Exploring governance processes

A system and actor analysis involving mapping of key stakeholders has been completed in both cities looking into the roles and responsibilities of different actors in the WSD space. A scientific paper is currently in preparation (‘Scoping the prevailing conditions for acceleration towards water resilient futures in Cape Town and Johannesburg’) to be submitted by year end.

Results from the system and actor analyses indicate a progressive engagement with water sensitive water management in both cities by different levels of actors. However, there appears to be a lack of coordination and capacity due to limited social networks between key stakeholders in these cities and a lack of an enabling environment for higher-order learning to take place. The required learnings from already-implemented nature-based solutions are not taking place due to limited resources and ambiguity as to who should maintain and monitor these installations. We also found that practitioners struggle with reconciling the pursuit of visions of sustainability to be realised through nature-based urban development with the persistent pressing water supply and sanitation deficits that take priority.

Insights on current governance issues accompanying the implementation the Stormwater Manual in Johannesburg were also collected as part of the online survey mentioned above, highlighting the centrality of coordination to the governance of WSD, as well as the problem of capacity and skills when it comes to the operationalisation and implementation of WSD. Furthermore, for the Cape town case, the site visits to the Mitchell’s Plain ponds included observations of local dynamics around the pond and the school to lay the groundwork for upcoming local-level transition arena engagement.