oa Africa Journal of Public Sector Development and Governance - Special case study on wastewater management - perspectives from Below on Emfuleni’s Wastewater Woes: in search of resolving a wicked problem

Volume 2 Number 2
  • ISSN : 2617-7714



South Africa’s 1994 transition to a non-racial democracy received international acclaim. It was a remarkable accomplishment for a country at the southern tip of Africa in a rapidly globalising world. Apartheid was put to rest after four decades of exclusive white rule. However, a quarter of a century later, the lofty ideals of the ‘Rainbow nation’, a proud country where all its people would enjoy a life of dignity, led by a caring government, in some areas remains a project under construction. Although many human rights ideals have been realised, there remain areas that need considerably more attention. One is the realisation of the basic human right to an environment that is not harmful to one’s health. In the case under study, the potential cause of the lapse must be sought in the field of municipal government. South Africa has outstanding legislation; describing and providing guidelines for the three tiers of government, from the central to the provincial and local level. But the system has only been partially successfully implemented. At the third tier, municipal government, operational lapses are most apparent. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the municipal water and sanitation sector.

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