THE TRANSNATIONAL ROLE AND INVOLVEMENT OF INTEREST U n

THE TRANSNATIONAL ROLE AND INVOLVEMENT OF INTEREST U n

U n i i v e r r s i i t t y o f f P r r e t t o r r i i a e t t d – M e i i s s n e r r , , R ( ( 2 0 0 5 ) )

THE TRANSNATIONAL ROLE AND INVOLVEMENT OF INTEREST

GROUPS IN WATER POLITICS: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF

SELECTED SOUTHERN AFRICAN CASE STUDIES

by

RICHARD MEISSNER

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree

Doctor Philosophiae (International Politics)

In the Faculty of Humanities

UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA

October 2004

U n i i v e r r s i i t t y o f f P r r e t t o r r i i a e t t d – M e i i s s n e r r , , R ( ( 2 0 0 5 ) )

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to give praise and thanks to God, who has bestowed upon me the talent as a researcher and a scientist. Throughout the research endeavour, I always turned to Him for guidance, inspiration, strength and advice.

Many persons played a central role in the preparation and subsequent presentation of the research results contained in this thesis. I shall be forever in their debt.

I would also like to thank my wife, Colleen, to whom this thesis is dedicated.

Not only has she supported my endeavours every step of the way, but she has also been part of the work from beginning to end. She has had to put up with periods of frustration, but shared in my joy at the end. I will be forever in her debt for her loving support and on occasion her practical advice.

Professor Anton du Plessis, from the Department of Political Sciences at the

University of Pretoria (UP), was always willing to contribute to the understanding of the different nuances contained in this study.

Professor Maxi Schoeman, head of the Department of Political Sciences at

UP, had a central role in my academic ‘up-bringing’.

To professor Deon Geldenhuys, professor at the Department of Politics and

Governance at the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), a special word of thanks, for his assistance in analysing political events.

A special word of thanks to Sarel Duvenhage for the translation of the abstract into Afrikaans, and to Alan Begg of SAIIA for proof reading the document.

The following persons were also instrumental in the gathering of information for the thesis: Estralita Weyers, former subject librarian for Political Sciences at the Academic Information Centre (AIC), University of Pretoria; Ester

Ferreira, subject librarian for Politics and Governance at RAU’s library and

Tebogo Mahapa, Information and Media Project Co-ordinator at the Group for

Environmental Monitoring (GEM).

U n i i v e r r s i i t t y o f f P r r e t t o r r i i a e t t d – M e i i s s n e r r , , R ( ( 2 0 0 5 ) ) i

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1. Identification of the Research Theme

2. Significance of the Research Theme

1

2

3. Identification of the Research Problem

Question

4

4

3.3. Aim and Objectives of the Study

3.3.1. Aim

4

4

4. Demarcation of the Study

5. Literature Survey

5.1. Previous and Related Research

5

7

7

5.2. 8

5.2.1.

5.2.2. Sources 9

6. Methodological Aspects

6.1.

6.2.

9

7. Structure of the Study

8. Conclusion

PART I: THEORETICAL DIMENSIONS

12

13

CHAPTER 2: THEORETICAL DEVELOPMENTS AND THE WATER

DISCOURSE: TOWARDS A CONSTRUCTIVIST SYNTHESIS

1. Introduction

15

2. The Water Discourse and International Relations Theory

16

3. The Development and Typology of International

Relations

17

3.2.

3.3.

3.4. Reflectivist and Rationalist Theories and

4. Theories and Water Politics

Perspective

25

25

4.1.1. 25

4.1.2. Realism and Water Politics 26

Perspectives 27

4.2.1.1. Basic Assumptions

4.2.1.2. Liberal-pluralism and Water Politics

4.2.2.1. Basic Assumptions

4.2.2.2. Interest Group Pluralism and Water Politics

27

28

29

29

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4.2.3.1. Basic Assumptions 30

4.2.3.2. Interest Group Corporatism and Water Politics

Modernity

31

31

4.2.4.1. Basic Assumptions 31

4.2.5. The Hydrosocial Contract Theory

4.2.5.1. Basic Assumptions

4.2.5.2. The Hydrosocial Contract Theory and Water Politics

4.3.2.1. Basic Assumptions

4.4.

4.4.1.

4.3.2.2. Political Ecology and Water Politics

33

33

35

4.3.

4.3.1.

4.3.1.1. Basic Assumptions 36

4.3.1.2. Risk Society and Water Politics

Ecology

37

38

38

39

4.4.2. Social Constructivism and Water Politics

5. Conclusion

42

43

CHAPTER 3: INTEREST GROUPS AS TRANSNATIONAL AGENTS

1. Introduction

2. Conceptualisation of Interest Groups

2.1. Preference for a Particular

45

45

2.3. The Concept Interest Group

3. Interest Group Typology

49

51

4. Interest Groups as Transnational Actors

4.1. Transnational Dimensions

54

54

4.2.1. The Power Approach

4.2.2. The Technocratic Approach

56

57

4.2.4.

5. Interest Group Roles

5.1.1. Opinion Generation Agent

Agent

5.1.3. Norm and Rule Creation

60

61

5.1.5. Agenda Construction Agent

Roles

63

63

5.2.2. Representation

5.2.4. Policy Shaping Agent 65

U n i i v e r r s i i t t y o f f P r r e t t o r r i i a e t t d – M e i i s s n e r r , , R ( ( 2 0 0 5 ) ) iii

5.3.

5.3.1.

5.3.3. Safety Provider Agent 68

6. Interest Group Success

Factors

69

70

7. Conclusion

74

CHAPTER 4: INTEREST GROUP INVOLVEMENT IN WATER POLITICS: A

FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS

1. Introduction

2. Key Components of International River Basins

2.1.

2.2. Actors

76

76

78

3. Agential Power

Conceptual Clarification

79

79

3.3. Sources of Agential Power

Power

84

85

3.3.3.

3.4. Interaction 99

4. Criteria for Comparison

103

4.1.

4.1.1.

Structures

4.1.4. Weakening of States

4.1.6.

4.2.

111

5. Conclusion

112

PART II: CASE STUDIES

CHAPTER 5: THE KUNENE RIVER BASIN: THE CASE OF THE

PROPOSED EPUPA DAM

1. Introduction

115

2. The River Basin

116

2.1. Utilisation of the Kunene River: The Proposed Epupa

U n i i v e r r s i i t t y o f f P r r e t t o r r i i a e t t d – M e i i s s n e r r , , R ( ( 2 0 0 5 ) ) iv

2.2. The Rationale behind Epupa 118

3. The Actors

119

4. The Hydropolitical History of the Kunene River

123

4.1. 124

4.2. Cooperation between Portugal and South Africa: 1926-1975 125

125

Development 127

Border 130

1989-2000

4.5. The Civil War in Angola: 1990-2003 135

5. Interest Group Involvement: 1990-2003

138

5.1. Areas

The

138

138

Water 140

5.2. The Role and Involvement of Interest Groups

6. Actor Agential Power

140

147

6.1.1.

6.1.2.1. South African Dominance 151

Ruling 152

6.1.2.4. Level of National Unity

6.1.3. The Core Interest Group

6.1.4. Peripheral Interest Groups

6.1.4.1. Earthlife Africa (Namibia Branch) (ELA)

6.1.4.2. The Legal Assistance Centre (LAC)

157

157

160

160

162

6.1.4.3. The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR)

6.1.5. Outer Peripheral Interest Groups

6.1.5.1. The Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG)

6.1.5.2. The Association for International Water and Forest

Studies

6.1.5.3. The International Rivers Network (IRN)

163

164

164

165

6.2.

Angola 167

6.4.

7. Interaction between the Actors

174

8. Analysis

176

9. Conclusion

188

CHAPTER 6: THE ORANGE RIVER BASIN: THE CASE OF THE LESOTHO

HIGHLANDS WATER PROJECT

1. Introduction

190

2. The River Basin

191

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2.1.1. Importance of Inter-basin Transfers 191

2.2. The Rationale behind the LHWP 193

3. The Actors

195

4. The Hydropolitical History of the Orange River

198

4.1. The Start of WRMPs: 1867-1956 198

4.2.

4.2.1. A New Idea and Political Issues 199

4.2.3.

4.2.4. The Feasibility Study 203

4.2.5. Macro Conflict and 204

4.2.6. Coup d’etat and the LHWP Treaty

4.3. Improved Relations and Implementation: 1986-2003

206

207

4.3.2. The World Bank Threatens to Withdraw Financial Support 209

4.3.3. The River Commission

Corruption

209

210

4.3.5. Completion of Mohale Dam 210

5. Interest Group Involvement: 1985-2003

211

5.1. Areas

5.2. The Role and Involvement of Interest Groups 213

6. Actor Agential Power

225

South

6.1.1.2. Socio-economic

6.1.1.3. Level of National Loyalty 229

6.1.2.1. Apartheid 231

The 232

237

238

6.1.2.4. Economic Growth

6.1.2.5. Level of National Loyalty

6.1.3. Interest

6.1.3.1. The Highlands Church Action Group (HCAG)

6.1.3.2. The Lesotho Council of NGOs (LCN)

6.1.3.3. The Transformation Resource Centre (TRC)

6.1.4. Inner Peripheral Interest Groups

6.1.4.1. The Alexandra Civics Organisation (ACO)

6.1.4.2. The Group for Environmental Monitoring (GEM)

6.1.5. Outer Peripheral Interest Groups

6.1.5.1.

6.1.5.2. Environmental

239

239

240

241

241

242

243

6.1.5.4.

6.2.

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7. Interaction between the Actors

256

8. Analysis

262

9. Conclusion

272

PART III: ASSESSMENT

CHAPTER 7: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE TRANSNATIONAL

ROLE OF INTEREST GROUPS IN THE KUNENE AND ORANGE RIVER

BASINS

1. Introduction

275

2. A Comparison of

Interest Groups as Transnational

Agents

275

2.3.

2.4. The Success of the Interest Groups 278

3. A Comparative Map of the Case Studies

279

4. Reading and Interpreting the Comparative Map

280

4.1.2.

4.1.3. Bifurcation of Global

4.1.5.

Authority

4.2.1.2. Types of Authority 289

4.2.2.

4.2.2.1. Structures of

4.2.2.2. Types of Authority 293

Transnationalism

5. Conclusion

296

CHAPTER 8: EVALUATION

1. Introduction

300

2. The Problem Statements

300

3. Findings

301

4. Critique

307

5. Recommendations

307

5.1.

5.2. Towards a Research Agenda 311

6. Conclusion

313

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APPENDICES

316

Appendix 1. Map of the Kunene River basin.

317

Appendix 2. The base countries of the interest groups involved in the water politics of the proposed

Epupa Dam project.

318

Appendix 3. Map of interest group transnationalism regarding the proposed Epupa Dam.

319

Appendix 4. Map of the Orange River basin.

320

Appendix 5. The base countries of the interest groups involved in the water politics of the LHWP.

321

Appendix 6. Map of interest group transnationalism regarding the LHWP.

322

BIBLIOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

323

367

SAMEVATTING

369

U n i i v e r r s i i t t y o f f P r r e t t o r r i i a e t t d – M e i i s s n e r r , , R ( ( 2 0 0 5 ) ) viii

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1. Preference for the concept ‘pressure group’.

46

Table 2. Preference for the concept ‘interest group’.

46

Table 3. Preference for the concept ‘lobby’.

Table 4. Combination of the concepts.

48

48

Table 5. Actors involved in the water politics of the proposed Epupa Dam project.

119

Table 6. Interest group involvement in the proposed Epupa

Dam.

146

Table 7. The agential roles of non-state agents in the debate on the proposed Epupa Dam.

184

Table 8. Provinces’ GGP supported by IBTs.

192

Table 9. LHWP purposes and beneficiaries.

194

Table 10. Actors involved in the water politics of the LHWP on the Orange/Senqu River.

195

Table 11. Issues and related aspects articulated by the interest groups.

212

Table 12. WCD guidelines and the IRN’s criticism.

221

Table 13. Agential roles, strategies and tactics used by the interest groups.

223

Table 14. A concise history of Lesotho’s political instability.

230

Table 15. Financial institutions lending money for construction of the LHWP.

247

Table 16. A comparison of the Gross Geographic Product

(GGP) of South Africa’s nine provinces.

250

Table 17. Individuals consulted during the Christian Aid,

Oxfam, the HCAG, and Christian Council of

Lesotho’s visit to the LHWP in November 1996.

258

Table 18. The approaches used by the interest groups.

276

Table 19. The roles played by the interest groups and the frequency of these roles over time.

277

Table 20. Factors influencing the success of the interest groups.

278

Table 21. A comparative map of the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the Kunene and

Orange River basins.

297

Table 22. A comparative map indicating the degree of dissimilarities and similarities of the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the

Kunene and Orange River basins.

299

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1. The focus of the study.

12

Figure 2. International Relations theory in the fourth debate.

22

Figure 3. Actors involved in international river basin

WRMPs.

Figure 4. Hobson’s agential power matrix.

78

82

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Figure 5. The prevalence of despotic and infrastructural power within political systems.

98

Figure 6. Control techniques and responses to control techniques.

100

Figure 7. The flow of micro-macro inputs.

106

Figure 8. Despotic and infrastructural power in the Namibian political system regarding the proposed Epupa Dam.

175

Figure 9. The control techniques used by the interest groups and responses to them.

177

Figure 10. The control techniques used by the Namibian government and responses to them.

177

Figure 11. Interest groups cluster: the

‘alternative to dam’ norm.

182

Figure 12. Interest groups cluster: the ‘protection of the Himba’s minority rights’ norm.

183

Figure 13. The agential power of Namibia and the proposed Epupa Dam.

188

Figure 14. The agential power of interest groups and the proposed Epupa Dam.

189

Figure 15. The institutional arrangements concerning the LHWP.

194

Figure 16. The prevalence of despotic and infrastructural power within the South African and LHDA political system regarding the LHWP.

252

Figure 17. The prevalence of despotic and infrastructural power within the Lesotho political system regarding the LHWP.

253

Figure 18. The control techniques used by the interest groups and responses to them.

262

Figure 19. The control techniques used by the

South African government and responses to them.

263

Figure 20. Interest groups cluster: the ‘alternative to dams’ norm.

265

Figure 21. Interest groups cluster: the ‘protection of the poor’ norm.

266

Figure 22. The process of normative commensalism.

267

Figure 23. The ANC’s ideological and norm shift.

267

Figure 24. The agential power of South Africa and Lesotho regarding the LHWP.

271

Figure 25. The agential power of the interest groups involved in the debate over the LHWP.

272

Figure 26. The process of circumvention.

305

Figure 27. Hydro-normative commensalism

. 315

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ABBREVIATIONS

AA: Automobile Association.

AAC: All-African Convention.

AAC: Alexandra Action Committee.

ABSA: Amalgamated Banks of South Africa.

ACO: Alexandra Civics Organisation.

AIDS: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.

ANC: African National Congress.

AWIRU: African Water Issues Research Unit.

BCP: Basotho Congress Party.

BDS: British Dam Society.

BNP: Basotho National Party.

BRIB: Blyde River Irrigation Board.

CAAA: Comprehensive Anti-apartheid Act.

CEO: Chief Executive Officer.

CMA: Catchment Management Agency.

CoD: Congress of Democrats.

COSATU: Congress of South African Trade Unions.

DBSA: Development Bank of Southern Africa.

DDT: Dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane.

DRFN: Desert Research Foundation of Namibia.

DPE: Development for Peace Education.

DRC: Democratic Republic of Congo.

DTA: Democratic Turnhalle Alliance.

EAC: Epupa Action Committee.

EIA: Environmental Impact Assessment.

EIB: European Investment Bank.

EJNF: Environmental Justice Networking Forum.

ELA: Earthlife Africa.

EMG: Environmental Monitoring Group.

ENWC: Eastern National Water Carrier.

ESCOM: Electricity Supply Commission (South Africa).

EU: European Union.

FAA: Forças Armadas Angolanas.

FIVAS: Association for International Water and Forest Studies.

FNB: First National Bank.

FNLA: Frente Nacional de Libertaçã de Angola.

GCI: Green Cross International.

GEAR: Growth, Employment and Redistribution.

GEM: Group for Environmental Monitoring.

GGP: Gross Geographic Product.

HCAG: Highlands Church Action Group.

HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

HPH: Hydropolitical History.

HSCT: Hydrosocial Contract Theory.

IBT: Inter-basin transfer.

IIBTS: International Inter-basin Transfer Scheme.

ICJ: International Court of Justice.

IFR: Instream Flow Requirement.

U n i i v e r r s i i t t y o f f P r r e t t o r r i i a e t t d – M e i i s s n e r r , , R ( ( 2 0 0 5 ) ) xi

IGO: Inter-governmental Organisation.

ILA: International Law Association.

ILC: International Law Commission.

International Monetary Fund: IMF.

INGO: International Non-governmental Organisation.

IPE: International Political Economy.

IRN: International Rivers Network.

ISS: Institute for Security Studies.

IUCN: International Union for the Conservation of Nature (World Conservation

Union).

IWGIA: International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs.

IWRM: Integrated Water Resources Management.

JCC: Joint Commission of Cooperation.

JPTC: Joint Permanent Technical Commission (Orange River).

JTC: Joint Technical Committee (Kunene and Orange River).

JTC: Joint Technical Commission (Kunene River).

KDL: Kaoko Development League.

LCD: Lesotho Congress for Democracy.

LHWC: Lesotho Highlands Water Commission.

LHWP: Lesotho Highlands Water Project.

LHWRF: Lesotho Highlands Water Revenue Fund.

LNLA: Lesotho National Liberation Army.

MAR: Mean Annual Run-off.

MCC: Mennonite Central Committee.

MEC: Member of the Executive Council.

MK: Umkhonto we Sizwe.

MNC: Multinational Corporation.

MOU: Memorandum of Understanding.

MP: Member of Parliament.

MPLA: Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola.

NAMANG: Namibia and Angola (Consortium of Norwegian, Swedish,

Namibian, and Angolan companies).

NamPower: Namibian Electricity Utility (formerly known as SWAWEK).

NANGOF: Namibian Non-governmental Organisations’ Forum.

NGO: Non-governmental Organisation.

NORAD: Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation.

NPC: National Planning Commission.

NP: National Party.

NRC: Natives Representative Council.

NUM: National Union of Mineworkers.

NVE: Norwegian Water and Energy Administration Directorate.

NWA: National Water Act.

OAU: Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union).

OFS: Orange Free State.

OKACOM: Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission.

OPC: Ovamboland People’s Congress.

OPO: Ovamboland People’s Organisation.

ORP: Orange River Project.

PCA: Angolan Communist Party (Partido Communista de Angola).

PJTC: Permanent Joint Technical Commission (Kunene River).

U n i i v e r r s i i t t y o f f P r r e t t o r r i i a e t t d – M e i i s s n e r r , , R ( ( 2 0 0 5 ) ) xii

PLAN: People’s Liberation Army of Namibia.

PLUA: Partido da Luta dos Africanos de Angola.

PRS: Political Risk Services.

RAU: Rand Afrikaans University.

R&D: Research and Development.

RDP: Reconstruction and Development Programme.

RISA: Reservoir Induced Seismic Activity.

SABC: South African Broadcast Corporation.

SACP: South African Communist Party.

SADC: Southern African Development Community.

SADF: South African Defence Force.

SANCO: South African National Civics Organisation.

SANDF: South African National Defence Force.

SAPS: South African Police Services.

SARA: Southern African Rivers Association.

SCA: Soweto Civics Association.

SCFS: Supervision Committee for the Feasibility Study.

SIDA: Swedish International Development Agency.

SMCB: Standard Merchant and Corporate Bank.

SOIWDP: Southern Okavango Integrated Water Development Project.

SWA: South West Africa.

SWANU: South West African National Union.

SWAPO: South West Africa People’s Organisation.

SWAWEK: South West Africa Water and Electric Corporation.

SWS: Stockholm Water Symposium.

TAC: Treatment Action Campaign.

TRC: Transformation Resource Centre.

TRC: Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

UDF: United Democratic Front.

UK: United Kingdom.

UN: United Nations.

UNAM: University of Namibia.

UNDP: United Nations Development Programme.

UNITA: União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola.

UNSCR: United Nations Security Council Resolution.

UP: University of Pretoria.

USAID: United States Agency for International Development.

WCD: World Commission on Dams.

WDM: Water Demand Management.

WRM: Water Resource Management.

WRMP: Water Resources Management Project.

WSA: Water Services Act.

WSM: Water Supply Management.

YMCA: Young Women’s Christian Association.

ZAR: Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek.

UNITS OF MEASURE

b/d: Barrels per day (oil production).

U n i i v e r r s i i t t y o f f P r r e t t o r r i i a e t t d – M e i i s s n e r r , , R ( ( 2 0 0 5 ) ) xiii bcm/y: Billion cubic metres per year (river run-off). bn: Billion. c/m³: Cent per cubic metre.

GWh: Giga-watt hour. ha: Hectare(s). km: Kilometre(s). km²: Square kilometre(s). km³/yr: Cubic kilometres per year. kW: Kilowatt. m: Metre(s).

M: Maloti (Lesotho currency—on par with the South African Rand).

MCM: Million cubic metre(s). mm: Millimetre(s). mm/yr: Millimetre(s) per year (rainfall).

MW: Mega-watt. m³/ca: Cubic metre(s) per capita (volume of water). m³/s: Cubic metre(s) per second.

N$: Namibian dollar. oz: Ounce.

R: Rand (South African currency).

US$: United States Dollar.

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1

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1. Identification of the Research Theme

Since 1648, humankind has relied on the Westphalian state, as a political entity, for a number of services including the provision of freshwater (Harsant

& Duvenhage, 2000: 5). In most cases, the provision of water is made possible through water resources management projects (WRMPs) that supply bulk water to utilities, which in turn provide it to local governments and the public. Supplying water by means of this process requires public policies to ensure that the largest number of people has potable water and adequate sanitation. Through these policies states have become the custodians of water resources in, or flowing across, their territories. This custodianship is imbedded in the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Because the state, or more specifically the government

1

of the state, is responsible for the well-being of the population, interest groups who lobby against WRMPs, directly oppose government policy to implement these projects. This implies that, as interest groups successfully lobby against WRMPs, there might be an erosion of the state’s agential power to construct these projects.

Throughout the world, a plethora of interest groups is active in the water politics of WRMPs, where they perform a very specific function. They advocate the causes of people and the environment affected by major WRMPs and they therefore oppose them. Phrased differently, in recent decades, a social and environmental conscience, creating awareness of the need to protect both the environment and humans from the adverse effects of WRMPs has developed, and interest groups are at the forefront (Gleick, 1998: 15, 81).

Clearly, interest groups are pervasive phenomena of modern political society.

After all, since the attitudes of democratic governments toward interest groups tend to be reactive in nature, interest groups have become important actors in this relationship, as one of the instruments through which people can express their political desires. In short, interest groups act as conduits for citizens to communicate with government (Sadie, 1998: 280). In most domestic and international issues, interest groups have come to represent the desires of people within and beyond their constituencies. These issues range from health care to the provision of potable water. Not only do interest groups

1

The government and the state is not the same entity; government is an institution of the state. Theunissen (1998: 114) asserts that the term ‘government refers to the body or bodies responsible for governing the state. In South Africa, these bodies would refer primarily to the president and his cabinet—the political executive or body of persons who together with the president are tasked with governing and managing the state. This differs from the administrative executive, which can be associated with the public sector’. The government is also present at provincial level with its manifestation in the premiers and executive councils.

Theunissen (1998: 114) further remarks, ‘the term government is often used to refer to any part of the state and the public administrative apparatus. An example of this would be any reference made to the legislative, executive and judicial branches of “government” and their respective components’. In this thesis, when referring to the ‘state’, it will mean an actor on the international stage. When speaking of ‘government’, it will imply an institution of the state.

U n i i v e r r s i i t t y o f f P r r e t t o r r i i a e t t d – M e i i s s n e r r , , R ( ( 2 0 0 5 ) )

2 represent peoples’ desires, but they also play an important role in mobilising support to either change or enhance policies governing certain issues. This also applies to WRMPs. Yet, over the last three and a half centuries, the state has played a dominant role in the implementation of WRMPs through its socalled hydraulic mission. This is not the case anymore, with a global anti-dam movement engaging governments and inter-governmental organisations

(IGOs) over the issue of the impact of large dams on humans and the environment.

The anti-dam debate has been raging for some years in developed countries, particularly in the United States and in those of Europe. This debate has spilled over to the developing world and has found support among sections of the public that oppose such plans. Southern African international river basins are no exception and both internally and externally to the region, there exists a transnational movement against WRMPs. Unfortunately, and in contrast to other areas of the world, there exists a scarcity of information on Southern

African examples of interest groups involved in the water politics of WRMPs.

Interest groups are becoming an increasing opposition force to contend with in the construction of WRMPs on Southern Africa’s international rivers.

Examples are the proposed Epupa Dam in the Kunene River and the Lesotho

Highlands Water Project (LHWP) in the upper reaches of the Orange River. In sum, these aspects encapsulate the research theme of this study, namely the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the water politics of selected Southern African international river basins.

2. Significance of the Research Theme

The research theme is significant in a practical and theoretical context. At a practical level, firstly, as water becomes scarcer throughout the world, many states in the developing world are turning to WRMPs to solve their water deficiency problems and energy needs

2

. Secondly, as articulated and expressed by interest groups, there is an increasing awareness of the negative impact of WRMPs on communities and the environment. As a result, since the early 1990s, engineers, managers and political decision-makers in the water sector have been faced with increasing opposition to such plans. The opposition emanating from interest groups in particular restrict the policy choices of those entities involved in WRMPs. This has already led to increased political interaction between states and interest groups that are in all likelihood to continue in future.

Thirdly, within the water discourse, the transnational role and involvement of interest groups are not sufficiently dealt with by academics, researchers or consultants. It has been covered to some extent, either explicitly or implicitly, by a number of researchers such as Payne (1996), McCully (1996), Gleick

(1998)

3

, Meissner (1998

4

; 2000a; 2000b) and Turton and Meissner (2002). In

2

3

WRMPs can also supply energy, for instance in the case of hydroelectric schemes.

Payne examines the campaigning of interest groups against large dams in that they do not only target states, but also other international governmental bodies in the international political realm, e.g. the World Bank; McCully looks at the political and ecological impact of

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3 addition, some of these research endeavours adopt a state centric approach

5

, for example those of Teclaff (1967), Naff and Matson (1984), Lowi (1993),

Gleick (1993), Kliot (1994), Hillel (1994), Meissner (1998), Ashton (2000a),

Turton (2000a) and Jägerskog (2002), which underplay interest groups, but do have important theoretical implications.

At a theoretical level, firstly, water politics is seemingly devoid of theory. As has been indicated, the ‘statist’ approach is characterised by a secondary

‘focal point’ on the role and involvement of interest groups and other non-state entities in water politics. Stated differently, these studies do not explicitly examine the way in which interest groups erode ‘agential state power’, or are involved in the interactive processes of an international river basin. In addition, there has also been a tendency to analyse the water discourse from an international law perspective, for instance McCaffrey (1993) and Benvenisti

(1996).

Secondly, the study is important in that the theoretical analysis of water politics in the past had not been sufficiently separated from other dominant topics of domestic politics or international relations. For instance, during and even after the Cold War era, the study of water politics had a distinctive character: it focused on conflict and cooperation between states over water resources and adapted a state centric approach in the process. This provided hydropolitics with a specific research agenda that was analysed in a security context. With this in mind, what is lacking from a theoretical perspective is the absence of a suitable framework for analysing the transnational role and involvement of interest groups.

Thirdly, interest groups are not studied as main actors in the water discourse.

What is furthermore not considered is how, where and when they might reduce

‘agential state power’ in respect of WRMP policies. Interest groups are rather studied as actors that are part of a broad array of entities involved in water politics and not as separate agents. In other words, the fact that they are not always the central focus of research in the field of water politics is a matter of theoretical concern. Hence, the need, in a theoretical context, to focus on the role and involvement of interest groups in water politics. large dams on the environment and people, with the last chapter of his book devoted to the role of interest groups in various countries in lobbying against these structures; and within a global context Gleick examines the role and activities of interest groups with respect to their

4 lobbying against large dams.

Meissner analyses a number of cases where interest groups campaigned against WRMPs in the Southern African context, e.g. Namibia’s so-called Okavango Water Pipeline.

5

These studies look at various aspects of water politics, especially where the state has played a prominent role. For instance, Teclaff studied the international river basin from an historical and international law perspective, where the state has been at least one of the parties to bilateral and multilateral agreements concerning the use of national and international rivers. The other studies looked at international rivers, in various regions like the

Middle East, Southern Africa and South East Asia, from the perspective of conflict and cooperation. In other words, these studies had, as their central focus, the state as the main actor in the water politics of the different regions.

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4

3. Identification of the Research Problem

The research problem is identified with reference to the research question, the explanatory propositions, and the aims and objectives of the study.

3.1. Research Question

Considering the aforesaid context of the role and involvement of interest groups in water politics, the primary research question is: To what extent do the transnational activities of interest groups, concerning the implementation of WRMPs in selected Southern African international river basins, undermine the acceptance of policies and actions authorised at the state level of world politics? Or, to phrase it differently: To what extent does the transnational role and involvement of interest groups challenge and erode state agential power

(at a national and international level) in respect of water politics?

From this basic research question, two secondary questions arise: To what extent do the aforesaid interest groups, as transnational actors, bridge the traditional boundary (distinction) between the domestic and international domains? To what extent do interest groups, as non-state actors, influence and change the existing relationships between state and society (government and citizen) at both the domestic and international level?

3.2. Propositions

The first subsidiary proposition is that in respect of water politics, interest groups are bridging the boundaries between the domestic and international domains to such an extent that the traditional distinction between the two spheres is difficult to maintain. The second subsidiary proposition is that interest groups are influencing and changing the traditional relationship between state and society or government and citizen to such an extent that the citizen is empowered to influence governmental policies at an international level. Based on these sub-propositions, it is the primary proposition that in respect of the water politics of international river basins in Southern Africa, state agential power is undoubtedly affected and limited, but not significantly eroded by the transnational role and involvement of interest groups.

3.3. Aim and Objectives of the Study

3.3.1. Aim

Considering the problem statements (research questions) and propositions, the main aim of this study therefore is to develop an understanding of the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in Southern African water politics. The research question is addressed by using the concept of agential power. Hobson (2000) defines domestic agential power as the ‘ability of the

state to make domestic or foreign policy as well as shape the domestic realm, free of domestic social structural requirements or the interests of non-state actors

’. International agential power is defined as the ‘ability of the state to

make foreign policy and shape the international realm free of international

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5

structural requirements or the interests of international non-state actors

(Hobson, 2000: 5, 7). These definitions focus on the state’s freedom of decision-making and action (policies) to secure the well-being of its citizens and focus on the different actors that play a role in the formulation and implementation of such policies. Two distinct actors are involved: the interest group as a non-state actor and the state.

Furthermore and because water politics is a ‘young’ field of inquiry, it is understandable that new phenomena will emerge as research topics. This is the case of interest groups in the developing world that lobby against WRMPs.

Hence, the study will depart from the assumption that the state is the most important actor as advanced by the realist paradigm. As one observer puts it:

‘This [the state as the paramount actor] is especially the case … where research agendas are still rooted deeply in the premise that the world is crisscrossed by boundaries that divide the international from the domestic and that accord to nation-states the role of presiding over these boundaries. Such a conception of world affairs is ... profoundly flawed’ (Rosenau, 2003: 273).

Accordingly, the aim of this study is to focus on interest groups, along with states, as important and prominent actors. To succeed in this, four objectives are outlined.

3.3.2. Objectives

The first objective is to assess the extent to which international relations theory recognises and accommodates the role and involvement of interest groups in water politics. Emphasis is placed on their status and position vis-á-vis the state, the issues they articulate and the processes through which this is done.

The second objective is to define the concept interest group, to describe the influence of interest groups on governments and other actors; and to identify their transnational role and involvement in world politics. The third objective is to construct a framework for analysis to compare and assess the agential power of interest groups and states in respect of water politics.

The final objective is to analyse the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in selected Southern African international river systems by employing the said framework for analysis to selected case studies namely, the proposed Epupa Dam and the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) on the Kunene and Orange Rivers respectively.

4. Demarcation of the Study

The research topic is demarcated according to conceptual, geographical and temporal criteria. Conceptually the study is differentiated with reference to three central concepts—transnational relations, interest groups and water politics.

(a) Transnational Relations

: According to Rosenau (1980: 1) transnationalism is ‘the processes whereby international relations conducted by governments have been supplemented by relations among private

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6 individuals, groups, and societies that can and do have important consequences for the course of events’. In short, transnationalism refers to the transnational relations between actors where at least one is a non-state entity. Firstly, this suggests that states are not the only prominent actors in world politics. Secondly, contact between actors in the international arena does not only take place between states—non-state entities are also involved in world affairs. Thirdly, transnational actors make an impact on political affairs (Risse-Kappen, 1995; Viotti & Kauppi, 1999: 211-215). Following this,

‘the impact of transnational actors and coalitions on state policies in particular issue areas will vary in accordance with differences in domestic structures and degrees of international institutionalisation (e.g., multilateral regimes and both international and nongovernmental organizations)’ (Viotti & Kauppi, 1999:

219). This implies that there is a link between the domestic and international political domains, with transnational actors (interest groups included) playing a central role in influencing the policy preferences of states. These interest groups are the ‘linkage actors’, connecting the national and international realms in a meaningful way (Mingst, 1995).

(b) Interest Groups

: Interest groups (sometimes also known as pressure groups, lobbies and non-governmental organisations [NGOs]) are associations that aim to influence the policies or actions of government. They differ from political parties in that they exert influence from outside the parliamentary system, rather than by attempting to win or exercise government power. They particularly focus on a narrow set of issues, which is not the case with political parties. Interest groups are usually concerned with a specific cause or the interests of a particular group in society. They often display the broader programmatic attributes or have ideological features that characterise political parties. Interest groups are therefore non-state entities that encounter governments, both within the domestic political sphere and transnationally.

International relations is a progression of domestic politics, with the transnational role and involvement of interest groups as an important element

(Heywood, 1997: 254; Viotti & Kauppi, 1999: 203).

(c) Water Politics

: In one of the earliest definitions of water politics, Elhance

(1997: 218) noted that water politics is the systematic analysis of interstate conflict and cooperation over international water resources. This definition is extremely narrow since it excludes international governmental and nongovernmental actors from the international dimension of water politics

(Meissner, 1998: 4).

Humanity is living in an ever-increasing globalised society, where different actors and dimensions interact on a broader scale than envisaged by Elhance.

A more comprehensive definition of water politics is therefore required.

Accordingly, water politics is seen as the systematic investigation of the interaction between states, non-state actors and a host of other participants, within and outside the state, regarding the authoritative allocation or use of international and national water resources. These national and international water resources include rivers, wetlands, glaciers, aquifers and lakes

(Meissner, 1998: 4-5). This definition, having an empirical scope, focuses mainly, but not exclusively, on the interaction between actors within both the

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7 international and domestic political spheres, and emphasises the geographical scope of the interaction between different actors in international and domestic river systems. It also has a normative dimension in that it alludes to the valuebased authoritative allocation or use of water resources. More than that, a number of normative principles are implied by the definition, such as

(sovereign) control over water resources, reciprocity among actors, justice, norms and rules and ideology (Turton, 2002a: 16).

Geographically the study is limited to two international river systems in the

Southern African region, namely: the Kunene River and Orange River. The

Kunene River basin is shared by Namibia and Angola, and the Orange River basin by Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa. Within these river systems, the focus of the study is a specific WRMP that is either proposed or completed, namely in the case of the Kunene River, the planned Epupa Dam, and in the case of the Orange River, Phase 1A and 1B of the LHWP.

The study is also circumscribed in temporal terms. The study covers the period since the start of the planning of WRMPs in the international river basins to 2004. The commencement of WRMPs differs from basin to basin.

For instance, in the Kunene River basin plans to develop the river date back to the 1920s. In the Orange River basin, on the other hand, plans to implement

WRMPs date back to the 1860s. In both cases, the historical trajectories are therefore different, with dissimilar actors playing a role in the implementation of

WRMPs in the rivers over time. However, the development of both rivers are closely related to the socio-economic and politico-historical development of

South Africa, especially considering that Namibia became a mandated territory of South Africa after the First World War.

5. Literature Survey

The literature survey is divided into an overview of previous and related research and of various data sources pertaining to the study.

5.1. Previous and Related Research

To date, a number of research projects have been undertaken on the role of interest groups in water politics, such as Payne (1996), McCully (1996) and

Neme (1997). Neme (1997), for instance, analysed the processes behind their respective lobbying campaigns. These previous and related research projects explain the role and involvement of interest groups in water politics, but do not allude to the nature of their role and involvement and agential power. These studies therefore do not classify interest groups’ transnational role and involvement, their agential power or the prospects of their role and involvement in water politics.

In addition, a number of studies on Southern African water politics have also been conducted. These include the following, namely: Turton, Meissner, and

Stols’ (2003) Towards a Set of Guidelines for Best Practices: An Assessment

of Forced Removals for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project in Light of the

World Commission on Dams

; Meissner’s (2003), Interaction and Existing

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8

Constraints in International River Basins: The Case of the Kunene River

Basin

; and Turton, Nicol, Allan, Earle, Meissner, Mendelson, and Quaison’s

(2003), Policy Options in Water-stressed States: Emerging Lessons from the

Middle East and Southern Africa

.

5.2. Data Sources

This study is based on documentary and, to a certain extent, field sources.

5.2.1. Documentary Sources

Documentary sources, i.e. literature on the topic, are divided into primary and secondary sources. Primary sources include publications, documents, press releases, scientific research reports and speeches from interest groups and their leaders and governments. Most of these data sources are available on the International Rivers Network’s (IRN) website.

