HIST312 Assignment 4 Instructions:
Complete Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3, then complete Step 4, which is a 800-word written assignment for marks.
Step 1 Compulsory reading
Read pp. 19-24 and pp. 449-482 (the Introduction and Chapter 12, A social ecological perspective on water and its governance (1994-1999)), in J.W.N. Tempelhoff, South Africa’s water governance hydraulic mission (1912-2008) in a WEF nexus context (Cape Town: AOSIS, 2018) https://books.aosis.co.za/index.php/ob/catalog/book/75 [provided]
While you read, take notes on a device or by using pen and paper. Keep your notes. It is useful to note the exact page number of an argument, for your future reference and use in Step 4, the written assignment.
Step 2 Case studies
Although rain falls almost everywhere in the world, access to water has long been unequal. This inequality is evident in South Africa. While piped water is plentifully available to mines, industries, some large farms and wealthy families, millions of people – especially women – spend hours laboriously collecting their daily supply of water from streams, pools and distant taps. In 1994, it was estimated that 12 million people (approximately a quarter of South Africa’s population), did not have adequate access to water. Yet, despite the significant improvement in the twenty seven years of democratic government since 1994, deep inequality remains and for many the task of obtaining sufficient water for their families remains a tiring daily burden. The achievement of equality, one of the founding values of our Constitution, will not be accomplished while water is abundantly available to the wealthy, but not to the poor. Redeeming the constitutional promise of access to sufficient water for all requires careful management of a scarce resource. The need to preserve water is a responsibility that affects all spheres of government. To assess water and service delivery historically, we need to critically evaluate some historical documents (even if this is fairly recent history) on the connection between the rights of people to have access to a basic water supply, government’s duty to manage water services sustainably, and the extent to which this was accomplished or not since 1994.
Read one or more of the following journal articles, as well as the introduction and chapter 1 in the Water Services Act No. 108 of 1997. While you read, write down notes on a device or use pen and paper. Keep your notes. It is useful to note the exact page number of an argument, for your future reference and use in Step 4, the written assignment.
C. Gouws, I. Moeketsi, S. Motloung, J.W.N. Tempelhoff, G. van Greuning, L. van Zyl, “SIBU and the crisis of water service delivery in Sannieshof, North West Province”, TD: The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa 6 no. 1 (July 2010): 25-56 (26 pages).
Antina von Schnitzler, “Citizenship Prepaid: Water, Calculability, and Techno-Politics in South Africa”, Journal of Southern African Studies 34, no. 4, The Power of Water: Landscape, Water and the State in Southern and Eastern Africa (December, 2008): 899-917 (18 pages).
Prishani Naidoo, “Struggles around the Commodification of Daily Life in South Africa”, Review of African Political Economy 34, no. 111, Debates on the Left in Southern Africa (March, 2007): 57-66 (9 pages).
Lani Van Vuuren, “Poor and angry Research grapples with reasons behind social protests”, Water Wheel 12, no. 6 (Nov. 2013): 14-16 (3 pages).
The Water Services Act No. 108 of 1997, https://www.gov.za/documents/water-services-act, definition (before the preamble) on page 2 and chapter 1 section 3 (Right of access to basic water supply and basic sanitation).
Step 3 Guide Questions
Consider the following guide questions below and write down further notes on a device or using pen and paper to reference and use in Step 4, the written assignment. Keep your notes.
At the local level, municipalities must take responsibility for the distribution of water supplies and proper sanitation services and waste removal, and these had to be paid for by means of appropriate tariffs and local tax mechanisms (Tempelhoff pp. 450-451). In your opinion what were the major problems municipalities faced with the distribution of water supplies and proper sanitation services and waste removal since 1994?
Do you think the so-called “presidential lead projects” during 1994-2004 were successful? State why it was a success or why not (see Tempelhoff pp. 451-453).
What was the reason for the Water Services Act, No. 108 of 1997 to precede the National Water Act, No. 36 of 1998? (see Tempelhoff pp. 466-468)
Do you agree with Tempelhoff who stated that the National Water Act, No. 36 of 1998 marked a distinct South African breakthrough, and indicate why you agree or disagree? (see Tempelhoff p. 469)
The era of President Nelson Mandela (1994–1999) coincided with the completion of the first phase in the development of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP). Explain why at the official opening of the LHWP on 22 January 1998, Mandela touched on the benefits of the LHWP for both South Africa and for Lesotho (see Tempelhoff pp 479-480).
Based on your reading of the journal articles, to what extent do people in South Africa have access to sufficient water? In other words, does it benefit everyone?
What is your own experience on drinking water and sanitation in the area where you grew up, and/or where you stay at present? And has the situation around access to adequate water in your area changed since 1994?
Do you think the ANC government have been successful in their promise to secure good drinking water and proper sanitation for all the people resident in the state, especially those who have been previously disadvantaged by the apartheid era policies of the state? Why are they successful or why not?
Step 4 Activity (800 word essay)
Critically discuss the history of service delivery, access to water, and sustainable development since the end of apartheid. In your essay, you must critique JWN Tempelhoff (South Africa’s water governance hydraulic mission (1912-2008) in a WEF nexus context chapter 12 and the Water Services Act 108 of 1997, chapter 1 section 3) or use other historical scholarship (e.g. the journal articles under step 2) to explain how South Africans experienced the right to water service delivery since 1997. Please remember to add your introduction and conclusion.
Kindly note that we do not want students to simply repeat and sum up the arguments in the articles only, but to come up with their own critical responses to the guide question and readings. Write your responses, typed and uploaded as a single word file, under “Assignments” LA4 on eFundi. Please remember that all assignments must be in your own words. You must reference all your sources and arguments and use Chicago 17 style footnotes.
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