A Research Companion to Water Transitions around the Globe
Edited by Dave Huitema and Sander Meijerink
Chapter 11: South African Water and Mining Policy: A Study of Strategies for Transition Management
Anthony Richard Turton 11.1 Introduction South Africa is both famous and notorious for many aspects, including the dismal history of apartheid, which saw institutionalized human rights abuses. A less-known aspect is related to water quality and human health, specifically as it pertains to a waterconstrained country with a mining-based economy. This chapter presents five policy paradigms (or policy monopolies) as they pertain to the evolution of water policy in the South African mining sector, each of which emerged as a result of a specific shock event. The evolutionary process is about three distinct overarching policy perspectives and the orbit of policy brokers, policy entrepreneurs and policy opponents, like electrons around a nucleus of an atom, connected yet separate. Overarching policy perspective I gears policy in support of extraction; overarching policy perspective II generates a policy environment that protects the goose (extractive industries) that lays the golden eggs; overarching policy perspective III builds the constitutional and other legal elements that may provide the legal foundation for a new policy paradigm. This third overarching perspective has yet to resolve. Its two opposing dynamics remain in play and will determine the success or failure of current attempts to bring about a governance transition that seperates government as regulator and industry as the object of regulation. Overarching perspective I, supporting policies centred on extraction, has proceeded through five phases, each embodying a separate policy paradigm. The last of these phases concerns a policy paradigm of redistribution of wealth and privilege. It is this paradigm...
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