Secondary sources consist of literature that pertains to the theory and practice of the case studies. In this case, it is possible to distinguish between core and peripheral secondary data sources. Core theoretical sources include

Hobson’s (2000), The State and International Relations; Mingst’s (1995),

Uncovering the Missing Links: Linkage Actors and their Strategies in Foreign

Policy Analysis

; Rosenau’s (1990), Turbulence in World Politics: A Theory of

Change and Continuity

; Rosenau’s (2003), Distant proximities: Dynamics

beyond globalization

; Risse-Kappen’s (1995), Bringing Transnational Relations

Back In: Non-state Actors, Domestic Structures and International Institutions

;

Turton and Ohlsson’s (1999), Water Scarcity and Social Adaptive Capacity:

Towards an Understanding of the Social Dynamics of Managing Water

Scarcity in Developing Countries

; and Du Plessis’s (2000), Charting the

Course of the Water Discourse through the Fog of International Relations

Theory

. Core sources on interest groups include Truman’s (1951), The

Governmental Process: Political Interests and Public Opinion

; Vose’s (1958),

Litigation as a Form of Pressure Group Politics

; Berry’s (1977), Lobbying for

the People: The Political Behaviour of Public Interest Groups

, and his (1997),

The Interest Group Society

; Blaisdell’s (1958), Pressure Groups, Foreign

Policies, and International Relations

; Chase’s (1945), Democracy Under

Pressure: Special Interests vs. Public Welfare

; Petracca’s (1992), The Politics

of Interests: Interest Groups Transformed

; Richardson, Maloney and Rüdig’s

(2000), The Dynamics of Policy Change: Lobbying and Water Privatization; and Wilson’s (1990), Interest Groups.

In addition, peripheral theoretical sources include Yalem’s (1978),

Transnational Politics

versus International Politics; Holsti’s (1995),

International Politics: A Framework for Analysis

; Soroos’s (1986), Beyond

Sovereignty: The Challenge of Global Politics

; Vincent’s (1999), Non-state

Actors in International Relations

; Viotti and Kauppi’s (1999), International

Relations Theory: Realism, Pluralism, Globalism, and Beyond

; Hjelmar’s

(1996), The Political Practice of Environmental Organizations; and Baylis and

Smith’s (1999), The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to

International Relations

.

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9

Secondary data sources on the case studies can similarly be divided into core

(water politics) and peripheral (international relations) categories. Core data sources include information obtained from numerous newspaper articles in

Beeld

, Business Day, The Citizen, Mail & Guardian, The Namibian and The

Star

. Meissner’s (1998), Water as ‘n bron van politieke konflik en

samewerking: ‘n Vergelykende studie van die situasie in die Midde-Ooste en

Suider-Afrika

, was also utilised.

Peripheral data sources include Payne’s (1996), Non-profit Environmental

Oragnizations in World Politics: Domestic Structure and Transnational

Relations

; McCully’s (1996), Silenced Rivers: The Ecology and Politics of

Large Dams

; Gleick’s (1998), The World’s Water 1998-1999: The Biennial

Report on Freshwater Resources

; Neme’s (1997), The Power of a Few:

Bureaucratic Decision-making in the Okavango Delta

; and Meissner’s (2000c),

Hydropolitical Hotspots in Southern Africa: Will there be a Water War? The

Case of the Kunene River

.

5.2.2. Field Sources

Field data sources consist mainly of unstructured interviews, of a personal, email and telephonic nature. A number of these interviews, pertaining to the case studies, have been conducted with leaders of interest groups. These include the Group for Environmental Monitoring (GEM), the Environmental

Monitoring Group (EMG), International Rivers Network (IRN) and interest groups in Namibia and Lesotho like the Transformation Resource Centre

Interviews were also conducted with officials of the various government departments and other parastatal institutions, involved in the selected WRMPs. These institutions include the South African Department of

Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF), Namibia’s Department of Agriculture,

Water and Rural Development, the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) and the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA). Likewise, scholars were also interviewed. They included academics from the University of

Pretoria (UP), the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) and the African Water

Issues Research Unit (AWIRU) at UP.

6. Methodological Aspects

The methodological aspects concern the approach to, the methods used in and the levels of analysis of the study.

6.1. Approach

The descriptive-analytical approach is applied to the underlying phenomenon of transnationalism. Transnational politics note that state boundaries are no longer a mirror image of the new realities of international relations (Yalem,

1978: 241). These ‘new realities’ are the relations between states and nonstate actors that led to a ‘break down’ of traditional cross-border relationships.

As a result, the approach is based on the perspective of social constructivism, and not on the traditional paradigms of international politics, particularly state-

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10 centric realism and liberal-pluralism. Social constructivism focuses, inter alia, on norms and norm construction by non-state entities in world politics. This suggests that domestic political affairs and international relations are mutually interdependent due to the permeability of state borders by non-state entities, with norm construction playing a central part in the blurring of this distinction.

6.2. Method

The comparative method is used, namely the process of identifying similarities and differences between various units of analysis. Above all, the logic of comparison infers causal deductions and allows for stronger hypotheses. It also allows for the comparison of dissimilar theoretical viewpoints across different situations involving more than one case study. Two distinct types of objects for analysis—the characteristics of individuals and the attributes of whole systems—give rise to the unique role of the comparative method in building explanatory theory (Van Dyke, 1960: 184-185; Mayer, 1989: 42; Rose,

1991: 446; Fourie, 1992: 11; Theen & Wilson, 1996: 2; Mouton, 2001: 154).

What then are the advantages of the comparative method? Comparison brings a sense of perspective to a well-known environment and discourages narrow-minded responses to political issues. This takes place when the researcher is made aware of unexpected differences, or similarities, between cases. More than that, observation of the ways in which political problems are confronted in different circumstances provides valuable opportunities for policy learning and exposure to new ideas and perspectives. Undeniably, the comparative method enables the researcher to assess whether a certain political phenomenon is merely a local issue or a previously unobserved

‘general trend’. An important function thereof is, indeed, the development, testing and refinement of theories. Related to theory refinement, it also improves the researcher’s ability to explain and predict political events.

Importantly, the comparative method permits the empirical determination of the effect of different contexts on any explanatory generalisation. As one observer puts it: ‘Comparative politics is central to the development of political theory. For most sciences, experimentation is the way to test theory, but for political science, comparison is the principal method’ (Peters, 1998: 1). In short, if the Political Sciences are to generate general propositions about politics or world affairs, there is no alternative to comparison. Stated differently, it is necessary to assess the validity of interpretations of specific or even unique political phenomena through comparison (Mayer, 1989:43;

Almond & Powell, 1992: 3; King, Keohane and Verba, 1994; Manheim & Rich,

1995: 245; Hopkin, 2002: 249).

Accordingly, the comparison of elements of the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in Southern African water politics requires the identification of differences and similarities between the case studies. If differences and similarities are not identified, it will lead to a false analogy. A false analogy occurs when a comparison is made based on a few similarities and then to conclude that they are similar in other respects as well. Often, the dissimilarities outweigh the similarities, meaning that all relevant characteristics of the cases have to be taken into account. Hence, criteria for

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11 comparing elements must be selected systematically, and not automatically

(Mouton, 2001: 119).

More than that, the comparative method is qualitative because of the complexity of the subject matter. It is, furthermore, inductive due to the empirical observation of reality. Induction will advance the prospect of adding to the existing knowledge. The method is, moreover, scientific, for the study takes as its object of enquiry a matter that can be highlighted by empirical evidence. The reporting of the procedures and findings will give other observers the chance to judge whether the evidence supports the conclusion of the research or not (Van Dyke, 1960: 184, 186-187). It is for this reason as well that the criteria should be as broad as possible to include as many similarities as dissimilarities.

Despite the application, purposes and characteristics, a number of types of comparative methods are identified: the method of difference, the method of agreement, the method of concomitant variables, most similar and most different, large case study numbers combined with quantitative comparative strategies, small case study numbers combined with the qualitative comparative strategy, single country studies, process and institution studies, typology formation, regional statistical analyses and global statistical analyses.

For this study, the ‘process and institution study’ type will be used. This type of comparative study involves the selection of a small number of examples of a process or an institution that appear similar in some important ways. These instances are then used to indicate the nature of either the process or the institution, or the politics of the countries within which it occurs. As Peters

(1998: 13) puts it: ‘In practice, these case studies are often capable of saying a good deal about the process, as well as a great deal about the countries.

Further, time becomes an important element of the analysis, pointing to additional possibilities of comparisons across time as well as across political systems’ (see also Hopkin, 2002). Just as there are multiple criteria for comparison and types of comparison, there are different levels of analyses.

6.3. Levels of Analysis

A single level of analysis does not confine the study. Traditionally the study of interest groups is usually linked to the sub-national level because it involves their role in the governmental or policy process. In contrast, their transnational role and involvement blur the traditional distinction between subnational, national, regional and the supranational (global) levels of analysis. There is furthermore an obscurity between units of analysis. Rosenau (1990: 119) distinguishes between micro actors (individuals, that is: citizens, official leaders and private actors) and macro actors (collectivities, like states, subgroups, transnational organisations, leaderless publics and movements). For instance, interest group activities are usually confined to the interaction between the subnational and national levels. Nonetheless, because their actions are not limited to domestic politics they are also involved in politics at the global level. An approach will therefore be followed that concentrates on the synthesis between the micro and macro actors and the subnational, national, regional and global levels (see Figure 1).

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12

Figure 1. The focus of the study.

Individual unit

Focus of the study

Global level

Regional

National

Subnational level

Collectivity as a unit

7. Structure of the Study

The study is structured along conventional lines and includes an introduction, a main body and a concluding evaluation. Chapter 1 is the introduction that outlines the methodological aspects. Following this, the study is divided into three parts concerning the theoretical aspects, the case studies and the comparative analysis respectively. Part one clarifies the theoretical foundations of the study with reference to theoretical developments in the water discourse, interest groups as transnational agents and the construction of a framework for analysing the role and involvement of interest groups in the water politics of selected international river basins. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the extent to which contending theoretical perspectives accommodate the water discourse. This is to indicate the attention these theories pay to water politics, interest groups, domestic and international political processes and the relevance of interest groups to water politics.

Chapter 3 deals with interest groups as transnational agents. In this chapter, the concept interest group is defined; the transnational character of interest groups explained; the roles of interest groups described; and the success of interest groups in lobbying assessed. Chapter 4 provides a framework for analysing of the transnational role and involvement and agential power of interest groups and the state.

Part two of the study deals with the selected case studies. Chapter 5 analyses the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the water politics of the Kunene River basin with reference to the proposed Epupa Dam. Chapter

6 analyses the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the water politics of the Orange River basin with reference to Phases 1 A and 1B

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13 of the LHWP. In respect of both case studies the framework for analysis developed in Part One is applied for comparative purposes.

Part Three contains a concluding assessment based on the amalgamation and comparative analysis of the key findings of the two case studies dealt with in a parallel manner in Part Two. Chapter 7 provides a comparative map of and an interpretation of the significance of the two case studies. Chapter 8 is an evaluation that concludes the study with particular reference to the extent to which the research questions have been addressed.

8. Conclusion

It is important to take note of the transnational role and involvement of interest groups and of their political behaviour concerning the policy issue of WRMPs in the developing world. Consequently, knowledge of the activities and actions of these non-state entities will contribute to an understanding of how interest groups interact with government over the planning and execution of WRMPs.

In Southern Africa, governments now more frequently than in the past have to deal with the phenomenon of interest groups opposing WRMPs. Historically,

WRMPs were implemented with little or no opposition from interest groups.

Until the late 1970s and early 1980s, water planners and management in the developed world rarely took the environmental consequences of major water projects or the water resources required to maintain natural environmental assets and values into account. This was also the case in the developing world, when during the 1990s interest groups came to play a more prominent role. Interest groups can influence governments, in a transnational manner, to implement changes affecting the construction of WRMPs. The likely response from project planners may be fear and anger towards these entities. In other words, what is not known is mistrusted.

Apart from this mistrust and opposition, there is already a change in the thinking behind the planning and implementation of WRMPs in developed countries. This transformation is attributed in part to the role and involvement of interest groups. It may be expected that there will be differences in the

modus operandi

of interest groups in the South and the reaction of developing states as opposed to those of states from the North. In spite of this, just as there are new developments concerning the construction of WRMPs, developments in disciplinary theory are also occurring. Hence, the need to consider the theoretical context and dimensions of the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the water politics of the selected international river basins in Southern Africa.

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PART I

THEORETICAL DIMENSIONS

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CHAPTER 2

THEORETICAL DEVELOPMENTS AND THE WATER DISCOURSE:

TOWARDS A CONSTRUCTIVIST SYNTHESIS

1. Introduction

Everyone on a daily basis uses theories

6

, whether they are professional water managers or just lay persons (Walt, 1998: 29). Similarly, scholars of water politics use theories to make sense of the concrete world they observe.

Indeed, as new events and phenomena take form, or old ones are rediscovered, theories are employed to organise, describe, explain and predict the outcome of such events. For instance, over the last decade a new water paradigm has developed on the way humans use and manage water resources. A growing environmental conscience, promoted by interest groups, and the costs involved in building and operating WRMPs influenced the development of this paradigm (Gleick, 1998: 5-33).

Although there is no explicit link between the water discourse (the way scholars ‘speak’ of water politics) and International Relations theoretical perspectives, as the one changes so too does the other. These theoretical perspectives are forever evolving and new developments periodically emerge from the field of water politics. Since a reciprocal association exists between the theoretical abstraction of the world and the concrete realm of water politics, there is an implicit link between theoretical perspectives and water politics.

Moreover, the specific ways in which the water discourse and certain theoretical perspectives are linked indicate the extent to which the discourse is embedded in these perspectives.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish the link between the water discourse and the various theoretical perspectives of International Relations and to contextualise the different theoretical perspectives in relation to water politics. The aim is to develop a theoretical framework to systematically analyse the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in water politics. Stated differently, the real world of interest group involvement in

WRMPs will be linked to abstract theoretical perspectives to produce an answer to the stated research problem. Hence, the purpose is to discuss the link between the water discourse and theoretical perspectives; to outline the development of International Relations theory in relation to the water discourse; to discuss relevant mainstream, positivist theories and their assumptions and to link these theories to water politics; to discuss so-called tributary, reflectivist theory; and to bridge the divide between mainstream and tributary theories with reference to social constructivism.

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For a more in-depth discussion on theories, see Meehan, E.J. (1988) and Ziman, J. (1984).

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2. The Water Discourse and International Relations Theory

Human beings have an intimate relationship with water. Historically, more particularly during the twentieth century, water was rarely the centre of attention of international relations, except in the context of so-called ‘high politics’. However, since the end of the Cold War, water politics has emerged as an issue of practical and scholarly concern that involves and extends to issues other than the physical presence and use of water, such as economics, development, the environment, security and human rights. Thus, the water discourse covers a broad array of issues. Furthermore, water is also of global concern. Consequently, the ‘complexities’ and ‘complexes’ of water have become a fundamental part of world politics during the past two to three decades (Du Plessis, 2000: 9-10). Hence the questions: What is the relationship between the water discourse and International Relations theory?

How does International Relations theory accommodate and deal with the water discourse?

In this respect, Du Plessis (2000: 11) observes that ‘the water discourse appears to navigate an uncertain course through international relations theory, and also seems unsure about (dis)embarkation points and direction-finding beacons’. The level of this uncertainty can be clarified by contextualising theory(ies) underpinning the water discourse in the setting of competing

International Relations theories (Du Plessis, 2000: 11-15). In other words, the water discourse is embedded in or linked to competing theoretical perspectives and therefore shares certain elements with International

Relations.

Stated differently, various aspects of the water discourse are compatible with and relevant to International Relations. For example, the discourse itself also encompasses the environment. Because of the importance of ecology in the discourse, socio-economic development is also involved. The discourse is also linked to and concerned with the idea of security. In addition, security concerns extend to the relationship between environmental change, scarce natural resources, and conflict between international actors. It has furthermore a normative dimension and covers not only issues of value, for instance settled norms like sovereignty and autonomy, but also nascent norms like humanitarian intervention. More than that, the discourse also embraces ethical considerations, for instance the sharing, distribution of and access to scarce resources and the issue of human rights. International and domestic water law also forms part of the discourse as a foundation of order, justice, cooperation and governance. Likewise, the realities of geopolitics are also involved (Stutz & De Souza, 1998: 111; Du Plessis, 2000: 11-15; Turton et al.,

2003: 7-21; Turton, 2003a: 13-15; Wolf, 2003: 1). With this in mind, how do scholars contextualise the water discourse in theoretical terms?

Many scholars do not ‘contextualise the water discourse in a particular theoretical mode’ for example Gleick (1993), Ohlsson (1995a, 1995b), Payne

(1996), Homer-Dixon (1994), Homer-Dixon (1996), Hudson (1996), McCully

(1996), Solomon (1996), Okidi (1997), Percival (1997), Gleick (1998), Percival and Homer-Dixon (1998), Van Wyk (1998), Allan (1999), Fleming (1999),

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Turton (1999) and Meissner (2000a; 2000b). The exception is Swatuk and

Vale (2000), who ‘represent a post-positivist, reflectivist mode of theorising by criticising the current water discourse’ (Du Plessis, 2000: 10). Thus, only a few water discourse scholars are concerned with the importance of theoretical approaches to International Relations.

This being the case, what is the nature of theorising in the water discourse?

Although few academics inside the field are knowledgeable about International

Relations theory, the subject is nevertheless saturated with theory. This is contrary to the opinion of one observer of the discourse who claims that:

‘Another gap being filled here [with a book on the hydropolitical drivers in the

Okavango River basin] is the almost lack of theory about the problematique of international water. With the exceptions of Allan and … Turton, who continued to be a lone voice in the theoretical wilderness for years, and a small smattering of literature (especially Blatter and Ingram’s Reflections on water), the dialogue has been almost devoid of any theoretical underpinnings’ (Wolf,

2003: 1). However, theorising in the water discourse is implicit and subliminal and sheds little light on International Relations theory (Du Plessis, 2000: 10), with the exceptions of Lowi (1993), Meissner (1998) and Turton (2000a). Lowi argues her thesis from the perspective of neo-functionalism; Meissner takes a stand from a liberal-institutionalist position; while Turton, on the other hand, uses political ecology as a theoretical basis. These studies have been conducted within positivist (i.e. Lowi and Meissner) and post-positivist (i.e.

Turton) contexts. This does not mean that Lowi, Meissner and Turton stand apart from other scholars in the water discourse concerning International

Relations theory. Their stance is justified by the practical relevance of theory, because of the systematic manner in which the subject matter of water politics is dealt with (Du Plessis, 2000: 10-11). In spite of this, what is the theoretical position of other scholars in the water discourse?

Most scholars participating in the discourse take ‘an atheoretical or deliberately non-theoretical’ stance. These scholars are usually unfamiliar with international relations theory, other than the International Relations specialists.

Nevertheless, they contribute meaningfully to the water discourse by importing non-political theoretical constructs (Du Plessis, 2000: 10-11). In other words, although the water discourse is characterised by the previously mentioned atheoretical or deliberate non-theoretical character, the subliminal theoretical dimension of the discourse can nevertheless be traced with reference to the development of International Relations theory.

3. The Development and Typology of International Relations Theory

International Relations has always been a contested discipline that has hardly ever been fully accepted or secured. Some see it as a sub-discipline of

Political Science whereas others see it as an interdisciplinary undertaking.

Regardless, the subject matter of International Relations changed considerably over time. During the 1990s the most spectacular changes occurred, due mainly to the end of the Cold War. In addition, International

Relations is a divided, dividing, disordered and disagreed about discipline (Du

Plessis, 2000: 15). To a certain extent, this is partly due to ‘real world’

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18 occurrences in world politics that have influenced the growth and development of International Relations. Every ‘traumatic’ development (e.g. the First and

Second World Wars and the end of the Cold War) that brought about change in world politics, also affected the theoretical outlook of International Relations approaches to deal with the fact that these adjustments on the international stage only compounded the confusion (Nye, 1993; Halliday, 1994: 7).

In any event, the reason for International Relations disarray is the divisive impact of manifold theoretical approaches that provide a wide range of conceptual frameworks. To some degree, International Relations relies heavily on other disciplines, from both the natural and social sciences, for intellectual advancement. Its scholars are major importers of ideas and seldom ‘lead or influence public debate’ (Du Plessis, 2000: 15-16). They can therefore be seen as passive participants. Moreover, they sing with many voices, many songs at the same time and propose or introduce ‘new’ approaches on a regular basis and meet each other in ‘great debates’

(Halliday, 1994: 7; Bull, 2000; Du Plessis, 2000: 15-16; Smith, 2000: 568).

3.1. The ‘Great Debates’

The first great debate took place from the 1920s to the 1940s. During this period, realism and idealism were pitted against each other. This debate had an ontological preoccupation with international relations (what is it that we know?) and concerned a theory ‘of being’. This distinction (between idealism and realism) was based on the nature of humankind as being either altruistic or egotistical. The second great debate, between traditionalism and behaviouralism, raged from the 1950s to the 1960s. It concentrated on methodological concerns (how should we go about the business of knowing?) and introduced a theory ‘of doing’ based on the character of the ‘classical’

versus

‘scientific’ method (Nye, 1993: 36; Halliday, 1994: 10, 11; Bull, 2000:

60; Du Plessis, 2000: 16; Smith, 2000: 568; Alker & Biersteker, 2000: 105;

Sanders, 2002: 46). Between the 1920s and 1960s, International Relations theory saw a remarkable degree of development. Not only had its focus moved from an ontological to a methodological dimension, but also from a more emotional to a practical modus operandi. This development did not terminate at the end of the 1960s, but has continued to the present.

The third great debate, from the 1970s to the 1980s, was the so-called interparadigm debate. It took place between the proponents of the contending perspectives of realism, liberalism (liberal-pluralism) and radicalism (Marxist and neo-Marxist structuralism/globalism); three paradigms that are seen as different versions of one world and not as three authentic alternative views of international relations. Since this debate was all about epistemology (how we know what we know?), it introduced a theory ‘of knowing’. This entailed the introduction of alternative renditions of the international system, ‘in response to the dominance of realism’. Being incommensurable the contending perspectives were quite tolerant of each other (Halliday, 1994: 16-19; Smith,

1999a: 38; Du Plessis, 2000: 17; Marsch & Furlong, 2002: 20).

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The debate also transformed realism into neo-realism and liberalism into neoliberal institutionalism. This transformation led to a neo-neo-synthesis, called rational institutionalism. Both perspectives underwent anti-metaphysical theoretical minimalism that made the perspectives progressively compatible in a number of ways. Firstly, these perspectives are steadfastly positivist.

Secondly, they also shared a common research programme, conception of science and fundamental premises. Because of the third debate, traditional research projects and agendas returned (Du Plessis, 2000: 17). There was also ‘a critical turn, with scholars preoccupied by the more fundamental implications of the metatheoretical distinctions of the third debate, engaging themselves in a re-examination of its basic assumptions’ (Smith, 1999a: 38).

It might have been expected that, due to the neo-neo-synthesis, International

Relations theory had stopped developing. This was not the case, and at around the beginning of the 1990s, another debate in International Relations appeared.

Rationalism (neo-realist/neo-liberal synthesis) and reflectivism engaged each other during this fourth debate. In effect, the critical aspect of this debate is incommensurability. As a result, reflectivists and rationalists do not converse with one another much, since they do not share a common language. In addition, processes and institutions are given a behavioural conception by rationalism. These processes and institutions alter behaviour but not identities and interests. Reflectivism, on the other hand, explains identities and interests (Halliday, 1994: 37; Du Plessis, 2000: 17; Wendt, 2000: 615,

617). ‘Furthermore, among rationalists and reflectivists, there is an absence of repressive tolerance in the form of a similar self-understanding of the relationship among positions. There is also a reciprocal lack of recognition about legitimate parallel enterprises, since these are believed to be linked to contending social agendas and political projects. Rationalists and reflectivists see each other as harmful, and at times, almost “evil”. According to reflectivists, mainstream theories are co-responsible for upholding a repressive order’ (Du Plessis, 2000: 17).

This intolerance is reinforced by the fact that International Relations scholars have defined neo-realism as ‘the dominant position’. By doing this, it has emphasised its ‘totalising and monological theories’, and the influential position neo-realists occupy among the ‘gatekeepers’ of the discipline (Du

Plessis, 2000: 17). Viewed in this way, and because rationalists and reflectivists see each other as harmful and even ‘evil’, it could be assumed that International Relations is a stagnating discipline. However, the contrary is the case.

These great debates have not subjected questions of epistemology to serious scrutiny. What was rather the case, was that International Relations had accepted a plain and an unchallenged set of positivist assumptions. What is significant about positivism is that its empiricist epistemology prescribes what can be studied for it determines what matters in international relations. The unquestioning acceptance of this positivist epistemology has suffocated debate over the characteristics of the world and how it can be explained. In this respect, positivism has been dominating International Relations theory for

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20 the past 40 years and more and has defined the character and content of the great debates in International Relations theory (Smith, 1999a: 38). This in itself has led to the growth of the discipline over time.

Notwithstanding the temporal trend (from one great debate to another) in

International Relations, the discipline has a tendency to organise itself through

‘a constant oscillation between grand debates and periods in-between where the previous contestants meet’ (Wæver, 1996: 175). The latter is referred to as an ‘interregnum’ or ‘after the fourth debate’ scheme. Put differently, the discipline is awaiting the ‘arrival’ of a leading theoretical perspective. Either way, reflectivism has been de-radicalised and rephilosophised; meaning that there is a move towards linkage principles. Reflectivism is no longer the dominant ‘other’ (radical) perspective going against positivism. The culmination of these associational principles is the increasingly marginalisation of extreme rationalism and anti-International Relations approaches

(deconstructvists) and the appearance of a middle ground (social constructivism) where neo-institutionalists from the rationalist side come together with the constructivists from the reflectivist side (Wæver, 1997: 22-

25).

In spite of its apparent stagnating character, International Relations further developed during the fourth debate. Some elements from rationalism (neoinstitutionalists) started to embrace elements (constructivism) from the reflectivist side. The rise of constructivism has stimulated ongoing development of International Relations because of its bridging ability. Where is constructivism located on the spectrum of International Relations theory?

Constructivism ‘sits precisely at the intersection between the two sets of approaches … that is between both rationalist and reflectivist approaches. It does this because it deals with the same features of world politics that are central to both the neo-realist and the neo-liberal components of rationalism, and yet is centrally concerned with both the meanings actors give to their actions and the identity of these actors, each of which is a central theme of reflectivist approaches’ (Smith, 1997: 183). It also deals with the impact of the

‘ideational’ on the ‘material’. Thus, constructivism can be seen as a bridge (via

media

) between rationalism and reflectivism, because it deals with normative aspects (from reflectivism) that impact on the ‘real world’ (as espoused by rationalism) (Smith, 1999b: 682, 683).

Where does this leave the water discourse? The water discourse is primarily implanted by and also representative of mainstream theorising (rationalism) that has a positivist, explanatory and problem-solving nature. ‘Since competing conceptions are, with few exceptions, mostly underdeveloped, marginalised or even silenced, there is a need and opportunity for conciliatory, extra-paradigmatic theorising and bridge-building’ (Du Plessis, 2000: 12). It is because of this need for ‘extra-paradigmatic theorising and bridge building’ that this chapter attempts to introduce social constructivism as a ‘via media’ theoretical component to the subject matter being discussed—interest groups and water politics.

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The water discourse is furthermore situated within the fourth debate and perhaps even in the ‘after the fourth debate’ project (Du Plessis, 2000: 18).

The reason for this is that the water discourse developed during the third debate (late 1970s to mid-1980s) and its development is slowly ‘catching’ up with further developments within International Relations theory. In this context,

Swatuk and Vale (2000) use the metaphor of ‘swimming upstream’ and ‘down stream’ to emphasise conflicting approaches to the water discourse and

International Relations theorising. When ‘swimming upstream’ a scholar goes against the mainstream rationalism (Du Plessis, 2000: 18).

How can this stalemate, referred to by Du Plessis, be avoided? An alternative of a non-zero-sum metaphor is promoted to progress the discourse to the

‘after the fourth debate’ realm. Regarding this, the metaphor of ‘mainstream’ and ‘tributary’ can be used to connote the dominant and marginal theoretical discourses. ‘Irrespective of their relative strengths or the course each takes, both navigate through the foggy landscape of international relations theory to replenish a common issue-field characterised by [transnational interest groups]. In addition, provision is made for “conduit” construction that merges the main and tributary flows and that may, as a rapprochement, open up a middle ground’ (Du Plessis, 2000: 18). This rapprochement is shown in Figure

2.

With this, Du Plessis (2000) is attempting to advance the development of the water discourse. He does this by advocating that the scholar should take a particular ‘theoretical stand’ and then do practical research within the framework of this theoretical approach. This can be achieved through the cross-fertilisation of both practical research within the water discourse and knowledge contained within International Relations theory, and will (or is expected to) contribute to the development of the water discourse as well as the discipline of International Relations. New thinking in and about the water discourse will be introduced by the cross-fertilisation between practical research and knowledge contained in International Relations theory.

3.2. Mainstream Theories

Mainstream theories have a number of generic characteristics. They are firstly

‘scientific’ or positivist formulations. They offer rational and explanatory renditions of international relations (Porter, 1994: 21; Devetak, 1996: 147; Du

Plessis, 2000: 18-19; Du Plessis, 2001: 16). Explanatory theories are those that view the world as something external to the theories that explain the phenomena contained within world politics (Smith, 1997: 167). These mainstream theories are also foundationalist. ‘They represent an epistemological position which assumes that all claims about some feature of the world can be judged true or false’ (Du Plessis, 2000: 19) and view the world independently of knowledge about this world. Moreover, because they are positivist, rational, foundational and explanatory, mainstream theories are also problem-solving theories.

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Figure 2. International Relations theory in the fourth debate.

International Relations Theory in the Fourth Debate

Mainstream

(Rationalist) Theories

Generic

Characteristics

• Positivist

• Problem Solving

• Rationalist

• Empirical

• Foundationalist

• Explanatory

Tributary (Reflectivist)

Theories

Generic

Characteristics

• Post-positivist

• Critical

• Reflectivist

• Normative

• Anti-foundationalist

• Constitutive

Realism Liberal-Pluralism Modernity

Interest Group Pluralism

Interest Group Corporatism

Hydrosocial Contract Theory

Risk Society

Political Ecology

Social

Constructivism

After Smith, 1999c and Du Plessis, 2000.

They embrace the world as they find it, which includes the predominant social and power relationships and institutions, and make use of them as a framework for action (Du Plessis, 2000: 19; Marsch & Furlong, 2002: 22).

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These theories therefore build on an existing world where social and power relationships and institutions, with their various actors, are at the order of the day. Based on this foundation, they attempt to solve the problems of the world inherent therein, and due to these social and power relationships and institutions.

3.3. Tributary Theories

Tributary theories are reflectivist theories of international relations. Generically they are the opposites of positivist theories. They have a self-reflective nature

(Wæver, 1997: 20; Du Plessis, 2000: 22), meaning that they are an assemblage of post-positivist theories. These include normative theory, feminist theory, critical theory, postmodernism and historical sociology (Smith,

1997: 168; Linklater, 2000a: 15; Keohane, 1988). ‘As critical conceptions, they reflect on the origins and conditions of different perspectives, and view theory as irreducibly related to social and political life’ (Du Plessis, 2000: 22). Their critical disposition is based on the assumption that ‘theory is always for someone and for some purpose’ and that there is ‘no such thing as theory in itself, divorced from a standpoint in time and space’ (Cox & Sinclair, 1996: 87).

In other words, reflectivist theories contend that theory rationalises, reifies and legitimises the present order of international affairs (Burchill, 1996a: 1-2; Du

Plessis, 2000: 22). Within the context of reflectivist theories, a direct link is made between what is happening in the real world and how this is theorised about.

Following from this, reflectivist theories question the purported apolitical nature of positivist theorising and therefore reject the assumptions of positivism. Thus, critical, reflectivist theories challenge this ‘use’ of rational, mainstream theories (Smith, 1999a: 39; Du Plessis, 2000: 22-23). By questioning the apolitical nature of positivist theories, reflectivist theories are or become more ‘political’. This means that reflectivist theories do not develop from occurrences in world politics, like many mainstream theories

(e.g. realism), but help to bring them about and to shape them (and ultimately the world). Therefore, reflectivist theories attempt to proactively influence world politics and the actors operating within it.

Reflectivist theories are, therefore, constitutive (not explanatory), implying theory constitutes reality. Phrased in another way, human reflection plays an important role in the development of the nature and character of world politics.

Thus, reflectivists believe that theories help to construct the world (Burchill,

1996a: 15; Smith, 1997: 167; Du Plessis, 2000: 23). Reflectivist theories are therefore more politically ‘active’ than positivist theories and because of this, become self-confirming, to the extent that the concepts about the world shape the world to what it is.

Reflectivist theories are also anti-foundationalist. They represent an epistemological position that assumes that assertions about some phenomena of the world cannot be judged as either true or false. The reason for this is that there are no neutral grounds on which to do so (Smith, 1997: 167-169; Du

Plessis, 2000: 23). If these theories would have been neutral, their political

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24 active nature would be neutralised and they would become mere mirror images of world politics. In addition, of importance is that they are postmodern and therefore reject modernity. ‘They demonstrate an incredulity towards meta-narratives by focussing on “power-knowledge” relationships and textual strategies, which include deconstruction’ (Du Plessis, 2000: 23).

In this last instance, theories of international relations sustain and educate international practice. As one observer puts it: ‘Once established as common sense, theories become incredibly powerful since they delineate not simply what can be known but also what it is sensible to talk about or suggest …

Theories do not simply explain or predict, they tell us what possibilities exist for human action and intervention; they define not merely our explanatory possibilities but also our ethical and practical horizons’ (Smith, 1999a: 39-40).

This is one of the main characteristics of reflectivist, if not all theories of international relations.

3.4. Reflectivist and Rationalist Theories and the Water Discourse

How do these reflectivist and rationalist theories relate to the water discourse?

The water discourse has been predominantly situated within the mainstream of

International Relations theory that explained elements associated with the physical presence and use of water from a positivist perspective. Because the theories delineate what is acceptable to talk about, many scholars, writing from a positivist perspective, have thereby subliminally defined what can and cannot be talked (researched) about in the water discourse. Thus, they produced a discursive elite and hegemonic (dominant) theories or perspectives. This has influenced the subject matter (state versus state, state

and

state) that is researched. Any break with this trend will have a profound impact on the water discourse and the broadening of knowledge about state and interest group relations.

On rare occasions, has the water discourse ventured into the realm of tributary, reflectivist theorising, as attested by Swatuk and Vale’s (2000) writing. The challenge is to go beyond the mainstream and tributary theories.

This does not mean that these (mainstream and tributary) theoretical perspectives should be rejected. What needs to be done is to search for a middle ground where the two approaches meet; to develop the water discourse from there; and also to assist the development of the discipline and theory of International Relations.

In the following section, a selection of theories will be discussed. These theories are placed on a spectrum indicating the extent to which they are state-centric or not. These theories are realism, liberal-pluralism, interest group pluralism, interest group corporatism, modernity, risk society theory, the hydrosocial contract theory (HSCT) and political ecology. Following the discussion of their basic assumptions and relevance to the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in water politics, social constructivism will be outlined as a possible middle ground perspective.

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4. Theories and Water Politics

4.1 The Realist Perspective

Realism is the most dominant theoretical perspective in International

Relations. Because of this, it is seen as the orthodoxy and the classical practice of thinking about world politics (Nye, 1993: 3; Halliday, 1994: 11;

Buzan, 1996: 47). Realism is also described as ‘a broad research program that contains a host of competing theories’, exemplified by the fact that realists disagree about a number of key beliefs (Walt, 1997: 932). Thus, realism is not a single, unified theory (Lynn-Jones, 1999: 54), although all realists embrace statism, self-help and survival (Gabriel, 1994: 157-165; Dunne, 1997a: 114).

The assumptions of realism are built around and linked to these core themes.

It is in this regard that realism is distinguished from liberal-pluralism (its main theoretical rival), and all other theoretical perspectives of International

Relations (Buzan, 1996: 47).

4.1.1. Basic Assumptions

Realists subscribe to a number of basic assumptions about international relations, based on statism, self-help and survival. First, realists argue that the state is the most important actor and a permanent institution in international and domestic politics (Dunne, 1997a: 114; Kegley & Wittkopf, 1997: 22; Du

Plessis, 2000: 19). In effect, the decision-makers of the state are also perceived as important actors although not a permanent feature like the state

(Mansbach & Vasquez, 1981: 5). Moreover, states are unitary and rational actors when confronted with and solving problems (Viotti & Kauppi, 1999: 6).

Methodologically, the state is the most important unit of analysis and interstate relations the most important level of analysis (De Senarclens, 1991: 6;

Dunne, 1997a: 114). Non-state entities have a status of lesser importance, because governments representing states are the only institutions that can formulate, implement and enforce laws (Viotti & Kauppi, 1999: 6). Realists therefore focus on explaining the behaviour of states and tend to pay less attention to individuals and transnational actors (Lynn-Jones, 1999: 55).

Second, realists assume that sovereignty must first be established before civil society can start operating. Power flows from the state to civil society and not the other way around. The state must first establish sovereignty in the domestic realm before projecting it onto the international domain (Dunne,

1997a: 114). However, realists divorce the domestic sphere from the international realm.

Third, they agree that power is employed by states to pursue national interests and achieve goals (Brown, 1997: 34; Gilbert, 1992: 14). Fourth, realists are of the opinion that states need individual power because of the anarchical international system (the absence of any overarching sovereignty) to guarantee their survival. Anarchy is the distinguishing feature of the international system (Mastanduno, Lake & Ikenberry, 1989: 462; Lebow, 1994:

250; Brown, 1997: 34; Lynn-Jones, 1999: 55). As a result of which, states seek to maximise their power to provide security within the international realm

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(Lynn-Jones, 1999: 55). Stated more strongly, state survival must always be the minimum aim of foreign policy. Every state is obliged to protect ‘the physical, political, and cultural identity against encroachments by other nations’ (Morgenthau, 1978: 4; Dougherty & Pfalzgraff, 1990: 96).

Fifth, realists assume that if a state wishes to survive, moral principles should not influence decisions. More specifically, morality can induce excessive caution into policies, thereby jeopardising its national interest (Dunne, 1997a:

116). In the words of one observer, ‘a nation’s survival is its first responsibility; it cannot be compromised or put to risk’ (Kissinger, 1977: 204). Sixth, in an anarchical system, realists regard self-help as one of the most important principles in world affairs because other entities cannot guarantee or accomplish the state’s national interests (Burchill, 1996b; Brown, 1997: 47;

Kegley & Wittkopf, 1997: 22; Lynn-Jones, 1999: 55).

