A Comparative Study of Rural Water Governance in the Limpopo Basin
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In this thesis I examine and explore whether and if Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) inspired water reforms respond to- and address the diverse realities of women and men in informal (and formal) rural economies of Sekororo, South Africa and Ward 17 in Gwanda, Zimbabwe which are both in the Limpopo basin. South Africa and Zimbabwe, like other southern African countries, embarked on IWRM inspired water reforms, culminating in the promulgation of the National Water Acts in 1998, four years after the attainment of South Africa's democracy in 1994 and 18 years after Zimbabwe attained independence in 1980. I argue that the adoption of IWRM, which emphasises second generation water issues such as demand management, water quality, environmental flow requirements etc, and not the development of water infrastructure, begs the question whether such reforms can make a meaningful contribution to the development agenda in countries where, during apartheid and colonialism, the water rights (among other rights) of millions of blacks were compromised because of unjust legislation and skewed underinvestment in water infrastructure.
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