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Water as a social and political tool

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conference contribution
posted on 12.02.2018, 15:09 by Jack Ntobeko, Siphokazi Mpahla
This paper tries to demonstrate how water as a scarce resource is being used as a political and social tool by politicians and tribal leaders to strengthen their power base. The issue is further complicated by the tribal leader versus democratically elected councillors’ conflict, a conflict that is very big. The new legislation that establishes local government structures does not allow traditional leaders to be responsible for the provision of services. Traditional leaders are currently dissatisfied and see the legislation as a threat to their authority. Those working at project level therefore have to try their best to create peaceful working relations for all the relevant stakeholders. This could be in the form of all encompassing communication strategies and institutional arrangements, which will create an enabling environment for all, involved or affected. This paper will focus on relationships between local chiefs, communities, programme implementers and Transitional Rural Councils (TRCs) and the impact of those relations on project sustainability. Case studies of some projects implemented by The Mvula Trust in the Eastern Cape will be used as examples.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


NTOBEKO, J. and MPAHLA, S., 2000. Water as a social and political tool. IN: Pickford, J. (ed). Water, sanitation and hygiene - Challenges of the Millennium: Proceedings of the 26th WEDC International Conference, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 5-9 November 2000, pp.104-105.


© WEDC, Loughborough University


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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