n Journal of Public Administration - Nature reserves and local economic development : a question of beneficiaries in Maleboho Nature Reserve

Volume 42, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The purpose of nature conservation is to ensure sustainable use of natural resources. Sustainable utilisation should not discount the perspective of the beneficiaries of such resources which are the surrounding communities. The local communities are supposed to derive economic, social and cultural benefits from the resources available to them. With the history of denying the local communities such benefits, in South Africa, the introduction of the approach, aimed at ensuring that the local communities benefits from nature conservation dates back to the 1980s. The establishment of the SANparks (South African National Parks) ecological unit in the 1980s has the purpose of ensuring that the local communities are beneficiaries of nature conservation resources. Despite the existence of such a unit, which is supposed to be an example to nature reserves in the country, local community benefits from nature conservation remain a pipedream. Most communities adjacent to nature reserves in South Africa argue that they benefit little or not at all from their nature reserves. This article, therefore, investigates whether the local communities adjoining the Maleboho Nature Reserve derive economic benefits from the nature reserve.

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