Lastly, realists agree that state policies are prioritised according to a fixed hierarchy of national interests. Accordingly, the state’s security considerations, involving unilateral action and orthodox power politics, come first (Berejikian & Dryzek, 2000: 194). Notwithstanding these basic assumptions, what is realism’s relation to water politics?

4.1.2. Realism and Water Politics

Because of realism’s state centric approach to international relations, the theoretical perspective is too narrow to explain the phenomena of transnational interest groups in water politics. Although, aspects of realist assumptions explain some elements of transnational interest group involvement in international river basins, these elements would mostly be hidden and implicit. For instance, it is not obvious whether states are implementing WRMPs to serve the national interest, or for survival. A realist analysis of security issues might lead to a securitisation of water politics. In a similar manner, realism does not elaborate much on the low political issue of

WRMPs, because securitised high politics come first.

Likewise, issues of morality and ethics, contained in interest group lobbying activities, are also not adequately explained by realism. Because of the hierarchical relationship between domestic and international relations, with interest groups from civil society playing a lesser role, realism is too

‘exclusive’ an approach to the subject matter. It does not explain, adequately the transnationality of interest groups in water politics because of its separation of domestic and international affairs. Transnational interest groups do play a role in water politics, not only because of their existence and actions in world affairs, but because they matter. Realism therefore does not adequately incorporate interest groups, giving them inconsequential status in world affairs, subject to the dominant role of states and state agential power.

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4.2. Liberal-pluralist Perspectives

Five liberal-pluralist perspectives are of note, namely conventional liberalpluralism, interest group pluralism, interest group corporatism, modernity and the hydrosocial contract theory.

4.2.1. Conventional Liberal-pluralism

Liberal-pluralism is an approach to international relations that is distinguishable from and theoretically contrasted to realism (Stone, 1994: 459;

Nel, 1999: 58). Theoretically, it opposes realism, but liberal-pluralism is not a tenacious ‘school of thought’. It embraces a number of theoretical perspectives, namely complex interdependence; regime theory; liberal internationalism; idealism; liberal institutionalism; neo-liberal internationalism; neo-idealism; neo-liberal institutionalism; interest group liberalism; transnationalism; functionalism; neo-functionalism; integration theory; multilateralism and sociological liberalism. These different perspectives give liberal-pluralism the characteristics of a paradigm (Kegley & Wittkopf, 1997:

31-35, 132-133; Dunne, 1997b: 147, 150-159; Viotti & Kauppi, 1999: 203-204,

210-219).

As with realism, the liberal-pluralist perspective does not constitute a unified theoretical approach to international relations. The liberal-pluralist perspective of world politics rests on the foundation of liberal ideas and values, with emphasis on individuals and universal principles (Hutchings, 1999: 12, 144).

These liberal ideas are contained in the basic assumptions of liberal-pluralism.

4.2.1.1. Basic Assumptions

Liberal-pluralists hold a number of basic assumptions about world affairs.

First, they argue that states are not the most important actors in international relations. Other actors, like interest groups and individuals, can also exhibit autonomous preferences (Stone, 1994: 460; Nel, 1999: 61). Non-state entities play important and increasing roles in world politics, and influence states (or the governments of states) on the determination of national interests

(Viotti & Kauppi, 1999: 199). Second, they reject the ‘billiard ball image’ that realists have about world affairs in favour of a ‘cobweb perspective’ of diverse linkages between actors, based on highly complex and multiple interdependent relations (Heywood, 1997: 144; Stern, 2000: 28-29).

Third, liberal-pluralists replace sovereignty with autonomy, as a settled norm, to recognise an array of non-state entities. Fourth, they assume that states are not as ‘solid’ as realists see them, but more permeable

7

(Heywood, 1997:

144). Fifth, they argue that states are not ‘like units’. They are composed differently with not all possessing the same type of government (Stone, 1994:

59). States consist of citizens, interest groups, local authorities and

7

The reason for this is that modern technology, especially communication and military and industrial expansion, brought about the reduction of government control over the actions of their citizens and those actors who operate or function outside the territory of the state (Stern,

2000: 29).

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28 government departments, in continuous competition with each other. If the state is seen as a unitary actor, there can be no variety of subnational and transnational actors exerting influence on the state (Viotti & Kauppi, 1999:

200).

Sixth, liberal-pluralists assume that there is no clear distinction between domestic and international politics, as is the case with realism

8

. The realms are interdependent. What happens in the one will affect the other. States or any other political institution represent some subset of domestic society

9

(Moravcsik, 1997: 249). Lastly, they assume that cooperation, within the international system, between liberal-democratic states is quite normal. This is because the present international order is perceived as liberal (Stone, 1994:

459; Barnett, 1997: 529).

4.2.1.2. Liberal-pluralism and Water Politics

Liberal-pluralism offers a more realistic explanation of the subject matter than realism. The reason for this is that it not only focuses on states but on a plurality of non-state actors, including interest groups. It also sees international relations as a cobweb, wherein interest groups play an important function. Because states are composed of a number of distinct units (e.g. interest groups and individuals) liberal-pluralists not only recognise the existence of these entities but also their role in world affairs. Whereas realists believe that international institutions cannot affect the behaviour of states, liberal-pluralists think these institutions can. Moreover, liberal-pluralism sees the identities and interests of actors as given. In effect, institutions affect the behaviour of actors, but not their identities and interests (Smith, 1997: 171,

184). Because of this stance on the identities and interests of actors, liberalpluralism is still too narrow to explain the subject matter. It assumes that interest groups will stand in either a conflictual or a cooperative relationship with the state. More than that, interest groups can impose morality onto state behaviour when lobbying against WRMPs. The liberal-pluralist perspective ignores this aspect of interest group behaviour.

4.2.2. Interest Group Pluralism

Interest group pluralism falls under the rubric of liberal-pluralism, although it is a separate, predominantly Political Science perspective. The basis of the liberal-pluralist view of International Relations lies in the image exemplified by many scholars of the domestic political domain, namely that ‘[i]nternational political processes are not all that different from, and may even be considered an extension of, those conducted within the boundaries of a given state’ (Viotti

& Kauppi, 1999: 203). Pluralists see international politics as an extension of the domestic political order (Viotti & Kauppi, 1999: 203). Being located under liberal-pluralism, interest group pluralism is a mainstream, rationalist theory.

8

For instance, Henry Kissinger (1966: 503), a staunch realist remarks: ‘[T]he domestic structure is taken as given; foreign policy begins where domestic politics ends’.

9

Rosenau (1967: 4), a liberal-pluralist, is of the opinion that ‘domestic factors may be of considerable significance even if they are not primary sources of foreign policy, and on some issues they may well be dominant’.

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The theory explains government and interest group relations within the domestic political domain. Interest group pluralism is one of the most dominant theories that analyses interest group and state relations (Smith,

1993: 15).

4.2.2.1. Basic Assumptions

Interest group pluralism has a number of basic assumptions. First, interest group pluralists assume that interest groups are important actors in broadening the representation of citizens in domestic political systems

(Huggins & Turner, 1997: 390). Second, they argue that political power is widely dispersed among interest groups in liberal democracies (Ball, 1988:

30). The reason for this is that a variety of interest groups exerts influence over government that is amenable or responsive to their views, opinions and stances. Interest groups are therefore successful in influencing policy outcomes because they all have insider status to the governmental process

(Smith, 1993: 15-16; Moore & Roberts, 1992: 223). Third, interest group pluralists argue that not a single elite group dominates each political sector of society (Hague, Harropp & Breslin, 1998: 125). There is a balance of power between various interest groups and between those groups and the ruling elite. Fourth, they postulate that interest groups establish themselves around common interests and mutual threats (Davies, 1996: 343). Any threat to society will produce interest groups that respond or counteract it.

Fifth, interest group pluralists surmise that individuals belong to different interest groups and represent and may advance a number of interests at the same time (Cummings & Wise, 1971: 212). Sixth, they argue that the state possesses disproportionate amounts of resources, relative to the rest of society, which it transforms into political power. Interest groups counter the use of state political power. Government officials react to the inputs of miscellaneous interest groups concerning different issues and interests and attempt to strengthen their own power base accordingly. Interest groups can force elites more effectively to respond to a wide range of constituencies than a small group of influential individuals (Smith, 1993: 16; Berry, 1997: 11).

Stated differently, political power is diluted throughout the domestic political system by interest groups. Seventh, interest group pluralists assume that society dominates the state. The state is a mere domain or arena of competition between various interest groups. Thus, interest groups compete with one another on a level political ‘playing field’ (Moore & Roberts, 1992:

223; Hague, Harropp & Breslin, 1998: 124-125). Lastly, interest groups determine and establish policy agendas and public interests, relative to society’s organised interests (Viotti & Kauppi, 1999: 204).

4.2.2.2. Interest Group Pluralism and Water Politics

Interest group pluralism is useful in explaining certain issues and phenomena of interest groups and their involvement in water politics, such as the variety of governmental and non-governmental actors so engaged. It also informs scholars about the establishment of interest groups around common interests and mutual threats, for instance communities threatened by displacement due

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30 to the construction of large dams. However, the theory is too narrowly focussed to explain the subject matter. It concentrates too much on the importance of interest groups in society. Interest group pluralism does not have a transnational focus and tends to generalise about interest group politics within liberal democracies. Accordingly, government plays a lesser role, since it is dominated by society. In the field of water politics, such a situation might not necessarily apply. It is therefore ontologically flawed. The theory also does not provide explanations on how interest groups influence the identity, interests and morality of government.

4.2.3. Interest Group Corporatism

The corporatist model of interest group politics juxtaposes the interest group pluralist view (Richardson, 1993a: 13). Like pluralism, corporatism places a high premium on the role of interest groups in society (Huggins & Turner,

1997: 390). However, interest group corporatists differ on how government interact with interest groups. Like interest group pluralism, interest group corporatism also reports on the relationship between government and interest groups, but in a distinctive manner.

4.2.3.1. Basic Assumptions

Interest group corporatism supports a number of basic assumptions. First, interest group corporatists, like interest group pluralists, assume that interest groups as such are a central element in the understanding of politics and the related processes of group and government behaviour (Huggins & Turner,

1997: 390). Second, they emphasise the need for the integration of particular interest groups into the decision making process. Economic and functional

(e.g. labour) interest groups are emphasised as important and are seen to have insider status in the governmental process. More often than not, government benefits from the services and expertise of these interest groups.

Third, interest group corporatists assume that political power is concentrated in the hands of a few interest groups (Smith, 1993: 1, 28). Fourth, because certain groups have an insider status, there exists a tripartite arrangement within society, organised between labour, capital (business) and government

(Heywood, 1997:257; Sellars, 1997:3). Within such a system the policymaking process will be determined by consultation and bargaining between these three groups (Huggins & Turner, 1997: 390).

Fifth, interest group corporatists argue that because of tripartitism, there exists a hierarchy of interest groups in society (Heywood, 1997: 258). Economic and functional interest groups top this hierarchy. Sixth, they assume that government is not a neutral moderator and actor when interacting with interest groups. It chooses which groups will be consulted and how and for what reason public policy should be implemented. No levelled political playing field exists on which interest groups compete (Huggins & Turner, 1997: 390).

Government decisions are therefore made and implemented after close consultation with major interest groups (Wilson, 1990: 35; Sadie, 1998: 283).

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Seventh, interest group corporatists argue that government sanctions interest groups that are characterised by a top-down decision making process, with government at the crest of the hierarchy. Lastly, interest groups do not lobby government as such. They rather negotiate with government, which means that they exert influence from a relatively autonomous position in society

(Sellars, 1997: 3, 4).

4.2.3.2. Interest Group Corporatism and Water Politics

Interest group corporatism, like its rival interest group pluralism, is useful in explaining interest groups and their involvement in the politics of WRMPs. It clarifies why environmental and human rights interest groups are not successful in their endeavours to influence action against WRMPs—they are not part of the tripartite political arrangement. Yet, based on the assumptions of interest group corporatism, the theory is too narrow to explain the transnational role and involvement of interest groups lobbying against

WRMPs for a number of reasons. Firstly, it concentrates exclusively on associational and economic interest groups. These groups will in rare cases lobby against a WRMP. Secondly, and because it assumes that interest groups do not lobby but negotiate with government, it is uninformative about the lobbying process. Thirdly, it does not focus on the transnational role and involvement of interest groups. It explains mainly their domestic operation.

Lastly, and similar to interest group pluralism, it does not shed light on how interest groups influence the identities, interests and moral character of society and government.

4.2.4. Modernity

Modernity is a sociological perspective, but it is relevant to international relations because it focuses on a number of aspects like the state, non-state actors and processes and systems contained within world affairs, like capitalism. The theory takes the state and societal relations as given.

Empirically it deals with what is—the state and interest group relations within the domain of modern society (Viotti & Kauppi, 1999: 5). This is especially relevant when considering how the theory explains the rise of modernity.

Modernity arose from a number of revolutions that swept the world a few centuries ago. Most notable of these is the Industrial Revolution that caused the final collapse of the medieval world with its characteristic rigid feudal system and guilds, a revolution that gave people more economic freedom and that led to the early growth of capitalism (Adams, 1993: 26).

4.2.4.1. Basic Assumptions

Modernity is based on a number of assumptions. First, it contends that modernity and the progression of human society through the modern modes of economic production go hand-in-hand. For Simmel

10

the nucleus of modernity is the city and the capitalist (money) economy. Within the capitalist system,

Giddens (1990) describes the contemporary era ‘as a juggernaut’ (Ritzer,

10

In Sociology, Simmel is seen as the first sociologist to give attention to modernity (Ritzer,

2000: 556).

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2000: 557). On this point, the juggernaut of modernity is seen as ‘a runaway engine of enormous power which, collectively as human beings, we can drive to some extent but which also threatens to rush out of control and which could rend itself asunder’ (Giddens, 1990: 139). In short, this juggernaut has more power than those who are controlling it.

Second, modernity theorists assume that modernity manifests itself in four institutions. The first is capitalism, characterised by commodity production, private ownership of capital, propertyless wage labour, and a class system derived from these characteristics. Capitalist modernity is also intrinsically productivist, for it creates fresh needs for its own survival. This is done by using all means at its disposal, from the satisfaction of basic human needs to development assistance. The second is industrialism involving the use of power resources to produce commodities (Ritzer, 2000: 558; Haralambos &

Holborn, 2000: 646; Comeliau, 2002: 57). Industrialism is embedded in all spheres of society like transport systems, communication and domestic life.

The third is surveillance capabilities that concern the observation of the movements and activities of citizens of a state within, but not always, the political domain (Giddens, 1990: 56, 58). Hence, modernists argue that the state is largely concerned with surveillance capabilities. Military power or the

‘control of the means of violence’ is the fourth element, with the state playing a central role in this element as well (Ritzer, 2000: 558).

Third, modernity theorists assume that social movements developed in correspondence with these four institutional dimensions of modernity

(Haralambos & Holborn, 2000: 646-647). Labour movements, and trade unions developed alongside capitalism. Democratic or free speech movements evolved parallel to the surveillance dimension of modernity.

Peace and ecological movements respectively, developed laterally with the military and industrial dimensions (Ritzer, 2000: 562, 560, 556, 558).

Fourth, modernity can bring about both positive and negative change. For instance, industrialisation can lead to better living standards and yet, at the same time create risks such as water pollution. These risks are global in severity, like the global environmental crisis. Fifth, modernity is not static but dynamic. Three factors describe this dynamism namely distanciation, disembedding and reflexivity (Ritzer, 2000: 562, 560, 556, 558). Only reflexivity is relevant to this study and will be discussed in more detail. It is described as those ‘social practices [that] are constantly examined and reformed in light of incoming information about those very practices, thus constitutively altering their character’ (Giddens, 1990: 38). This examination of social practices produces constant change and a permanent state of uncertainty. Indeed, security can be guaranteed in a number of areas such as the provision of water and hydroelectricity, but it can also create risks. In a reflexive environment, all knowledge is constantly reviewed and is always likely to be revised giving it a reflexive character, and thus involves the reflective monitoring of actions (Haralambos & Holborn, 2000: 1076).

In short, every aspect of the contemporary world can be reflected upon.

Lastly, interest groups can play an important role in the reflexive dynamism of

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33 modernity. They can deal with some of the risks and point to a society in which risks can be improved (Ritzer, 2000: 560). They are symptomatic of the growing inability of the state—and wealth creators—to appear authoritative and hence legitimate (Pettman, 1991: 160).

4.2.4.2. Modernity and Water Politics

To a certain extent, modernity as a theoretical perspective is useful and relevant research into water politics. It explains trends in public perceptions on the environment and the hazards relating to the environment during the phase of industrial modernity. These shifts in public perception are attributed to the reflexivity of social movements, comprising a number of special interest groups. Modernity is also useful for analysing the social and political approaches to the environment and the manner in which water resource utilisation has been perceived since the 1970s

11

(Allan, 1999: 3). Since the

1970s, interest groups have rejected the hydraulic mission as a practice that impacts negatively on the environment and humans. On the other hand, modernity is too narrow a perspective to explain the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in water politics, due to its domestic societal focus. It also does not inform the scholar about the dynamics of interests and identities of the state and interest groups. States and interest groups feature in the modernity perspective, but their relationship is not adequately probed.

4.2.5. The Hydrosocial Contract Theory

The hydrosocial contract theory (HSCT) of Turton and Ohlsson (1999) is a composite theory that includes elements of a number of theories from

International Relations, Political Science and Sociology. It is important in the context of this study because it focuses exclusively on water resources management and explains ‘how’ water resources management processes originated (Meissner & Turton, 2003: 116). Several themes relevant to HSCT have already been discussed previously, such as the state and interest groups questioning state policies. Nonetheless, the synthesis of these perspectives in

HSCT is of such a nature that it brings some themes discussed earlier closer to the subject matter. Since HSCT has an empirical character, it reports on the development of water resources management in a society in such a way that it can be verified or falsified. HSCT does not attempt to construct the world and sees the world as outside theory. In this respect, it is self explanatory.

4.2.5.1. Basic Assumptions

The theory outlines assumptions of the development of water resources management in societies in an attempt to make it more understandable. The following points of HSCT are not so much assumptions (as is the case with the previous theories), but more processes through which water scarcities are managed. First, research about water politics, done from a HSCT perspective, is based on the inability of the state to cope with increasing political demands

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The duration of the second phase of modernity is from the 1970s to the present, and that of the first phase from the late nineteenth century to the 1970s.

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34 caused by water scarcity. Second, it is assumed that a hydrosocial contract is entered into between government and the public when individuals are no longer capable of mobilising sufficient volumes of water for their personal survival. In this respect, the hydrosocial contract gives government a mandate to ultimately assume and execute this responsibility, and acts as a basis for institutional development. The hydrosocial contract is furthermore a medium that indicates to the public what fair and legitimate practices are, for example the sustainable use of water resources, and to which issues/challenges politicians are supposed to react (Turton & Ohlsson, 1999; Turton, 2002a).

Third, HSCT postulates that progressive transitions of human use of water took place at different historical phases. Social instability can result from decreasing water resources within a society, which can be mitigated by using second order resources (institutional development, capacity building, etc.)

(Ohlsson, 1999; Turton & Ohlsson, 1999: 1-20). The origin of the first transition is increasing levels of water scarcity adaptive behaviours

13

12

, leading to a number of

and subsequent coping strategies

14

. WRMPs, part of the hydraulic mission, are examples of such strategies. The result of the first transition is a Hobbesian form of the hydrosocial contract that closely resembles elements of Thomas Hobbes’ (1651) philosophical writing about social contract theory (Turton & Meissner, 2002: 38). This Hobbesian hydrosocial contract is characterised by a bipolar configuration between government and the water-consuming public.

Fourth, the state and engineers step in to supply society with water during the first phase. Social instability can arise when the state does not deliver on its side of the hydrosocial contract, for instance when it supplies only a particular section of the population with water. This causes the marginalisation of some members of society, which could delegitimise a government. It could lead to a revolution or internal conflict along class, ethnic or racial lines. Fifth, engineers become the discursive elite and apply a sanctioned discourse concerning the management of water resources. The engineer therefore dominates the first transition, with government as the custodian and overseer of water resources

(Turton & Ohlsson, 1999: 3, 5-9).

Sixth, a second transition takes place where water deficits

15

start to occur. At this stage, a society can also become unstable. The result of the second transition is a Lockean form of the hydrosocial contract that closely resembles the elements of John Locke’s (1690) philosophical writing (Turton & Meissner,

12

Water scarcity is defined as a reduction in the volume of water available to a population of people over a certain period (Turton & Ohlsson, 1999: 3).

13

Adaptive behaviour is defined as the answer to the altering level of water scarcity that manifests itself in a number of appearances, like water restrictions imposed during times of drought, cloud seeding, changes in water policies, rain harvesting, etc. (Turton & Ohlsson,

1999: 3).

14

Coping strategies are those state incentives, either in the form of a formal policy or a set of strategies, like water demand management, that ensure the management of water scarcity

(Turton & Ohlsson, 1999: 3).

15

Turton and Ohlsson (1999: 7) describe a water deficit as ‘the prevailing condition that exists when the consumption of freshwater within a social entity exceeds the level of sustainable supply’.

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2002: 38). This Lockean hydrosocial contract is characterised by a triangular configuration between government, the water consuming public and interest groups. Apart from this triangular configuration, two events are important within the context of adaptive behaviour and the second transition. Firstly, there is an increase in the costs of WRMPs. Local authorities and government departments are no longer able to finance WRMPs or there is no other source of water. Secondly, a social conscience surfaces. This psyche is usually in the form of environmentalism. It highlights the notion that supply-sided solutions, through WRMPs, are highly unbecoming the state. Such solutions are environmentally damaging. If this transition is not handled in a sound manner by the state, it can cause a number of social instabilities like migration, political opposition and unrest, low level civil disobedience, etc. (Turton &

Ohlsson, 1999: 3, 5-9).

Seventh, through lobbying activities against WRMPs, interest groups are major actors in this transition (Turton & Meissner, 2002: 38). These non-state actors mobilise support against WRMPs and question the state’s interpretation of the hydrosocial contract. Lastly, interest groups increasingly demand that water resources management becomes more sustainable. Following this, and because they challenge the sanctioned discourse and demand alternatives to

WRMPs, interest groups become new members of the discursive elite. As an underlying principle, the sanctioned discourse also changes to embrace the sustainable utilisation of water (Turton & Ohlsson, 1999: 3, 5-9).

4.2.5.2. The Hydrosocial Contract Theory and Water Politics

The link between HSCT and water politics, especially regarding WRMPs and interest groups, is obvious. Nonetheless, the theory is still too narrow for the purposes of the subject matter. Firstly, it deals mainly with social instability. It does not say much about instances where social stability accompanies the lobbying activities of interest groups. Secondly, it deals mainly with the internal political dimension and is silent about the transnational dimension of water politics. Thirdly, it places a high premium on the role of the state.

Individuals like farmers and the epistemic community (excluding engineers) are ignored, especially concerning their role in the first transition. Fourthly, although interest groups feature in the second transition, the theory is too narrow to explain how they go about their lobbying activities. In other words, the political process, involving norms and rules, and whether interest groups are successful or not in their lobbying endeavours are not adequately discussed. Fifthly, it assumes that interest groups can implement changes in the hydraulic mission, because of their progressive strengthening abilities.

However, interest groups do not always have the ability to implement changes. In this regard, the theory is also too narrow. Lastly, the theory has nothing to say about norms and rules governing the hydraulic mission and how non-state entities can affect the identities of the state and engineers through these.

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4.3. Risk Theories

Two risk theories are discussed, namely risk society and political ecology.

These theories are called risk theories because of their propensity to highlight the risks involved in human society.

4.3.1. Risk Society

Risk society theory, like modernity, is a sociological perspective with risks

16 being deemed a concern of society since the 1960s (Sjöberg, 1987: 1).

Giddens’s modernity perspective is compatible with Beck’s risk society perspective (Ritzer, 2000: 563). Giddens (1991: 3-4) notes that: ‘Modernity is a risk culture’. Beck (1992: 47) agrees with Giddens (1991) and airs the view that human beings are living in a modern world, although it is a new form of modernity, distinguishable from the classical period of modernity. Thus, the concept of a risk society rests upon the idea that the logic underlying modern industrial societies is changing from one based on the distribution of ‘goods’, in the form of material products, to one based on the distribution of ‘bads’ in the form of risks.

4.3.1.1. Basic Assumptions

Risk society theory is characterised by a number of basic assumptions. First, it argues that classical modernity was accompanied by an industrial society.

The Industrial Revolution and its aftermath was the main characteristic of classical modernity. In contrast, ‘the new emerging modernity and its technologies are associated with the risk society’ (Ritzer, 2000: 563). Second, people are living in both an industrial society and a risk society. Phrased in another manner, human beings are therefore living in a transitional period between these two civilisations with the society in which people live having elements of both these worlds (Ritzer, 2000: 563).

Third, industrial society is modernising. This ‘modernization of industrial

society

’ is called reflexive modernity (Beck, 1992: 10, 11). Because of this modernity, individuals or citizens in the political system are operating increasingly independently as society becomes more classless. Fourth, risks, and how they can be ameliorated, reduced or redirected, stand central to the new modernity. Safety is of essence, in which citizens are looking ‘for the largely negative and defensive goal of being spared from danger’. Fifth, wealth, and the creation and accumulation thereof, is producing risks in modern society (Ritzer, 2000: 565). This fosters a culture of increased economic wealth, the disregard of natural resources as economic assets and the negative impact on the environment (Selin, 1987: 156-157). Stated more precisely, industrialism and the incessant accumulation of wealth produced by industrial processes are seen as the main concomitants of risks in modern society.

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A risk is defined as a large negative impact on various systems (environmental and societal) with a small probability of occurrence (Björkman, 1987: 15).

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Sixth, risks and class are connected (Ritzer, 2000: 565). Beck (1992:35) points out that ‘risks adhere to the class pattern, only inversely: wealth accumulates at the top, risks at the bottom … Poverty attracts an unfortunate abundance of risks. By contrast the wealthy (in income, power or education) can purchase safety and freedom from risk’.

Seventh, two types of risks can be identified, namely individual and collective risks. An individual risk is defined as the risk of being hurt by or even dying from what an individual faces. A collective risk is a risk that affects more than one individual, even large communities or states and ultimately the entire human race (Selin, 1987: 151, 152). Eighth, the source for alleviating risks is found within modernity itself. The risks that are produced by modernisation also breed the reflexivity that is needed to reflect upon modernity and the risks it creates. People are the main reflexive agents, and especially those who are afflicted by risks. They observe their surroundings and gather information on risks and the affects of risk upon them. Through this observation process citizens gradually become experts on risks. They start to critically look at the pace at which modernity is advancing and the associated danger it holds for society as a whole (Ritzer, 2000: 566).

Ninth, the political domains of the state, including its institutions (government and bureaucracy), and its main power base have been eroded. The reason is that risks are originating from sub-political institutions like multinational corporations (MNCs) and scientific laboratories (Ritzer, 2000: 566). Lastly, the advancement of knowledge is taking place outside the governmental system, not in opposition to it, but by ignoring it (Beck, 1992: 223). This is called the

‘unbinding of politics’. Politics is no longer only the government’s responsibility: interest groups play an increasingly larger role. In other words, interest groups have the power to effect change.

4.3.1.2. Risk Society and Water Politics

Risk society theory is relevant to water policies and the implementation of

WRMPs through government policies. In the words of one observer, water policy formulation ‘is driven by perceptions and in the “risk society” ...

[a]wareness of a “new” risk is informed by science … which influence[s] water resource use and policy’ (Allan, 1999: 2). Water policies are therefore both the creators and alleviators of risks concerning water resources management.

They create risks by threatening the existence and livelihoods of a community, or affect the ecology in an adverse manner. At the same time, water policies alleviate the risks of water shortages and foster socio-economic development.

Furthermore, politicians are increasingly faced with the intense anxiety of a large number of individuals and groups about potential risks affecting the environment. These dangers are often associated with the implementation of modern and complex innovative forms of technology—WRMPs are examples

(Sjöberg, 1987: 1). However, the risk society perspective is still too narrow a theoretical approach to the subject matter under consideration. The theory does not focus much on the state. It focuses more on risks, individuals, interest groups, and the reasons why these actors can act autonomously to ameliorate the sources and consequences of risks, rather than on

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38 governmental processes which also play a role. Government, as an apparatus of the state, will always be an important actor in political interactions, although not necessarily the most significant actor. As far as

Allan (2002: 33) is concerned: ‘Environmentalists [in developed countries] have been very successful in persuading civil society, as well as governments of the disadvantages of environmental interventions [risks] such as dams’. In other words, environmental interest groups have a lot of power over the governmental process. This may be the case in the developed world, but in the developing world this assumption may not hold true.

4.3.2. Political Ecology

Normatively, political ecology theory is an alternative to Political Science neoliberalism (Toke, 2000: 1-2) and International Relations liberal-institutionalism.

Normative issues, for example those concerning the environment, have recently re-emerged in the field of International Relations theory (Linklater,

2000b: 1819). Environmental degradation has led to the blossoming of specific normative issues of the physical environment. These issues include, among others, justice to non-human beings and an environmental ethic.

Political ecology has, moreover, a distinctive philosophical character with strong normative features (Turton, 2000a: 132). For example, Barry (1999: 42,

369) declares that ‘[t]he evocation of emotions such as sympathy are a surer basis for humans agreeing to set aside inessential interests in order to avoid harm to non-human beings than metaphysical ethics.’ To summarise, as a normative approach, political ecology looks at what ought to be and not so much as what is (Viotti & Kauppi, 1999: 5). The theoretical perspective is therefore evaluative and prescriptive in nature.

4.3.2.1. Basic Assumptions

Political ecology has a number of basic assumptions that distinguishes it from mainstream, positivist theories. First, political ecology theorists renounce the notion that only the states-system, and other global political structures, can respond effectively to environmental problems. Taken a step further, they focus ‘on the need for global-scale political transformation rather than institutional tinkering’, like the establishment of regimes (Paterson, 2001: 277,

278). Second, they assume that increased economic development through industrialisation damages the natural environment (Heywood, 1997: 59).

During the production process of material goods, external costs are inflicted on society and the environment through environmental degradation (Toke, 2000:

86).

Third, the theory states that ‘limits to growth’ goes hand-in-hand with rapid economic and population expansion. These aspects are straining the earth’s resources and carrying capacity that will soon reach its limits. Society can therefore only grow to a limited extent (Hayward, 1998: 1, 3; Pepper, 1984: 19;

Eckersley, 1992: 8; Paterson, 2001: 282). Fourth, political ecologists state that development is essentially anti-ecological because it undermines sustainable

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39 practices. These practices create inequality through enclosure

17

.

Environmentalists argue that enclosure is a central feature of development worldwide. Fifth, political ecologist theorists reject sustainable development.

They believe that sustainable development is just another way for the ‘ruling elite to co-opt environmentalism’ (Paterson, 2001: 282-285). Sixth, humans have been alienated from nature, through economic processes and a division of labour (Turton, 2000a: 132-133). Accordingly, political ecologists argue that far-reaching changes to political and social institutions are needed to reverse this alienation (Atkinson, 1991: 171).

Seventh, political ecology theorists are anti-anthropocentric

18

. They see humans as part of nature, in that they are elements of a world that is made up of various mutual and related living and non-living beings. This assumption is both ethically correct and crucial for human survival (Baradat, 2000: 301, 302).

Eighth, ecocentrism has been advanced to counteract the anthropocentrism of state action. It acknowledges human and non-human interests (Naess, 1973:

96; Toke, 2000: 86, 87). That being the case, it assumes a holistic

19 approach, instead of a theory that all entities consist of smaller elements

(atomism). Ninth, political power should be decentralised within the state and centralised at the regional and global levels. To achieve this, human communities should be downscaled. Political ecology challenges globalisation because it is only by way of ‘diversity that it will be possible to create spaces for ecocentric ethics to emerge’ (Paterson, 1996: 254, 256). This decentralisation of state power initiative is captured in the slogan ‘think global act local’ (Goodin, 1992: 5). Lastly, political ecology theorists focus not only on the state as an important actor. They also give weight to the role of nonstate entities (e.g. interest groups) in affecting a reversal of the ecological crisis facing humanity (Turton, 2000a: 137).

4.3.2.2. Political Ecology and Water Politics

What is the relationship between political ecology theory and water politics and is it relevant to the subject matter? Political ecology theory asserts that humans create more self-regulating societies. To achieve this, society must become less complicated in its functions and the relationship of humans with nature more transparent (Atkinson, 1991: 180-181). There is a desire by the citizens of a state to challenge the decisions of policymakers in order to achieve a less demanding society and a more transparent relationship with nature. The role of interest groups with an environmental agenda becomes

17

18

This means that common spaces are turned into private property (Paterson, 2001: 284).

Anthropocentrism is the body of thought that contends that the well-being and requirements of humans have precedence over nature’s interests and needs. It is the opposite of ecocentrism, which places nature first in ethical and philosophical considerations of human activity (Heywood, 1997: 59).

19

Jan Smuts, a former Prime Minister of South Africa, developed the concept of holism in

1926. As outlined by Smuts the theory of holism sets out to explain the natural environment as a whole and not as separate entities. Smuts furthermore believed that science is guilty of reductionism, in that it studies everything separately and thereby understanding it in itself.

Holism, on the other hand, is the belief that the whole is more important than the individual parts of which it consists. In this regard, every part of the whole has only meaning when seen together with other elements and subsequently in relation to the whole (Heywood, 1992: 249).

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40 relevant in this regard. In future, environmental impact assessments (EIAs) of

WRMPs will become more politicised, as these interest groups become increasingly part of the EIA process (Internet: Turton, 2000b: 2). Political ecology appeals to the research problem under consideration but only in a practical sense. The theory is still too narrow as an explanatory tool. It does not say much on how interest groups should go about their lobbying and other related activities. In short, the theory does not explain to an adequate extent the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in environmental issues. It does not propose an alternative to the state system it renounces.

However, it is, as a tributary, post-positivist theory, closer to the subject matter than many of the mainstream, positivist theories like realism and liberalpluralism.

4.4. Social Constructivism

Based on the discussion of the basic assumptions of the selection of mainstream and tributary theoretical perspective(s), criticisms have been levelled at the applicability of these perspectives to water politics. If one considers that the transnational role and involvement of interest groups lobbying against WRMPs is complex, since it involves both state and non-state actors, domestic and international political phenomena, and a number of empirical and normative aspects, it is obvious that no single theoretical perspective adequately accommodates the subject matter. Phrased differently, certain theoretical perspectives have highlighted some of the aspects, but inadequately. As a result, in order to bridge the divide between these mainstream and tributary perspectives, and to accommodate the complexities of interest groups involved in the water politics of WRMPs, social constructivism is discussed. To reiterate, since water politics does not fit neatly into domestic or international relations and since it has normative and empirical elements, the aforesaid theoretical perspectives do not sufficiently address the role and involvement of interest groups.

In spite of these shortcomings, social constructivism tries ‘to make sense of social relations by explaining the construction of the socio-political world by human practice’. In this way, it forms a bridge between mainstream, positivist and tributary, post-positivist theoretical perspectives. Although, it shares many post-positivist premises and attacks mainstream theory (Du Plessis, 2000: 25) it, nevertheless ‘rejects the “slash-and-burn” extremism of some post-modern thinkers who leave nothing behind them, nowhere to stand, nothing even for themselves to say’ (Kubálková, Onuf & Kowert, 1998: 20). In short, social constructivism emphasises the importance of normative and material structures, the role of identity in shaping political action, and the complementary constitutive relationship between agents and structures (Reus-

Smit, 2001: 209).

In effect, the theory is an outgrowth of critical international theory. It explicitly seeks to employ the insights of that theory to highlight diverse aspects of world politics. In the words of one observer: ‘Where first wave critical theorists had rejected the rationalist depiction of humans as atomistic egoists and society as a strategic domain … constructivists have used this alternative ontology to

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41 explain and interpret aspects of world politics that were anomalous to neorealism and neoliberalism’ (Reus-Smit, 2001: 215). Thus, social constructivism takes the ontology about individuals and society not contained in neo-realism and neo-liberalism, a step further, and builds upon this knowledge.

Despite this development, three forms of social constructivism are defined: systemic, unit-level and holistic constructivism (Reus-Smit, 2001: 219).

Systemic constructivism follows neo-realism. It adopts a ‘third image’ perspective, which focuses entirely on interactions between unitary state actors. Unit-level constructivism, on the other hand, is the inverse of the systemic type. It does not focus on the external, international domain. It concentrates on the relationship ‘between domestic social and legal norms and the identities and interests of states’. Hence, systemic and unit-level constructivism represents the traditional dichotomy between the domestic and international domains. Holistic constructivism aims to bridge the two realms

(Reus-Smit, 2001: 220-221). Because of holistic constructivism’s ‘bridging ability’, this form of social constructivism will be employed as an explanatory tool, which is more suitable for the purpose of explaining, analysing and predicting the transnational role and involvement of interest groups.

4.4.1. Basic Assumptions

Holistic constructivism contains a number of basic assumptions that highlight the construction of the socio-political world by human practices. First, it argues that positivist theories have been exceedingly materialist and agentcentric. Positivists assume that International Relations is a product of agents

(usually states), ‘which are imbued with “instrumental rationality”’. This means that states seek their power or utility-maximising choices or interests. Holistic constructivism nevertheless rejects this by stating that ‘[h]uman relations, including international relations, consist of thoughts and ideas and not of material conditions or forces’ (Jackson & Sørensen, 2003: 254). Second, holistic constructivism assumes that states are constrained by social normative structures (Hobson, 2000: 145, 146). Simple as the concept may seem, norms are defined ‘as shared (thus social) understandings of standards of behaviour’ (Klotz, 1995: 14). In this regard, constructivism focuses on the core ideational element of intersubjective beliefs (ideas, conceptions, assumptions, etc.) that are widely shared by people (Jackson & Sørensen, 2003: 254).

To elaborate further, a basic ‘given’ of positivist theory is that states always know what their interests are, and that they know how to realise them. Yet, according to holistic constructivism, norms construct the identities of states and individuals. These identities in turn define their interests. Identities and interests are the ways in which people perceive of themselves in their relations with others. The ways in which those relationships are formed and expressed

(e.g. by means of collective social institutions) are major focuses of constructivists. Norms have therefore an important function in that interests change as norms reconstruct identities leading to changes in state policy. In short, norms channel states and individuals along certain socially dictated conduits of appropriate behaviour, which means that norms are autonomous.

