... They are going to have to pay for the water and they are not used to that. ... I do feel that the farmers have been pampered up until now but I also feel that the good farmers will over come all of the problems (To 6). The C M A wi l l receive financial support through contributions from water use charges. The financial pressure facing the farmers meant that they were reluctant to pay more for water and expressed strong objections to the proposed C M A pricing strategy. The commercial farmers wanted to ensure that they would not be the only sector contributing to the financial upkeep o f the C M A . They advocated for the inclusion of a bed levy so that tourism would also contribute to the C M A (See box 8.1). The farmers felt that no one took their economic situation seriously and they believed that the operational and technical structure o f the proposed C M A was more than what was needed or could be afforded to manage water in the catchment. Many commercial framers expressed concern that the black emerging farmers would be most significantly affected by the increase. For the first 5 years, government wi l l subsidise water costs for emerging farmers, but after that the emerging farmers would have to pay the same price as the white commercial farmers. A government official who was sympathetic to the financial difficulties of the commercial farmers captured this concern: In ten years time the emerging farmers wil l advance the same argument that is being advanced by the current commercial farmers. It is going to be on a sliding scale. [The emerging farmers] wil l feel the pinch progressively and at the end it wil l be 100%. ...The same argument made by the commercial fanners wil l be used by every farmer in the country (PG 4). 132 In interviews with the commercial farmers, it became clear that some of the reasons behind the objections to the pricing strategy stemmed more from a lack of understanding about the functions of the C M A than a resistance to pay more for water. Under current economic conditions, farmers were not prepared to contribute more to the cost of water until they could see what additional services would be delivered through the C M A . The financial strategies presented to the farmers were repeatedly refused because they did not understand what service would be received for the cost. A commercial farmer captured this concern: If the state does not perform, citizens don't have to perform. It is a contract. It would be a crime to not pay if the service was delivered. If it is not delivered, I don't know how they are going to make us pay. ... We know that it is going to become more expensive to use water, we have no difficulty with that (CA 1). The following representatives from commercial agriculture commented on the way that their concerns with the pricing strategy were dealt with: It was a top-down approach. Many, many, many of the suggestions that were made by several participants were simply ignored. They said that they were going to be taken note of and they just disappeared in the flack. .. .They actually put [the comments] on a piece of paper and they accepted them in principle but I did not see them in the draft (CA 10). The other point that bothered me for a long time was that water affairs and the consultants had their agenda set up prior to it. .. .Either they had some command or some one told them, "You see that you get that done." Or they had an agenda that they fit in for themselves. For a very long time we tried to change the system or the process or even the contents of the document. You go through 4 or 5 meetings and what you said in the first meeting, in the second meeting, it is never part of the minutes. It is never taken up in the document. .. .They record them but it never gets taken up in the document (CA 9). A representative from local government was sympathetic to the needs o f the commercial farmers and commented on how their concerns were not adequately addressed: I could understand [the farmers'] anger because they have been putting these points across all along and every time you come back to a meeting, it is not there (PG 4). This same government representative recognised that the reason many facilitators were not responding to objections was because they presumed that the farmers were simply resistant to change. He explained that the facilitators were not willing to listen to the concerns o f the commercial farmers because they believed that the farmer were just being difficult and were unable to accept change: I think the ear is not well prepared to listen to these things. [The facilitators] are listening but with a defective ear. I would not say that they have not been prepared to listen to them, but I think that they want to persuade them to a form of thinking, other than what they experience. ... [The facilitators] may have anticipation that [the commercial farmers] will resist change so they just ram it down their throats. It might have been an unintentional thing but subconsciously there is this belief that people resist change, which I don't think is universally true. [The facilitators did not have] the right ear to listen to what has been said (PG 4). The financial concerns expressed by the commercial farmers were not adequately addressed through the process. A t the close o f the process, after the final proposal was submitted to the Minister, one commercial farmer did not even believe that the proposal had been submitted: 133 Interviewer: Now the proposal has gone forward.... (CA 5): It does not go forward. Interviewer: They are submitting it (CA 5): We refused to accept that it goes to the minister before that is sorted out. It really comes down to the 9 million rand budget. Interviewer: They are going to put in all the option for the pricing strategy options. (CA 5): They are trying every little dirty trick to get around it; to force us to give it through to the minister. We are not going to fall for that, definitely not. One o f the facilitators commented on the inclusion o f all the different pricing strategies in the final proposal. He believed that government would accept the facilitator's pricing strategy, even though many representatives did not support it: In the brawls which we had with those commercial framers from the Nkomazi side, [that facilitator] became the ideal person to negotiate with them. He had those links and they came up with this amended proposal of five different options. We know which option the government is going to take, but the farmers were happy because they had their option. Government won't accept theirs but that doesn't matter. As long as they are part of it (Fac 4). 