Title page for ETD etd-02062007-145044

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Wilson, Natalie Margaret
Email Natalie.Wilson@lonplats.com
URN etd-02062007-145044
Document Title Exploring tri-sector partnerships as a solution to waste management in Marikana, South Africa
Degree MSc
Department Geography, Geo-Informatics and Meteorology
Advisor Name Title
Nerhene Davis
  • waste
  • partnerships
  • tri-sector
  • South Africa
Date 2007-02-06
Availability unrestricted
Poverty is the single greatest burden of the South African nation, with estimates that at least seventeen million of the population survives below the minimum basic income level. The socio-economic and environmental impacts of these alarming poverty levels are worsened by ineffective service delivery in South Africa, which has been fraught by administrative, legislative and financial incapacities. Despite clear commitments outlined in the South African constitution, legislation, mandates and policies to provide environmentally sustainable services to all South Africans; the first chapters of this dissertation argues that the situation in terms of service delivery is reaching a crisis point and reinforces claims that government alone cannot address this calamity.

The residents of the Marikana Township are no strangers to the hardship of poverty and futile attempts at service provision by the Rustenburg municipality. The on-going lack of service delivery has resulted in increasing levels of diseases, environmental pollution and degradation. The effects of these traditional environmental hazards are exacerbated by modern environmental hazards emanating from mining activities in close proximity to the community, by one of the largest platinum producers in South Africa. The consequences of these combined forces necessitates that urgent action is taken and that the problem of service delivery is addressed effectively and efficiently. The waste management services to the communities of Marikana, supplied by Rustenburg Municipality, typify service delivery.

In recent years, the South African government has sought alternative service delivery mechanisms as solutions to inadequate and ineffective service provision to communities. This is a clear imperative in the broader context of a post-apartheid society. One organisational arrangement for service provision, which is becoming increasingly popular on a worldwide scale, is tri-sector partnerships. In tri-sector partnerships, a relationship is established to the point where corporations ‘pool’ complementary resources, knowledge and skills from across the three sectors of society namely business, government and civil society to jointly address complex social impacts. Although there have been instances where tri-sector partnerships have been initiated, there is limited evidence and experience of tri-sector partnerships being actively managed and sustained over time. In developing countries, in particular South Africa, the concept of these partnership formations is relatively novel and is an option worthy of future exploration.

The waste management tri-sector partnership in the Moses Kotane municipal district is an example of an unconventional ‘successful’ tri-sector partnership in the North West province of South Africa. The communities within the Moses Kotane municipal district illustrate characteristics of poverty in the same magnitude of the communities within the Rustenburg Municipality, both entities within the Bojanala Platinum District. To date, the partnership has achieved all strategic objectives of the partnership in terms of improving waste collection, the realisation of employment for local community members and establishing selected community members as business owners. Despite these objectives being achieved by all sectors, aspects of implementation can be enhanced to further the success of the approach.

This dissertation attempts to provide solutions to the waste management concerns of the Marikana community by assessing and adapting the tri-sector partnership approach as it was implemented in the Moses Kotane district. Strategies are also recommended to solve the concerns plaguing the Moses-Kotane waste management tri-sector partnership. The recommendations are primarily aimed at improving the success and sustainability (financial and environmentally) of the tri-sector partnership with the aim of improving the replication feasibility of this approach. This dissertation concludes that the model based on tri-sector partnership arrangements has a definite potential to not only improve on service delivery, but be more effective in tackling problems related to the degradation of water, soil and land resources and therefore minimise health impacts on nearby communities.

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