An assessment of the role of community partnerships in addressing environmental problems in KwaMashu Township, Durban.
Mcinga, Beverly Nokuthula.
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Partnerships are a recognized tool for addressing local level environmental problems. They involve knowledge-sharing and decision-making by both local authorities and communities. Two different partnerships developed in Durban's KwaMashu Township with a view to addressing environmental problems associated with a degraded small stream viz, the KwaMashu Development Association (KDA) and the KwaMashu Development Initiative (KDI). This thesis describes a study carried out on these two partnerships, comparing their efficacy in resolving the problems and the factors that contributed to the pollution of the stream. Specific environmental circumstances conducive to the degradation of the stream, as well as measures put in place to address them, were identified during a field survey. Semi-structured questionnaires were then used to interview members of the two partnerships to obtain information on how they developed and functioned as a unit. Information was also obtained from respective individuals, regarding their perception of the factors that contributed to the stream degradation and the effectiveness of their rehabilitation efforts. Although the study found both partnerships to be of the leverage type, there were significant differences between the socio-economic profile and political affiliations of members. The KDA partnership received funding for the project whereas the KDI received no funding, but had a vision. The Keep Durban Beautiful Association created an awareness relating to waste and open space management which was imparted to the KDT members and this enabled them to achieve the goals of the project. These different baselines clearly contributed to the differences in the effectiveness of the partnerships.