8.5.2 Concerns raised by the emerging farmers 8.5.2.1 Concerns over water allocations The objective of the participatory process was to draft a proposal for the establishment of a C M A . The process was seen to be an institution building process and this sentiment was expressed to the stakeholders on many occasions. The emerging farmer's response to the proposal in two different ways: either they supported the C M A with the belief that once the C M A was established, their concerns over water allocations would be addressed or, they continued to voice their demands for water allocations throughout the participatory process. The influence of these two responses wi l l be discussed below 8.5,2.1.1 Supported the CMA with unrealistic expectations Numerous representatives in the process are without adequate drinking water, sanitation, and water licenses for farming. These issues were frequently raised during the meetings, but representatives were told that these needs could not be addressed in this participatory process. The perception was created that once the C M A was established it would be able to address their concerns. One of the lead consultants in the process stated that the desperation of the emerging farmers allowed them to be "easily manipulated' into supporting any institution that might meet their needs. He went on to explain: Their need is to get water rights and to get development. That is their need. Any way that this is going to happen wil l suit them so i f a farmer says, "Let us just establish this thing and we wil l get it right for you." They wil l go with it. It does not matter what structure is in place, they just want to get the results (Fa 3). For some emerging farmers, any obstacle in the process of establishing the C M A was perceived to be a hindrance to addressing their needs. The expectations o f the C M A were discussed 134 with a representative from a grass root environmental organisation who worked closely with black communities. He questioned whether the C M A would be able to address the needs of the emerging farmers and explained that expectations had now been raised: People still have questions and I am still not sure that once the agency is up and running-is it going to go back and address those issues? ... Somehow I am not very sure how it is going to address the issue. .. .In terms of addressing those past imbalances, I am not very sure because the agency is not water, it is not a dam, it is an institution. .. People have been questioning [the role of the CMA.] .. .For sure it is explained, but the answers are not adequate. They are not satisfactory on things like water provision. ...I just feel that the establishment of an agency, institutionally and idealistically is quite a good idea. My feeling is that I think we are establishing another institution that will create high paying jobs but it still does not address the actual issues. The actual issue here is scarcity of water. We don't have water and that is it. How do we get that? Maybe, hopefully, the agency will identify strategies to provide water to communities, I don't know. It is not going to take 2 years, it is not going to take 5 years, and it is going to take many years. The expectations are raised and people want to solve this. They want to get water in our time, but it is not in our time that things will run smoothly. I don't know, maybe the agency will have problems and will have to be dissolved (E/C 1). As discussed in earlier sections, the C M A ' s may be delegated the task of licensing but its initial functions are concerned with planning, co-ordination and public participation. Even if licensing was the immediate function of the C M A , there are other issues that are hindering the licensing process, such as the classification of resources and the determination of the Reserve. Stakeholders who were not familiar with the complexity of water allocations, wanted to move the process forward because they believed that their needs would only be addressed once the C M A was established. They were therefore reluctant to allow their concerns about water allocations to strongly influence the agenda and progression of the discussions. 8.5.2.1.2 Objected to the process because it did not address their concerns Some emerging farmers did not believe that the C M A would address their concerns and continued to voice strong objections to the process. They were frustrated that these concerns did not have a strong enough influence on the discussions in the process. Many stakeholders commented that, at almost every meeting, members of the black community stood up and complained about not having access to water and were told that this was not the forum to address these concerns. One of the members of the tourism sector commented on the objections raised by the emerging farmers: "the emerging farmers were literally told to, not quite shut up, but to sit back and get on the band wagon and ride it" (To 4). One M A F U representative said, "We are crying water, instead of the organisational part of it"(EF 2). A commercial farmer commented, "At this stage [the emerging farmers] have not got water. Now how do you expect them to speak out about something that they have not got? How do you want to enforce something on top of them, which they have not got?" (CA 4) The same commercial farmers went on to emphasise how the concerns of the emerging farmers should have been more directly addressed: 135 Emerging farmers stood up and said, "We want water!" That should never have happened. They should have sat there with the knowledge that something was busy being done or with the knowledge that they were being helped and then work from there. I am a white farmer, I have got a lot of privileges and I have got a lot of guts in me. If I don't get water, I get in my van and I ride to Nelspruit and I go from office to office and I bang on doors, until I find an oke 1 3 who can help me. If I don't get it, I go to Pretoria or Johburg or wherever, until I find an oke. [The black community] have not got the means and they have not got the know-how. We had meetings with [the facilitators] and they would not listen. I am sure that the [black community] had meetings with those consultants and they said, "We want water." [I'm sure that] the consultants did not listen and said, "No we have to get this thing through, it has to get through and we are going to go with it" (CA 4). Many emerging farmers were reluctant to continue attending because they did not feel that they had an influence on the process. The following representatives, involved in the rural areas, captured these sentiments: A lot were saying that they were just [in the participatory process] as tokens because [the facilitators] know that we don't understand what is going on but they would just like to see our names on the register, just for the purpose of statistics. That was one of the worries, which they had. Eventually some people came and refused to sign attendance registers. They were saying that they know that these people do not understand and why should they put emphasis on us signing registers (En 1). One who talks from the top always dictates terms, and one who is at the bottom is being rubber stamped, so people were not happy about that. Well, those