The politics of establishing catchment management agencies in South Africa: the case of the Breede–Overberg Catchment Management Agency [unknown]

Richard Meissner
The Politics of River Basin Organisations   unpublished
We reflect on the politics of establishing catchment management agencies in South Africa with a specific focus on the Breede-Overberg Catchment Management Agency (BOCMA), which was recently replaced by the Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency (BGCMA). We do so by applying the framework of adaptive comanagement and its institutional prescriptions: collaboration, experimentation, and a bioregional approach. We start by introducing the history of this catchment management agency (CMA) and
more » ... n describe the establishment of CMAs in South Africa in general and that of BOCMA in particular. We follow the framework for rule types and types of river basin organizations set out by the editors of this special feature with reference to adaptive comanagement where applicable. We then discuss the politics and strategies involved in the introduction of the CMA concept to the National Water Act and the latest developments around these institutions in South Africa. This is followed by reflections on what can be surmised about BOCMA's democratic functioning and performance to date. We conclude by reflecting on the future of operations of the new BGCMA and CMAs in South Africa in general. While our research shows that BOCMA's establishment process has featured several elements of adaptive comanagement and its institutional prescriptions, it remains to be seen to what extent it is possible to continue implementing this concept when further developing and operationalizing the BGCMA and the country's other CMAs. Ecology and Society 21(3): 26
doi:10.4337/9781782549222.00013 fatcat:6xrgw66ijfdoxlztte4z5zrare