South Africa's working for water programme: searching for win-win outcomes for people and the environment
Poverty reduction and environmental conservation have rarely been integrated within development programmes. In South Africa, however, the government's Working for Water Programme (WfW) has sought to empower the most marginalized in society through the creation of jobs and training opportunities in the clearance of invasive alien plants that threaten water resources and biodiversity. Although the environmental benefits of the programme have been demonstrated, there is emerging concern that the social development goals are overly ambitious and impractical. Drawing upon recent field research undertaken in the Western Cape, this paper explores the realities of people's participation in the WfW programme. It argues that, whilst WfW has produced some positive tangible social development outcomes, these are neither substantial nor sustainable. Of arguably greater significance is a range of hitherto overlooked intangible social development outcomes, which if recognized, supported and integrated more fully into the programme could lead to a more sustainable future for South Africa's people and environment. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Volume (Year): 17 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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