who were disadvantaged were black. Those that were advantaged were white people. .. .The black man on the ground, especially the emerging farmer does not have water rights to abstract from the river. .. .It is where the problem lies, the C M A board should be interested in that (CS 3). The facilitators did not allow these concerns to have a strong influence over the scope of the discussions. The following aspects further indicate the lack of influence that these concerns had in the process: First, the emerging farmers were unable to influence even the name that defined them as a group. The following representative expressed concern over the use o f the term "emerging" farmer: I think that in 3 years we will not be called emerging farmers. In this way "emerging" is a way that discriminates other people. I don't like this accolade to call other people "emerging". They are discriminating against other people. I don't think the constitution can give them the right to abuse us like this. It is wrong. ... We are farmers now. They must call us In- farmers, or Im- Farmers, or Lo- farmers.14 That is the name of our great grandfather. ...They don't have to look at the fact that we are emerging because that thing is confining us (TA 1). Second, there were very few comments received, in writing, from the black community, in comparison to the white community: I think the black farming community did not make any comments. Like I am saying, they did not have much information. They were not well informed about this thing. Only those white farmers made comments. .. .Now in the last meeting it appeared as i f they complained as i f they were not involved. ... It is just because they were not well informed, although they would get the documents but they don't read 1 3 individual 1 4 Names changed to protect identity 136 these things. They have got other things to worry about. So now they look at these things and say, "These things are for scientific people." It has got nothing to do with them, so they did not make any comment (LG 2). Third, when DWAF did discuss these issues with the emerging farmers there was inadequate feedback on the issues raised. The following two individuals commented on the lack of feedback that they received: No one is taking our needs, discussing it and then coming back to us. No feedback. They come and talk but they don't come back for feedback (EF 4). I think that they did listen but usually the feedback was not coming in but perhaps it was coming but we don't know because what we wanted was water. You hear what you want to hear and see what you want to see (EF 2). Fourth, when the emerging farmers received the final proposal, many felt that their needs had not been adequately represented. Along with the final proposal, they were also sent forms to register their water use. In an interview with the same two emerging farmers quoted above, one of the candidates tearfully responded, They are going on and there is nothing in [the proposal] there from the emerging farmers. Instead they have sent us some forms that we must register for water. Which water? They never came to the people with a workshop to tell them about these forms. We see forms. What are we going to register? (EF 4). Conclusion There were many stakeholders who felt that they had an influence over the process. However, in sectors such as the commercial farmers and emerging farmers, there was inadequate response to the objections raised by the stakeholders. The agricultural sector expressed two main objections to the proposed C M A : against the representation and against the pricing strategy. These issues were not adequately discussed because the facilitators did not listen and explore why these objections were being voiced. The emerging farmers responded to the proposal in two different ways: either they supported the C M A with the unrealistic expectations that once the C M A was established, their concerns over water allocations would be addressed or; they continued to voice their demands for water allocations throughout the participatory process. The emerging farmers who raised objections to the proposal did not feel that their inputs had a significant impact on the participatory process. Overall, the comments received from both the commercial and emerging farmers were not adequately addressed in the process. There was also insufficient feedback on comments and the final proposal did not adequately reflect the extent of the objections that were received. The design and scopes of the process did not adequately address the concerns raised by stakeholders. The emphasis on institution building exasperated numerous people in the process, creating the perception that government was more concerned about institutions than with their needs. 137 Limiting the discussion only to institutional aspects prevented some stakeholders from engaging in the process. The design of the participatory process lacked the flexibility to address the broader water management concerns of stakeholders. 8.6 Growth of stakeholders in the Process The participatory process offered an important learning experience for individuals who were involved, for the first time, in a government decision-making process. The learning opportunities went beyond technical knowledge to an understanding of the processes required to affect government decision-making. The process of organising representatives for particular sectors, rallying support and objections to proposals, and initiating dialogues with other stakeholders contributed to the learning process. Many stakeholders reflected on how much they, or other stakeholders, had learnt through the process. Most commented on what was learned about water legislation, water management and institutional structures. This learning was most pronounced with stakeholders who were not familiar with the technicalities of water management (such as representatives from tourism, certain emerging farming organisations and government bodies). This section wi l l focus predominantly on some of those learning experiences. Many stakeholders expressed satisfaction at having learned something about water management and that the doors to an exchange of knowledge had been opened. A district councillor provided a good example of learning when he reflected on how his participation in the process assisted him in relating to a friend's water use: Even myself, I began to understand these things. I did not know them. To be honest I did not know, I only learned this in the process. I learnt that these things are done this way. Oh, you see when my friend bought a plot around White River and had a borehole and there is a canal that is just coming there, and I asked him, 'Where do you get your water?' He said, "No, I've got a borehole here." Then I said, 'No, I saw your canal passing by here, what it is it for?" He said, "No, we are using that for our crops here or for the garden." and I said, "Oh you people don't pay water..." He