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42

Contrariwise, positivism sees norms as intervening variables situated between the basic causal variable (power actors) and international results (Smith, 1997;

Price, 1998: 615; Du Plessis, 2000: 26; Hobson, 2000: 146, 147; Jackson &

Sørensen, 2003: 254).

In the third place, holistic constructivism treats the domestic and international spheres as two facets of a single social and political order. Fourth, it is concerned with the dynamics of global change, especially the rise and possible decline of the state. Because of this, it focuses on the mutually constitutive relationship between the global order and the state (Reus-Smit,

2001: 221). Fifth, transnational state actors, like interest groups, are believed to exist as a community of political engagement in international affairs. They have a meaningful impact through networks that inform governments what is appropriate to pursue in politics (Price, 1998: 639). Sixth, norms create agents from individuals. Individuals do this by getting an opportunity to act upon world events. Agents use all means at their disposal to achieve their goals. Onuf

(1984: 4) comments on this by saying that ‘[t]hese means include material features of the world. Because the world is a social place … rules make the world’s material features into resources available for agents’ use’. Lastly, intersubjective social contexts make meaningful action or behaviour possible.

The medium of norms and practices develops relations and understandings between actors. If norms were absent, power and action exercises would be meaningless. From this, an identity is defined by constitutive norms. This is done by specifying the actions that will lead other actors to realise that identity and respond to it appropriately (Hopf, 2000: 1757-1758).

4.4.2. Social Constructivism and Water Politics

What is the relevance of social constructivism to water politics? First, because social constructivism is not overly agent-centric it does not focus only on states as actors in international politics. This implies that interest groups are also seen as relevant actors. They are so, especially when they demonstrate to states appropriate behaviour within the international context. This infers that interest groups are not only relevant, but also major actors in situations where they are juxtaposed with states, for example lobbying against WRMPs in international river basins.

Second, interest groups can constrain state action concerning WRMP implementation by advancing normative social structures, and thereby changing state identities that leads to changes in policy preferences. Third, holistic constructivism does not make a distinction between the domestic and international political domains. It lumps these domains together as a single social and political order, and therefore explain the occurrence of transnational actors and their activities. This is important, because many interest groups do so both from within the state (that implement such a project) and from outside the state. Fourth, normative issues explain the rise of interest groups influencing state policy about WRMPs, because norms create agents from individuals. In the last instance, social constructivism describes new issues on the global agenda because of its concern with the dynamics of global change.

It is therefore relevant and applicable because it is concerned with the rise and

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43 decline of the state, which is appropriate, for the reason that interest groups seem to be more relevant within the political dynamics of international river basins than states.

5. Conclusion

The main purpose of this chapter was to contextualise the link between the water discourse and a selection of theoretical perspectives. The linkage between the water discourse and the theoretical perspectives is of such a nature that the water discourse is influenced by these perspectives, and not

vice-versa

.

The theoretical development of the water discourse was outlined, and it was concluded that the water discourse and International Relations theoretical perspectives are closely related. From its emergence in the early 1980s

20

, the discourse has followed International Relations theoretical developments. It is not clear whether this was by default or implication. Obviously, in many cases scholars, who were doing research from either a realist or liberal-pluralist perspective, explicitly or implicitly contributed knowledge to the field of water politics. Whatever the reasons, the water discourse has close ties with mainstream, positivist theories, with tributary post-positivist theories being applied only on rare occasions. Viewed in this way, the water discourse has great difficulty divorcing itself from mainstream theorising. A possible explanation for this is the large number of scholars from different disciplines partaking in the discourse. Many of these scholars are not International

Relations specialists. Yet, because of the water discourse’s international relations character, many use International Relations theories unknowingly and more often than not only the most well known theories like realism and liberal-pluralism.

In this chapter, a number of theories were outlined that could be relevant to the subject matter and the main problem statement. Many of these theories have been used in the past to inform the subject matter contained in the water discourse. This was especially the case in the analysis of conflict and cooperation between states over international water resources (e.g. Lowi’s

1993 study on the Jordan River basin is informative in this regard).

The theoretical perspectives discussed focus on a number of aspects concerning the interaction between humans in political societies and the natural environment. Realism regards the state and the relationship among state actors as being pivotal in world affairs. Liberal-pluralism, as the antithesis of realism, looks at the importance of individuals and non-state entities and places particular emphasis on the interaction between these

20

During the early 1980s, a number of articles and books were written on water politics in the

Middle East and elsewhere. This was at a time when there were little or no academic knowledge on the subject matter. Examples of articles and books include Naff and Matson,

Water in the Middle East: Conflict or Cooperation?

(1984), Falkenmark, Fresh Water as a

Factor in Strategic Policy and Action

(1986), and Mumme, State Influence in Foreign Policy

Making: Water Related Environmental Disputes along the United States-Mexico Border

(1985).

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44 actors and the state. Modernity and risk society theory consider the manner in which modern societies developed and the outcomes of these developments concerning the interaction of individuals within society. Because of the limitations of these theoretical perspectives of relations within human society and between humans and the natural environment, these perspectives are too narrow to form the theoretical backbone of the study of interest groups involved in water politics.

Interest group pluralism and corporatism are two theories that place emphasis exclusively on interest groups and their relationship with government. They do so within the context of domestic politics, but oppose each other in the process. Interest group pluralism notes that power is distributed throughout society with government being neutral. Interest group corporatism maintains that power is concentrated in the hands of a few interest groups with government being an arbitrator. While interest group pluralism and corporatism focus on interest group and government relations, HSCT is entirely devoted to water resources and the management thereof. The main gist of HSCT is that water resources development has occurred over a number of transitions each with its distinctive set of principles and actors. In contrast, political ecology’s focal point lies within the relationship humans have with nature. This perspective also looks critically at this relationship, and suggests a number of alternative practices to bring about a better association between humans and the environment.

It is concluded that these theoretical perspectives are too narrow, particularistic and exclusive to adequately explain the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in water politics, as well as their own and the state’s agential power. The theories only ‘fit’ the subject matter to a certain extent. Social constructivism, on the other hand, as a ‘bridge’ between mainstream and tributary theories, is more pertinent to the subject matter since it places a high premium on normative issues and on the role of norms in agent creation and development. This is a crucial aspect in gaining clarification on the research question, especially regarding interest groups’ impact on state agential power. Similarly, interest groups act as normative agents to bring about a change in the practices of states. Hence, the subsequent discussion of interest groups as distinct transnational actors in domestic and international politics.

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CHAPTER 3

INTEREST GROUPS AS TRANSNATIONAL AGENTS

1. Introduction

Interest groups have been political features of human society for millennia.

Simple as the premise may be, these non-state entities are still relevant today.

This being the case, the purpose of this chapter is, firstly, to outline the fundamental characteristics of interest groups and secondly, to discuss the nature and extent of their transnational activities. In short, the chapter will outline the characteristics of interest groups as domestic actors, merged with their transnational behaviour. This is done by defining the concept interest group and related entities; providing a typology of interest groups; discussing interest groups as transnational actors; highlighting their agential roles; and lastly, drawing a conclusion.

2. Conceptualisation of Interest Groups

Various common definitions of the concept interest group exist, also considering that this political entity is denoted by a number of different terms.

Within the Political Sciences, these concepts are used in a confusing manner and defined differently.

Throughout the twentieth century studies on interest group politics were frequently conducted and different terms were consequently developed to describe interest groups. In generic terms, an interest group is a non-state entity that endeavours to influence government policy. In this respect, the notion of ‘interest’ is used to connote the pursuit of causes or the advancement and defence of particular interests, positions and people in society (Grant,

2000: 9). Nevertheless, related concepts other than interest group include

pressure group

, lobby, non-governmental organisation (NGO), and the variant of the latter international non-governmental organisation (INGO). How have scholars defined these entities? In this thesis, it is accepted that interest

groups

, pressure groups, NGOs/INGOs, and lobbies are not identical. All interest groups are per definition NGOs, but not all NGOs are interest groups.

NGOs only present the interests of their members, but may not necessarily act to influence government policies. It is only when an NGO starts to influence governmental policies, that it becomes an interest group. For instance, the

Automobile Association (AA) is an NGO that provides a service to its members. However, when it starts to make statements on how the death toll on South African roads can be lowered, through ‘better’ governmental policies, it becomes an interest group. Similarly, all pressure groups and lobbies are interest groups, but not all interest groups are pressure groups and lobbies.

Pressure groups and lobbies focus their activities mainly on governmental policies or the governmental process. Interest groups, on the other hand, attempt to influence governmental policies, the governmental process, and other organisations in society through various means. For instance, the

Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) is an interest group, influencing the South

African government to change its policies on HIV/AIDS infected persons. At

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46 the same time, it also influences pharmaceutical companies to lower their prices on anti-retroviral drugs.

2.1. Preference for a Particular Concept

As indicated, different scholars use the concepts interest group, lobby and

pressure group

in different ways. The representative definitions of pressure

groups

, interest groups and lobbies are summarised with reference to their main features, namely the scholar, (who used the concept), the actor(s) (the types of actors that are classified as interest groups, lobby and pressure

groups

), and action (what role these groups play in politics) (see Table 1, 2, and 3 respectively).

Table 1. Preference for the concept ‘pressure group’.

Scholar(s) Actor(s) Action

Mackenzie (1955: 137) Organised groups with formal Influence decisions of public

Stewart (1958: 1, 10) structures and real common interests.

Organised groups with formal structures and real common interests. policies.

Influence the governmental process.

Freeman (1958), Stewart

(1958: 10)

Public administrative agencies.

Influence public opinion and legislative action.

Key (1961: 500) Private organisations.

Castles (1967: 1)

Coxall (1980: 10)

Any group that is not a political party.

Kimber and Richardson

(1974: 2)

Any group.

A pressure group.

Ball and Millard (1986: 33-34) Social aggregates with some

Richardson (1993b: 1) level of cohesion and shared aims.

Any group.

Influence the content of public policy.

Brings about political change through government activity.

Articulates a demand that the authorities should make an authoritative allocation on.

Through political action implements changes that are desirable and prevent changes that are undesirable.

Attempt to influence the political decision making process.

Articulates a demand that the authorities should make an authoritative allocation on.

Table 2. Preference for the concept ‘interest group’.

Scholar(s) Actor(s) Action

Truman (1951: 33) Any group with shared attitudes.

Makes claims on any group in society to establish, maintain, or enhance forms of behaviour implied by shared attitudes.

De Grazia (1958: 114) Privately organised aggregation.

Attempts to influence public policy.

Meehan, Roche, and

Stedman (1966) influence legislation and administration, particularly on a national scale.

Harris (1968: 2) Consists of persons of likeMake claims on government

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47

Silvera (1970: 19)

Cummings and Wise (1971:

213)

Presthus (1974a: 61)

Berry (1977: 5)

Moulder, Scott and Van Der

Merwe (1982: 39) mind, not political parties.

Any group in society.

Any group with shared attitudes.

Collectivities organised around an explicit aggregate value.

A group that is an intermediary between citizens and government.

Any combination of persons bound together by shared goals and attitudes. for concessions which rebound their own benefit.

Influences government policy.

Makes claims on any group in society to establish, maintain, or enhance forms of behaviour implied by shared attitudes.

Make political claims vis-á-vis government, other interest groups, and the public.

Converts the desires of its constituents into specific policies or goals.

Attempts to obtain decisions favourable to their preferred values at their disposal especially by gaining access to the governmental process.

Acts in common regarding what they perceive to be their common aim.

Ogene (1983: 8) A group whose members accept a parallel or joint reward from a possible course of events.

Any group in society. Skilling (1983: 3) Makes certain claims upon other groups for the establishment, maintenance, or enhancement of forms of behaviour implied by shared attitudes.

Influence public policy. Wilson (1990: 1)

Bashevkin (1996: 135)

Hjelmar (1996: 8)

Wright (1996: 22)

Organisations separate from government but often in close partnership with government.

Collectivities with shared outlooks, identities, or frames of references.

They have no stable membership or well-defined goals, identity not built on material advantage for their members.

A collection of individuals, linked together by professional circumstances, or common political, economic, or social interests, that is not a political party but organised externally to government.

Not specified

Not specified.

Influences decisions made by the legislative, executive, or judicial branches of national, regional, or local governments.

Baumgartner and Leech

(1998: xxii)

Any organisation in society. An institution that makes policy-related appeals to government.

Grant (2000: 7) An entity. Influences public policy, which central government, local government, a regional organisation, or quasigovernmental organisations formulate.

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48

Table 3. Preference for the concept ‘lobby’.

Scholar

Finer (1958: 3)

Actor Action

Not political parties. Tries to influence the policy of public bodies in their own chosen direction.

2.2. Combination of Concepts

Several scholars, such as White, Blaisdell, and Bone, use the concepts interchangeably. This is done by using combinations of the concepts interest

group

, pressure group, lobby and NGO/INGO. The different entities are also classified and separated as distinct actors (see Table 4).

Table 4. Combination of the concepts.

Scholar(s) Combination Actor(s)

White (1951: 10) INGO and Pressure

Group

Action

By implication INGO. Function as agents of international understanding, and as moulders of public opinion.

Blaisdell (1958) NGO, Interest Group, and Pressure Group.

Bone (1958)

Gable (1958: 85)

Childs (1965: 237,

240-241)

Interest Group and

Pressure Group.

Interest Group and

Pressure Group

Pressure Group,

Interest Group, Idea

Group

Latham (1965: 161) Interest Group and

Pressure Group.

Groups other than political parties.

Group of people with a shared identity that promote or defend their interests.

Broad array of groups in society.

Organised groups.

Influence political parties.

Shape public policy.

Roberts (1970: 8) Pressure Group,

Lobby, and Interest

Group.

Bekker (1996: 29-31) Interest Group and

Pressure Group, depending on the relationship with a local authority.

Baumgartner and

Leech (1998: xxii)

Interest group (but do not make a distinction between different phrases; they will use any concept).

Hague, Harrop and Interest Group and

Organised groups.

Groups in society.

See Table 3.2.

Exert pressure on public opinion and public policy.

Influence the course of political action by putting favourable statutes into law or by persuading officeholders to exercise their authority for the benefit of the group.

Influence policy in a relative limited number of areas.

Promote the interests of their members.

See Table 3.2.

Organisations Influence

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Breslin (1998) Pressure Group, not political parties.

Vincent (1999: 125) INGOs and Interest

Group. autonomous from government.

Non-profit, serviceorientated. government and public policy.

Operate across national borders.

Of these concepts, interest group is the most popular and widely used in

Political Science and NGO and/or INGO in International Relations. For instance, many scholars in International Relations prefer the terms NGO and

INGO

over interest group because these organisations have consultative representation in the United Nations (UN) (Willets, 1997: 299). In contrast,

Political Science scholars are more familiar with the term interest group.

Concerning the concepts used, scholars are divided into two categories: those who prefer one concept to the other and those who employ them in combination. The preference for one concept over another is not only based on practical considerations, but also because of the negative association some of these concepts have.

2.3. The Concept Interest Group

All these concepts, except NGO/INGO, have at times been treated as something of a profanity in the scholarly discourse, because of negativity associated with the concepts pressure groups, lobbies and interest groups.

Even so, many scholars, members of interest groups and government officials prefer one concept to the other. As far as Truman (1951: 38) is concerned, the concept pressure group invokes a sense of ‘selfishness’ and that ‘special rights and privileges’ are sought by these groups from other political actors.

Similarly, Moulder, Scott and Van Der Merwe (1982: 39) prefer to use interest group because pressure group implies negativity toward these latter non-state entities. One of the reasons for this negative image of pressure groups, as

Mackenzie (1955: 135) declares, is that pressure always invokes power politics. In contrast, within diplomatic circles, diplomats and government officials prefer to use the concept NGO. The reason for this is that ambassadorial representatives and politicians often claim that they seek to represent the national interest of a united society. Furthermore, they will not concede that they find themselves standing in a particular relationship with interest groups (Willets, 1997: 298). Even so, over the years the concept

‘interest group’ has been used with carelessly, causing unnecessary uncertainty about its actual meaning (Geldenhuys, 1998: 5).

Despite differences, ‘influence on governmental/public policies’ is a common denominator that is employed in almost all definitions. Traditionally, influence is a component of power (Holsti, 1995: 118); it is a functioning of the actions of interest groups in relation to government or any other entity such as an international organisation or financial institution. Various scholars have defined interest groups in terms of the notion of influence either very narrowly or in a broader context. Petracca (1992: 6) observes that academics are more likely to use concepts that are pertinent to their own research endeavours.

The narrow to broad use of these concepts range from Mackenzie (1955) to

Baumgartner and Leech (1998), with all the others in between. Mackenzie

(1955: 135-136) uses a number of criteria to narrow the groups he is studying.

He does not recognise groups with an informal organisational structure to be a

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50 pressure group. Such groups must also be politically significant; that is they must play a role in public decisions, and not have only limited dealings with government. Those organisations that are constituted by law, but difficult to identify in terms of their real members, are also excluded. Baumgartner and

Leech (1998: xxii) do not have a ‘strong preference’ for a particular concept.

What is of more importance is to point to the role interest groups play in society—and more specifically to their relationship with the state and government officials and other non-state entities, rather than to argue over the different concepts.

Furthermore, for Baumgartner and Leech (1998: xxii), a concept makes no difference, for ‘we are pluralists on this score’. This sentiment is echoed in other studies as well. For instance, Smith (1993: 1) states that ‘[t]he important variables in understanding decisions are the nature of the relationships that exist between groups and the state—the types of policy networks—and the interest and activities of state actors—the degree of autonomy’. Baumgartner and Leech and Smith therefore note that rather than to broaden the debate over concepts, the relationship that exists between interest groups, the state and government, their impact on state autonomy and policy issues should be the focus.

In recent years political scientists have moved away from the narrow perspective of interest groups, namely away from the sense that they represent the interests of a specific group in society. Increasingly, interest groups are defined with emphasis on their actions towards the state and other organisations, with influence or advocacy playing a central role. A study of the conduct of interest groups may thus force scholars to answer questions concerning the relationship between the state and society (Wilson, 1990: 1).

The concepts interest groups, pressure groups, lobbies and NGOs/INGOs have also recently been used to include non-state entities that affect public policy and public opinion. Since the 1990s, the concept interest group has been used more widely than pressure group and lobby. Therefore, in this thesis, this trend will be followed and the phrase ‘interest group’ will be employed. There is nevertheless a tendency in International Relations literature to use the phrase NGO. However, some scholars do not concern themselves with terminology. As indicated, they select a concept and look at the real issue in group politics, namely the role and purpose of interest groups, the processes involved and the relationship of interest groups with the state and other governmental and non-governmental actors. In addition, interest groups are distinctive from social movements because of their exceptional degree of formal organisation. Social movements are more loosely organised.

Nevertheless, a number of interest groups can form a social movement. If they do, which is usually the case, such a movement is known as

‘transnational advocacy networks’ (Keck & Sikkink, 1998: 1). How then do scholars in the water discourse use the concept interest group?

Within the water discourse a number of scholars prefer to use the concept

NGO

when writing or referring to these organisations, (i.e. interest group), for instance McCully (1996), Gleick (1998), Turton and Ohlsson (1999), and

Turton (2002b). Is this wrong? Most certainly not. The scholars and

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51 practitioners in the water discourse refer to a broad range of organisations and not only to specific institutions when they write about non-state actors in water politics. It should also be kept in mind that not all of these scholars are

Political Scientists or International Relations specialists. Some analysts within the Political Sciences are, like their non-Political Science colleagues, unfamiliar with concepts like interest group, pressure group and lobby. They therefore do not present clear definitions within the rubric of their research.

Moreover, at times they do not specifically focus on interest groups in water politics. Some experts in the field of water politics may not have come across these concepts in their work, or may not be accustomed to the concepts used in the analysis of group politics. An example is the director general of South

Africa’s Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) using the concept

NGO

with reference to entities lobbying against large dams (M. Muller, personal communication, 13 February 2001).

To provide a measure of clarity and consistency in this thesis the following stipulative definition to describe an interest group will be used: it is a non-state

entity supported by a specific constituency converging on an exact issue that influences government policies and other non-state and inter-governmental institutions, in the national political and the international relations domain

.

3. Interest Group Typology

Scholars also use different interest group typologies. The classification of interest groups indicates the nature, composition and method of issue articulation and basis of membership of the different groups found in a political society. Not all types of interest groups, outlined below, exist at any given moment in all countries. Interest groups can nevertheless be classified as follows, namely anomic groups; non-associational groups; institutional groups; and associational groups (Almond & Powell, 1995: 71; Heywood, 1997: 253;

Sadie, 1998: 281-282).

(a)

Anomic groups: Anomic groups arise spontaneously when a group of people feels frustrated with issues and/or actions of governments or other nonstate entities. The venting of strong emotions usually accompanies anomic groups and their operational approach. These groups are furthermore unorganised in the sense that no detailed planning goes into their formation.

At the same time, anomic groups are short-lived, in that there is no constant group activity after they have been established or disbanded. Sometimes, though, a leader might emerge from events characterised by such spontaneous and short-lived activity. Above all, anomic groups are usually unpredictable and uncontrollable. Thus, tactics used by such groups tend to be illegitimate and can sometimes erupt in violence. Even so, spontaneity is the key element of an anomic group (Almond & Powell, 1995: 71; Sadie,

1998: 282). A lynch mob, riots, or a spontaneous revolution to topple a government are examples, hence their uncontrollable and unpredictable nature. Take for instance the violence that broke out between police and residents of the Alexandra informal settlement near Johannesburg (South

Africa) in early 2001. A group of dwellers clashed with police over an eviction

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52 order that stated that 3 500 families had to be moved from the banks of the

Jukskei River that runs through the suburb. This, after floods had washed away a number of informal dwellings and after cholera was detected in the river’s water (Time, 26 February 2001: 11). The anomic group was short-lived, lasting only a few hours, and came about due to the emotional matter of evictions from homes.

(b) Non-associational groups

: Non-associational interest groups are smaller groups of people that articulate interests on an ad hoc basis, guided at times by a prominent member of society, such as a traditional or religious leader

(Sadie, 1998: 282). They are rarely well organised. Their activities are eventful, and their membership is based on common interests of region, religion, profession, kinship, ideology, or ethnicity. Non-associational groups are more permanent than anomic groups because of the different attachments of their members, with collective activities stemming from these ties.

Nonetheless, sub-groups in non-associational groups may act from time to time like anomic groups (Almond & Powell, 1995: 71-72).

Non-associational groups are sub-divided into two categories, namely the large group that is formally organised; and the small village or ethnic association (the communal group). An example of the large group is one that has been established similar to consumers of water from rivers and lakes. The members of such a group view their interests in very vague terms. One of the problems associated with large non-associational groups is that of free-riders

(members not belonging formally to the group, but deriving benefits from interest articulation) (Almond & Powell, 1995: 72).

In contrast to the large group, the members of a small communal group know each other on a personal basis, and the contact between them is therefore more intimate. Formal membership of this group is not required. Examples are ethnic groups, families, tribes, and castes. These groups are established on the premise of a common origin, tradition, or loyalty (Almond & Powell,

1995: 72). They play important roles in developing societies, for their shared attributes are at times, one of the most important foundations of interest articulation (Heywood, 1997: 253). An example of a communal group, that exhibited characteristics of an anomic group, was the group of Spanish

Basques disrupting the opening proceedings of the World Water Forum

(WWF) in The Hague in 2000. Two protesters appeared in the nude, with messages written in Basque over their bodies. These messages contained a call to halt large dam projects in Spain, and other parts of the world. Their actions caused much disruption to the opening ceremony and they had to be escorted from the premises by the police (A.R. Turton, personal communication, 22 June 2000).

Therefore, the main characteristic of non-associational groups is that their establishment is based on the subjective attitudes of their members, namely elements such as race, age, religion, class or ethnicity, and that their actions for influencing government are of a promotional nature (Sadie, 1998: 282).

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(c) Associational groups

: Associational groups are established to advance the interests of specific groups that have limited goals. They also have formal procedures for formulating interests and demands, and have an employed staff to execute these organisational operations (Almond & Powell, 1995: 73;

Heywood, 1997: 253). Thus, they have a more permanent character and institutionalised operating procedures than other groups. Because of their organisational structure, they have an advantage over non-associational groups. Their tactics and methods of interest articulation are also perceived to be more legitimate than those of other groups (Almond & Powell, 1995: 73).

Yet, it is sometimes difficult to separate them from non-associational groups.

For instance, loyalty based on class or ethnicity can be strong and can unify the group. Subsequently, membership of an associational group may be the embodiment of a social identity rather than the advancement of a particular goal (Heywood, 1997: 253). They are further divided into sectional and promotional groups. Sectional groups are established to contribute to or safeguard the interests of their members, usually in a material sense. Trade unions, like the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in South Africa, are an example. They also represent specific sectors of society in which they operate. Promotional groups (also called cause or issue groups), on the other hand, are established to promote values, ideas, or principles occurring in a society, like environmental concerns (Heywood, 1997: 254; Sadie, 1998: 281).

(d) Institutional groups

: Institutional groups are formally organised and have, along with interest articulation, other social functions (Almond & Powell, 1995:

72). For instance, a government department may have a number of interest groups situated within its institutional structure. The members of such interest groups may have other bureaucratic functions to fulfil. Furthermore, for these groups the formulation and implementation of, and emphasis, on public policy, are important. The reason for this is that any organised entity with the ability and capacity to make authoritative decisions may generate internal interest groups (Grant, 2000: 7). These interest groups promote their cause célèbre or the interests of a client group (Sadie, 1998: 282). In effect, the main characteristic of these groups is that they are part of the governmental apparatus concerned with public policy making and implementation. They therefore articulate interests and exercise influence through the government machinery. The military and government bureaucracies are typical examples

(Heywood, 1997: 253). They can be powerful because of their organisational base and direct access to government, which serves to amplify their strength

(Almond & Powell, 1995: 72). Yet, there is much disagreement whether they can be regarded as true interest groups, because of their close link with the governmental apparatus.

Not all these interest groups will necessarily play roles in the articulation of issues concerning WRMPs. Some could be more prominent in this issue area than others, for example the International Rivers Network (IRN) that is more prominent than Greenpeace. These groups can be either insider or outsider groups, depending on the devices that the state applies for incorporation and expulsion, and depending on the impact that they have on policies (Smith,

1993: 3).

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In conclusion, it should be borne in mind that the number and different types of interest groups involved in the debate concerning a WRMP will vary from one international river basin to another, depending on the hydropolitical situation in the river basin. The previously mentioned classification system will be used throughout the study to determine the types of interest groups that are active in water politics. From the literature review of the concepts and the classification of these political actors, a number of roles and functions are discerned. Nonetheless, the main purpose of interest groups is to influence governmental policies or actions. These groups do not only influence government policy from within the boundaries of the state, but also in a transnational context.

4. Interest Groups as Transnational Actors

The discipline of International Relations is mostly understood to encompass the associations between states. Other actors in world politics, such as economic institutions (that is MNCs) and social groups, are in many cases given a secondary status as non-state entities in world affairs (Willets, 1997:

287). This is in line with the realist perspective of world politics, but not with liberal-pluralism. The latter perspective suggests that non-state actors, including interest groups, also play a role in the international system, even though they are confined to a second tier of analysis.

However, interest groups indeed play an important role in world politics when operating as transnational actors and should not be confined to a second tier of analysis. In this regard, transnational relations are defined as the ‘activities between individuals and groups in one state and individuals and groups in another state’ (Archer, 1992: 1). Another definition is that it is the ‘contacts, coalitions, and interactions across State boundaries that are not controlled by the central foreign policy organs of government’ (Nye & Keohane, 1971: 330).

4.1. Transnational Dimensions

Since most interest groups do not confine their activities to one state or to domestic policy issues, they play a transnational role by lobbying governments across state borders. An interest group from a particular state is able to cross political boundaries and start a lobbying campaign within another country. In this sense, interest groups can intervene in policy arenas at a transnational level to promote the interests of their members, to provide assistance, to promote scientific and technological research, and to circulate ideological, cultural, and religious ideas (Ghils, 1992: 421). Stated differently, interest groups, like governments of states, can cross international boundaries, communicate with each other and set up networks or even alliances through which efforts are co-ordinated. In this respect, interest groups, as transnational actors, are in fact older than the modern state.

Before the formation of the Westphalian state, transnational actors like trading organisations such as the British East India Company, played a leading role in the spread of ideas and ideologies. In other words, the state was never the only independent actor in world politics. Because of the spread of ideas and

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55 ideologies, social, political, economic and cultural actors ‘had to be subnational, transnational or supranational’ (Stern, 2000: 246). Regarding ideas, non-state entities always had a transnational character in terms of their formation and scope of activities and whenever political actors interacted,

‘assumptions, concepts, creeds, doctrines and dogmas could always be transmitted from one to another’ (Stern, 2000: 246).

This is still the case in the contemporary era where the process of globalisation drives these relations between non-state entities

21

. Globalisation

‘refers to processes whereby social relations acquire relatively distanceless and borderless qualities, so that human lives are increasingly played out in the world as a single place. Social relations—that is, the countless and complex ways that people interact with and affect each other—are more and more being conducted and organized on the basis of a planetary unit’ (Scholte,

1999: 14-15). Globalisation therefore has the effect that social relations are to an increasing extent conducted at a broader level than before, with the result that the world has become a relatively borderless social environment in which interest groups are operating (Scholte, 1999: 14-15).

Interest groups have also staked a claim in dealings with the so-called main actors in world affairs—states. This is clearly indicated by the assertion that ‘in the closing decades of the twentieth century, interest group activity has increasingly adjusted to the impact of globalisation and the strengthening of supranational bodies. Amongst the groups best suited to take advantage of such shifts are charities and environmental campaigners (such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth) which already possess transnational structures and an international membership’ (Heywood, 1997: 265). One of the possible reasons why interest groups with an environmental agenda, are so adept at conforming to globalisation trends, is the nature of environmental problems facing humankind. Environmental problems are not localised to a single country. Most environmental problems cross state boundaries, affecting regions and even the entire globe. To confront these transnational problems interest groups have opted for a transnational approach. Since the nature and scope of the problem influence correspondingly the nature and scope of the proposed solution, it follows that the type of problem determines the function of the interest group to address the problem.

Thus, the actions of interest groups vis-à-vis other institutions, governments included, are becoming more transnational in magnitude (Ghils, 1992: 429).

For instance, in 1992 Wolfgang Pricher

22

(1992) served the following warning to the British Dam Society (BDS) by cogently noting that ‘a serious general countermovement … has already succeeded in reducing the prestige of dam engineering in the public eye, and it is starting to make work difficult for our profession’, exists. The ‘countermovement’ Pricher was referring to consisted of a number of interest groups, operating not only within state borders, but also

21

Globalisation and internationalisation are two distinct processes. Internationalisation denotes ‘a process of intensifying connections between national domains’. The two activities are summarised as follows: ‘the international realm is a patchwork of bordered countries, while the global sphere is a web of transborder networks’ (Scholte, 1999: 15).

22

Former president of the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD).

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56 transnationally. This being the case, interest groups have ‘global policy goals’ to appease (Payne, 1996: 171). Thus, as one observer aptly puts it, ‘[i]n contrast to “interstate relations” taking place between the governments of two or more states, transnational interactions involve at least one party that is not governmental in character. In the process, the government of at least one of the interacting countries is bypassed’ (Soroos, 1986: 13).

As a result, interest groups not only forge links with each other but also, at an increasing rate, with other entities as well. They are energetically involved in a large variety of activities at the local, national, transnational and international levels and perform functions in various issue areas, especially in human rights, humanitarian and environmental domains to name but a few (Mingst, 1995:

237).

Notwithstanding the nature of their interaction with other organisations, the transnational character of interest groups becomes significant when the levels of interaction between them and other actors in domestic and international affairs are considered. At least three levels of interaction can be identified, namely between interest groups themselves; between interest groups and inter-governmental organisations (IGOs) or agencies of these organisations; and between interest groups and governments. At all three levels interest groups have put a considerable amount of global pressure on other actors concerning a wide range of issues, by way of transnational campaigns and lobbying (Krut, 1997: 36).

4.2. Transnational Approaches

Interest groups have a number of approaches (strategies) and tactics at their disposal to ‘go transnational’ in their campaigns, including those strategies and tactics that are used to lobby certain actors in a specific issue area. A strategy, or more specifically, an approach refers to extensive layouts of attack or to the miscellaneous approaches to lobbying. Tactics, on the other hand, are the particular actions taken or techniques used to promote specific policy preferences (Berry, 1977: 212). A link therefore exists between approaches

(strategies) and tactics. Interest groups usually employ tactics in the context of different approaches (strategies).

Four approaches are available to interest groups as linkage strategies, namely: the power approach; the technocratic approach; the coalition-building approach; and grass-roots mobilisation. The success of each approach depends on the specific characteristics of the group and the domestic and international context of the situation in which these approaches are employed

(Mingst, 1995: 238-240).

4.2.1. The Power Approach

In terms of the power approach interest groups attempt to influence states and other institutions by targeting the top decision-makers in either the domestic or the international sphere. This is done by way of direct communication with the officials of the state or of government institutions in the state (Mingst, 1995:

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238). In this case, interest groups target those officials in governmental institutions who have ‘power’, in other words those officials who make the decisions on a day-to-day basis and who will determine policy directions. For instance, a minister of a specific governmental department will be approached and influenced to change a specific policy that is being executed by his/her department.

Hence, direct personal communication between interest groups and government officials or the administrators of any other institution within the domestic and international political system is not only one of the main tactics used in the power approach, but also the most effective influencing instrument available to interest groups. Specific techniques used for this purpose include personal presentations to government; testifying before congressional hearings; and intervention in administrative proceedings (Berry, 1977: 213,

214; Sadie, 1998: 284).

There are also tactics by means of which interest groups influence the governmental process or that of any other organisation, through their constituents. In this case, the staff of interest groups plays an important role.

They act as intermediaries between the citizens and government, effecting lobbying in this manner. Prominent members of society or the interest group can also be asked to contact an important policymaker and influence him/her in that way. In addition, interest groups may attempt to alter governmental policies by influencing the outcome of elections or changing public opinion.

This can be done by funding the campaigns of political parties; the publishing of voting results; the release of research results on election issues; and the launching of public relations campaigns (Berry, 1977: 213-214).

Indirect communication is also used. Forms of indirect contact between interest groups and decision-makers include letter writing campaigns; the use of telegram messages; public relations endeavours; the opening of new channels of communication; social functions such as cocktail parties; and financial contributions and gifts. These methods are found to be less effective in lobbying activities (Sadie, 1998: 284). Although it seems as if direct personal communications with decision-makers are highly effective in producing policy changes, Mingst (1995: 238) offers a word of caution by observing that ‘[t]his is a highly risky strategy; success by a linkage actor

[interest group] is apt to lead to sweeping and critical outcomes; failure can lead to a diminution of the actor’s long-term influence and a loss of legitimacy’.

4.2.2. The Technocratic Approach

Through the technocratic approach, interest groups use their knowledge of

‘procedural mechanisms as well as legal systems’. This knowledge enables them to learn how the domestic and international systems function.

Knowledge is subsequently applied to link the two systems, to accomplish particular aims, to caution others about negative policy trends, to intervene administratively in institutions, or to initiate litigation. Interest groups are therefore not apathetic actors and they have the capacity to learn from and teach other actors. The technocratic approach is most effective when interest

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58 groups depend on links with their constituencies at the sub-level of the organisation. Examples of the technocratic approach include litigation, the structural change of an IGO, and the formation of an international forum to address policy issues of concern to these non-state entities (Mingst, 1995:2

39).

According to Berry (1977: 230), ‘[t]here is evidence to suggest that lobbying through legal work is becoming an increasingly used strategy of influence’.

Yet, there are a number of disadvantages in using litigation. Firstly, it can be very expensive. It should be used as a last resort, for many interest groups do not have the financial resources to sustain a prolonged legal battle. Secondly, although an interest group can be structured to carry out litigation activities, not all interest groups have the institutional capacity to use litigation. Those interest groups that actually use it, usually make a conscious decision to this effect from the outset of a campaign. They can therefore allocate resources to such an activity, in advance, or use an in-house legal department equipped to do this sort of work (Berry, 1977: 225).

4.2.3. The Coalition-building Approach

The coalition-building approach refers to the use of domestic actors by interest groups to build a coalition, which in effect fashions domestic policy consensus as a basis for the creation of transnational coalitions. This process of coalition-building includes connecting issues, the permeation of social networks, and joining groups across national borders (Mingst, 1995: 240). By operating transnationally, interest groups become one of the myriad agents of globalisation. Moreover, this strategy is based on the premise that there is strength in numbers.

Public opinion is not confined to a large number of persons in a single state; it also has a transnational character. Opinions and views about specific policy issues are aggregated and mobilised beyond state boundaries by, amongst others, interest groups. Their leadership defines a certain stance in terms of a policy issue. The members and supporters are then mobilised to share the views of the leaders and in many cases to take action on the issue area. As has been mentioned earlier, when interest groups start lobbying across state borders, they become involved in international relations. A particular interest group in one state may exhibit the same stance on a policy matter as an interest group in another state. They may join forces, exchange information, and propose and promote a unified strategy in opposition or support of a certain policy issue. For instance, environmental interest groups in a number of states form tactical alliances with each other to campaign against or in support of certain policies. In other words, they aggregate resources (Holsti,

1995: 265). What is noteworthy in today’s high-tech world is that coalitions are not confined to single states. Issue networks can span the entire globe and interest groups are very active and resourceful in establishing such networks.

This transnationalisation of issue networks also means that coalitions between interest groups are more complex, but it can also lead to more conflict between them.

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Nevertheless, if an interest group finds transnational partners to work with, it is likely that a coalition may emerge with other like-minded interest groups. A coalition ‘will usually reflect the immediate strategic interests of various lobbies whom all want to influence the same policy in the same way’. The large number of interest groups who share their expertise in a policy sphere and who interact with each other on a frequent basis denotes an issue or policy network. In earlier times, issue networks were not of a highly complex nature.

This is not the case anymore. The proliferation of interest groups, lobbying resources and coalition formation means that more pressure is put on the institutions of the state ‘to respond to demands for policy change’ (Berry, 1997:

186-187).

