Policy networks in South African context : environmental networks in Pietermaritzburg as a case study.
The current organisational framework of public policy management offers a powerful tool that of network management. Policy network theory revolves around the idea that no one can work in isolation, and therefore, the notion of interdependency between different organisations becomes very important in order to achieve policy goals efficiently and with efficacy. This encompasses the interactive relationship that is based on information sharing as well as resources. The assumption behind policy network is that nobody is an expert in everything, and nobody has sufficient resources to address every problem. The concept of interdependence entails the co-operation and collaboration of various autonomous actors who have different interests and yet collaborate to achieve certain policy objectives. There is then a need to build "bridges" to facilitate these interactions. The size and scope of policy networks depend on the nature of each policy and the context in which it is formulated, implemented and evaluated. Environmental networks in South Africa, and especially in Pietermaritzburg, has been utilised in order to address the problem of environmental management. The Keep Pietermaritzburg Clean Association has been instrumental in implementing waste management programmes using a policy network strategy. This research focuses on one such programme "Adopt a Spot". Here there are 123 stakeholders all with the aim to beautifying P ietermaritzburg. This research indicates the usefulness of policy networks particularly as an instrument to facilitate policy implementation.