said, "No because we get our water from the canal".... There now you see, that was just my first practical experience of these things. Then I said, "This is what these people talk about in the meeting." Oh, these things are done this way. I see now. Then I understood this whole process. You ' l l find that those people do not know these things. They have not been exposed to them (LG 2). Further stakeholders reflected on how they grew in their understanding: From the farmer's point of view, we went in there knowing nothing. We did not have any idea what we were talking about and as the whole process went along, we realised what it was about and we had to start reading up on the Water Act and stuff like that. .. .It is a good thing. Now there are a lot people actually knowing what is going on in the Water Act and all that (CA 9). It certainly became more and more clear, as we went along exactly what the C M A was, how it functioned and all the information they gave in here on catchment was great. Just the geographic information is nice to have. The actual C M A and how it wil l function, I learnt a lot (E/C 2). The following section wi l l discuss an important learning experience in the process, which was identified as an important breakthrough in the process 138 8.6.1 Payment for services in white areas In the Homeland areas, the basic services were inferior and sporadic, but were usually provided at a greatly reduced price, because o f that the perception arose that the apartheid government subsidised the cost o f water for commercial farmers. The emerging farmers were under the mistaken impression that the commercial farmers had free access to water. This issue was particularly contentious for many commercial farmers and created tension in some of the meetings. A commercial farmer reflected on these tensions: Like that woman [in the last meeting. She] said, "I want water. The bloody white farmers have got the water and I want my water. I want my water."... I stood up and said, "Lady please, no white farmers ever got water for free, that is a lie." Then the black ones were cheering her. I said, "Well, M r Chairmen and M r Water Affairs explain to that woman how much I am paying. Tell her how much I am paying. I don't want to tell her because she does not believe me." Everybody is cheering and thinking that she is a wonderful woman now. She is bloody stupid. A l l hell was let loose over this. [I said], "You go and convince her." Don't waste my time in this meeting. I am going home now, if you waste my bloody time. "Convince me, show her my bloody receipts. You have got them." (CA 5) Recognition that services, such as water supply, had been paid for by the farmers was a big turning point for many stakeholders. The following commercial farmer commented on this learning experience: What the emerging farmers up until now did not understand is that the white commercial farmers were paying for water. They thought that we got our water for nothing. They never realised that we had been paying for our water for the last 30 years. When they actually realised that in the meetings, their whole attitude started to change (CA 5). A black commercial farmer who moved from a Homeland area, where services were cheap, to a white municipality where they were considerably more expensive, captured the significance of this realisation. In this quote he reflects on the increase in electricity costs, but it also applies to water supply cost: When I was not involved in things [like the participatory process], we were saying a lot that was not true. I have been saying that the white community, especially in the towns or in rural areas, paid less for electricity than we did in the Homelands. We stood up strongly saying that and they tried to explain to us that, "No, we are paying more; we are paying more, billing more than double what you guys here are paying." [We said] "No, it is a lie.".. .Then I started to see that it works like that. Then when I go and lease another farm somewhere else, I found that my power bil l was R300 1 5 a month, whereby in the Homelands, I was paying R80/R60 a month. When you don't know what that guy is doing on the other side you say, "Ay, that man is enjoying there.".. .Now to pump water from the dam, I am paying about R3 000 a month. We were saying before that these people are paying nothing, paying R100 or R50. They are killing me here. I know now everybody is paying the same (CA 8). This incident shows the importance o f understanding the perspectives o f other stakeholders is the participatory process. 1 5 At current exchange rates, a Canadian Dollar is worth seven South African Rand. 139 8.6.2 Learning about other stakeholders When individuals begin to see beyond their narrow range o f interests, a consensus wi l l more likely be reached. Although many did not grow beyond their narrow range of interests, some stakeholders acknowledged the importance of understanding other perspectives. The participatory process initiated a dialogue that could lead to a valuable learning experience between all interested parties on water management. A representative from commercial agriculture, reflected on the importance of this type of learning experience: You always learn something out of such a process. I think that the biggest thing that you learn is about the other sectors, what their views are. In the irrigation sector you normally have got one view point and normally everybody agrees with that view point but with other sectors you definitely get the bigger picture and that is important and I think that will be one of the advantages of the C M A in the future. That all the other sectors wil l be involved. The irrigation sector asked for that for many years. A l l sectors must get involved so that all the water users can sit down at one table and make decisions to everyone's advantage. I think that was a learning curve to hear from the other sector. I think that wil l continue in the future (CA 12). Although this type of learning was initiated through the process, there is much more that needs to be done to further this type of dialogue. A representative from the environmental sector commented that although people began to see the viewpoints of others, they always returned to their narrow range of interests: People started to see other people's point of view but only in meetings where there were no decisions taken. As soon as a decision was taken where one interest stood against another, it fell back to the single interest. In the process, I don't think anybody left his own point of view behind in favour of somebody else. (E/C 4) A commercial farmer stated "there was no growth in it." He went on to say: In the meetings, there was no growth. If I did not take the stuff, read it, and I speak to other people, there would be no growth there- nothing. It was a dead fish lying there, being pushed down a stream (CA 4). Although some stakeholders felt that there was no growth, overall, most