The reason why interest groups are quite inventive in setting up coalitions or issue networks is that these activities are ‘means of expanding and coordinating the resources needed for an advocacy effort’ (Berry, 1997: 192).

Issue networks are therefore a means for interest groups to lobby against certain policies. This enhances their power to a certain extent.

In other words, the volume of advocacy work an interest group can perform and its ability to influence government is limited. Interest groups therefore need to share resources with each other, like staff, money, constituencies, and contacts, to be more effective. An issue network’s sole purpose is to facilitate communication between the members of interest groups involved in the network. Yet, this can lead to the enhancement of the power of interest groups, since the formation of an issue network means that the role of interest groups in the political bargaining and advocacy process can increase significantly. Nevertheless, the political system determines the extent to which such alliances are forged. In pluralist democratic societies coalitions are ‘more viable and noteworthy’ as opposed to unitary states where coalitions are less easily established (Mingst, 1995: 234, 240; Berry, 1997:

216). Even so, interest groups can also resort to grass-roots mobilisation as an influencing strategy.

4.2.4. Grass-roots Mobilisation

Interest groups simultaneously attempt to increase widespread public involvement across the borders of a number of states. This is called grass-

roots mobilisation

. The way interest groups go about mobilising grass-root support is through direct and/or controversial actions, or through ideological enticement. The most important tactics used include letter writing, campaign contributions to political actors supporting the initiative, and personal contacts with leaders of communities that are affected by a controversial policy. The mass media plays an important role in this respect. For instance, advertisements in newspapers and magazines are used to arouse the public’s awareness of an issue. Sometimes, celebrities are also involved to advance an interest group’s stance on a policy issue. For instance, Survival

International asked the American screen actor Harrison Ford, to campaign on behalf of indigenous Indians who are affected by dam building projects in the

Amazon rainforest. In addition, press conferences and the distribution of brochures to the public, the media and government officials, complaining about

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60 a specific policy matter, also serve as examples of gaining media attention

(Mingst, 1995: 240, 241).

The transnational approaches as discussed represent the strategies available to interest groups to bridge the gap between states and government departments on the one hand, and communities within states and the international political system, on the other. However, an interest group involved in a particular policy controversy may use a different strategy to that applied by another like-minded interest group. The political situation will dictate the approach to be used and will determine the resources available to an interest group. If understaffed, an interest group may opt for building and strengthening an existing coalition with another interest group. The choice of a particular approach will therefore depend on the ‘goal to be achieved, the issue at stake, and the cost-benefit assessment of each strategy’ (Mingst,

1995: 241). Interest groups therefore operate in a rational way by calculating which issues to lobby against and how to go about their advocacy activities. In this sense, they are just as rational as states.

In sum, interest groups are active role-players in the international political arena, through their transnational approaches to influence governmental policies and the actions of other non-state entities (Hjelmar, 1996: 1). They adopt various approaches or strategies, employ a variety of tactics or methods

(nationally and transnationally), have a diversity of targets, and articulate a multitude of issues. Furthermore, they are not only active transnational actors, but they also play a number of different roles.

5. Interest Group Roles

Any system in which actors operate can be viewed as a cluster of roles; so too does the system of interest groups (Rosenau, 1980a: 11). In this respect, a role refers to the interest group’s own definition of types of decisions, commitments, rules and actions to be taken, and the functions it undertakes in the international and domestic political system (Le Prestre, 1997: 3-4). These different roles will depend on the following factors, namely the issues they are concerned with; their targets of influence; their methods of articulation; their nature and type as an interest group; their cultural setting in society; their political situation; and their status as an interest group. Interest groups fulfil two important roles in society, namely an influencing role and a representation role. Other roles either complement the influencing and/or representation roles, or they are subordinate to these basic roles.

In this respect, also considering their multiple contacts with different actors in both the domestic and international environment, the roles interest groups play vary considerably. The plethora of roles can be grouped together in three generic categories, namely discursive roles; participation roles; and philanthropic roles. Within these categories, the different roles include, amongst others a contributory or a fulfilled function; an influence or impact; anticipated behaviour based on certain rules; a course of action; a part in a larger script; policy decisions; and a status, rank or position in the political

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61 process. In other words, ‘who does what, when, and how’ and why? (Holsti,

1970: 245-246; Le Prestre, 1997: 3-4).

The list of these roles is not exhaustive. What these roles have in common is that they are always political, irrespective of whether or not the interest groups are active within the community or are lobbying government. The reason is that politics permeates everything and has an impact on every individual.

Thus, in terms of water management in international river basins, these roles will always be of a political nature.

5.1. Discursive Roles

Interest groups play these roles as agents who are part of or in opposition to the discursive elite. These roles are as follows: opinion generation agent, standard creation agent, norm creation agent, epistemic agent and agenda construction agent.

5.1.1. Opinion Generation Agent

Interest groups perform a function concerning the generation of public opinion on certain matters. They bring, in alliance with but also independent of political parties, important social, economic and political issues to the public’s attention, albeit sometimes in a one-sided and biased fashion. Interest groups sometimes use biased information to legitimise their existence in society and to broaden their power base. This is done through the creation of knowledge to which a society may respond. When they operate as shapers of public opinion, they are found in the following issue areas: development, the protection of human rights and the environment, and the promotion of peace.

They are therefore important agents in the articulation and evolution of public opinion. They do not only respond to changes in the public opinion sphere, but are also influential in the initiation of change. As they attempt to increase the visibility of certain issues or concerns, they also define many of the issues on which public opinion is founded (Childs, 1965: 237, 244; Pierce, Hagner &

Beatty, 1982: 319; Ghils, 1992: 421).

5.1.2. Standard Creation Agent

As a standard creation agent, interest groups, most notably those from the environmental lobby, hold governments responsible for the implementation of international environmental standards. In addition, interest groups formulate or revise technical and non-technical standards within the environmental sphere (Judge & Skjelsbaek, 1975: 205; Clark, 1995: 507). They then project these revised standards onto national policies, by influencing governments to adopt these standards in their policy preferences. Following this, interest groups will vigorously and unbendingly uphold such standards whenever they lobby against a certain governmental policy initiative.

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5.1.3. Norm and Rule Creation Agent

The activities of interest groups are not only restricted to the policy process.

As norm creation agents, through their exertions, they can also create norms in both the domestic and international domains. For instance, interest groups can play a prominent role in the establishment of international organisations to promote a specific cause, principle, norm, or value. In this way, they become involved in the development and implementation of laws that govern or regulate the national and international political domain. According to the social contract theory, as espoused by Hobbes, together with the creation of the state, other institutions are also created that stipulate what the nature and content of laws and rules would be. These laws and rules determine the way in which a society operates (Soroos, 1986: 86; Ghils, 1992: 421; Richardson,

1993b: 2; Bruch, 2003: 38).

Yet, these rules and laws are not fixed, but evolve according to the needs of society. Interest groups play an important role in the development of new rules and laws that govern the processes by which the state operates.

Because rules and laws create conflict, interest groups play a role in offsetting the conflicts inherent to such rules and laws and their accompanying institutions. They will not only be interested in rule and law making, but interest groups will also, by using a number of strategies and tactics, play a law enforcement role (Berry, 1977: 287; Richardson, 1993b: 2). This role manifests, according to Berry (1977: 287), in obtaining ‘new rulings or exacting compliance with old ones’. Based on this, it is assumed that interest groups play different roles in contrasting political settings, because of the variation in rules and laws and institutions between individual countries.

In addition, interest groups do not only influence government or stand in opposition to it. They also encourage government to embrace a particular policy (Meehan, Roche & Stedman, 1966: 63). In this respect, some of the roles played by interest groups vis-à-vis the state are of benefit to the state.

For example, Presthus (1974a: 62) points out that interest groups ‘are a functional requisite of the governmental policy process’ through the creation of norms.

The new norms and values that are laid down by interest groups, or expressed by them through their actions, also has an important impact on state sovereignty in the sense that it modifies the association between the state, citizens, and other actors on the international scene. The reason interest groups play this all-important role is that society, both nationally and internationally, has the ability of self-modification. Interest groups use this metamorphosis of society through unorthodox means of political protests and influence, with the goal of ‘problematising’ some of the basic values inherent in society (Clark, 1995: 509; Hjelmar, 1996: 46). In other words, a problem may not seem to be a serious one by society, yet, by articulating some issues, interest groups are able to raise the salience level of the issue. They therefore also play an important part in the construction of knowledge through the articulation of such norms and values.

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To summarise, interest groups are important to domestic societies and the international community. Just like individuals and groups, states are also socialised by norms of obligation. Notwithstanding the socialisation of states, interest groups are always vigilant for new problems that may affect their members or broader society. Interest groups thus protect the citizen against state action through the norms and values they help to create (Childs, 1965:

244; Judge & Skjelsbaek, 1975: 209; Hobson, 2000: 148).

5.1.4. Epistemic Agent

Within the domestic and international domain, interest groups are valuable sources of information, advice, and estimates of likely impacts of proposed programmes. Some interest groups develop a research capacity, together with analysing and reporting on major events in their field of expertise

(Blaisdell, 1958: 152; Clark, 1995: 516). This expert-driven activity becomes a source of highly specialised information, as well as a means for the advancement of arguments for or against a political issue and/or action.

5.1.5. Agenda Construction Agent

Interest groups highlight new issues of concern and in so doing influence the construction of political agendas. This role does not stop at agenda setting.

Interest groups go one step further, pressurising government and other institutions to deal with the issues on the agenda. In addition, they also influence the cultural agenda of societies. They do so by creating a political environment in which the interests of their members and non-members may be placed high on the priority list of such an agenda, both at national and international levels. They are therefore important in respect of agenda setting, through public opinion and the enforcement of the agenda on decision-makers and society. In contrast, they also operate in a manner to prevent issues from being put on the political agenda. Usually this activity takes the form of opposition towards other groups. Some interest groups may be so strong, or of such importance to governments, and their influence on government so effective, that they can prevent government from attending to the issues articulated by other groups. The result of this is usually non-decision-making by government (Berry, 1977: 287; Hague & Harrop, 1982: 79; Pierce, Beatty &

Hagner, 1982: 319; Richardson, 1993a: 6; Hjelmar, 1996: 30-31).

5.2. Participation Roles

Interest groups act in these roles as agents participating in the political process. As participation agents, interest groups play the following roles: interactive agent, representation agent, transnational agent, policy shaping agent, institution creation agent, watchdog agent, oppositional agent and empowerment agent.

5.2.1. Interactive Agent

Interest groups are agents through which the citizen can interact with all levels of government, i.e. with the executive, legislative and the judiciary branches.

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In this way, they represent the policy preferences of their members and ensure the principle of good governance in a society (Berry, 1977: 288; Bekker, 1996:

29, 32). They therefore help to bridge the gap between the citizen and the government and vice versa and help to uphold articulated ideals within society.

Interest groups are one of the most effective channels through which citizens can bring their demands and problems to the attention of government and government officials. They are crucial in this respect because of the wide variety of interests and members they represent. Interest groups are therefore a key component in the link between public opinion and the political process in both domestic politics and world affairs (Childs, 1965: 243, 244; Hague &

Harrop, 1982: 77; Pierce, Beatty & Hagner, 1982: 319).

With this in mind, they increase, under certain circumstances, the responsiveness of officials to social problems existing in society. Although the effectiveness of interest groups in causing change is debatable, their role as linkage actors in society is not disputed (Presthus, 1974b: 46). Concerning this, Berry (1977: 3) remarks that ‘interest groups offer the citizen a means of collective participation in politics for the purpose of trying to influence public policy outcomes’. Eikeland (1994: 259), furthermore, states that interest groups are partaking at an increasing frequency in policy-formation processes and mechanisms, at least in the developed world.

5.2.2. Representation Agent

Similar to the interactive role, interest groups usually, but not always, oppose state agencies and the policies to be implemented. By influencing government on certain public policy issues, interest groups play a number of related roles.

To elaborate, they represent their constituents before government. Regarding this, within the democratic process, ways are devised by means of which groups in society can raise issues or policy preferences and get the government to listen to their concerns (Berry, 1997: 6). This role is in line with the linkage role interest groups play.

In addition, interest groups also influence electoral politics by specifying issues as well as the allocation of funds and votes to a specific political party. Interest groups from the environmental community will usually support a political party with a specific stance on environmental issues, or one created purposely for the advancement of environmental concerns. Interest groups also articulate issues that are too complex or specialised for political parties in their election campaigns (Presthus, 1974a: 65; Wilson, 1990: 4). By doing so, they represent their constituents at a broader level than is devised by political parties during elections.

5.2.3. Transnational Agent

As representation agents, interest groups do not only play domestic roles, but also act transnationally. In this respect, the development of modern communications technology has had an enormous impact on the role of interest groups as transnational agents. Images and messages, travelling at

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65 the speed of light across the world, assist interest groups to play different roles over the world. ‘The politics of an individual country cannot be understood without knowing what groups lobby the government and what debate there has been in the media. Similarly, international diplomacy does not operate on some separate planet, cut off from global civil society’ (Willets,

1997: 298).

Furthermore, the communications revolution has presently made the activities of governments more public than previously. Proposed government policies are no longer the absolute domain of government officials; they now also lie in the ‘global fishbowl of life in the twenty-first century’. What is also significant in the communications revolution is that it has resulted in a wider cast of actors in international affairs. These include interest groups, businesses, journalists, and Internet activists. Of importance is the fact that the communications revolution has enhanced the ability of interest groups to establish and maintain transnational contacts. The revolution has also led to a decrease in the cost of setting up a policy or issue network. It is no longer necessary for members of interest groups to travel vast distances by aeroplane, for instance, to meet members of other groups (Hoffman, 2002: 84;

Josselin & Wallace, 2001: 1). This implies that interest groups are active transnational participants in international relations. Put differently, interest groups can receive messages that are not restricted by state borders. If the message is incompatible with the issues an interest group promotes, it may react and start lobbying against governmental policy. In doing so, the interest group will become a transnational agent.

Because of the communication revolution, sovereignty, and non-intervention as its logical correlate, is not an important consideration for interest groups in their role as transnational agents. What is of importance to many interest groups lobbying against governmental policies is how many people are positively affected by the change in policy, and not who (governments or financial institutions) is initiating the policy. In other words, interest groups are

‘blind to sovereignty’ and other collectivities, like IGOs, and these latter actors will only matter to the extent that they are targets or a channel of influence.

5.2.4. Policy Shaping Agent

Notwithstanding the transnational role of interest groups, they also attempt on a continuous basis to shape the form of public policy when influencing government actions (Gable, 1958: 89). For this reason many scholars see interest groups as one of the most important actors in domestic and international politics. This particular perception is based on the fact that interest groups undermine the aggrandisement of, as realists note, the most important actor in world affairs—the state.

Interest groups are just as active in the dynamics of water politics within an international river basin, as within the states sharing such river systems.

Payne (1996: 171) declares that interest groups ‘as diverse as they are, have just as great a number of goals to satisfy, from preserving a particular forest or river ecosystem to restructuring development assistance’. For interest groups

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66 to satisfy their objectives, they employ both national and transnational pressure politics. Not only do interest groups use national and transnational influence strategies on the state, they also direct their persuasion at the policies of non-state actors such as MNCs, the International Monetary Fund

(IMF) and the World Bank. In addition, states that are authoritative in these organisations, such as Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, can also be influenced (Payne, 1996: 171; McCully, 1996: 299-308; Neme, 1997:

49).

5.2.5. Institution Creation Agent

Interest groups are also active where institutional arrangements are nonexistent or not in operation. They act as movements that change government structures at large or in certain issue areas. Interest groups may also establish novel and meaningful inter-state mechanisms or pressure some states to comply with existing mechanisms. They can also openly question international institutions as well as, their functions, structure, and legitimacy.

In this case, they can propose and work towards the establishment of new institutions (Ghils, 1992: 423-424, 426). An important example in this case is the establishment of the World Commission on Dams (WCD) which was formed, inter alia, by continuous interest group proposals for its creation.

5.2.6. Watchdog Agent

Interest groups are not only active in the creation of institutions but are, in addition, important ‘watchdogs’ of society. The role of ‘look-outs’ or watchdogs is related to the promotion of norms and values. In this respect, interest groups can respond quickly to new needs in a changing environment.

These needs are the direct result of technological breakthroughs and natural disasters, changes in service delivery or policies by government and business, and when government policies have ended or stagnated (Judge &

Skjelsbaek, 1975: 209).

Regarding this, interest groups are not only of value to society, but also to states. Many interest groups, in their capacity as research institutions and the distributors of information, act as early warning systems to detect risks posed and opportunities presented by the domestic and international environment.

By acting on such threats, related norms and values are created to direct the conduct of other actors in the political environment.

5.2.7. Oppositional Agent

Related to their watchdog role, interest groups act as checks on and critics of government actions. When certain programmes are implemented by government agencies, interest groups can continuously monitor such programmes and their effect on constituents or other members of society.

They will often identify weaknesses in such programmes through the various means and methods (strategies and tactics) at their disposal. They may even lobby for changes in the execution of such plans. Moreover, and as has been mentioned, interest groups do not confine themselves to national public policy

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67 issues alone. Many interest groups influence the stance of national governments on international policies and agendas. Sometimes these interest groups ‘go international’ by taking a stand on issues in the international arena (Childs, 1965: 243-244; Soroos, 1986: 84; Berry, 1997: 8).

In this respect Richardson (1993a: 11) insists that ‘the existence of groups is a constraint on governmental action in all political systems’, even in the international community. They can therefore impede the desire of governments to implement their own goals in certain policy matters that are close to the national interest (Coxall, 1980: 108).

5.2.8. Empowerment Agent

Interest groups are furthermore active agents in the sense that they seek to include and empower those who would not otherwise be involved in the decision-making process. This role entails a number of phases. Firstly, information about those groups that could be affected by a policy is obtained.

Secondly, the interest groups then provide these groups with information about a policy decision by government. Thirdly, they consult with the groups.

Finally, they provide the groups with an opportunity or avenue to shape the outcome of the decision-making process (Bruch, 2003: 39-40). In this way, interest groups involve minority groups in the decision-making process by empowering them. This role can take on a symbiotic relationship between the empowerer and the empowered with each deriving political power from the other.

5.3. Philanthropic Roles

Interest groups play a number of roles as philanthropic agents in that they assist governments, other interest groups or NGOs, and individuals in their endeavours. These roles are as follows: guardian agent, assistant agent and safety provider agent.

5.3.1. Guardian Agent

Regarding the role of guardian agent, interest groups perform a task that is related to the physical safety of its members. This is also a motivation for people to form or become members of interest groups. Interest groups provide the mechanisms that guarantee the safety and security of their members (Bekker, 1996: 33). More specifically, a community or group of people may feel that some form of policy initiated by the state threatens their safety and security. This will prompt them to establish an interest group that can offset the threats emanating from the policy proposal.

5.3.2. Assistant Agent

Interest groups also assist government in performing important tasks such as the specification of goals for society, the allocation of scarce resources, and the resolution of conflicts. This assistance to the state will depend, though, on a number of aspects, of which the nature of the political system and the

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68 culture of a society are two of the most important. Furthermore, interest groups also play roles that are related to service delivery. For instance, they may contribute to development in developing countries, where they are either actively involved in the development process or make resources available for such programmes. Interest groups can provide governments with specialised opinion, technical information, funds and a host of other resources to assist them in their policy and programme formulation and implementation endeavours (Presthus, 1974b: 62; Judge & Skjelsbaek, 1975: 204, 207-208;

Coxall, 1980: 11). Interest groups also play a role in humanitarian assistance and contribute funding to developing states in the case of natural disasters to provide relief in such situations. This assistance will depend on factors that influence their activities in domestic policy matters, like government ideology.

Interest groups also assist collectivities, other than governments and states, like minority groups. They can make special services available to these groups to resist government policies that will adversely affect them. For instance, where minorities do not have access to legal services an interest group, specialising in such matters, might perform a legal service on behalf of the group. In this way, a valuable resource is put at the disposal of the minority group to assist it in lobbying against government policies.

Interest groups not only provide intangible resources, like legal services, to assist seemingly powerless groups. Travel and accommodation costs at important forums, with the aim of lobbying governments, are also made available to collectivities that do not have the financial resources to afford this.

5.3.3. Safety Provider Agent

In support of their role as a guardian and assistant agent, interest groups are also providers of safety, especially to prevent violence. Peace is the absence of violence. In this respect, interest groups play a number of important roles to prevent two types of violent interactions, namely personal violence perpetrated by one person on another, and structural violence that is equated to exploitation or social injustice (Judge & Skjelsbaek, 1975: 209).

States and other non-state actors use and perpetrate both types of violence.

The sources of these forms of violence either emanates from within the state or it can come from outside state borders. Both types of violence ultimately lead to a lower quality of life and/or a shorter life span because of the premature death of victims. Interest groups can cause a reduction of both types of violence in two ways. Firstly, their activities could be aimed at the prevention of personal and structural violence. Secondly, they can do this by their mere existence without any actions or efforts to promote peace, due to their ability to distribute power more broadly within societies (Judge &

Skjelsbaek, 1975: 209).

In conclusion, many of the above-mentioned roles are ideologically influenced, e.g. they are informed by democratic principles. Will these democratically informed roles differ from the roles of interest groups in transitional or fledgling democracies? Not at all! Although there are many different political systems

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69 and forms of government across the globe, the influence of democratic principles is one of the most important considerations in the establishment and operation of interest groups. Interest groups in many transitional democracies are voluntary organisations. They are formed on a voluntary basis and not imposed on the citizenry from above by government, in contrast to authoritarian and totalitarian political systems. Interest groups by their nature are formed on the basis of strong voluntary, democratic principles, irrespective of whether or not they are part of democratic or transitional democratic political systems.

What should also be noted is that not all interest groups in every society will play all of these roles at the same time. Their roles will depend on the same factors applicable to the use of the approaches interest groups will follow in their influencing endeavours. These factors are: the goal(s) to be achieved, the political issue(s) at stake, and the cost-benefit assessment of the role to be played (Mingst, 1995: 241). With this in mind, what are the factors that determine interest group success to influence public policy?

6. Interest Group Success

The success of interest group influence is a complex issue. Not only is their efficiency often determined by a number of factors beyond their control, but their success or effectiveness is also tied up with their strategies, tactics and roles. The debatable nature of their political power furthermore compounds this complexity. The general contention is that interest groups are very effective in their influencing activities.

As an example, interest groups make the claim that they are successful in blocking the construction of a dam project. For instance, McCully (1996: 294) is of the opinion that interest groups ‘stalled the implementation of the cornerstone of government energy policy [in Brazil]’. In addition, the insight of the leadership of some of the interest groups forced Electrosul

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to the bargaining table, to implement hydropower installations on a number of

Brazilian rivers. Statements to this effect are value-laden and pronounced in such a way to accord positive meaning to the actions of interest groups in their endeavours against water supply projects. However, their effectiveness is affected by a myriad of factors. Accordingly, Wilson (1990: 10) claims that ‘[i]f it has been hard to define interest groups, it is even harder to reach any consensus about their importance’. From this it is inferred that inherent difficulties and opportunities determine the success of interest groups.

A number of issues relating to interest group power (success), with reference to selected elements influencing interest group power

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, are subsequently outlined to place the debate into perspective. To be effective in their influencing endeavours, interest groups need to stay in contact with important policymakers in the governmental process (Almond & Powell, 1996: 76). Not only do they have to approach policymakers, they also need to extend their

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This is the agency responsible for the construction of hydroelectric dams in Brazil.

In this case, power refers to the extent to which interest groups are successful in restricting governmental policy options.

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70 influence to other important role players and members of the international community who are involved in water resources management. This is especially true where external institutions are involved in WRMPs. In other words, they must be in constant communication with political actors in the national and international water sectors. Yet, this will not guarantee their success, but may at least facilitate their activities in both the national and international realms.

Nevertheless, one of the most important considerations that affect the power of interest groups is the character of the political system. Political systems vary at the domestic level, in the international community and over time.

Interest groups may enunciate the interests of their constituencies, but they can fail to permeate and influence policymakers. An important consideration is that interest groups are not sovereign as are states—they are autonomous. In addition, interest groups can perform functions that are related to a single issue area while states, on the other hand, perform a plethora of services. In this respect, interest groups have more limited policy concerns than states

(Clark, 1995: 512; Almond & Powell, 1996: 76). Either this may have a positive influence on their effectiveness or it can be a limitation on their success, depending on the political system of the society under review.

Within certain political systems interest group effectiveness may be influenced more by the governing elite than the other way around. A strong and centralised government can create particular difficulties for interest group operations. In such a top-down system, interest groups may not be welcome in the governmental process, unless their role is in harmony with governmental policies. The nature of the political system can therefore create or prevent an opportunity for interest groups to voice their concerns or disagreement with policies or policy change (Harris, 1968: 6; Ndegwa, 1994: 30).

From this line of argument, clearly an interest group’s success at influence should be understood within the context of political power in domestic society and the international system. Interest group power should also be seen as dependent on aspects that are not directly related to the relationships between interest groups and government. For instance, in a particular political system decision-makers may be bound by legislation to listen to the views and concerns of interest groups, because of the mere presence of interest groups

(Cox, 1993: 84; Edinger, 1993: 178). Other elements, such as the emotional condition of a government official, which are sometimes far removed from the relationship between interest groups and policymakers, also have an influence. There is therefore a mixture of variables influencing interest group success rates.

6.1. Influencing Factors

The policy type and political policy area in which interest groups operate are determining factors. Interest groups can be influential in particular policy areas. Yet, it would be an error to generalise that they are successful in all instances. In this case, three broad policy areas are identified, as outlined by

Lowi (1979)—redistributive, distributive and regulatory policies. Redistributive

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71 policies direct resources from one part of society to another, for example from the privileged to the underprivileged. Distributive policies distribute benefits to separate geographical regions or councils, for example public works projects.

Regulatory policies regulate the conduct of society, particularly that of individuals and the environment at large. Examples are environmental regulations and the placing of a ceiling on the consumer price of water

(Wilson, 1990: 11).

Each policy area will inevitably generate a unique type of political interaction, with different actors playing dissimilar roles and having particular influences and interests. Interest groups seem to be more successful in regulatory and distributive policies than in redistributive affairs, where political parties are more prominent. In other words, the intensity of group activity and the importance thereof might be dissimilar from one policy type or area to another

(Wilson, 1990: 11).

Public opinion and the dominant ideology in a society are other factors in the success of interest group endeavours (Wilson, 1990: 12). A ruling party will show a preference for the inclusion of labour unions and business in the policy making process rather than the inclusion of associational promotional interest groups like environmentalists. Society will also show a preference for or aversion to certain types of interest groups. This brings to mind the pluralism and corporatism dichotomy in respect of insider and outsider groups.

Interest groups that emphasise socio-economic issues will have more status than those who articulate other interests on the environment and human rights

(Wilson, 1990: 13). Socio-economic development may be viewed as more important by society than the natural environment. The natural environment may even be seen as a resource to be used for socio-economic development.

This can contribute to the relative unimportance of associational promotional interest groups.

Passing circumstances are also a factor in the success of interest groups.

Circumstances within the domestic environment and the international system change over time. For instance, a political party that has been relatively unfriendly towards interest groups may be voted out of power and be replaced by one that involves certain interest groups in the decision-making process.

Similarly, the end of the Cold War caused the rethinking of the international political agenda in which other more pressing issues started to gain prominence, like environmental concerns and water security. This creates possibilities that allow for particular interest group types to play a more prominent role in issues pertaining to water security and/or environmental concerns. The changing water paradigm, partly brought on by interest group lobbying, is another case in point (Wilson, 1990: 15; Gleick, 1998: 12-16).

Accordingly, changing circumstances in a specific sector can give interest groups a prominent place in society. Yet, this still does not mean that they will be successful in their lobbying endeavours against WRMPs in all societies around the world.

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The level of support for interest groups is another factor in their success. If an interest group wants to be successful, it should represent all those who support a certain interest or issue. If groups of similar interest are fragmented into a number of smaller competing associations, this may have a negative impact on their activities vis-à-vis government. This, of course, creates opportunities for the formation of alliances between interest groups. An alliance between similar groups that uphold the same interests and principles will strengthen their influencing role (Joyce, 1996: 77).

Another factor influencing interest groups’ effectiveness is their expertise. If policymakers use the knowledge an interest group generates, it will give the interest group a higher status in the policy process and more influence over policy decisions. This goes hand-in-hand with the tangible or intangible resources an interest group possesses. Access to computer technology that will assist in establishing a global network is an example. In addition, the financial resources and the size of the membership can also affect interest group power and status in society (Joyce, 1996: 78).

The type of sanctions or rewards employed by an interest group is another factor. Tactics like demonstrations and petitions have an influence on group power. Insider groups may threaten not to cooperate in a certain policy area; preventing the policy from being implemented. This may lead to a backlash, since the group may lose its insider status and be relegated to the periphery

(Joyce, 1996: 78).

To summarise, this discussion suggests that interest groups, in a globalising world, do not operate in a void. Sometimes they may find that other groups work in the same issue field. This can lead to a situation where networks are not established, for some reason, or where they are established they have a positive impact on interest group success. The problems faced by interest groups, for example their inability to establish alliances and/or networks or the nature of the political system, can produce a vicious circle. Such a situation can make interest groups less efficient and negatively affect their operations.

Such inefficiency can lead to less participation in the policy process; relegating interest groups to an outsider status in society and the international community at large (Judge & Skjelsbaek, 1975: 215; Ndegwa, 1994: 30).

6.2. Methodological Difficulties

As noted earlier, the success of interest groups is often exaggerated, even in political systems conducive to their formation. In a favourable political climate, policymakers hold certain attitudes, values, preferences and frames of reference that influence their responses to certain issues. They are also more likely to react to proposals that are in line with their own value systems and attitudes. Under such circumstances decision-makers also have more freedom of action. This will undoubtedly influence the effectiveness of interest groups, either directly or indirectly (Gable, 1958: 91; Wilson, 1990: 14).

Concerning the level of success of interest groups, influence ‘hides a minefield of methodological difficulties’ that should be kept in mind whenever the

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73 success of interest groups is assessed. These difficulties provide valuable clues about the role and importance of interest groups in any policy area, and indicate important interceding variables that impact on interest group and government relations. A number of warning signs indicates some risk inherent to the debate on interest group power and their relationship with government and its policies (Matthews, 1993: 237). These warning signs are as follows:

Firstly, it can be presumed that their influence stems from policy

consequences

. This argument takes note of the fact that the state or any other non-state entity adopted a policy grounded on the strategies and tactics of interest groups. For instance, a newspaper article heading may read:

‘Petition needed to solve problem of interrupted water supplies to residents’.

Yet, the influence of interest groups may not have been the overriding element in subsequent government action. Other factors, such as party commitment to the policy, arguments by departmental advisors, the climate of public opinion or the dominant ideology, or the views and communications of other governments are also significant (Matthews, 1993: 237, 238; Roodepoort

Record, 9 March 2001: 1).

Secondly, postulating that power or influence flow from the resources an

interest group possesses

. Large interest groups may claim that their huge membership or financial capital produced policy changes. How, for instance, are resources translated into power? Other factors can also come into play, for example scientific expertise and the strategies and tactics a group employs. Resources are sometimes presented as the determining factor but what about access to decision-makers and/or socio-economic influence and status? The resources an interest group possess can be important, nevertheless, they are important only when facilitating an effective administrative apparatus within the group’s institutional arrangements and not for being successful in having influenced the outcome of policies. For instance, an interest group may have a pragmatic and effective leadership to guide their activities, the necessary funding and the support of a large constituency. There is, however, no reason why these resources will automatically lead to success in influencing public policies. What is important, though, is not the quantity and quality of the resources, but how other political actors within the national and international realm perceive an interest group.

Resources are necessary for influencing activities, but are not sufficient to explain the success of such influence (Matthews, 1993: 238; Smith, 1993: 3-

4).

Thirdly, assuming that success is derived from the access to government.

Some scholars and practitioners state that insider groups are more influential than those outside the policy process. Access to the governmental process is, however, not on par with effective influence. Consider, for instance, that the policy process and the implementation of policies are the outcome of a multilayered procedure involving a number of actors. Interest groups may have access, but they are not the only actors involved in the policy process.

Opposition parties sitting on parliamentary committees are just as important.

Nonetheless, insider status gives some interest groups a leading edge over

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74 those who have no access at all in their influencing endeavours (Matthews,

1993: 238-239).

Fourthly, thinking that those who triumphed in the decision-making process

exerted influence

. A well-known definition of power states that actor A influences actor B to do something A wants B to do according to A’s wishes.

Put differently, the capability of A to put c amount of influence over B about issue d. If A’s wishes are complied with by B, then it is said that A has influence over B in the decision-making process. Nevertheless, it cannot be certain that B took A seriously and conformed to the wishes of A. There is just not enough conclusive evidence to make such a statement. Similarly, an interest group may not be part of the process, but still has influence over an issue. In such a case, the government may have acted in anticipation of the group’s reaction (Merritt & Zinnes, 1989: 12; Matthews, 1993: 239, 241-240;

Holsti, 1995: 118; Nossal, 1998: 90). Government action therefore could have been premeditated.

These warning signs are not intended to hide or minimise the societal importance of interest groups. These non-state actors are and will be an important part of the policy process in any society. However, at times, interest groups will not be successful in influencing policy processes. At other times, they will be successful. Even so, the warning signs are measures to show that statements in the media, or made by interest groups themselves, can exaggerate their power and influence. Care should therefore be taken of biased statements that lay claim to their success. Once again, the arguments stated above indicate the plethora of variables that will affect the relationship between interest groups and the state or government. Some of the variables mentioned would act as interceding rather than independent variables in influencing the power and success of interest groups lobbying governments.

7. Conclusion

In this chapter, the fundamental characteristics of interest groups were considered. An attempt has also been made to merge the discussion of interest groups in International Relations and Political Science. As a point of departure, the concepts of interest group, pressure group, lobby and

NGO/INGO

were analysed. The conceptualisation of non-state entities, as

interest group

, pressure group, lobby and NGO/INGO, has a long history.

Many scholars studying these entities usually define them with reference to the subject matter they are examining. The different conceptualisations of the terms interest group, pressure group, lobby and NGO/INGO, have caused considerable confusion as to what exactly is an interest group. It was shown that it is of no importance to argue over different definitions of these entities.

What is of essence is their role and activities in society, more particularly their relationship with the state, government, and international institutions, and their impact on state autonomy and the official policy process.

One of the defining characteristics of interest groups lies in their different types, namely: anomic, non-associational, associational, and institutional interest groups. By outlining their typology, it was shown that they differ widely

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75 in their composition, nature, method of articulation and membership base.

Furthermore, these different interest groups can form coalitions. Thus, different interest groups can be involved in lobbying activities, either in coalition or individually. In other words, the dividing lines between these groups can be breached to form coalitions or policy networks when opportune.

A second characteristic is that interest groups are transnational actors.

Interest groups use four approaches when transnationally lobbying governmental policies, namely the power, technocratic, coalition-building, and grass-roots mobilisation approaches. These approaches are indicative of their transnational activities. Whenever interest groups use these approaches, they will be transnationally active as agents in world affairs.

When interest groups are transnationally active, they also play a number of roles. Three generic roles are identifiable, namely discursive, participatory, and philanthropic roles. The type of agent is also dependent on the realm in which they are operating and the type of policy issue they attempt to influence.

If they are operating within the domestic political sphere, interest groups will only be domestic political agents, but if they are involved in a policy matter across state borders, they will become transnational agents. Thus, the level at which they operate, will influence their agential form (domestic or transnational agents). Their roles are defined in terms of the type of agents they are.

Furthermore, interest groups play a variety of roles in society that varies from opinion generation agents to safety provider agents.

A number of factors affect the success of interest groups in influencing governmental policies. Some interest groups claim that they are instrumental in changing such policies. However, closer scrutiny of a situation where interest groups exert influence over a policy indicates that intervening variables often play a greater role in changing such policies than interest groups. Based in part on the proceeding discussion and before the case studies are discussed and analysed, a framework for analysis is developed.

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CHAPTER 4

INTEREST GROUP INVOLVEMENT IN WATER POLITICS: A FRAMEWORK

FOR ANALYSIS

1. Introduction

The purpose of this chapter is to develop a framework of analysis of the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in water politics and to assess the agential power of respectively the state and interest groups in this context, with reference to the selected case studies. The framework also structures the study in such a way as to answer the research questions, more specifically to identify the factors that influence state and interest group interaction and that determine the success or failure of interest groups lobbying against WRMPs.

Puchala (1971: 358) points out that ‘a general theory of international politics

[is] an inventory of dependent and independent variables, a series of process models, and a set of statements about cause and effect’. In principle, this is also the case with a framework for analysis. By identifying variables and statements concerning cause and effect, patterns are discerned about the interaction between government(s) and interest groups. Since states are not the only actors that possess agential power, and are not the only actors that play a meaningful role in world politics, the framework for analysis must be as comprehensive as possible in order to accommodate other actors and processes.

Since the main objective of this framework is to analyse, explain and predict the nature of the role and involvement of interest groups in the water politics of

WRMPs, and in doing so, to determine the agential power of the state and interest groups lobbying against WRMPs in Southern Africa, its constitutive elements must encapsulate this problematique. Accordingly, the framework for analysis comprises three distinct elements, namely the key components of international river basins; the notion of agential power; and criteria for the comparison of the selected case studies.

2. Key Components of International River Basins

International River basins, with reference to WRMPs, are comprised of three key components, namely, the geographic area of the individual basin; the actors involved in the basin’s water politics, i.e. those who are implementing or opposing the implementation of WRMPs in the basin; and its hydropolitical history.

2.1. Geographic Area

The geographic area constituting the international river basin is used as a basis for analysis since the river basin and its geographical environment are important sources of water for society. This is especially the case in respect of countries in semi-arid or arid regions, e.g. those in Southern Africa. Another

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77 consideration is that rivers do not necessarily follow or correspond with international boundaries. Worldwide, approximately 268 rivers flow across or form international borders between states. Furthermore, it is estimated that fewer than ten states holds about 60 per cent of the world’s accessible freshwater resources, resulting in other states having much less. Botswana is a case in point. Only 6 per cent of the country’s total water resources originate within its borders (Church, 2000: 18) while the rest (94 per cent) flows across its borders from other countries.

