The role of traditional leaders in environmental governance in the context of decentralization : a case study of grass utilization in QwaQwa, eastern Free State

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dc.contributor.author Mwalukomo, Herbert
dc.date.accessioned 2009-04-23T07:53:39Z
dc.date.available 2009-04-23T07:53:39Z
dc.date.issued 2009-04-23T07:53:39Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/6900
dc.description.abstract This research investigated the role played by traditional leaders in environmental governance in the context of decentralization, based on a case study of grass utilization in QwaQwa. Specifically, the research focussed on weaving practices under traditional systems and in the current context. While environmental governance debates recognize the importance of the local scale through concepts such as Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) and Local Action 21, environmental roles of traditional leaders in relation to democratic institutions of local governance have not been adequately researched. Using institutional frameworks, effectiveness of traditional institutions of grass utilization in QwaQwa is analysed. Findings from the research show that the role of traditional leaders in grass utilization is shaped by historical, environmental and political factors that are specific to QwaQwa. In the past, grass was managed through various traditional practices with traditional leaders regulating access and enforcing traditional rules of utilization. In behavioural terms, traditional practices that governed grass utilization especially weaving were effective. Although traditional leaders continue to influence local affairs in QwaQwa, traditional practices in general and the regulatory role of traditional leaders in grass utilization have been eroded. Erosion of traditional practices resulted from the influence of colonial and apartheid policies, misunderstandings of democracy, current local government institutional reform and modernization, all of which undermined traditional mechanisms of environmental governance, including grass utilization. Overall, this research has demonstrated the fact that institutional mechanisms that impact upon grass utilization are locally defined and influenced by the historical context. Based on these findings, this research calls for broader understanding of traditional leadership in the context of decentralization beyond cultural conceptions. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.title The role of traditional leaders in environmental governance in the context of decentralization : a case study of grass utilization in QwaQwa, eastern Free State en
dc.type Thesis en


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