stakeholders could reflect on some kind of growth through the participatory process. The process had the potential for a more comprehensive, multi-dimensional learning experience. The recommendation section wi l l elaborate more on the potential for multidimensional learning in the participatory process. Conclusion Many stakeholders reflected on how much they learned through the process. The very nature of such a participatory process offered a unique learning experience for all involved. The technical components o f water management, including the implications of the new water act and how water management institutions wi l l be structured in the future were aspects that most people gained a greater understanding of. The realisation, by the emerging farmers, that the white commercial farmers have always paid for their water supply provided an example of this type o f learning. Many commercial farmers saw the realisation as a breakthrough in the discussions. Some stakeholders began to extend 140 their understanding of water management issues beyond their own interests which initiated the opportunity for a valuable learning experience between all interested parties on water management. However, the participatory process could have offered more of a learning experience for all involved. 8.7 Financial Support Running an effective participatory process requires substantial financial resources, especially in a context where extensive empowerment of stakeholders is required. Limited financial resources presented difficulties for this project. A representative from an environmental organisation in the Sand Catchment explained that financial difficulties are also facing other D W A F departments: How do you interpret the situation where a water pump is broken for 2 months, or three months. ... You go to [the DWAF office at Thulamahashe], first they do not have cars, second, and they don't have money. How do you survive in all those things? They do not have fuel. How do you do it? (E/C 1) In the light of the basic needs of fuel and transportation as well as the significant number of projects that DWAF funds, it is understandable that it is difficult to adequately fund participatory processes. However, insufficient financial support in a participatory process could result in a failed process, leading to increased costs at a later stage. A government representative from the Mpumalanga provincial office, who was involved throughout the process, recognised that the department was certainly constrained by a lack of resources and that the process could have been improved with more financial support: Well, a lot more could have been done to make sure that everyone understood what was going on but again resources were a problem. .. .Whatever money was available, we know that if you have enough resources you can do everything well. ... You have to prioritise. Say there's a bridge gone here; people have got no water there; there's a drought; there's cholera breaking out somewhere. ... What usually suffers is the co-ordinating and participatory processes. They take a short cut because we do not have enough resources, but it comes back to haunt you later and then it starts costing more (PG 1). The facilitators were aware of the need for more financial support in the process and one facilitator described the process as a balancing act between what needed to be done and the resources available to do it. At the end of the process, DWAF indicated that the financial resources for the process were exhausted, which was a strong motivation to draw the participatory process to an end. An example of limited funds was displayed in the last meetings where D W A F appeared to be struggling to find the funds to subsidise transport costs for representatives at the meetings. The abuse of transport subsidies, by certain stakeholders provided an example of how difficult it is to manage and allocate funds to a participatory process. The transport subsidies were taken advantage of by some individuals and became a financial drain on DWAF's resources. The problem was resolved in the final meeting when the allocation of transport funds was delegated to a trusted individual, familiar with transportation costs in the area: "[He] was the one at the last meeting who was handling transport costs, because he knows how much taxi's cost" (Fa 1). From an earlier stage, a more effective way of 141 handling this important aspect of the process needed to be devised so as to prevent unnecessary use of limited financial resources. Other stakeholders felt that money could have been saved by making more use of the technical skills of the stakeholders, instead of paying for the use of consultants. While this might be a cost-effective measure, it probably would have created additional difficulties in the process due to the lack of trust expressed between stakeholders in the participatory process. Running an effective participatory process is expensive and requires substantial financial resources. The agenda of the participatory process needs to be defined with recognition of the available financial support. Summary of Findings The following aspects were identified as concerns in the establishment of effective representation: • There were insufficient representatives bodies in specific sectors (especially black communities). • Certain representatives had vested interests (political opportunity, material need, personal gain and power) in the process. • Representatives often lacked the resources to feed information back to their constituencies. • Representatives were often inconsistent in their involvement. • A wide range of sectors were involved, although some sectors such as such as emerging farmers, Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA), local authorities, tribal authorities, tourism and female representatives were inconsistently or inadequately involved in the process. While opportunities were created for interactions across all sectors, there were specific aspects of the process that limited contributions from all sectors, particularly from the black, rural communities: • The technical format of the meetings (focusing on written, technical exchanges of information) limited oral exchanges of knowledge, which is more accessible to many black communities. • Translations of important documents were not available from the start of the participatory process and the meetings in rural areas were sometimes not conducted in the appropriate language of the community. Some stakeholders expressed concern about the extensive use of English, but, for practical purposes, it is the most accessible language for the majority of representatives. • The location for the meetings often prevented all representatives from attending because they were held in areas that were not accessible through public transportation. • Determining the time required to complete the participatory process was difficult, particularly when new concepts