International river basins are demarcated in accordance with geographical principles used in international law, as defined by the International Law

Association (ILA) in the Helsinki Rules, 1966. These rules state that an international river basin is a geographic area that stretches over the territory of more than one state and is delimited by the watershed, including surface and sub-surface water resources, which flows into a general terminus. The

Helsinki Rules

(Article 3) also define a riparian state

25

as a state whose territory includes a portion of an international river basin (Le Roux, 1989: 11;

McCaffrey, 1995: 89).

The International Law Commission (ILC) of the United Nations (UN) defines an international river as a waterway of which parts are situated in a number of states. This definition not only applies to the main stream (stem) of a river that traverses a border or form the international border between two or more countries, but also concerns the tributaries of such rivers or lakes that cross borders as well as groundwater resources that are linked to some parts of an international river basin. This is irrespective of whether or not these groundwater resources transcend an international border. For instance, nine riparian states share the Nile River basin to the extent that the river basin stretches over the respective territories of these countries (McCaffrey, 1995:

89; Warner, 2000: 38). The demarcation of an international river basin thus determines, amongst others, the number of states that could play a role in the implementation of WRMPs in that river basin.

The demarcation of the international river basin furthermore highlights its unique characteristics by indicating the purposes the river is used for. For instance, a wide, slow flowing perennial river is not only used as a source of water for a variety of users, but also as a transport channel. This is the case with many rivers in the wetter parts of the world, e.g. in North America, Latin

America, Europe, and large parts of Asia. Rivers in drier regions also have particular uses, although they differ from those in wetter regions. For instance, cataracts in a perennial river within a semi-arid region will allow the generation of hydroelectricity, but disallow commercial transport on that river.

The geographical demarcation of international river basins also provides an indicator of intervening variables that may affect water scarcities or abundances. For example, these variables include, amongst others, the climatological and hydrological characteristics of a riparian system and river

25

The concept ‘riparian state’ should not be confused with the similar concept used to describe riparian states in a federal political system, like the US.

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78 basin that can produce either conflict or cooperation between the actors

(Elhance, 1999: 6).

2.2. Actors

The demarcation of an international river basin provides an indication of the actors involved in the water politics of the particular basin. These include sovereign states that share the international river basin, as well as other actors active within the international river basin, e.g. non-state entities such as local communities, minority groups and interest groups. These actors are identified and classified according to three spheres of involvement in the water politics of, and more specifically, the implementation of WRMPs in the international river basin, namely the actors in the core, semi-periphery and outer-periphery

(see Figure 3).

The core actors are the riparian states of the international river basin as well as those actors who share the river basin, namely the human communities living in the river basin who are directly dependent on its water resources. The semi-periphery actors are those within the region but who fall outside the river basin as such. They can either be other states or non-state entities. The outer-periphery actors are those who fall outside the river basin and the region but who have an interest in the water resources of the international river.

Within each of these different spheres, two types of actors can be discerned, namely state and non-state actors. The state actors are those states that share or have an interest in the river basin, as well as international governmental organisations such as the UN, World Bank and the

Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). The non-state actors range from financial institutions (private banks), through interest groups and epistemic communities, to individuals.

Figure 3. Actors involved in international river basin WRMPs.

Actors external to the region and basin with an interest in the water resources of the international river.

Actors within the region and external to the river basin in question.

Actors sharing the river system (the riparian states, and interest groups) within the river basin.

These different categories and types of actors usually interact in an interdependent manner. For example, interest groups can form an alliance amongst themselves to oppose a WRMP or they can unite with states to implement it. Furthermore, interest groups and states can influence each

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79 other in a reciprocal manner analogous to a cobweb of interactions. By identifying the non-state actors in this manner, the transnational nature of their role and involvement in WRMPs comes to the fore, as well as the sphere from which influence is exerted.

2.3. Hydropolitical History

An overview of the hydropolitical history (HPH) of the international river basin serves the following purposes:

Firstly, it indicates which categories or types of actors are most dominant in the international river basin during certain periods; secondly, based on the manner of interaction between the actors over time, it provides information about interceding variables, such as a changed political environment that influence the implementation of WRMPs; and thirdly, by explaining the duration of the level of experience and expertise to lobby against WRMPs of interest group involvement in the river basin, it connotes when and under what circumstances interest groups begin to influence states not to implement

WRMPs.

Notwithstanding these purposes, the HPH begins at the point where the hydraulic mission is first conceived, and varies from one river basin to the other. The category and type of actor who first mentions or implements the hydraulic mission, provide an indication of the ideological mind-set that underpins control of the river basin. For instance, states are governed in accordance with certain ideological frameworks. Because states control river basins, the management of their water resources will also be controlled ideologically.

3. Agential Power

3.1. Conceptual Clarification

According to Lieber (1972: 93), power is the ‘currency of the political system in the way that money is the currency of the economy.’ Deutsch (1978: 45-46) similarly defined power along monetary lines when he remarks that power is a

‘symbol of the ability to change the distribution of results, and particularly the results of people’s behaviour. In this respect, power can be compared in some ways to money, which is our usual standardized symbol of purchasing power—that is, of our ability to change the distribution of goods and resources’. Yet, since currency is interchangeable, it provides a medium of barter. In contrast, power resources can be highly static and are therefore issue and situation specific (Nossal, 1998: 97). Power is only in some circumstances concrete, also considering that the nature of a particular theory of world affairs will determine how power is defined (Merritt & Zinnes, 1989:

27).

A power resource that is used successfully in one issue area might not work in another. For instance, it would be fruitless to use military force to resist the transnational lobbying of interest groups against large dams. Power is not

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80 only a means to an end, but also an end in itself. For example, Morgenthau

(1967: 25-26; see also Dougherty & Pfalzgraff, 1990: 84) defines all politics as the ‘struggle for power’. He therefore thought of power as both a means and an end.

Haas and Whiting (1956: 82) furthermore comment that ‘power has objective reality, capable of measurement by the scientific observer. Such measurement is necessary if we are to judge the degree of fantasy or reality in the view of policy makers’. It is difficult, if not impossible, to specify the power variable which determines the dominance of one actor over another.

Nonetheless, ‘the majority of instances permit rational calculation of comparative power sufficient to determine the ability of one’ actor to let its wishes prevail (Haas & Whiting, 1956: 82). However, the aim is to determine who has most agential power, in other words to determine which actor will prevail in the international river basin concerning the implementation or prevention of a particular WRMP (see Merritt & Zinnes, 1989: 27).

Notwithstanding the aforesaid, power is a difficult concept to define (Dougherty

& Pfalzgraff, 1990: 556). Within the scholarly discourse, power has different meanings. In addition to the previously indicated meanings, it can imply a

‘legal authority to act’ or the ‘actual capacity to affect human behaviour’.

Similarly, power may invoke the image of physical force where one state dominates another through military force. Yet, power may also mean ‘noncoercive influence’ through various means. A letter writing campaign by interest groups is an example (McGowan & Nel, 1999: 10).

Two types of power can be identified within politics: structural and relational power. Structural power refers to the rules or obligations that an actor develops and to which other actors in the political system should adhere. This setting of rules will eventually determine and control the behaviour of other actors. Relational power refers to the ability to ‘coerce (force) or influence’ another actor ‘to do something that’ the other actor ‘would otherwise not consider doing’ (Leysens & Thompson, 1999: 21). Both these types of power depend on the ability of one actor to change the behaviour of others, and both have influence as a component. Thus, by influencing WRMP policies, interest groups are using relational power.

However, if power is defined as agential power, it could possibly be much easier to determine it. In this respect, cognisance can be taken of the opinion of Stern (2000: 143-144) namely that ‘[t]he problem with ‘power’ is that it has so many different connotations that no single and agreed meaning to suit all contexts and occasions is possible’. Therefore, to the extent that power can indicate a relationship between actors in the international arena, the concept agential power becomes more appropriate. The reason for this is that agential power involves relationships between actors (states and interest groups) in the context of the implementation of WRMPs in international river basins.

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3.2. Theoretical Dimensions

In his analysis of the state in international relations, Hobson (2000) describes and classifies the agential power of the state as seen through the lenses of contending International Relations theories. This classification is useful because it not only provides a definition and typology of the agential power of the state, but also indicates how this agential power relates to non-state entities. As a point of departure, Hobson (2000: 5-10) distinguishes between two main categories: domestic agential power and international agential power.

Domestic agential power is defined as, ‘the ability of the state to make

domestic or foreign policy as well as shape the domestic realm, free of domestic social-structural requirements or the interests of non-state actors

(Hobson, 2000: 5). This definition is analogous to the idea of state autonomy, namely a situation where an actor has sovereignty over its actions, when selfgoverned or self-determined (Reath, 1998: 586). In this respect ‘[t]he autonomy of any social entity refers to the correspondence between its preferences and actions. A very autonomous one ... invariably acts as it chooses to act, and does not act when it prefers not to do so. An autonomous state translates its policy preferences into authoritative actions; it is autonomous insofar as public policy conforms to the parallelogram (or resultant) of the public officials’ resource-weighted preferences’ (Nordlinger,

1981: 8).

Moreover, state autonomy promotes state interests and relies on the capacity of the state to act in a relatively independent manner (Wolfe, 1991: 239).

Notwithstanding this, concerning specific policy issues, state autonomy varies over time (hence Nordlinger [1981] questions the existence of a totally autonomous state). In general, and according to state centric approaches, the state’s main goal is to promote the feasibility of state institutions and, consequently, the existence of the state itself. The capacities of the state evolve from the instruments it employs as well as from its ability to withstand the pressures of interest groups that may limit state action. Hence, state theorists set state institutions and the operation of their officialdom aside and above civil society, although they may disagree about the actual capacities of the state and the sources of its interests (Wolfe, 1991: 239).

State autonomy therefore infers that the state as an entity can act irrespective of the interference of other actors and has sole authority over the decisions and subsequent policies it adopts. Domination and limitation of the state’s policy actions by other actors are the antithesis of state autonomy. Political power, seen as autonomous action, is therefore implicit in the policy decisions and activities an actor undertakes relative to other actors, within the state or outside its borders. In this respect, low domestic agential power is defined as a situation where states conform to the requirements of domestic structures or non-state actors. States have high agential power, on the other hand, when they are autonomous relative to domestic structures or non-state actors and does not experience any resistance or opposition (Hobson, 2000: 219).

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International agential power is ‘the ability of the state to make foreign policy

and shape the international realm free of international structural requirements or the interests of international non-state actors

. At the one extreme, high agential power refers to the ability of the state to mitigate the logic of inter-

state competition and thereby create a cooperative or peaceful world

(Hobson, 2000: 7). Although Hobson (2000) refers to ‘foreign policy’, agential power by implication also refers to any other policy. This is evident from his definition, at the other extreme, of ‘moderate’ and ‘no’ international agential power. Moderate international agential power refers to the ‘power to determine policy and shape the international system free of international structural constraints but insufficient agency to mitigate inter-state competition’. No international agential power is defined as the inability of states ‘to determine policy free of international constraints or shape the international system,’ and where they ‘must passively conform to the logic of inter-state competition’ (Hobson, 2000: 219). International agential power should not be confused with the neorealist assumption of state capability or state power. The latter refers to the ability of the state to conform, effectively to international competition and the rationalism of the international political structure. Hobson also presents a matrix outlining the agential power of the state (see Figure 4).

Figure 4. Hobson’s agential power matrix.

High

International

Agential

Moderate

State Power

Low

Low

Source:

Hobson, 2000: 6.

Domestic Agential

State Power

High

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Although Hobson is explicit about agential state power, he nevertheless notes that non-state entities can exhibit and possess agential power. He is, however, of the opinion that many, although not all, International Relations theories are ‘silent’, especially about the state and its relationship with actors in the domestic realm. Hence, to gain more insight into the relationship between the state and civil society, cognisance must be taken of theories in other disciplines that provide an understanding of the interaction between the state and societal actors. At the domestic level, a range of theories emphasises the significance of social structures and actors that have the ability to lower the domestic agential power of the state to some degree, dependent on the policy situation, the issue and the nature of the political system of a society (Hobson, 2000: 226).

In this respect, pluralists and liberals place emphasis on the importance of individuals and interest groups over that of the state. For them, interest groups, and individuals comprising these groups are the most important actors, with a certain degree of power. Similarly, Marxists believe that class forces are important, while postmodernists see discourse and the ‘logic of representation’ as pivotal. In contrast, elitists, statists and first-wave Weberian sociologists embody the state as an absolute autonomous entity. According to them, there is therefore no other entity with the same degree of autonomy anywhere to be found (Hobson, 2000: 226-227).

The previously mentioned views are problematic because they logically assume a zero-sum conception of power. In other words, if interest groups or any other non-state entity are strong then states must be weak, and contrariwise, since a clear trade-off exists between the power held by social entities and that of the state. In contrast, a ‘structurationist’ approach is preferred with a comprehensive ‘both/and’ understanding. This logic rests on the notion that strong states and strong societies can exist hand-in-hand with each other, since it is assumed that states possess ‘embedded autonomy’ or

‘governed interdependence’, or more specifically reflexive agential power

(Hobson, 2000: 204-205, 227).

The difference between embedded autonomy and reflexive agential power is that ‘embedded autonomy’ relates to the competence of the state to lodge itself in the domain of the capitalist class. Reflexive agential power hints at the

‘ability of the state to embed itself in a broad array of social forces, not just the capitalist class, as well as the ability of the state to embed itself within nonclass structures (e.g. the normative structure of society)’. Yet, this does not infer that the state should completely subject itself to the obligations of classes or social forces. Hobson’s conclusion on reflexive agential power is that as the state becomes reflexive, the more significant its governing capacity is compared to when it is less reflexive or isolated from society. If the state broadens its network of collaboration with a comprehensive range of social forces and non-state structures, it increases its power. Therefore, the state can have autonomy while, at the same time, being pressured by social forces such as interest groups. He even goes so far as to argue that ‘the deeper a state’s embeddedness is, the greater its governing capacity becomes’. State power is therefore embedded in social power, therefore making the

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84 relationship between society and the state a very important element of the agential power of the state in the international domain (Hobson, 2000: 207,

209, 213, 227). Nonetheless, the state’s embeddedness should neither be ignored nor assumed to apply in every society and under all circumstances. It can rightfully be asked if Hobson does not equalise all societies and all states concerning the manner in which the state is embedded in society that makes it so powerful at times (Hobson, 2000: 205-213).

The question is whether this also applies to developing countries and the implementation of WRMPs in their international river basins? In other words, does the same situation that Hobson outlines also apply to water politics?

Here it seems as if his argument about reflexive agential power needs further scrutiny. Hobson (2000: 227) notes that ‘while cooperating with social forces may enhance governing capacity, it also places limits upon or circumscribes parameters within which the state operates’. If the state sides with a certain interest group which then gains insider status relative to the governing process, the state will start making concessions to ‘please’ it and ignore the rest of society. The privatisation of utilities in South Africa, of which water is one, is a case in point.

Within the tripartite alliance, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) advocates the privatisation of such utilities while the Confederation of South

African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party

(SACP) oppose it. Therefore, some concessions by government on the privatisation bid might be expected in order to lower the level of conflict within the tripartite alliance. Considering this, what about reflexive international agential power? The degree of a state’s reflexivity in the domestic political realm determines the proportion of its agential power that it can procure within the international domain. It is in this regard that Hobson (2000: 4) remarks that domestic agential power and international agential power are ‘the two faces of state agential power’. In other words, they are interrelated.

In summary, Hobson presents a definition and a typology of agential state power. He also links the different kinds of agential power to that of non-state entities and other social structures. Yet, how can ‘agential state power’ and that of interest groups lobbying against WRMPs in international river basins be determined? In other words, what kind of indices can be used to gauge agential state and interest group power? The answers to this become clear by referring to the determinants of agential power.

3.3. Sources of Agential Power

The sources of power identified by Mann (1993a: 7-10) are used to assess the agential power of the state relative to that of interest groups. These power sources provide an indication of the manner in which actors conduct themselves in a particular situation, on a specific policy matter, at a certain time. Mann classifies the sources of power into four distinctive categories, namely: ideological, economic, military and political power.

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Mann (1993a: 7-10) believes that each power source can be autonomous relative to the others. For instance, ideological power can be in the hands of non-state entities or individuals that possess little or no political power.

Similarly, the political power of a state does not mean that it will be endowed with ideological power. Even military and political power are not independent of each other. Mann furthermore notes that in a specific societal context at a certain time more than one source of power might be manipulated by a political entity. Yet, not all four sources of power are ever in the hands of one group at the same time. Networks of power reach across national borders, therefore preventing a single actor (individually or collectively) from possessing all the power sources at once (Haralambos & Holborn, 2000: 634).

3.3.1. Ideological Power

Ideological power resides, firstly, in the human necessity to discover meaning in life, to allot norms and values, and to partake in aesthetic and ritual exercises. The control over an ideology

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that links absolute meanings, values, norms, aesthetics and rituals, conveys general social power (Mann,

1993a: 7). In other words, the mouth that speaks the dominant ideology rules the world, or in this case the international river basin.

Ideologies, in combination with doctrines, provide the intellectual framework through which policy planners and decision-makers perceive reality. A doctrine is therefore part of an ideology, and in this way, ideologies can rationalise and justify the choice of policy preferences. Furthermore, ideologies are legitimating emblems, by means of which a group or an individual sanctifies its activities (Holzner, 1972: 144; Holsti, 1995: 276).

Holzner (1972: 144) notes that an ideology is ‘a limited aspect of the interpretive order of faiths and beliefs, namely, those reality constructs and values which serve to legitimate the claims for power and prestige and the activities of groups and their members’. Thus, political power and ideology are interrelated. Realities construct ideologies that influence the means, actors and circumstances through which policies are formulated.

There is therefore a distinctive interrelationship between ideology and power

Thorne

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27

.

(1965: 1) makes the point that although ideology and power seem like two separate aspects of political life, they are entwined and help to shape each other in such a way that they relate to each other. This interdependence manifests itself in two ways. Firstly, an ideology can be realised through

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The concept ‘ideology’ is enmeshed in controversy (Vincent, 1995: 1). Heywood (1997:

406) defines an ideology as a relative set of ideas that serves as the foundation for political activities. As used in modern times by academics, politicians, and reporters it means, in a simplistic way, a set of beliefs on how society should be organised, what the nature of it ought to be and how to improve it in its entirety, regardless of whether those ideas are good or bad or true or false (Adams, 1993: 3).

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Power can, in this case, be defined along philosophical or ideological lines by using the aphorism: ‘Nothing is as powerful as an idea which has arrived’ (Haas & Whiting, 1956: 81).

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Thorne (1965: 1) is of the opinion that ‘it is impossible to ignore the force of political ideology in modern times’. The reason is that within the formulation and implementation of policy, ideology and power, and their interrelationship, holds true.

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86 power. Whoever holds power can make ideology prevail within a political setting and policy issue. Secondly, through an ideology, the support of the masses can be achieved and enhanced by the political elite, in that ‘the command’ can be reinforced and the means to achieve power made simpler

(Thorne, 1965: 1).

The exercise of power in modern political systems has become dependent on ideologies to develop and affirm authority and legitimacy or even domination

(Pranger, 1988: 14). Every entity in international affairs has an ideology that corresponds with its power base, success, level of economic development, internal structure and international power. Such an ideology is engraved in the belief system of citizens, in the case of states, and members, in the case of interest groups, so that they can show commitment to the political entity.

Subsequently, the individual regards the authority of the entity as legitimate and becomes personally attached to it (Ennaji, 1999: 150). Thompson (1987:

516) is of the conviction that ‘[t]o study ideology … is to study the ways in which meaning serves to sustain relations of domination’. In this equation, language also plays an important role, because it is one of the fundamental instruments through which meaning is mustered in any social context

(Thompson, 1987: 516).

More specifically, Vincent (1995: 18) describes ideologies as ‘complex structures of discourse that carry immense amounts of inherited, interwoven intellectual baggage, often increasing by the year’. As such, a discourse describes expressions of domination that are seen as asymmetrical power relations in a political system (Thompson, 1987: 519, 520). Stated differently,

‘[t]here is power behind discourse just as there is ideology behind discourse’

(Ennaji, 1999: 151). Furthermore, an ideology-free discourse does not exist.

Discourses reveal the powerful or non-powerful status of participants in political processes (Ennaji, 1999: 151). Therefore, power, ideology and discourse are interrelated aspects of the debates between the state and interest groups on WRMP water politics. As such, an ideology can be used by the state or an interest group to solidify support for, or protest against a

WRMP.

Since meaning is transmitted by linguistic expressions—although other forms of non-verbal communication such as images, gestures, and codes can also be used—discourse involves linguistic and spoken expressions and interactions. In this regard, a discourse is the manner in which people converse about something or an action. They will ascertain what this something or action is through the mobilisation of language and meaning

(Grint & Woolgar, 1992; Potter & Wetherell, 1994: 36; Jägerskog, 2003: 36).

Thompson (1987: 520) similarly uses the concept of discourse to describe

‘occurring instances of expression which appear in the flow of conversation, text or similar form’. The discourse surrounding an entity, actor, physical thing, issue or policy action is in the end a deciding factor of its effect (Haralambos &

Holborn, 2000: 706).

To an extent, Dant (1991: 7) summarises this meaning of discourse by defining it as ‘the material content of utterances exchanged in social contexts

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(‘truth’) about something (Ennaji, 1999: 152).

Furthermore, by focusing on the discourse surrounding something, analysts can determine who possesses the power to get their version of what that particular something means, accepted. Those individuals or entities who get their discourse recognised as the truth will exercise power and will in all likelihood use it to advance their interests. This ‘truth’, in some instances, may not only represent reality, but it can also create it (Haralambos & Holborn,

2000: 942). Power associations can manifest themselves in and be actualised by the discourse about something or an action (Dant, 1991: 8). This imposition of dominant ideas onto others is known as hegemonic knowledge and forms an integral part of any political relationship (Leysens & Thompson,

1999: 23).

A link also exists between policy and discourse. Allan (2001: 10) notes that

‘[i]nformation on future regional and global water supply and demand could be introduced into discourses on water which precede policy making. Political processes facilitate the achievement of the interests of the powerful, who in turn want to stay in power. The discourses are in practice “sanctioned”. The information entering the water discourses is selected, distorted, or deemphasised’. Here he refers to the sanctioned discourse employed by the state over information on water and water-related matters.

Regarding WRMPs, a specific ideology that contains discourses can be applied to advance these projects. The hydraulic mission

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of the state exemplifies this aspect that can be seen as a type of ideology in water politics.

The ideological form imbues itself into the governing or sanctioned discourse, which serves to legitimise and sanction, this discourse (Turton & Meissner,

2002: 37, 39).

It is not only government that can use a specific ideology to advance its arguments for a specific policy issue or action within the water sector. Interest groups can similarly apply ideologies to counteract the policy stances or actions of government. In this respect, Korten (1990: 124) is of the opinion that non-state entities and social movements are not motivated to act because of their budgets or organisational structure, but rather by ideas, or more precisely by a vision of a better world and future for people. How do interest groups go about these actions? Two influencing strategies are discerned: direct communication and indirect methods. Both contain language in either a verbal or written form such as letters, research reports, telegrams and articles published in the printed media or distributed over the internet (Heywood, 1997:

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The hydraulic mission is defined as the overarching rationale that underpins the state’s desire to establish conditions that are conducive to socio-economic and political stability

(Turton & Meissner, 2002: 38).

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262; Sadie, 1998: 284). It is via direct and indirect communication that interest groups articulate, introduce and spread ideas about a policy issue.

Ideology also plays a role in the way in which interest groups are perceived and the way in which policy options are deemed feasible by the state. In each policy sector, the policy process is dominated by various ideologies. These convictions limit agreeable options open to decision-makers and policy planners. Interest groups that do not agree with or conform to the belief systems within a particular policy sector, stand the chance of being ignored or marginalised by decision-makers (Smith, 1993: 4). They can therefore become outsider groups in the policy making process; a situation that can affect their ability to influence the state on policy issues and/or actions.

If an interest group has an outsider status, it can either be ignored by government or it can be consulted. Should it be consulted, this consultation process will be uneven and not necessarily conducted by senior government officials. In some cases, outsider status can even be a sign of weakness because the interest group or alliance lacks formal access to the government apparatus. As a result, these groups are forced to ‘go public’ with the expectation to exert indirect influence on the policy making process. In these cases the ideological line adopted by interest groups, for instance radical groups like some environmentalists, can sometimes have an impact on their status and relationship with government. However, government may perceive it to be too radical and opt not to interact with the interest groups. They will then have little choice but to remain outsiders since their goals are out of line with the priorities of government. Yet, as an alternative strategy, and based on their ideological convictions, their members and supporters can choose not to have close links with government (Grant, 1989: 14-15; Heywood, 1997: 255).

How can it be ascertained that agential domination or influence in the water sector is exercised through a specific ideology? In order to determine the ideological power of states and interests groups, the following two criteria can be used:

• Consideration of the social-historical circumstances of opposing actors and how they produce their discourses concerning a specific issue: Discourses are produced, distributed and received by people who are located in particular social-historical circumstances. These conditions are characterised by certain institutional arrangements and relations of power and domination. In the words of one observer, ‘[t]he study of ideology must be based on the social-historical analysis of the conditions within which forms of discourse are produced and received, conditions which include the relations of domination which meaning serves to sustain’ (Thompson,

1987: 525). For instance, an actor with a liberal democratic background may be more willing to agree with the arguments of interest groups concerning a specific issue. This would be contrary to an actor with authoritarian credentials. It is therefore necessary to analyse the socialhistorical circumstances of the different actors involved in the debate about a WRMP in an international river basin.

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• The level of national loyalty: States are less likely to call on ideological loyalty when they have heterogeneous populations. A diverse ethnic population can hinder or constrain loyalty to a set of values or policy preferences (Haralambos & Holborn, 2000: 629). For example, political processes and governmental politics in Africa reflect the inability of many states to develop an all-inclusive political system, taking into account that citizens’ primary loyalty is not always to states. In many instances, the state vies, on an ideological level, with ethnic groups, tribes or nations for the citizen’s allegiance. The reason for this is that the citizen’s sense of self is in itself based on factors such as kinship ties, race, language, locality, religion, and tradition. Several African states are governed by one ethnic group, which is with some exceptions usually numerically dominant.

In some cases, the resources of the state and economy are used for the benefit of that group and to the disadvantage of others. ‘This causes resentment, particularly when other groups see themselves as having certain tangible attributes—like economic power, intellectual excellence, a tradition of military prowess—that could be translated into political power’

(Malaquias, 2000: 99-1000). In such instances, when access to political power is denied, the state can find it difficult to resort to nationalism or another ideology to advance or implement policies on WRMPs. Members of an ethnic community can have stronger allegiances towards their clan than towards the state. If such a community is in ‘the way’ of progressive

WRMPs, based on their prevailing ideology they can oppose the scheme and lobby government not to implement it.

What is the link between ideological power and the implementation of WRMPs by the state or the rejection of these projects by interest groups? Each power source establishes particular group forms. In the case of ideological power, it is mainly diffused, in that it is ‘not directly commanded; it spreads in a relatively spontaneous, unconscious, and decentered way’ (Mann, 1993a: 6-7).

Ideological power commands collectivities through persuasion, advanced by a commitment to truth and participation in rituals. Its diffusion has two forms.

Firstly, it is socio-spatially transcendent. This means that an ideology may diffuse through the borders of economic, military, and political organisations and entities. In a political setting, organisations and entities can subscribe to the same or a different ideology. This is so in every society, in that government departments can adhere to one or a number of ideologies, while interest groups can advance opposite or identical ideologies to solve the problems they confront. In this regard Mann (1993a: 7) remarks that ‘[h]uman beings belonging to different states, classes, and so forth face similar problems to which an ideology offers plausible solutions’.

After ideological power has diffused through political society, it spreads transcendentally to mould an original, discrete and powerful network of political interaction (Mann, 1993a: 7). For example, members and supporters of an environmental interest group may perceive large dams as a threat to the environment and to people who are directly affected by these structures. The solution to this threat will be postulated in terms of a particular ideology. In

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90 most instances, interest groups adhere to the ideology of political ecology

(Dobson, 1993: 216).

This ideology brings together a large number of interest groups and aggregates them into a movement that influences government WRMP policies.

It is in this respect that the opposing ideological conviction will clash with that of the state. Many states, on the other hand, may see the construction of large dams as a necessity to stimulate socio-economic development, for instance

Turkey’s Greater Anatolia Project (GAP). The motivation for building such grand schemes may be influenced by a certain ideology such as, socialism or nationalism.

In this respect, McCully (1996: 1) notes that ‘to many writers, leaders, engineers, bureaucrats, nationalists and revolutionaries … big dams have been potent symbols of both patriotic pride and the conquest of nature by man.

Providers of electric power, water and food; tamers of floods; greeners of the desert; guarantors of national independence—for most of our century, dams, the largest structures built by humanity, have symbolized progress, whether that amorphous concept be the creation of capitalist wealth, the spreading of the fruits of socialism, or the great march of communism.’ History is replete with examples of states and leaders who used WRMPs to elevate the status, prestige and economical development of nations, by way of a certain ideological conviction

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.

Ideological power is diffused in that it produces an existing power organisation and develops such an organisation’s inherent morale (Mann, 1993a: 7). An ideology therefore acts as a medium that instructs organisations on the moral stance they should assume over certain policy issues and actions. The environmental movement, through political ecology, sees the destruction of nature as immoral. The state, on the other hand, often sees the use of nature and its resources as moral, given its purpose to enhance the socio-economic development of the population.

3.3.2. Economic Power

Economic power is primarily based on the tangible variables of a state’s economic system that include the following, namely: its geopolitical location and resource base; the size, quality and the structure of its population; and its industrial output and the capacity of its economy (Cantori & Speigel, 1970: 13).

More specifically, a state’s economic capacity, gross domestic product (GDP) and gross national income

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(GNI), can be used as indicators of economic power. GDP asserts the total value of all goods and services produced within

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For instance, the Dnieper Dam in the Soviet Union was constructed to provide hydroelectricity to industries. The dam was also a symbol of the spirit of the Soviet people and government. The status and prestige from the dam was so extensive that, in 1941, the dam was deliberately breached to prevent the German army from using it (Hughes & Welfare,

1990: 77-79).

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Gross national income (GNI) is the term that replaced gross domestic product (GDP)

(Internet: The World Bank, 2000a).

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91 the borders of a state per annum and is a good indicator of the level of economic activity in a state. The economic growth of a state is indicated by the percentage decline or increase of the GDP. In contrast, GNI is a better indicator of the standard of living of the citizens of a certain country (Nel &

McGowan, 1999: 319).

Economic power originates from the need to extract, transmute, disburse and use natural resources (Mann, 1993a: 7). In this regard, water is unique.

Water is needed in every economic activity: for electricity generation, the growing of foodstuffs, manufacturing and at the household level, to name but a few. Water is also necessary for biological functioning. After three to four days without water, life ceases. Water is therefore a natural resource with economical as well as environmental utility, as enshrined in the four Dublin

Principles

, 1992 (in Van Wyk, Meissner & Jacobs, 2002: 217). The first principle states that ‘[f]resh water is a finite and vulnerable resource, essential to sustain life, development and the environment.’ The second principle declares that, ‘[w]ater development and management should be based on a participatory approach, involving users, planners and policymakers at all levels’. The third principle involves women, in that ‘[w]omen play a central part in the provision, management and safeguarding of water. The fourth principle has to do with the economic value of water for it asserts that ‘[w]ater has an economic value in all its competing uses and should be recognized as an economic good’ (Internet: GWP, 2003).

Economic power creates different classes, because every society has unequal control over the distribution of economic resources. Therefore, class is a universal phenomenon and common to all political spheres. Classes can interact with each other either vertically or horizontally. Vertically class A is above class B and therefore exploiting it. Yet, in a political system groups and classes can also encounter one another horizontally. Mann (1993a: 7, 8) refers to these groups as segments and their members are drawn from different classes, e.g. a community, tribe, industrial complex, and the ruling elite. The idea of segments is also similar, if not identical, to interest groups.

How is economic power expressed in society? Economic power has a dimension, which is not often mentioned i.e. water. Because of water’s unique status as an economic resource, it must be mobilised before it can be used in factories and homes. Infrastructure must be provided to move water from point A to B, and the water must be in a form that is suitable for different uses.

Drinking water must be of a high quality, and this entails the cleansing of water by means of purification plants. Whether it is a large dam or a new water network for a city, these infrastructural projects are expensive. On top of these expenditures are the costs to establish a bureaucracy to facilitate and oversee the mobilisation of water resources. Such institutions are usually government departments. Examples are South Africa’s Department of Water Affairs and

Forestry or parastatal and private water companies such as Rand Water. In other words, a resource, usually of a financial, technical and political character, is needed to mobilise another resource, for example water.

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A distinction can be made between first-order and second-order resources. A first-order resource is a basic or primary resource and it is usually in its natural form that becomes either sparser or more abundant over time relative to population growth. A second-order resource is the resource needed to transform the primary resource. Yet, second-order resources go one step further in that they also involves institutional arrangements to oversee the management of first-order resources. For instance, financial and technical

(second order) resources are needed to build a hydroelectric power plant to use water’s (first order resource) physical characteristics to produce electricity.

This is usually done under the auspices of a government department

(institutional arrangements). A second-order resource is an assortment of likely ‘adaptive behaviours’. These originate from the broader social context.

They can be used by the decision-making elite, either legitimately or illegitimately (Turton & Ohlsson, 1999: 3).

In order to finance WRMPs, governments have two avenues open to them depending on the economic situation of the state. Financial resources can be generated either within the state or in the international system. For instance, either private commercial banks or external financial institutions such as the

World Bank or regional development banks like the DBSA can be used. Other states can also be a source of financial resources. If a state can finance

WRMPs using domestic funds found within the national economy, its economic power is such that it will be unnecessary to find financial resources elsewhere.

The opposite applies in the case of a state that does not have the economic power to access the financial resources inside its borders.

If a state does not have the internal means to finance WRMPs, and turns to foreign financial institutions for assistance instead, interest groups can undermine its ability to implement such schemes. In this regard, the state can turn to the international community when it faces domestic challenges, such as the financing of a WRMP, to alleviate such problems. Similarly, when the state is confronted by global or international constraints, like the transnational lobbying of interest groups against a WRMP, it can resort to the domestic environment to solve these problems

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(Hobson, 2000: 230).

This was the case with the Sardar Sarovar Dam

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on the Narmada River in

India. The Indian government received funding for the project from the World

Bank and the Japanese government pledged $230 million for the hydroelectric turbines for the dam. Interest groups were primarily concerned about the destructive ecological impact the dam could have on the environment. Among these concerns were the silting of reservoirs, land salinisation, deforestation and the disturbance of downstream fisheries. Local interest groups under the leadership of Medha Patkar from the Committee for Narmada Dam-Affected

People started a campaign against the dam in the late 1980s (Payne, 1996:

174-176; McCully, 1996: 301-306).

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Hobson (2000: 230) calls this the ‘ultimate Bonapartist balancing act that states can achieve’.

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The Sardar Sarovar Dam is part of a gigantic Indian water development programme

(Payne, 1996: 175).

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These campaigns were initiated on the national and the international front, involving a number of other external interest groups like the Environmental

Defence Fund (EDF) (now called Environmental Defence [ED]). A number of strategies and tactics were used by these interest groups to lobby the Indian government, the World Bank and other countries like Japan, to suspend the construction of the dam. One of the most important successes of the interest groups was achieved at a symposium in Tokyo in April 1990, resulting in the withdrawal of funding. The interest groups used the symposium

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as a platform to advance their lobbying campaign against the Sardar Sarovar Dam in conjunction with Japanese interest groups, academics and politicians. After the symposium, leaders from the interest groups met with Japanese government officials to press forward their arguments against the dam. In May

1990, for the first time in Japanese history, the Japanese government withdrew all further funding for the dam. The World Bank also suspended its financial support in March 1993. This, after local and external interest groups threatened the Bank that they would launch a campaign to cut off government funding to the World Bank (Payne, 1996: 174-176; McCully, 1996: 301-306).

The Indian government had to pour more funding into the project. Yet, with

World Bank funding and financial aid from the Japanese government no longer available, the interest groups stepped up their lobbying campaigns against the

Indian government. In January 1995, the central government in New Delhi forced Gujarat state to suspend the raising of the dam wall (McCully, 1996:

304-305). As part of their campaign against WRMPs, interest groups can employ tactics that will make it difficult for a state to find and secure outside funding. It is doubtful whether the interest groups in India would have had a similar success rate if the government of Gujarat had secured funding internally for the project. Yet, other factors may also have favoured the interest groups, like the political structure of India, which is organised along federal lines.

In this case GNI per capita in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) expressed in international US$ terms can be used to determine economic power. PPP is a method to gauge the relative cost of living in a particular state. This is done by ascertaining how many citizens can manage to buy products and services in US$ terms in their home countries (Nel & McGowan,

1999: 327). If people can afford the price of wholesome freshwater, the funding of WRMPs can be implemented by the state by incorporating the financing of a project in the water bill of individuals. Therefore, if a state can fund a WRMP from internal financial sources, it will follow that it has economic power, and will be able to implement it.

3.3.3. Military Power

The third source of power, as conceptualised by Mann, is military power, which has to do with the organisation of physical force. Military power is deduced from the necessity to organise defence against aggressive states or entities and the utilisation of aggression by different actors (Mann, 1993a: 8). Giddens

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The symposium received significant press coverage in Japan (McCully, 1996:302).

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(1990) believes that military power is concerned with controlling the methods of violence. The focus here is on the state with the traditional legal right to exert violent force on the population and those who threaten the existence of the state from outside its borders (Haralambos & Holborn, 2000: 1077; Ritzer,

2000: 558).

By nature military power contains intensive and extensive elements. On the one hand, military power relates to the intense organisation of armed force to safeguard life and to wreak death. On the other hand, in its extensive form, military power can also organise large numbers of people over immense sociospatial areas

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(Mann, 1993a: 8). Many interest groups lobbying against

WRMPs do not employ military power at all to communicate or advance their arguments against such schemes. The reason for this is that the state has the monopoly over military power. The state can, and has in the past, used violence against interest groups campaigning against WRMPs. For instance, in March 1978, 100 000 demonstrators journeyed to the Chandil Dam construction site in India. The following month, police fired into a crowd of about 8 000 people assembled near the dam, killing four persons in the process (McCully, 1996: 299).

