Decentralisation and Natural Resource Management in Rural South Africa: Problems and Prospects

"In this paper, the issue of decentralisation and natural resource management will be interrogated primarily through a focus on local government reform and land administration.The focus of this paper is on the institutional arrangements that have been put in place to give effect to decentralisation and its impact on natural resource management in the rural areas of the old Transkei, South Africa. The paper will pay attention to the various actors who hold power over natural resources, the kinds of power they hold, the degree of community participation and the accountability relations and mechanisms of accountability to which these actors are subject. Of critical importance will be a discussion of the role of traditional authorities in post-1994 South Africa, particularly how they have responded to current policies and laws. At the heart of the discussion will be an assessment of the relationship between theory and practice and implications for natural resource management."