are being explained to groups with varied levels of understanding. Many representatives from 142 traditional communities felt that they were not given adequate time to understand and contribute to the process, while others felt the process had been overly repetitive and needed to come to an end. As this was the first participatory process to establish a C M A in South Africa, the facilitators were working without experience or clear guidelines as to how to address problems that would arise. A variety of perspectives were expressed on the facilitation of the meetings. The facilitators received most criticism from stakeholders who expressed strong opposition to aspects of the proposal. Most significantly the facilitators were accused of: • Favouring certain sectors by not listening to all the comments that were presented. • Being insincere in their involvement in the process, by being more concerned with financial gain than the needs of the stakeholders. • The facilitators did use specific mechanisms to try and empower representatives but, overall, there was insufficient effort made to empower those involved. To draft the proposal, specific information needed to be collected and discussed with the stakeholders. Information needed to be presented on the following two aspects: • The current status of the water resources in the catchment, and • Aspects of the C M A , that are stipulated in the Water Act (i.e. the functions, funding and feasibility of the C M A ) Some stakeholders did learn through the information conveyed in the process, but overall most stakeholders, particularly in the black communities, remained uninformed about important water management issues and aspects of the C M A . The following aspects contributed to the lack of understanding: • Information was often not accurately and consistently conveyed through the facilitators and DWAF officials. This prevented some stakeholders from engaging in effective and productive discussions. • The technical information was often not accessible to disadvantaged communities. • Representatives were often not consistently involved so as to understand the range of issues being discussed. There were many stakeholders who felt that they had an influence over the process. However, in sectors such as the commercial farmers and emerging farmers, there was inadequate response to many of the objections that were raised: 143 • Insufficient emphasis was placed on trying to understand and respond to the objections that were brought forward. • Concerns were not given adequate feedback in the process • The final proposal does not reflect the full extent of the concerns that were raised. • The scope of the process did not adequately address some of the concerns raised by the stakeholders. • The emphasis on institution building exasperated numerous people in the process. The design of the process lacked the flexibility to address the broader water management concerns of stakeholders Many stakeholders reflected on how much they learned through the process. The very nature of such a participatory process offered a unique learning experience for all involved. For example, the realisation, by the emerging farmers, that the white commercial farmers have always paid for their water supply provided an example of this type of learning. Some stakeholders began to extend their understanding of water management issues beyond their own interests which initiated the opportunity for a valuable learning experience between all interested parties on water management. However, the participatory process could have placed more of an emphasis on an exchange of knowledge between all involved. Financial resources limited the participatory process, which is a reality in many government departments in South Africa. This creates the need for more carefully planning of the agenda and scope of the participatory process. The following chapter will make recommendations as to how the participatory process could be designed to allow for more procedural justice and empowerment of those involved. An important emphasis will be placed on the need for learning and the exchange of knowledge between stakeholders. 144 9 Recommendations Achieving sustainable catchment management requires effective participatory processes that allow social values to be incorporated into decision-making. In the South African context, this means that participatory process should take imbalances of power seriously and actively seek to address them. To achieve this, the processes should be procedurally just, and should empower stakeholders with the information, resources, and ability to make informed decisions that move beyond their personal range of interests. The preceding chapters have shown that the public participation process run to draft a proposal for the Inkomati C M A was not completely procedurally just, as defined in Chapter 3, nor was it completely successful in empowering stakeholders-to make informed decisions. The public participation process was the first step on a difficult journey to sustainable catchment management. The first step was predictably hesitant and lacking the elements required to complete the journey. However, with careful thought, reflection, and planning, much can be learnt from the experience that will carry South Africa forward towards sustainable catchment management. A sustainable paradigm for catchment management recognises the need for an institution that: is economically and organisationally efficient in completing its assigned functions (livelihood sustainability), performs ecologically based water management (ecological sustainability) and considers social equity in decision making (ethically loaded sustainability). Effective participatory processes are not sufficient on their own to achieve sustainable catchment management. Bentrup (2001) recognises this and comments that "a collaborative planning effort will not necessarily guarantee that good watershed planning will result. Careful attention still needs to be given to the technical aspects of environmental planning" (p. 747). This thesis focuses on social equity in decision making, based on South Africa's lack of experience in this regard, but it acknowledges the need for ecological and livelihood sustainability as equally important goals of sustainable catchment management. The following section will make recommendations as to what can be learnt from this assessment of the Inkomati process in order to ensure more social equity in decision-making. The context of the Inkomati catchment presented significant difficulties for the participatory process: the atmosphere was murky with mistrust, towards government and other sectors; the atmosphere was unbalanced, with different degrees of power between sectors; the atmosphere was uncharted, with high levels of uncertainty and change; the atmosphere was turbulent, with a history of external conflict between sectors; and the atmosphere was pressurised with a