3.3.4. Political Power

The fourth source of power is political power. Political power originates from the value of territorial and centralised control. Mann (1993a: 9) is of the conviction that ‘[p]olitical power means state power’. The nature of state power is fundamentally authoritative, dictated and determined from a centre in that states can employ force legitimately (Leysens & Thompson, 1999: 22).

Regarding this, the determining distinctiveness of the modern state is that it commands political space territorially. Politics is, in this instance, about complexes of rule, and the state is a system of regulation that involves legitimate sovereignty over a spatial extension. This rule is regulated by a government and bureaucracy composed of government officials (Schoeman,

1998: 3). States are therefore actors in the international political system that administer their authority over a certain geographical area delimited by a national boundary (Leysens & Thompson, 1999: 21).

The organisation of the state is therefore twofold in nature. Firstly, it is domestic, in that the state is territorially centralised, and that authorised jurisdiction is imposed over a population. Secondly, the state is organised externally, which infers geopolitics. In this regard, the right to govern in this dominion is recognised by other states. Furthermore, apprehension of a danger to the state may be met by and warded off with warfare, which is the use of military power (Mann, 1993a: 9; Schoeman, 1998: 3). In this regard, the state holds sovereign political power.

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The US and alliance partners mobilising and deploying their troops abroad after the

September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C., provides a good example.

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In conjunction with the above, two forms of sovereignty can also be distinguished, namely internal, and external sovereignty. Internal sovereignty denotes the idea of the state having control over a territory and the people, organisations, and groups that exist upon that territory and within the boundaries of the state. In this respect, the state is an institution that organises and regulates individual lives in every respect. Under international law, the state has two kinds of rights within this domain. The first is the supreme authority to make and enforce laws concerning the people and territory under its sphere of jurisdiction. No other political actor has the right to replace these laws. Secondly, sovereignty also betoken the principle of nonintervention

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. In principle albeit not in practice, no other state or entity has the right to interfere in the domestic affairs of another state, no matter how repulsive a government’s behaviour is towards its citizens and territory

(Marriott, 1927: 6-7; Rothgeb, 1993: 23; Adar, 1999: 77-79).

Yet, throughout the twentieth century this rule of international law was broken several times, for instance over South Africa’s apartheid policy. In this instance Geldenhuys (1998: 19) is of the opinion that ‘[s]overeignty … did not give governments carte blanche in dealing with their own subjects’, when it came to upholding or violating human rights. Therefore, non-intervention upholds the right of the state to conduct its own affairs, as it sees fit, at least in theory. In practice, it is not an absolute right but is qualified.

Furthermore, sovereignty also has an external component. This infers that states have the right to make their foreign and domestic policies vis-à-vis other actors in the spirit of independence. States do not have to clear every decision with other entities; they are free to do as they please (Rothgeb, 1993:

23-24). This denotes a sphere of freedom of activity within which states can operate and connote autonomy or agential power.

Considering these forms of sovereignty, it will be noted that involvement or intervention in states’ domestic affairs does occur on a constant basis, either by other states or by non-state entities. Furthermore, states have the right to make their foreign or domestic policies in the spirit of independence. Yet, this does not infer that these policies cannot be questioned by other entities, or that states have a right to be immune from influence. Moreover, no other entity has the right to change the laws of the state. However, they have the right to influence the state to change these laws or to implement better practices.

Both these dimensions of state organisation have an impact on the social development of the population, particularly in modern times (Mann, 1993a: 9).

One of the main tasks of government is to provide the population with social services and, in addition, to promote economic growth and increased welfare.

In ancient times, a state was perceived as one that can provide justice and

36

Geldenhuys (1998: 6) defines intervention, or ‘foreign political engagement’, as follows: ‘[I]t is the calculated action of a state, a group of states, an international organization or some other international actor(s) to influence the political system of another state (including its structure of authority, its domestic policies and its political leaders) against its will by using various means of coercion (forcible or non-forcible) in pursuit of particular political objectives’.

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96 public order. In the contemporary age, there exists the idea of the welfare state that must provide for those who cannot help themselves. It also entails that the state has more responsibilities such as the enhancement of economic growth and the provision of a variety of services. There is a responsibility to uplift the quality of life of its citizens. The provision of freshwater for a number of economic activities is one such service. Internally, taxes are collected to finance the large number of services provided by the state. Yet, states must also trade with others in the international system to increase wealth and economic efficiency, to provide the population with such services (Holsti, 1995:

97, 98).

Because political power is organised internally and externally, and the state has a responsibility to its citizens, the state controls many of the resources found within its territory

37

. This is the case with water in many countries.

These resources can be distributed, used, and regulated by the state to create welfare and socio-economic development. The manner by which the state goes about using water rests in the hands of government. According to the principle of sovereignty, the state can therefore do with the resources as it sees fit, as long as it enhances the welfare of the population. Worldwide, this is a source of contention between the state and environmental interest groups.

The state would opt for supply management policies whereas interest groups would go against such policies, and prefer that the state embrace demand management principles. This brings the elements that influence interest preferences of decision-makers, into contention.

In this context, Smith (1993: 51) argues that the interests the state pursues are not purely the individual interests of decision-makers in government institutions. These interests are partially ascertained by the organisational culture, the character of policy-making establishments, and the association of these institutions with other components of the state and civil society.

Government policies do not always reflect the wishes and demands of interest groups. Policies are the outcomes of the ways states see their interests, how problems are perceived, and how they address the problems of national interests such as water provision. Governments can therefore suggest policies that are in direct opposition to the interests of interest groups.

Nevertheless, how is political power determined in the context of interest groups lobbying against WRMPs?

An answer to this question is found in Mann’s (1993b) distinction between despotic and infrastructural power. Despotic power refers to the ‘range of actions that the elite is empowered to undertake without routine, institutionalized negotiations with civil society groups’ (Mann, 1993b: 5). This definition correlates with that of agential power. Mann (1988) argues that statist theories characterise state autonomy as a zero-sum game between the state and civil society entities (Hobson, 2000: 198).

37

This seems to be case in many developed countries where the state is actually and in a physical manner controlling water resources, via some sort of infrastructure and institutions.

In many developing countries, there is a lack of physical control through infrastructure and institutions over water resources, with the consequence that many people go without water and sanitation.

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Statist theories, however, tend to overlook infrastructural power, namely ‘the capacity of the state to actually penetrate civil society, and to implement logistically political decisions throughout the [political] realm’ (Mann, 1993a:

55). Infrastructural power can alternatively also be defined as power through or with, rather than power seen as contra or above civil society. The state possesses an elevated governing capacity to such an extent that it is capable of extending this governing capacity into society to carry out its policies

(Hobson, 2000: 198, 199). In other words, civil society is used as a conductor through which state policies can be realised and can therefore facilitate the formulation and implementation of policies.

In contrast, infrastructural power also enables interest groups to control the state to a certain extent (Mann, 1993a: 59). This is similar to the assumption of the theory of interest group corporatism, but is in contrast to Giddens’ assumption about the surveillance powers of the state (Hobson, 2000: 199).

States that have despotic power are weak because they are unable to penetrate and reach the entire society and exist, to a certain extent, in isolation. Many modern states that do not have high levels of despotic power, however, possess high infrastructural power. This provides them with the means to rule in a more direct manner and more effectively than ancient or medieval state entities (Hobson, 2000: 198-199). This is true for the entire range of state and civil society relationships.

What about the relations of only a segment of civil society, e.g. interest groups, the state and especially those environmental groups who are in principle against WRMPs? Liberal democratic, developed societies are likely to have high infrastructural power. Does the same apply to fledgling developing democracies? Will the same situation prevail in these states as exists in the rich north, where interest groups lobby against WRMPs? It would seem, based on the dissimilar political cultures and systems in developed and developing countries, that the situation concerning states and their penetration of societies would be different in developing countries. The contrast between the political cultures and systems of developed and developing societies can be influenced by a number of factors, for example socio-economic development; ideology; composition of the population; history; geographical location; and a host of other aspects.

This implies that the type of political system a state possesses will influence the type of political power (despotic or infrastructural) that prevails (see Figure

5).

It is noted that state A and state B possess different levels of despotic and infrastructural power. In the case of state A, infrastructural power is more prevalent, while the opposite situation exists in state B, with despotic power more widespread. State A will, in all likelihood, have the characteristic of a typical liberal democratic state, where civil society groups play a large role in the policy process. State B will be more conservative in nature and can assume a number of forms ranging from a democracy, with the elite forming a closely-knit clique, to a more authoritarian government structure.

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From an international relations perspective, a realist situation, or state/interest group relationship, will rely heavily on despotic power in the conduct of certain matters. On the other hand, a liberal-pluralist situation will be more conducive to an infrastructural power relationship between states and interest groups.

This will also determine whether certain interest groups have insider or outsider status. Figure 5 indicates the type of political power that is dominant within a state. How this type of political power influences state and interest group’s agential power becomes apparent in practice.

Figure 5. The prevalence of despotic and infrastructural power within political systems.

Despotic Power

Despotic Power

State A

Infrastructural Power

Infrastructural Power

State B

Political systems are primarily structured by enmeshed ideological, economic, military, and political power. These four sources of power do not subsist in a pure form. ‘Actual power organisations mix them, as all four are necessary to social existence and to each other’ (Mann, 1993a: 9). An ideological organisation needs economic resources, military defence, and state regulation.

Therefore, economic, military and political organisations assist in structuring ideological organisations, and contrariwise (Mann, 1993a: 9). In other words, the four power sources exist in every type of organisation. Moreover, every type of organisation in a political system sustains the sources of power available to them, to undermine one another in the furtherance of their own interests and demands.

The four sources of power outlined above determine the capabilities that actors have in a political system. What should also be considered is the interaction, or relationships, among the actors. This is significant because the capabilities of an actor can be less important when interaction is not considered. Thus, how actors do or do not respond to each other should also be taken into account when analysing their interactive behaviour. Hence, ‘[i]t can even be argued that, with respect to any situation, issue, or problem, boredom is bound to set in if analysis does not turn soon from capabilities to relationships’ (Rosenau, 1990: 184).

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3.4. Actor Interaction

Within the international system, different actors can interact with one another in a variety of ways. Three distinct interactive patterns of politics can be identified, namely:

• Competitive contact between actors. In competitive situations, the accomplishment of objectives by one actor clashes with the fulfilment of goals by other actors. The ensuing action that can develop from this type of interaction can vary from breakdown in communication to outright physical violence;

• Cooperation between actors. Complementary actions between the actors facilitate or promote cooperation. This usually manifests itself in cooperative agreements between state and non-state entities.

• A mixture of both cooperative and competitive interactions between the actors. In such a situation, actors pursue a multiplicity of goals. Some aims are incongruous and can lead to competition, while others are in accord and are sought and attained through complementary endeavours (Puchala,

1971: 5).

In a similar vein, Soroos (1986: 6) remarks that ‘world politics is a rich and perplexing mixture of trends and counter-trends’. What is meant by this is that for any given period, conflict and violent confrontation can exist alongside cooperation and accommodation. This is true not only for world politics, but also for the interaction between states and interest groups in an international river basin. The three patterns of interaction—with the third type of interaction being the most important—will always be discernible within the dynamics of any international river basin.

How do these interactive patterns manifest? Efforts to control or influence the exercise of power regarding goals develop in a relational context wherein actors are involved. A spectrum of control techniques can be discerned within a relational context at any level of politics. This spectrum ranges from the most violent actions at one end of the spectrum to the least violent at the other. ‘Brute force and other forms of physical coercion are found at the former extreme, scientific proof and reason at the latter’ (Rosenau, 1990:

182). Yet, actors generally prefer the technique of scientific proof. The reasons for this are that people achieve their goals in their relationship with others through cooperative and peaceful means; and the technique of scientific proof is the least costly endeavour, less so than violent confrontation. Responses to control can also be placed on a spectrum.

These range from full agreement and compliance at the one end, to disagreement and defiance at the other. ‘Between these two extremes lie such reactions as avoidance, disputation, delay, and counter-force.

Somewhere in the middle of the [spectrum] are the responses of disinterest and apathy’ (Rosenau, 1990: 185) (see Figure 6).

It is important to note that the state and interest groups can use these control techniques against each other. This is also true for any responses to the use of such techniques. For instance, a coalition of interest groups can use

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100 scientific proof as a control technique in their relationship with the state, in order to secure the non-implementation of a WRMP. The particular state in question can respond either through disagreement and defiance or through full agreement and compliance. It can also produce and disseminate scientific proof on reasons why the WRMP should be constructed. This can similarly evoke a response from interest groups either in the form of disagreement and defiance or in the form of full agreement as to the potential of the WRMP.

Figure 6. Control techniques and responses to control techniques.

Control Techniques

Physical

Coercion through

Brute Force

Economic

Sanctions

Armtwisting

Bargaining

Disagreement and Defiance

Counterforce

Disputation

Alternative

Interpretation

Disinterest

Source:

Rosenau, 1990: 185

Avoidance

Trade-offs Appeals to

Shared

Values

Responses to Control Techniques

Delay Bargaining

Apathy

Conditional

Agreement

Scientific

Proof

Full Agreement and Compliance

Regarding scientific proof, it is noteworthy to see that it links up with social engineering. The model of social engineering states that decisions, actions and the development of institutions, should be founded on rational, and therefore scientific information. It also infers that the decision-makers are frequently committed to using research findings. Moreover, those who are affected by such choices will accept such scientifically based decisions

(Marais, 1991: xiii).

Why is it important to identify the type of interaction between the state and interest groups? If the type of interaction is known, it will be possible to determine the nature and degree of control or deviance from control between the two groups of actors. The nature and degree of control or deviance vary constantly and are not the same at any given moment. By identifying the degree of control, it is possible to detect the overall relationship between states and interest groups in the implementation of a WRMP.

In a situation where actor A does not comply with the control techniques of actor B, then they will have incompatible reasons for the implementation or halting of a WRMP. The nature of the relationship between the state and interest groups regarding a WRMP should therefore also be considered. In addition, it will help to distinguish with which point of view the actor identifies

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101 with. This will furthermore indicate how water resources within the international river basin or the entire state should be managed, and whose ideas are prevailing. In other words, the interests and issues of actors are highlighted, as well as how they convert these interests and issues into control techniques. Furthermore, the nature of the relationship between the state and interest groups, known as the relations of authority, lies at the heart of the ability of the state (Rosenau, 1990: 186-191).

Authority is defined by Rosenau (1990: 186) as ‘that set of premises and habits on which macro leaders are entitled to rely to obtain automatic compliance from their followers’. Authority is necessary for collectivities

(states and interest groups) to endure. In this regard, authority provides a legal basis for a collectivity’s leaders and for the preservation of such a collectivity’s hierarchical structures. Decisions are made and implemented through authority, which also sustain a collectivity’s unity. Therefore, authority relationships are defined as those ‘patterns of a collectivity wherein some of its members are accorded the right to make decisions, set rules, allocate resources, and formulate policies for the rest of the members, who, in turn, comply with the decisions, rules and policies made by the authorities’

(Rosenau, 1990: 186). Should a collectivity not exhibit authority relations, ‘… goals could not be framed and energies could not be concerted’. If this should happen, there would be no collective action. The collectivity would lose its identity ‘as a social system distinct from its environment’ (Rosenau, 1990:

186).

It is therefore important to note, that authority relations are inherent in any group where people undertake collective activities. These authority groups range from families to interest groups that are not part of governmental entities. The relations between these entities are also part of world politics and have decentralising tendencies that induce an increase in transnational relations. Because of this, these authority relations undermine the hierarchy and intensify the impulsiveness of global authority structures, including the governing apparatus of the state (Rosenau, 1990: 187).

This is a significant assumption, since the highest authority for the past couple of centuries has been lodged in states. Their sovereignty has warranted them to take authoritative actions which have not been challenged, because their sovereignty is not subject to a more encompassing authority. ‘Both the citizens of the state and actors external to it have long been habituated to complying with them [actions of the state], and the citizens of other states have long acknowledged that they are not entitled to interfere in the processes whereby the acts and policies are framed and implemented’ (Rosenau, 1990:

188). Therefore, the state has a legal right to act as an entity in the implementation of its policies.

Notwithstanding the legal nature of the actions of the state to act and implement policies, most authority relations are not legal in nature. Authority relations are distinguished not by the finality of the decisions made by those who have been authorised to act on behalf of the collectivity, but by the relationship between those with authority and those who obey it. Therefore,

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102 the state have authority, through the governmental process, to make and implement decisions, and the citizens of the state naturally comply with its decisions. However, there are a number of issues in which citizens are directly involved wherein the authority of the state can be subordinate to that of others (like international organisations) (Rosenau, 1990: 188). Thus, it is expected that the effectiveness of authorities relies on the role and type of a collectivity.

The effectiveness of authority is not only derived from the manner in which it is embedded in the roles and characteristics of those who possess it, but also from the dynamics of control relations. Two dimensions are important with respect to the willingness of a collectivity’s members to accede to and support the decisions of its leaders. These are the degree of integration and the scope of the relationship (Rosenau, 1990: 189, 190).

The degree of integration dimension ranges from highly integrated relationships to those where decisions are continuously opposed. Highly integrated relationships exist where members of a collectivity habitually and automatically conform to the leadership’s decisions. Between the two extremes of highly integrated and persistent resistance, ‘compliance may be subject to reflection over, scepticism toward, and anguish about the decisions’

(Rosenau, 1990: 190).

The scope of the relationship ‘refers to the number of issues across which the compliance of a membership is operative’ (Rosenau, 1990: 190). In certain relationships, like those maintained by governments, there is a broad scope.

This means that the habits of compliance can be mobilised on a wide range of issues. Other actors, like interest groups, adopt a limited number of issues.

The leaders can then rely on automatic compliance. ‘Ordinarily, leaders prefer to protect their authority by not exceeding its [interest group’s] scope, with the result that the fewer the issues it spans, the more likely an authority relationship is to be integrated and the less it is susceptible to crisis’

(Rosenau, 1990: 190-191).

Apart from their scope and degree of integration, the dynamic nature of relations of authority is also significant. If powers inside and outside the collectivity are at work, they can erode the habits of compliance to authority.

The erosion can be of such an extent that the leaders of a collectivity can embrace coercion to implement their policies. This in turn can lead to a crisis, because this alteration in the nature of leadership can erode the habits of compliance extensively (Rosenau, 1990: 191).

Thus, the interaction between the actors in the water politics of a WRMP involves the way authority is exercised and the manner in which it manifests in the relationship between collectivities. The notion of the erosion of authority is in this regard significant, for it links up with the idea of lowering the agential power of the state. In this respect, ‘agential state power’ concerns the acceptance or resistance of actions and policies and the relationships of control inherent in the interaction between the state and interest groups regarding the WRMP issue area.

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4. Criteria for Comparison

Emanating from Rosenau’s notion of ‘distant proximities’, criteria can be identified in terms of which to compare the case studies under consideration.

Distant proximities involve, amongst others, the numerous electronic and word-of-mouth inputs that underlie the increasing interdependence of human life in a contracting world. The criteria under the rubric of generic processes are micro-macro interactions; organisational explosion; bifurcation of global structures; weakening of states and territoriality; authority crises and subgroupism. The criteria under the generic institution types are states and interest groups; sub-divided into structures of authority; types of authority and nature of transnationalism. All these criteria were selected from Rosenau

(2003) and Rosenau (1997).

4.1. Processes

Processes refer to the dynamics behind the relational and structural elements within and external to the international river basins and the WRMPs in question. These relational and structural elements are indicators of the way dynamic processes have shaped the transnational role and involvement of interest groups, and of changes in the actors involved in the water politics of the WRMPs.

4.1.1. Micro-macro Interactions

Micro-macro interactions involve power relationships. To elaborate, ‘people at the micro level want their macro collectivities and institutions to be responsive to their needs and wants, just as macro leaders seek to control— democratically or otherwise—people at the micro level’ (Rosenau, 2003: 26).

Stated differently, individuals are central to the process of micro-macro interactions through their power relations with each other.

In effect, this description gives an indication of the types of actors involved in micro-macro interaction—i.e. individuals and collectivities as generic actor types. Regarding individuals, three types of persons are identified. The first is the ordinary individual who as a citizen may participate indirectly in micromacro relations but whose behaviour contributes to the increase of micro inputs. Secondly, the activist, who may be responsible for the initiation of intentional micro inputs. The third type is the leaders or elites who are in charge of macro collectivities. In this respect, macro collectivities refer to ‘any impersonal aggregates of people’, amongst others interest groups, MNCs, political parties, IGOs, parastatals, government departments, governments and states. The leaders of collectivities are, however, not the only actors that can bring about change in a system. Ordinary individuals can also fashion macro consequences without acquiring legitimate leadership status (Rosenau,

2003: 27). The latter indicates the significance of individuals and their actions in politics.

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The prominence of individuals is further exemplified by the involvement of leaders of collectivities. The actions and decisions of these leaders may be a consequence of their own values, leadership and creativity. However, the situations in which their respective collectivities find themselves, are also contributing factors. These situations can generate both intentional and unintentional micro inputs from activists or ordinary people who aggregate into mass publics (Rosenau, 2003: 26). Hence, individuals, whether they are ordinary citizens or leaders of collectivities, are the shapers of micro-macro inputs.

Apart from treating the values, identities, capacities, strategies and interests of individuals as variables, three processes aggregate these elements into the dynamics that shape micro-macro interactions. Unintentional micro inputs take place ‘when the values, identities, capacities, strategies, and interests of people are impelled by changing economic, social, or political conditions to alter their attitudes, practices, or behaviour in ways that are sufficiently cumulative to arrest the attention of leaders at the macro level as constraints or demands that cannot be ignored and thus initiate sequences of micromacro interaction’. Intentional or unintentional macro inputs are brought about

‘when the elites of collectivities are impelled to pursue a course of action by circumstances in their environments that have consequences for micro actors and initiate sequences of micro-macro interaction’. Intentional micro inputs occur ‘when people purposefully engage in protests, demands, or other forms of collective action that leaders at macro level choose not to ignore’ (Rosenau,

2003: 28) (see Figure 7).

The flow of micro-macro inputs introduces, the notion of a ‘tipping point’. A

‘tipping point’ is brought on by any event in the body politic of society, e.g. opinion polls, a disaster, or any other development, that indicates to elites the existence of previously unrecognised aggregations taking place in a sector of political society. Interest group activity can also be a source of ‘tipping points’ since the role of interest groups, amongst others, is one of the most obvious forms of intentional micro inputs. As non-state actors, these interest groups are furthermore ‘standard features of political processes’ (Gladwell, 2000;

Rosenau, 2003: 28, 30).

To summarise, micro-macro interactions are some of the more inconspicuous features of the political process, since it is a difficult task to trace their origins and to identify the plethora of actors they involve. The large number of actors engaged in political processes, encapsulated by the notion of an

‘organisational explosion’ in world affairs, do however give some indication of the existence of micro-macro interactions.

4.1.2. Organisational Explosion

In recent years, there has been an explosion of ‘voluntary associations’ on the international scene. At the local, national, regional and supranational levels people from all lifestyles are joining efforts ‘on behalf of shared needs and goals’. Since many of these activities are occurring at the local level,

Rosenau (2003: 56) contends that ‘few would argue with the proposition that

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105 the pace at which new associations are formed and old ones enlarged is startling, so much so that to call it an explosion is almost to understate the scale of growth’.

Even so, this ‘explosion’ in associations at all levels has given people the opportunity at the micro level to introduce intentional inputs into macro processes. What then are the reasons for this extensive growth? Rosenau

(2003: 57-58) forwards six reasons:

• The continuing proliferation of distant proximities.

• The skills revolution.

• The diminished competence of states. This decreased capacity enables other actors, who press their demands, an opportunity to do so.

• A ‘pervasive cynicism’ toward politics and the governmental process across the entire world.

• The ‘deepening complexity of world affairs [that] has led to more and more specialization, which in turn, has fostered greater reliance on coordinating with like-minded others to pursue common goals.’

• ‘[M]icroelectronic revolution has facilitated the formation of groups, alliances between them, and networks among them’.

To elaborate on the formation of loose coalitions and ‘weak’ interest group networks, Rosenau (2003: 60) argues that ‘it is precisely the weakness of their ties to distant networks that enables people to join them and participate in their organisations’ activities.’ People do not have the time and energy for strong ties, so they feel ‘compelled to limit their ties to those networks that allow minimal involvement.’ This is called ‘the strength of weak ties’, and paradoxically means that ‘the looser the ties that sustain the network, the more does it have the flexibility to integrate with other networks, whereas strong ties heighten network boundaries and thereby foster fragmentation’

(Rosenau, 2003: 60-61. See also Granovetter, 1973).

It is thus clear that the international scene has become ever more crowded with actors. In earlier periods and after 1648, these actors were mainly states and intergovernmental organisations. In the contemporary era, the number of actors has been and still is multiplying at an increasing rate. States are still important, but their numbers are dwarfed by the multiplicity of non-state actors, operating to bridge the divide between micro level and their collectivities at the macro level (Rosenau, 2003: 61-62). In short, the

‘organisational explosion’ led to a proliferation of actors that in turn gave rise to a partitioning of the international stage into two worlds.

4.1.3. Bifurcation of Global Structures

At present a bifurcated global structure exists, namely a world of collectivities in the form of states and IGOs, and a world of NGOs and interest groups. The latter include a wide variety of independent nongovernmental, transnational and subnational (non-state) actors that interact with the actors in the statecentric world on local stages. Although, states may still be prominent players in the course of international and domestic events, the state system ‘is no

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106 longer as predominant as it once was’ (Rosenau, 1997: 49; Rosenau, 2003:

62).

Figure 7. The flow of micro-macro inputs.

Problem arises at home or abroad

problem defined by elites, activists, opinion polls and other sources

INTENTIONAL UNINTENTIONAL

MACRO INPUTS MACRO INPUTS

collectively leaders view the problem differently as mass opinion remains constant despite perceiving the problem

UNINTENTIONAL

MICRO INPUTS

the problem generates sharp and sudden shifts in mass opinion elites perceive widespread restlessness and concern on part of individuals

INTENTIONAL

MICRO INPUTS

activists mobilise ordinary people activists pressure collectivity leaders to address the problem collectivity leaders ignore constant poll findings in absence of mass agitation collectivity leaders respond to the problem in terms

of their own values and deliberations reactions to the problem become a tipping point collectivity leaders address the problem in response to restlessness and concerns of ordinary people

ACTION TAKEN OR AVOIDED BY COLLECTIVITY ELITES

Source

: Rosenau, 2003: 29

Two worlds are therefore existing at present: the one is made up of states, their institutions and inter-governmental organisations, with the other consisting of a myriad of non-state entities of every kind and description.

These ‘two worlds’ are ‘most of the time interacting as the boundaries separating them are maintained.’ Although this interaction is at times violent and at other times peaceful, for the most it is a combination of the two types of interactive modes. The bifurcation of the world has brought about the weakening of states by creating ‘spaces’ for the establishment or

‘consolidation of collectivities in the multi-centric world, and thus for the activation of individuals who have not previously had an outlet for their global or local orientations’ (Rosenau, 2003: 62-63).

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4.1.4. Weakening of States and Territoriality

As indicated, states are in decline despite counter-arguments that they are still as viable and competent as ever. However, although the state’s general competence has diminished considerably, most remain viable. They, for instance, still play an important part in the conclusion of international agreements and in the running of economies. Yet, the key dimensions of their power—authority and legitimacy—have dwindled considerably (Ikenberry,

1996; Rosenau, 2003: 65).

Along with their diminished capacity, their territoriality has also lost its organising focus. This process of ‘deterritorialisation’ means that states are no longer able to control the flow of persons and ideas across their borders, mainly due to technological advances in transport and communication. More specifically, these advances do not only transcend state borders unhindered, but at best ignore these boundaries completely. Since state borders are

‘frayed’, ‘deterritorialisation’ sets in (Rosenau, 2003: 66).

The essence of his phenomenon is encapsulated by Appadurai (1996: 19, 23) who contends that ‘[t]he very epoch of the nation-state is near its end … It may well be that the emergent postnational order proves not to be a system of homogeneous units (as with the current system of nation-states) but a system based on relations between heterogeneous units (some social movements, some interest groups, some professional bodies, some nongovernmental organizations, some armed constabularies, some judicial bodies)’. In other words, the ‘deterritorialisation’ of the state has heralded the twilight of the state, and is bringing about a different order in world affairs where dissimilar entities or actors (of a non-state character) are at the order of the day.

Activists at the micro level have capitalised on the lessening of state capacity.

These activists have been directing their protests and demands to economic institutions ‘on the grounds that states are no longer as able to shape the course of events as are these [economic] institutions’ (Rosenau, 2003: 68-69).

In conjunction with the decline of state capabilities, the erosion of state sovereignty, has led to a decrease in ‘their ability to claim the final word at home or speak exclusively for the country abroad, and if necessary, to use force in support of their actions at home or abroad that is widely considered legitimate’ (Rosenau, 2003: 69). The Large Dam Debate epitomises the sovereignty issue in that it contests the right of any state to develop economically and socially in a manner that it sees fit (Turton, Meissner &

Stols, 2003). Since the communities of an international river basin are also involved in the management of water resources (GCI, 2000: 8), the interest groups that voluntarily involve them erode state sovereignty.

Although not a capability as such, sovereignty nevertheless to an extent invokes the state capacity to act legitimately. Even so, although ‘most states have not been able to exercise full sovereignty at all times, the myth of states as sovereign has long remained intact’. However, in an era where a plethora of non-state actors are sharing the international arena with states, there are

‘uncertainties and contradictions over where, when, and how states can

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108 exercise their sovereign rights under particular circumstances’ that pose grave challenges to the notion of states as sovereign actors (Rosenau, 2003: 69).

This is even more so the case when these ‘challenges and contradictions’ find expression in processes where state boundaries are skirted by electronic signals, air pollution, natural disasters, transnational crime, Internet communication, and transnational interest groups that influence the polices of governments or other actors. In addition, sovereignty is eroded when people do not readily, or in a lessening fashion ‘view their states as the object of their highest loyalty’, namely when authority crises have set in (Rosenau, 2003:

70).

4.1.5. Authority Crises

The weakening of states have contributed to the authority crises of governments, epitomised by bureaucratic disarray, executive-legislative stalemate and decision paralysis. This has enhanced the individuals’ readiness to utilise new skills to promote own interests. ‘To view most states as deep in crisis, in other words, is not to have in mind only street riots and the violence that can accompany them; it is also to refer to crosscutting conflicts that paralyse policy-making processes and result in stasis, in the avoidance of decisions that would at least address the challenges posed by a fragmegrative world undergoing vast and continuous change’ (Rosenau,

2003: 72). Authority crises have undeniably led to the enhancement of the jurisdiction and legitimacy, of non-state entities and as a result, have

‘contracted the range of national jurisdictions and extended that of local institutions’. Authority crises may lead to people redirecting their loyalty and legitimacy attitudes, and consequently modify the loyalty collectivities are able to command. This, in turn may lead to the emergence of new authority spheres or, to put it more succinctly, to the authority vacuum left by governments being filled by other ‘authorities’, which are most non-state actors (Rosenau, 2003: 72).

4.1.6. Subgroupism

As indicated, groups that are part of and active at the subnational level constitute an element of authority crises. This subgroupism originates ‘out of the deep affinities that people develop toward the associations, organizations, and subcultures with which they have been historically, professionally, economically, socially, or politically linked and to which they attach high priority’ (Rosenau, 1997: 50). Hence, subgroupism is seen as a process whereby actors ‘seek out like-minded others in their close-at-hand environment for support and psychic comfort’ (Rosenau, 2003: 73).

Subgroupism has developed from and is supported by a number of factors, of which the most important is the ‘disappointment with and alienation from’ the system’s performance. ‘[Subgroupism’s] intensities are the product of longstanding historical roots that span generations and get reinforced by an accumulated lore surrounding past events in which the subgroup survived trying circumstances. Moreover, subgroupism tends to beget subgroupism as

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109 new splits occur in subgroups after they achieve their autonomy’ (Rosenau,

2003: 73).

Intense attachments are invoked by a host of subgroups, including interest groups, that leads to a ‘politics of identity’. Regarding these groups and identities, Rosenau (2003: 74) is of the opinion that, ‘it would seem that as the proliferation of identities and the values of multiculturalism thereby generated become increasingly ascendant throughout the world, states are bound to weaken, with their capacity to sustain broad consensuses around shared goals diminished and their ability to concert the energies of citizens in support of policies reduced.’ Therefore, the state is weakened by the proliferation and spread of identities that are not linked to the state and the governmental apparatus.

4.2. Institutions

From the description of the aforesaid generic processes, it is clear that a number of institutions form part of or participates in them. As has been noted, two particular institutions are involved in the water politics of international rivers and WRMPs, namely states and interest groups. Both possess agential power and therefore a certain amount of authority depending on their ideological, economic, military and political power, and the relationship between them. Hence, the need to clarify the structures and types of authority of institutions.

4.2.1. Authority Structures

Regarding the relationship between influence, power and authority, Rosenau

(2003: 274, 275) observes that ‘the more authorities have to resort to the threat or use of force, the less voluntaristic is the compliance and the weaker is their authority’. Taken a step further, habits of compliance also play a role.

Authority relationships are dependent on these habits and they are not easily established or maintained because they evolve only through recurred reinforcement. Therefore, ‘[w]hen compliance habits become frayed or fail to evolve with the continued intrusion of distant proximities, an authority structure is bound to be weak and tenuous’ (Rosenau, 2003: 276).

Accordingly, authority relationships can be placed on a continuum that extends from habit of compliance at one end to defiance at the other. ‘It follows that the more circumstances move away from the compliance extreme and toward the center of the continuum, the more do processes of persuasion and bargaining sustain the authority relationship, just as the more a situation is located at the noncompliant extreme, the more is power evoked to reinforce the relationship’ (Rosenau, 2003: 276). Negotiations will therefore characterise authority relationships of habits of compliance and friendly relations, whereas, authority relations of antagonism and non-compliance will bear witness of increasing coercive use of force.

What then is the nature of the state as an authority structure? First, over the past centuries the authority of the state in domestic and international politics

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110 was supreme except during times of revolution or ‘intense factional conflict’.

Micro-macro interactions reinforced state authority by specifying it ‘in constitutions, bylaws, legislative enactments, and judicial decisions.’ These legal elements collectively stipulate ‘the rules of the game whereby politics and governance within a state’s jurisdiction are conducted and thereby serve as constant reinforcements of compliance’ (Rosenau, 2003: 276-277).

Second, and related to the first, the state’s authority is endowed with tradition

(i.e. bestowed through a combination of moral sanctions, heroic legends, and a superior knowledge basis) that ‘underlie the readiness of its citizens to comply habitually with its directives’ (Rosenau, 2003: 277). Authority crises come about when these traditions are broken down and a normative change takes place that recognise that actors other than states act authoritatively in a domestic context. Thus, ‘[t]he rules of domestic order no longer exclusively involve the state, but rather include global institutions, NGOs, and sub-state actors as legitimate and authoritative entities’ (Mason, 2002; Rosenau, 2003:

277). To summarise, the authority structure of the state is characterised by and based on legal codification and on the compliance of its citizens reinforced by tradition.

What then is the nature of the authority structures of interest groups? Their authority is based on informal as well as formal sources of legitimacy. In addition, the relationships that sustain such collectivities are embedded both in horizontal networks and vertical hierarchies. Networks in particular are an important element in the day-to-day functioning of interest groups especially where an interest group in one country form a coalition or an alliance with likeminded groups in other countries (Rosenau, 2003: 278).

4.2.2. Authority Types

Five different types of authority can be identified namely moral, knowledge, reputational, issue-specific and affiliative authority.

(a) Moral authority

: Organisations ‘dedicated to alleviating torture, famine, and other forms of suffering are especially capable of generating habitual compliance. Such organisations, if they are successful in garnering support of those in need, are backed by moral authority.’ This type of authority ‘attaches high value to human dignity, freedom, and well-being’ (Rosenau, 2003: 283).

Although the moral authority of non-state actors has increased, that of government has decreased. Many governments appear to have lost their moral authority vis-à-vis each other and their publics, mainly because of scandals, corruption and policy failures. Although they can still revert to other types of authority, these will be less effective due to a lack of moral authority

(Rosenau, 2003: 283). Regarding this, Sankey (1996: 273) contends that ‘in this situation the human rights NGO have to be the conscience of the world, as one government will often be reluctant to make accusations against another because of political alliances, commercial interests or fear of the “pot calling the kettle black”’.

(b) Knowledge authority

: Authority also has a knowledge base, especially in the case of scientific associations and epistemic communities. Other

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111 collectivities and individuals tend to comply with the recommendations of these associations and communities on scientific issues because their own knowledge on these matters are extremely limited. Since interest groups and other collectivities presently have access to the same information and knowledge as governments the knowledge authority of the state is eroded.

‘This proliferation of knowledge authority and the accompanying mushrooming of cynicism toward governments has tended to render any pronouncements they make—no matter how solid the evidence or how advanced the expertise they offer may be—objects of suspicion and ridicule’ (Rosenau, 2003: 284).

(c) Reputational authority

: Many non-state entities have an international reputation that produces habitual compliance among governments regarding the policy recommendations they make. In comparison, governments do not have the same ability to secure habitual compliance through reputational authority. Accordingly, ‘[t]he lack of trust and cynicism toward politics and governments today makes it very difficult for them to evoke compliance on the basis of a reputation for equity and evenhandedness’ and ‘for many governments it may well be that this form of authority has eroded beyond repair’ (Rosenau, 2003: 285).

(d) Issue-specific authority

: Non-state entities often evoke the compliance of those they target, based namely on the fact that they have established themselves prominently in a particular issue area, in the process becoming

‘experts’ on the issue that may fall outside the ambit of governments.

Although governments have not lost issue-specific knowledge in areas such as agriculture, finance, immigration and water affairs, the trend towards deregulation and less government has reduced the scope of their issuespecific authority (Rosenau, 2003: 286).

