Bureaucracy, law and power - water allocation for productive use: Policy and implementation, a case study of black emerging farmers in the Breede Gour i t z Water Management Area in theWestern Cape,South Africa, 2005-2017
Williams, Sandra Elizabeth
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This study examines the problems of implementing water allocation policy in the context of the local state bureaucracy as well as the specific experiences of local black emerging farmers in the Breede Gouritz Water Management Area. This study used qualitative research methods and is based on many hours of interviews and observing bureaucrats and stakeholders at the receiving end of the bureaucratic business process of water allocation. It is not only concerned with the physical and technical aspects of access but explores how the different role players interact, navigate, shape, frame and manage challenges to gain access to and control water for productive use. The actual experiences and understandings of the stakeholders in their own contexts when engaging with the access to water are crucial to gain a comprehensive understanding and insight into the influence of bureaucracy and power relations. This thesis therefore maps the confusions and incapacities and shows that even though the South African laws are based on the best international frameworks, they fail, as they do not sufficiently address the unique environment and landscape. Existing scholarship has not adequately researched local bureaucratic power. At the coalface of implementation, bureaucrats make up their own rules to cope with rapid policy churning. Combined with existing power relations, policy implementation and policy direction is steered towards different and unintended trajectories, making transformation a challenge to achieve. Consequently, my main finding is that there have been constant and rapid legislative and policy changes but they have simply added to the confusion and instability.