high-levels of socio-economic stress. While many of these aspects could be applied to other catchments in South Africa, the recommendations are based on the context of the Inkomati catchment area. 145 9.1 Approach to the participatory process: The proposal as a vision The proposal, that was the outcome of the public participation process, should be seen as a common vision of how stakeholders perceive the C M A to function in their catchment area. Informed by an understanding of current water management practices and issues, the vision should provide a common perspective on the functioning, feasibility and financing of the water management institution. To achieve this, a procedurally just process is necessary, with an emphasis on multidimensional learning. The imbalances of knowledge and the mistrust displayed between stakeholders, in the Inkomati catchment, call for a particular emphasis on learning. When stakeholders learn, they become empowered to make informed decisions. The learning process should be cognisant of the socio-political dimensions of empowerment that are defined by Rocha (1997). The learning should strive not only to reach the individual but should also recognise the importance of integrating learning into the community through established social structures and networks. A diverse group of stakeholders needs an emphasis on learning so as to develop a common understanding of water management issues, which will lead to a better understanding of how these issues can be addressed. In many instances the process is as much a search for a definition of the problem as a search for the problem's solution (Forester, 1989). The learning experience should not be a one-way flow of knowledge from the government and technical experts to the stakeholders, but all participants should become active learners and participants in the process of formulating a common vision, guided by impartial facilitators. The formulation of the common vision does not have to follow a formal process of searching, which calls for the "logical pre-definition of all alternatives," but the process should follow a "conversational model" that allows for the native, historically rooted abilities of participants to create new meanings together, regarding both means and ends. This communicative approach allows participants to make sense together, precluded by the alternative of search (Forester, 1989). Seeing the participatory process as a learning experience moves the emphasis away from personal interest and focuses on the need to understand other perspectives. The learning experience for the participatory process should focus on three dimensions, which can be understood in terms of the concept of sustainability. This multidimensional approach to learning (See Figure 9.1) should include three different emphases on knowledge. Knowledge is defined by Rogers et al. (2000) as, "information, combined with experience, context, interpretation and critical reflection" (p. 9). The three dimensions of knowledge are: • Technical knowledge of water management, which involves an understanding of the legal, economic, and institutional dimensions of how water management works (livelihood sustainability); 146 • Ecological knowledge of water management, which recognises the integrated nature of water resources, acknowledging the need to conserve all aspects of the hydrological cycle (ecological sustainability); and • Social knowledge of water management, which involves an understanding of the different perspectives and needs associated with water as well as recognition of the way that history has shaped the values of society (ethically-laden sustainability). These three dimensions will be elaborated on using illustrations from the Inkomati case. To achieve these goals, mechanisms need to be put in place throughout the participatory process. The following mechanisms will be discussed: • Sufficient finances and external support • Effective representative structures • Creative and diverse opportunities for interaction • Adequate opportunities to allow stakeholders to have an influence • Transparent, dedicated, and empowering facilitators • Adequate information and avoidance of misinformation 9.1.1 Technical knowledge of water management This aspect was emphasised in the participatory process and, as discussed in the section on Growth in the process (Section 8.6), there were many people that commented on how much they learnt about the technical and legal aspects of water management. This component needs to be encouraged with extensive emphasis placed on disadvantaged communities that are not as familiar with the dialogue of water management. The process should also focus on allowing stakeholders to offer their knowledge of the day-to-day management of water resources in the catchment. Martin and Lockie (1993), drawing on Australian experience in New South Wales, argue that, "to ignore the practical, local knowledge of farmers and resource users is to risk both the political consent and informational efficacy needed for dealing with catchment management problems" (p. 82). Personal explanations and accounts of how irrigation boards manage water resources would develop a greater understanding of the day-to-day details of water management. The following quote from a commercial farmer reveals that, if given the opportunity, the irrigation boards could contribute much to the stakeholders' knowledge of water management: We have sophisticated mechanism on the ground: we have got water management, water measuring and management systems in place in our irrigation board. We have got representation from the smallest user of water in our area represented and we have annual meetings. ... If that authority were given down to our level, many of [the water] problems would have been sorted out because there the dam is and there the river is. The guy just has to have the authority to put up a pump and really it is not such a mystery and we have got many years of experience of putting pipes and pumps up, whether they are legal or illegal. We know how to put up a pump and carry on with our lives and we can tell other people how to do it and we can make all of this legal (CA 1). 