n Journal for Contemporary History - Environmental governance in the new South Africa : a decade of greening?

Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



As the foundations were laid for democratisation in South Africa a turning point had been reached in the 'war against apartheid' and co-incidentally also with the end of the 'war against nature' both globally and locally. The end of apartheid also saw a shift in the political focus to equity, poverty alleviation, land distribution, AIDS and sustainability. Sustainable development has become a key issue or component in global, regional, national and local environmental governance. The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), hosted by South Africa in 2002, highlighted the importance of environmental management for both South Africa and the continent as a whole. Sustainable development is a key concept upon which national, provincial and local strategic plans were formulated. This article will attempt to determine just how 'green' South Africa became over the past decade in terms of the politicisation and institutionalisation of environmental issues. This will be investigated in terms of the reformist-institutional approach to environmental governance. Specific reference will be made to the role of the national, provincial and local governments, within the context of co-operative governance, in environmental management.

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