147 Effective representative structures Creative and diverse opportunities for interaction •ac|i r T Transparent, dedicated, and empowering facilitators Technical knowledge Engineering, legal, ecnomic, and instutional components of water management / S u s t a i n a b i ; decision making in catchment management Ecological knowledge Integrated knowedge of all aspects of the hydrological cycle Adequate opportunities to allow stakeholders to have an influence Social knowledge Understand different perspectives, needs and histories associated with water. \ Sufficient finances and external support Adequate information and avoidance of misinformation Figure 9.1. The three aspects of multi-dimensional learning and the mechanisms needed in the participatory process to achieve them. i i 148 In addition to the technical knowledge of irrigation boards, indigenous communities should be encouraged to share their knowledge of customary water law. Section 2.5 introduced African customary water law as offering support for community participation in water management. Akiwumi (1998) emphasises the importance of creating a synergy between modern, western and non-western, traditional, and holistic technologies towards sustainable resource development in African water resource management. Integration of customary practises into the South African context is particularly difficult because of the extent to which many westernized South Africans have been alienated from their culture. In the participatory process, more emphasis should be placed on including this aspect of knowledge. Particular effort needs to be made to encourage participation from the elderly members of the black community who are most familiar with traditional customs. Although many stakeholders did grow in their understanding o f the technical aspects o f water management, growth in this area was hindered by the mixed information that was provided to the stakeholders as well as the inaccessible nature o f much o f the technical information provided in the meetings. These aspects need to be addressed in the participatory process to fully realise the potential for technical learning. 9.1.2 Ecological knowledge of environmental management In discussion with many stakeholders, it was apparent that the participatory process did not provide a clear understanding o f what integrated catchment management was or o f the need to consider all aspects o f the hydrological cycle in water management. One facilitator commented on this with respect to another facilitator in the participatory process: [The facilitator] is changing and that is part of the transformation of South Africa .. .1 have warmed to him a bit but I think he still has to go a long way to understand, properly, what is meant by integrated catchment management. He sees it as allocation of resources. I have had a debate with him about the Reserve and he said, "Well you have got to have this Reserve coming down the river, but tell me just that point, just before it enters the sea, it does not matter anymore. You can build a dam there."... I replied "There is this thing called the hydrological cycle" (FA 4). Many stakeholders, particularly in the agricultural community, saw water management merely as the allocation of resources; they did not fully appreciate or understand the need to protect the ecological aspects o f the river. One powerful irrigation board member illustrates this mindset in the following quote. He saw the water flowing into the ocean as a complete waste and that it should rather be used to irrigate sugar cane: There is a perception, in some government departments, that it is ridiculous to irrigate sugar cane. A l l I want to ask is, "What will you do with the millions of cubic metres of water that run down to the sea?" The only crop that you can use it on is sugar cane in this area. It provides a hell of a lot of jobs. ... It is not ridiculous to irrigate cane. I mean we do not need the water for anything else. It just runs down to the sea, it is 100% true. You do not need it for anything else. It runs down to the sea. But it will just end up in the sea and we are not utilising any of it so there is no use for it. There is an absolute misperception about it, totally (CA 11). 149 The establishment of water management institutions at the catchment level is built on the principle of the integrated nature of the hydrological cycle (Downs et al, 1991). Australia has placed much emphasis on the holistic nature of catchment management, through initiatives such as Landcare (Martin and Lockie, 1993). However, South Africa, although partly modeled on the Australian approaches, seems to be placing less emphasis on the integrated nature of management issues within a catchment. The participatory process needs to create opportunities to emphasise the ecologically, integrated dimensions of catchment management. 9.1.3 Social knowledge of water management Some stakeholders in the participatory process developed a greater understanding of the variety of social values associated with water, which allowed them to make management decisions beyond their personal range of interests. More emphasis should be placed on this dimension of learning, allowing stakeholders to fully grasp the range of complex needs and perspectives involved in water management. The success of this type of approach was discussed with reference to the Sabie River Working Group (SRWG), which is a voluntary group of interested parties who came together to manage the Sabie River during a time of severe drought. A forestry representative in this group commented on the importance of social learning amongst participants: You know people start understanding other people's needs and that is a way of empowering people. Rather let people determine their own destiny. People, if they generally understand what the common good is, they will contribute towards it. [Forestry has] initiated taking out commercial species. We don't get big brownie points for it but we do it because we can understand that there are these pressures and stresses on the catchment. If there is a way that we can increase water flow in times when there is critical shortages, then that is the way that we can help. We have achieved more through the Sabie River Working Group and interacting with people like that, with those rural communities, than we have through the CMA (Fo 2). Another stakeholder, reflecting on the SRWG, acknowledged the need not only for understanding of other sectors but for the building of relationships between stakeholders: Initially, I tell you sparks flew at many of those [SRWG] meetings because the irrigators blamed forestry and we blamed both of them for the state of the Sabie River. .. Eventually [someone] said, "Listen we can't go on like this, we need to really start accepting each other in the catchment. You can't wish away forestry and you can't wish away irrigation and you can't wish away the Kruger Park, they are all part of the catchment. We need to find ways to find each other."... We got fantastic samewerking1 and collaboration from them. .. .Once you have brought that good will into one or two guys, it spreads just like that. ...I think the future of river management, catchment management, is not really so much the physical management of the system. It is going to be much more the management of the ways people do things and the way people think. ... You need to have links and have that goodwill and have friends out there. If you don't have that you just make enemies (E/C 5). A significant obstacle that hinders the development of social learning in the South African context is the lack of recognition of how history has shaped South African society. One cannot understand why emerging farm