(e) Affiliative authority

: Affiliative authority has to do with the authority inherent in shared affiliations, through common cultural, ethnic, or religious roots, alongside a sense of being ‘a beleaguered minority’. This type is one of the most effective sources of authority on which a collectivity can depend and can rapidly induce habitual compliance. Does this also hold true for governments? ‘[W]racked with internal division, and lacking a clear-cut external enemy, a number of governments cannot rely on loyalty to their country to achieve compliance with their policies’. To whatever degree, governments may have exposed themselves to the greatest loss of authority because of a breakdown of national consensuses and the reduction of national loyalties (Rosenau, 2003: 286-287).

4.2.3. Transnationalism

Throughout the aforesaid discussion of processes and institutions, transnationalism—as ambiguous territorial attachments that extent beyond national borders (Rosenau, 1997: 125)—has been alluded to. Due to these ambiguous territorial attachments, the type of transnationalism between states and interest groups will differ. Nevertheless, ‘transnational behaviour is conceived as derived from a multiplicity of institutionalized and ad hoc arrangements through which governments and nongovernmental collectivities

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112 accommodate to each other and, in so doing, come to share responsibility for the course of events’ (Rosenau, 1997: 51). As a result, the transnational behaviour of states and interest groups becomes a defining causal factor in world affairs.

Interest groups acting independent from the interstate system are, however, more likely to maintain friendly and cooperative transnational relations with like-minded interest groups than with states (Rosenau, 1997: 134). Similarly, states are also likely to maintain cooperative transnational contact with other like-minded states and inter-governmental organisations, rather than with interest groups opposing them. Thus, interest groups from ‘abroad’ may be seen as ‘others’ in the relationship and therefore be ridiculed by government officials and even openly accused of sovereignty breach. Regarding the transnational character of the relationship between governments and interest groups, Falk (1995: 120) contends that ‘[e]conomic and political elites will not protect the general human interest on the basis of their own values or even through … enlightened self-interest … Only a transnational social movement animated by a vision of humane governance can offer any hope of extending the domain of democracy.’ This position not only reifies but also enhances the significance of transnational interest groups in world politics.

5. Conclusion

In this chapter a framework has been developed with the explicit purpose to analyse the transnational role and involvement, i.e. the agential power of interest groups relative to the state, in the implementation of WRMPs in selected Southern African international river basins. In the second part of the chapter, the agential power of the state was defined and classified. It is noteworthy that the state is not the only actor involved in water politics that possesses agential power. Interest groups can also hold agential power. Yet, this does not imply that if the state’s agential power is high, the agential power of interest groups is low. The ‘structurationist’ approach employed by Hobson notes that non-state entities can exist along with strong states (and vice

versa

), and share the same geographical and political space. States can enhance their agential power if they are reflexive to the social forces (interest groups included) operating in society. Hence, a non-zero sum relationship can exist in the agential power relationship between interest groups and the state.

The framework has the following main elements, namely key components comprising the geographic area, the actors, and the hydropolitical history of the international river basin; agential power; and criteria for comparison.

As a key component of the international river basin, the geographic area has to do with the physical description of the basin. From this component a number of variables can be identified that impact on the transnational role and involvement of interest groups and their agential power. The actor component identifies the different actors involved in the water politics of WRMPs. The

HPH component clarifies the ideological mindset of the actors implementing the hydraulic mission.

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The agential power of states and interest groups are determined by the sources of power. In the agential power component, Mann’s (1993b) four sources of power—ideological, economic, military and political—are applied.

A link exists between the four sources of power and the interaction between interest groups and the state concerning the implementation of WRMPs in international river basins. Actor interaction assists in determining the nature and degree of conflict or cooperation between the state and interest groups.

States and interest groups can simultaneously be in control of all four sources of power to varying degrees. Through one source or a combination of sources, interest groups can undermine the ability of the state to implement domestic or foreign policies regarding the construction of WRMPs.

Contrariwise, the state can use one or a combination of power sources to offset the lobbying campaigns of interest groups that are against WRMPs.

Following the aforesaid, criteria have been identified to compare the case studies. These criteria are divided into two generic types, processes and institutions. Under these two generic types a number of criteria are outlined i.e. micro-macro interactions, organisational explosion, bifurcation of global structures, weakening of states and territoriality, authority crises, subgroupism, the nature and structure of the institutions’ authority, the authority types of the institutions, and the nature of the state and interest group (the institutions’) transnationalism.

In the following two chapters (Chapters 5 and 6), the framework is subsequently applied to determine the transnational role and involvement, or more specifically the agential power of interest groups vis-à-vis the state in the

WRMPs of international river basins. The following two chapters, therefore, represent the empirical component of the study, focusing on the involvement of interest groups in the politics of the proposed Epupa Dam to be constructed across the Kunene River and the LHWP across the Orange River respectively. In accordance with the framework and in respect of each case study, the first two main elements of the framework will be discussed, namely the key components of the particular international river basin (geographic area, actors, hydropolitical history); and the agential power of interest groups

vis-à-vis

the state, i.e. their role and influence. The third element of the framework for analysis, namely the criteria for comparison, will only be applied in Chapter 7 where the salient features of the two case studies are brought together, compared, and assessed.

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PART II

CASE STUDIES

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CHAPTER 5

THE KUNENE RIVER BASIN: THE CASE OF THE PROPOSED EPUPA

DAM

1. Introduction

The Kunene River (known as the Cunene in Angola) is one of four perennial international river systems to which Namibia has access

38

. The river is unique compared to the other three river systems (Okavango, Orange and Zambezi) in that it has vast potential to generate hydroelectricity for both Angola and

Namibia. A number of WRMPs has already been constructed on the Kunene, either to supply water to the arid northern parts of Namibia, or to produce hydroelectricity for both countries.

In view of its potential to produce hydroelectricity, the Namibian government proposes to construct a dam downstream from the Epupa Falls. Because the river is an international system, agreement between the two riparian countries is necessary. Notwithstanding agreement between Angola and Namibia, a number of interest groups are also involved in the water politics of the proposed dam. For a number of reasons, these interest groups are opposed to Namibia’s plans to construct the proposed dam. The role and involvement of the interest groups have, over the past decade, given new momentum to the water politics of the Kunene River basin. As a result, during most of the

1990s, interest groups have been lobbying the Namibian government to halt its plans for another dam on the Kunene River.

This chapter puts the political process concerning the proposed dam, and involving the interaction between the interest groups and the Namibian government into perspective. It therefore describes, explains, and analyses the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the water politics of the proposed Epupa Dam. This is done in terms of the framework for analysis outlined in the previous chapter.

Accordingly, the chapter is divided into eight parts. Firstly, a description is presented of the river basin, indicating the importance of the Kunene River to the riparian states, especially Namibia. Secondly, the actors involved in the water politics of the proposed Epupa Dam are identified, including the basin states as well as the interest groups participating in the water politics of the proposed dam. Thirdly, an overview is given of the hydropolitical history of the Kunene River, with the purpose of determining the nature, scope and focus of interaction patterns between the actors. This last section therefore reviews the key components of the Kunene international river basin.

Fourthly, the involvement of interest groups is described. Fifth, the agential power of the actors is analysed with reference to its ideological, economic,

38

These rivers are the only permanent source of surface water for Namibia, except for a number of dams constructed on ephemeral rivers in the interior of the country.

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116 military, and political sources. This is followed, in the sixth part, by an examination of the interaction between the actors. In the penultimate part an analysis of the case study is done, wherein the transnational role and involvement of the interest groups and the agential power of these entities and that of the Namibian government are classified in accordance with the matrix described in the analytical framework. The aforesaid, therefore, provides an analysis of the agential power of interest groups vis-á-vis the state. The conclusion follows.

2. The River Basin

The Kunene is an international river, shared by the two SADC

39

member states—Angola and Namibia previously mentioned (see Appendix 1 for map).

Its drainage basin includes part of the territory of both these countries. The

Kunene rises in the Sierra Encoco Mountains of southwestern Angola near

Huambo, an area with an annual rainfall of about 1 500 millimetres per year

(mm/yr). It flows south for about 700 kilometres (km) before it turns west to form the border between the two countries for the last 340 km. It enters the

Atlantic Ocean at Foz da Cunene where the discharge is approximately 15 cubic kilometres per year (km³/yr). Precipitation decreases from north to south and east to west in its drainage basin. From its headwaters near

Huambo down to its mouth, the Kunene drops from an altitude of about 1 700 m above sea level—a steep gradient. From Ruacana to the Atlantic Ocean, a distance of 340 km, the river falls by more than 1 100 m (Truebody, 1977: 23;

Olivier, 1979: 123; Conley, 1995: 7; Meissner, 2000c: 107; Harring, 2001: 51;

Matiza Chiuta, Johnson & Hirji, 2002: 30; P. Heyns, personal communication,

17 November 2002; Heyns, 2003: 7, 9, 10).

The Kunene initially drains into a well-watered and fertile valley that has become a densely populated agricultural area in Angola. Thereafter it runs through gradually drier country, before reaching the Atlantic Ocean. The

Kunene has a length of 1 050 km and a catchment area of roughly 106 500 square kilometres (km²). After forming the border between Angola and

Namibia, the flow accelerates and for 340 km it runs through ravines and over rapids and waterfalls (Truebody, 1977: 23; Meissner, 2000c: 107; Harring,

2001: 51; Matiza Chiuta, Johnson & Hirji, 2002: 30; Heyns, 2003: 9).

Because of the cataracts between Ruacana and the Atlantic Ocean, the

Kunene River is non-navigable. The largest of the cataracts is Ruacana, about 123 metres (m) high. It also flows over the Epupa Falls, some 32 m high. The Matala Falls, a cataract further upstream near Matala in Angola, is utilised for a hydroelectric installation (Meissner, 2000c: 107; Heyns, 2003:

11). In contrast to the other rivers on which Namibia is dependent, like the

Okavango River, these cataracts give the Kunene River unique geographical

39

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) consists of 13 member states, namely Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi,

Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and

Zimbabwe. At the 2004 SADC Summit, Madagascar was granted candidate membership.

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117 and commercial characteristics. Hence, throughout the twentieth century, the rulers of Angola and Namibia have recognised the Kunene’s potential to generate hydroelectric power (Best & de Blij, 1977: 327).

From an engineering perspective, it is estimated that the Kunene River has a surplus of water. Estimates in the late 1970s suggested that an installed capacity of about 2 400 mega-watts (MW) could produce around 12 000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity per year. This hydroelectric potential is provided by the steep gradient of the river. After the water of the river has been used for this purpose, there could still be enough for irrigation, domestic, industrial, and stock-watering purposes (Truebody, 1977: 23; Heyns, 2003:

10). This potential for electricity generation and surplus water could form part of the basis of the resuscitation of Angola’s ruined economy and further stimulate Namibia’s economy.

2.1. Utilisation of the Kunene River: The Proposed Epupa Dam Project

The proposed Epupa hydroelectric power scheme will augment the existing

Kunene power project constructed in the 1960s and 1970s. Before South

Africa’s withdrawal from South West Africa (SWA) and Angola, it had planned to build the Epupa Dam, 160 km downstream from Ruacana. This plan was transferred to the Namibian government on independence in 1990, following which NamPower (formerly the SWA Water and Electric Corporation (Pty) Ltd.

[SWAWEK]) announced that it intended to implement the Epupa scheme. A pre-feasibility study was subsequently completed in September 1993, to estimate the cost of the dam and to secure foreign funding for the project.

The study was financed by Norway and Sweden and was done by NAMANG, a consortium of Norwegian, Swedish, Namibian, and Angolan companies, the

Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD) and the Swedish

International Development Agency (SIDA) through Norconsult and

Swedpower. The pre-feasibility study narrowed the potential sites for the dam down to three alternatives. SIDA and NORAD concluded, after the prefeasibility study, that the project was viable and that a full feasibility study should be conducted. Work on this feasibility study started in 1995 and was completed in 1997 (Warwick, 1996: 39; Internet: O’Neill, 1998; Harring, 2001:

54-55, 56; Heyns, 2003: 12).

Currently the proposed Epupa project design consists of a 150 m high and

600 m long dam wall. The reservoir created by the dam, when built, will be between 70 and 80 km long. It will flood an area of around 295 km² with the reservoir having a capacity of 7 300 million cubic metres (MCM). The hydroelectric powerplant will have an installed capacity of 415 MW and a planned annual electricity production of 1 650 GWh/year. In 1996, the estimated cost of the dam was R2 billion, depending on its final design

(Financial Mail, 21 June 1996: 23; Internet: FIVAS, 2000; P. Heyns, personal communication, 17 November 2002; Heyns, 2003: 11).

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2.2. The Rationale behind Epupa

What exactly is the rationale behind the Namibian government’s plans, in conjunction with Angola, for a hydroelectric plant at the Epupa Falls? Firstly, hydroelectricity is advantageous because it is cost effective. Once a hydroelectric scheme has been built, there are few further costs. Secondly, it is environmentally friendly, which is not the case with coal-fired power stations. Thirdly, power can be exported from Namibia to South Africa, generating much needed foreign currency (Internet: IPS, 23 May 1996;

Internet: FTIO, 1997; P. Heyns, personal communication, 17 November

2002). This will be a reversal of the present situation, where Namibia imports electricity from South Africa, and considering that the Namibian government expects the price of imported electricity from South Africa to increase in the near future.

Fourth, and most important, the Epupa Dam project will make Namibia selfsufficient in electricity. Currently the Ruacana hydroelectric power plant provides only 50 per cent of Namibia’s electricity needs, and without considering the effects of winter drought at a time when electricity consumption is the highest in Namibia. To offset the shortfall of electricity in

Namibia, the balance is imported from South Africa. In addition, the Van Eck coal-fired power station in Windhoek provides about 10 per cent of Namibia’s electricity. It is kept, however, in reserve because it is expensive to operate and uses coal imported from South Africa. The fuel-generator at Walvis Bay and imported power from Zambia also provide small amounts of electricity to

Namibia, but this does not meet local consumption (Warwick, 1996: 39;

Harring, 2001: 55; Internet: IPS, 23 May 1996; Financial Mail, 21 June 1996:

23). Considering that Namibia’s energy needs are expected to increase in the future, the electricity output of the proposed Epupa Dam, combined with that of the Ruacana power station, would add 50 per cent more capacity to the

Namibian power grid. This will make the country’s electricity utility,

NamPower, self-sufficient in electricity (Financial Mail, 21 June 1996: 23;

Harring, 2001: 55).

In the fifth place, internal politics also play a role. The South West African

People’s Organisation (SWAPO) is active in the Kunene Region and, according to Harring (2001: 48), ‘the Epupa scheme is central to SWAPO plans to dominate Kunene Region politics’. The Kaoko Development League

(KDL) that represents businesspeople (mostly Ovambo, the largest of

Namibia’s ethnic group and SWAPO’s main political support base) and local youth, also support the project. The main purpose of the KDL is to modernise

Kaokoland through development and, according to one of the KDL’s leaders

‘[d]evelopment is anything that is related to the enhancement of people’s living standards’. Hence, the KDL regards the proposed Epupa Dam not as a national energy supply project but a ‘cry for development’ (Miescher, 2000:

351, 358, 359).

If the dam were built, it would bring many benefits to Kaokoland. The water resources of the Kunene River are the only natural resource of national

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119 interest in Kaokoland and the KDL wants to ensure that it receives as many benefits as possible from the exploitation of this resource. The support of the

KDL for the construction of the proposed Epupa Dam has always been linked to a number of demands (Miescher, 2000: 358). These are as follows:

• Preference to people from the region regarding employment opportunities.

Most of the labour-force should be residents of Kaokoland and local technical staff should be trained for operating the dam.

• The improvement of the urban and rural water supply by way of a canal bringing water from the Kunene River to Opuwo. This initiative would be similar to the existing Calueque scheme.

• Large-scale irrigation projects, comparable to that of Etunda at Ruacana.

• The improvement of infrastructure, including the construction of tarred roads, the expansion of the electricity network, schools, hospitals, and the opening of a bank in Opuwo.

• Additional measures during the construction phase of the proposed dam, e.g. an increased police presence and special education programmes for the local community at Epupa.

• The investment of 20 per cent of the profits from the future electricity surplus should be ploughed back into the region’s economy (Miescher,

2000: 359).

The dam is therefore not only seen as a political objective, but also as a means to enhance socio-economic development in one of Namibia’s most remote regions (Harring, 2001: 48).

Finally, status and prestige are also reasons. The Epupa Dam would be one of the highest dams in Africa. It is also suggested by Warwick (1996: 39) that it would serve as a ‘lasting monument to its [Namibia’s] rulers’.

3. The Actors

From the description of the river basin, two states share the Kunene River basin, namely Angola and Namibia. These two states are therefore core actors. A large number of interest groups are also involved, particularly in the water politics of the proposed Epupa Dam (see Table 5).

Table 5. Actors involved in the water politics of the proposed Epupa

Dam Project.

Actor Involvement

1. Angola

2. Namibia

3. NamPower

Core, Inner

Peripheral or

Outer

Peripheral

Actor

Core

Core

Core

Type of

Actor/

Interest

Group

State

State

Parastatal

Base Country

(In the case of interest groups)

-

-

-

x x x

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14. Group for

Environmental

Monitoring

(GEM)

15. International

Rivers Network

(IRN)

16. Legal

Assistance

Centre (LAC)

17. National

Society for

Human Rights

(NSHR)

18. Southern

African Rivers

Association

(SARA)

19. Survival

International

(SI)

20. Society for

Threatened

Peoples

International,

Germany

International

Water and

Forest Studies

(FIVAS)

5. Desert

Research

Foundation of

Namibia

(DRFN)

6. Earthlife

(Namibia

Africa branch)

Africa

(South Africa branch)

8. Environmental

Monitoring

Group (EMG)

9. Environmental

Defence (ED)

10. Epupa Action

Committee

(EAC)

11. Power to

Namibia

12. Namibia

Nature

Foundation

13. Greenspace

Outer

Peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

Norway

Peripheral Associational

(Promotional)

Namibia

Peripheral Associational

Outer

Peripheral

Outer

Peripheral

Outer

Peripheral

(Promotional)

Peripheral Associational

Outer

Peripheral

Peripheral

(Promotional)

Associational

(Promotional)

Associational

(Promotional)

(Promotional)

Associational

(Promotional)

(Promotional)

Associational

(Promotional)

Associational

(Promotional)

Namibia

South Africa

Peripheral Associational

(Promotional)

South Africa

United States

Interest

Group

Peripheral Associational

(Promotional)

Peripheral Associational

(Promotional)

Namibia

Namibia

Namibia

United States

Peripheral Associational

(Promotional)

Namibia

Peripheral Associational

(Promotional)

Namibia

United

Kingdom

Germany

x

x x

x x

x x

x

x

x

x x x x

x

x

x

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121

21. Berne

Declaration

22. Klub Gaja

23. Forest Peoples

Programme

24. South Coast

Foundation

25. Alternative

Information and

Development

Centre

26. Dutton

Environmental

Consultants

27. CSIR:

Environmentek

28. Swedish

Society for

Nature

Conservation

29. World

Rainforest

Movement (UK

Branch)

30. Friends of the

Earth (Slovakia

Branch)

31. The Gaia

Foundation

32. Wilgespruit

Fellowship

Centre

33. Southern

Hemisphere

34. Empowerment for African

Sustainable

Development

35. Africa Water

Network

36. FERN

37. Association for

Rural

Advancement

38. National Peace

Accord Trust

39. Groundwork

Environmental

40. Urgewald

41. Drakensberg

Wetland

Project

42. Arbeitskreis

Outer

Peripheral

Outer

Peripheral

Outer

Peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

Associational

(Promotional)

Associational

(Promotional)

Switzerland

Poland

United

Kingdom

(Promotional)

Peripheral Associational

(Promotional)

South Africa

Outer

Peripheral

Outer

Peripheral

(Sectional)

Associational

(Promotional)

Associational

(Promotional)

Sweden

United

Kingdom

Outer

Peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

Slovakia

Outer

Peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

United

Kingdom

Peripheral Associational

(Promotional)

South Africa

(Promotional)

Peripheral Associational

(Promotional)

South Africa

Outer

Peripheral

Outer

Peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

Associational

(Promotional)

(Promotional)

Kenya

United

Kingdom

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

(Promotional)

Peripheral Associational

(Promotional)

South Africa

Outer

Peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

Germany

Peripheral Associational

(Sectional)

South Africa

Outer

x

x

x

Associational Germany

x

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Afrika

43. Freshwater

Research Unit,

University of

Cape Town

44. Africa

Resources

Trust

45. Reform the

World Bank

Campaign

46. Exploration

Society of

South Africa

47. Wharton

Econometric

Forecasting

Association

48. Biowatch

Peripheral (Promotional)

Peripheral Associational

(Promotional)

South Africa

Outer

Peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

Italy

Peripheral Associational

(Sectional)

South Africa

Peripheral Associational

(Sectional)

South Africa

x

x

x

x

49. Centre for

Environmental

Public

Advocacy

Peripheral

Outer

Peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

Associational

(Promotional)

South Africa

Slovakia

x

x

Source

: Internet: IRN, 1999a.

Thus, one parastatal, two states and 46 interest groups are involved in the politics of the proposed Epupa Dam project on the Kunene River basin. Of the two states, Namibia is most vociferously advocating the implementation of the proposed dam. The interest groups, on the other hand, are not only located in Namibia, but also in other parts of Southern Africa, most notably in

South Africa. A number of interest groups from Europe and the United States are also involved. The reason for this is the fact that the European countries and the United States have a long democratic tradition that is conducive for the formation of interest groups and the articulation of issues. The only core interest group, within the Kunene River basin itself, is the EAC, representing the Himba community.

The proportional representation of the actors from the core, periphery, and outer periphery indicates that the majority of actors (53 per cent) are situated in the periphery, that is they are situated outside the Kunene River basin, but inside the SADC region. The second largest grouping of actors (37 per cent) is situated in the outer periphery, in other words outside the SADC region.

Only eight per cent of the actors are situated within the core, in other words within the Kunene River basin itself. They are Angola, the EAC (Himba community), Namibia and NamPower.

Not all the actors are directly involved in the water politics of the planned dam

(see Table 5). Only 20 per cent of the 49 actors are directly involved. The rest, 80 per cent, are only indirectly involved. The direct involvement stems from the fact that some interest groups constantly lobby the Namibian

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123 government. Indirect involvement means that some interest groups would only from time to time sign a petition or letter, for instance, one that is distributed by another interest group. Of the interest groups, 12 per cent are directly involved and 88 per cent are indirectly involved.

Concerning the host countries of these interest groups, the majority are from

South Africa (43 per cent). Interest groups from Namibia and the United

Kingdom represent 17 per cent and 11 per cent respectively; from Germany seven per cent; and from the US four per cent. The rest are all from other parts of Europe, most notably Italy, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Sweden. The only other African base country of an interest group outside the SADC region is Kenya (see Appendix 2).

The type of interest group that has the largest representation (85 per cent) in the water politics of the proposed Epupa Dam is the associational

(promotional) interest group, followed by the associational (sectional) interest group and the institutional interest group with eight per cent and four per cent representation respectively. The two state actors (Angola and Namibia) have four per cent representation and the Himba community, organised into the

EAC (communal interest group) two per cent.

Presently no anomic interest groups are involved in the water politics of the proposed Epupa Dam project. The reasons are that urban Namibia does not have an established culture of mass, emotive demonstrations against government policies; that the proposed Epupa Dam project will not have a direct impact (either negatively or positively) on all the citizens of Namibia; that the Himba community is geographically separated from the capital city and other large concentrations of people; and that the debate is not highly emotional to the extent that it is likely to trigger the formation of an anomic group.

The predominance of associational (promotional) interest groups, as previously indicated, is attributable to the fact that they perceive the proposed dam to negatively affect the environment of the Kunene River and the human rights of the Himba people (Heyns, 2003: 12). In contrast, few associational

(sectional) interest groups are involved. This can be attributed to the fact that whereas associational (sectional) interest groups are a feature of industrialised societies, Namibia is still a developing country. Nevertheless, the fact that this type of interest group is indeed involved in the water politics of the Kunene, however limited, is an indication that their importance in the policy issues of developing countries is increasing (Heywood, 1997: 254).

4. The Hydropolitical History of the Kunene River

Namibia is not richly endowed with water resources. It is, along with

Botswana, one of the most arid SADC member states. In response, the past and present authorities of Namibia developed a number of coping strategies.

These coping strategies refer to the output of the decision-making elite, usually in the form of some coherent policy or set of strategies such as water

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124 demand management, which seeks to manage the water scarcity in some way or another. These coping strategies resulted from adaptive behaviour, meaning that the authorities developed a clear response to water scarcity that took on various forms, including WRMPs (Turton & Ohlsson, 1999: 3;

Devereux & Naeraa, 1996: 427-428; Heyns, 2003: 7).

Within the Kunene River basin it is apparent that these coping strategies had less to do with water scarcity in Namibia, than with the need to satisfy energy needs that led to the construction of WRMPs on the river. The adaptive behaviour and coping strategies therefore form part of the hydropolitical history of the Kunene River (Meissner, 2000c: 108).

4.1. Early Plans

At the turn of the nineteenth century, the German colonists Brincker and

Gessert first suggested damming the Kunene River to supply water to

Deutsch Südwest-Afrika

40

. This was a realistic objective because engineering was the core of the German colonial enterprise. During the thirty years of

German occupation of Deutsch Südwest-Afrika (1885-1915), the colonists constructed railroads, roads, mines and water supply systems; drilled thousands of wells; and built hundreds of small dams for impounding water

(Harring, 2001: 51-52).

Throughout its colonial history, the various authorities of Namibia only started to play a role in the water politics of the Kunene River from 1886 onwards.

On 30 December 1886, the governments of Germany and Portugal delineated the border between their respective spheres of influence. The boundary line followed the course of the Kunene River from its mouth to the waterfalls

(Ruacana Waterfall) south of Humbe. From this point, the border stretched along the parallel 17° 23' South latitude to the Okavango River in the east. It then courses along the Okavango River to Andara and finally in an easterly direction to the Catima rapids on the Zambezi River (RSA, 1964: 411).

Following South Africa’s military occupation of SWA in 1914 and its administration of the territory as a League of Nations mandate, the development of the Kunene River was undertaken to facilitate the overall development of the country. This was exemplified by the following statement of Dirk Mudge, the South African Member of the Executive Council (MEC) and acting administrator of Namibia in 1976, concerning the development of the

Kunene River: ‘The Kunene scheme is very important, for one just cannot develop these territories without water and electricity … We need a strong economy to provide jobs in the southern sector for people from the native

40

During German occupation, Namibia was known as Deutsch Südwest-Afrika, while under

South African control it became known as South West Africa (SWA). After independence, it became Namibia, although it was known by this name in some circles, particularly the UN, during the period of South African occupation. The following terms will be used to describe the territory: Deutsch Südwest-Afrika (when referring to it during the period 1885 to 1915),

SWA (when referring to it during the period 1914 to 1989) and Namibia (when referring to it during the period 1990 to the present).

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125 homelands. One cannot have a strong economy without infrastructure’

(Christie, 1976: 31, 40).

Because the Kunene is an international river, it was necessary for the political authorities that governed Namibia and Angola, to come up with some agreement regarding the sharing of the river’s water. International agreements and cooperation thus formed part of the coping strategies envisaged by Namibia and Angola. Nonetheless, it was not always easy to develop the Kunene River, for international and domestic political factors had

(and still have) a profound impact on these projected plans (Meissner, 2003:

258-259).

4.2. Cooperation between Portugal and South Africa: 1926-1975

Initially the governments that controlled Angola and Namibia, namely Portugal and South Africa, cooperated over the sharing and utilisation of the river’s water resources. However, it was not only governments and their officials who played a role and had an impact, but also individuals.

4.2.1. Preliminary Cooperation

In 1919, Prof. E.H.L Schwarz (a professor of geology at Rhodes University,

Grahamstown), proposed to dam the Kunene River some distance above the

Ruacana Falls. The purpose of this project was to divert water onto the

Ovamboland plain, to subsequently fill the Etosha Pan. Accordingly Schwarz

(1919: 116) contended that ‘the water would flow far up the Ovambo River; the water if kept at a steady level would percolate through the sandy country between the Ovambo River and the Okavango [River], and would eventually reopen the channel connecting the two rivers’. The purpose of this project was to create an evaporating surface, estimated to extend more than 8 000 km², to alter the rainfall on the Angolan Highlands and consequently the flow of the Kunene, Okavango, Linyanti, and Zambezi Rivers that rise there

(SESA, 1973a: 534). Schwarz (1919: 118, 119) also believed that the Etosha

Pan would provide extra rain for the entire Namibia.

Academic interest in the development of the Kunene River therefore originated before the 1920s. Schwarz’s ‘fantastic’ scheme to dam the Kunene was never implemented because it would have been too expensive and too impractical. However, it was investigated in 1927 by a Joint Technical

Commission (JTC) in accordance with the 1 July 1926 Treaty

41

between

South Africa and Portugal, and indeed found to be impractical. Earlier, on 22

June 1926, South Africa and Portugal had signed an agreement

42

41

Agreement between the Government of the Union of South Africa and the Government of

the Republic of Portugal regulating the use of the water of the Kunene River for the purposes of generating power and inundation and irrigation in the mandated territory of South West

Africa

, of 1 July 1926.

42

Agreement between the Government of the Union of South Africa and the Government of

the Republic of Portugal in relation to the boundary between the mandated territory of South

West Africa and Angola

, of 22 June 1926.

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126 demarcating the border between the territory of SWA and Angola that reaffirmed the border that was drawn between Germany and Portugal in 1886.

The Schwarz plan was yet again considered in 1945 by the South African

Department of Irrigation, only finally to be dispelled. Criticism of the project had, however, already been levelled against it when Schwarz published his proposal to alter Southern Africa’s rainfall in 1919 and the 1920s. In 1920, a hydrographical study of the Kunene River was also undertaken by Kanthack, chair of the Ovamboland-Angola Boundary Commission, who showed the possibility of utilising the Kunene as a source of hydroelectricity (Union of

South Africa, 1946: 4; RSA, 1964: 411-415, SWAA, 1967: 1).

As indicated, the interaction between Portugal and South Africa regarding the joint management of the Kunene River dates back to 1926. In this regard, the

1 July 1926 treaty was to regulate the use of the waters of the river for the purposes of generating power, inundation, and irrigation in the mandated territory of SWA. Also, the JTC (also known as the Kunene Water

Commission) was established to investigate the feasibility of damming the

Kunene and diverting its water into Ovamboland. Part of the July 1926

Agreement reads as follows: ‘The Government of the Republic of Portugal concedes to the Government of the Union of South Africa the right to use up to one half of the flood water of the Cunene River for the purposes of inundation and irrigation in the mandated territory’ (Wellington, 1938: 26;

RSA, 1964: 415-419; SWAA, 1967: 1; Christie, 1976: 31; Namibia, 1990a;

Harring, 2001: 52).

Plans to utilise the waters of the Kunene for use in Ovamboland were discussed between South Africa and Portugal at a conference held between

13 and 23 July 1927, at Olushandja. At the conference it became clear that the plans for diverting water into SWA ‘presented a far more difficult problem than was originally anticipated and much more extensive investigations will be required before a complete solution can be arrived at’. However, no infrastructural developments were undertaken subsequent to the 1 July 1926

Treaty (Wellington, 1938: 26; RSA, 1964: 421, 423; Vigne, 1998: 289;

Harring, 2001: 52).

During the late 1920s, states exerted a direct influence on the water politics of the Kunene River basin. However, private and public individuals did participate in the water politics of the river at the time. For instance, Ernest

Oppenheimer, co-founder of the Anglo American Corporation and

Consolidated Diamond Mines of South-West Africa, envisaged that one of his companies would build a dam on the Kunene River to supply water to the mining industry of SWA. Before 1926, Jan Smuts, as prime minister of the

Union of South Africa, tried to redraw the Angolan border to include in the territory of South Africa and subsequently, the dam site at Calueque, but to no avail (Wellington, 1938: 26; SESA, 1973b: 339; Harring, 2001: 52).

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The reason why no development ensued was that SWA and Angola were in no great need of water and it was proved too difficult to implement the proposed schemes. Nonetheless, the basis was provided for future cooperation that eventually materialised in the 1960s (Meissner, 2000c: 109).

4.2.2. The Rationale of Economic Development

From the colonisation of SWA to the early 1960s, the low level and limited decentralisation of economic activity did not justify a countrywide electricity supply network. Before the expansion of the SWA electricity grid, each power consumer (local authorities, mines and other users) had to generate its own power supply. This resulted in high power costs, mainly due to high transportrelated fuel costs (Olivier, 1979: 123). As a result the need to overcome this problem became the rationale for the territory’s socio-economic development.

In 1962, the South African government mandated the Odendaal Commission to investigate the socio-economic potential of SWA and to prepare measures to stimulate its development. The final report of the Commission was published in 1964 (RSA, 1964). One of the conclusions the Commission drew, was that the water resources of the Kunene should be utilised for the generation of electric power and to supply water to Ovamboland. The report stated that: ‘The Commission sees the generation of electricity on the

Kunene, commencing on a large scale at Ruacana and then further downstream at Odorusu, Epupa Falls and Marienfluss, as the most important contribution the State could make towards the further economic development of South West Africa.’ This kind of development was expected to make a substantial economic contribution to the increased and accelerated development of SWA. SWAWEK was established as a utility to develop the power and water potential of the country. At the time, in order to produce electricity, plans were put forward for the construction of the Epupa Dam

(RSA, 1964: 447; Rhoodie, 1967: 258; Olivier, 1979: 125; Showers, 1996: 2).

The dam was never constructed and was only proposed again in the 1990s.

The plan to develop the territory led to yet another agreement

43

in 1964, between South Africa and Portugal, regarding rivers of mutual interest to both

Angola and SWA (Kunene and Okavango). This agreement also involved the proposed Kunene River Scheme. In 1969, another agreement was signed between South Africa and Portugal regarding WRMPs to be constructed on the Kunene River

44

. This agreement included the following:

• A dam at Gové in Angola to regulate the flow of the Kunene River

(completed in 1975).

43

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa, and the Government

of the Republic of Portugal in regard to rivers of mutual interest and the Cunene River scheme

, of 13 October 1964.

44

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government

of the Republic of Portugal in regard to the first phase development of the water resources of the Cunene River basin

, of 21 January 1969.

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• A dam at Calueque upstream from Ruacana for further regulation of the river in conjunction with the requirements of the power station to be constructed at Ruacana (completed in the mid-1970s).

• A hydroelectric power station at Ruacana with a capacity to generate 240

MW of electricity (completed in 1978) to supply the entire Namibian territory and southern Angola with electricity.

• A pumping station at Calueque for the irrigation of Ovamboland (Rhoodie,

1967: 258-259; Olivier, 1979: 123; Conley, 1995: 14; Heyns, 2003: 10, 11).

A fourth dam had already been built in 1964 at Matala in Angola, with the aim to generating 40 MW of electricity, and therefore fell outside the scope of this agreement. It is also employed as an irrigation scheme. In other words, four dams presently exist in the Kunene River, namely Gové, Matala, Calueque and Ruacana (Olivier, 1979: 123; Conley, 1995: 14; Heyns, 2003: 11, 12).

In accordance with the January 1969 Agreement and in order to oversee the implementation of these projects, a Permanent Joint Technical Commission

(PJTC), which still functions today, was established (Olivier, 1979: 128; Best

& de Blij, 1977: 380; Heyns, 2003: 10). This institutional arrangement further strengthened functional cooperation between Portugal and South Africa.

As the infrastructural projects neared completion, it was realised that the

Kunene River had further untapped hydroelectric potential because of the other cataracts and waterfalls along its course. After the completion of the

Gové and Calueque Dams, the Kunene River was more easily regulated. It was therefore technically viable to continue the development of the hydroelectrical potential of the river downstream from the Ruacana hydropower plant. In the late 1970s, SWAWEK estimated the potential of the river to be 1 560 MW that could be generated at eight sites along the river.

This type of thinking is still prevalent in Namibia today, with the government regarding the river as a source of sustainable energy (Olivier, 1979: 128; P.

Heyns, personal communication, 17 November 2002).

Thus, the coping strategies initiated 40 years ago still form the backdrop to current development plans for the proposed Epupa hydroelectric installation.

Harring (2001: 53) even states that ‘[i]f the South Africans and Portuguese were still in power the Epupa Dam might have been built by the colonial powers by the 1970s, without any feasibility study’. However, it seems as if other reasons, including politics, had an influence on the postponement of the

Epupa Dam.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Ruacana hydroelectric power plant produced enough electricity for SWA’s needs. This made a further hydroelectric plant at Epupa redundant. It would have been a total waste of financial resources to construct the Epupa Dam. By the mid-1970s, the long world economic boom—lasting from the early 1930s to the 1970s—was ending. Inflation in South Africa was also on the increase and the financial resources of the state were stretched to the limit. In 1974, the gold price was

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129

US$198 per ounce and the economic growth rate was 8.3 per cent. By 1976 the gold price had decreased to US$103 per ounce, while the economic growth rate of South Africa was only 2.9 per cent in 1975, 1.3 per cent in 1976 and zero in 1977 (Barber & Barratt, 1990: 177-178). This decline in the South

African economy meant that the government found it more difficult to finance infrastructural projects like large dams.

Portugal and especially South Africa were intent on implementing the

Calueque and Ruacana schemes, regardless of the economic situation. This was evident from the promise made by South Africa’s former Prime Minister,

John Vorster in August 1972 to the Ovambo Executive Council (OEC), that the Ruacana and Calueque schemes would be ‘zealously defended’. The

Portuguese colonial government in Angola preferred more grandiose WRMPs on the Kunene River, but lacked the financial means to implement them. The people of Angola and Namibia were, however, not consulted on the construction of the dams at Calueque, Gové, Matala, and Ruacana (Christie,

1976: 31).

The authoritarian character of the political regimes in South Africa and

Portugal explains this lack of consultation. In addition, the Calueque and

Ruacana schemes have been seen to not only foster socio-economic development in northern Namibia, but also to bolster South Africa’s domination of Southern Africa. These WRMPs were also constructed within the context of the discourse on world industrialisation and capitalism.

Namibia’s natural resources were therefore extracted to boost the South

Africa economy. However, according to Christie (1976: 32), to extract valuable natural resources (minerals), large volumes of energy and water are needed, ‘systematically produced, and distributed as commodities’.

Low-level opposition was nevertheless raised by various collectivities and individuals to the Calueque and Ruacana WRMPs. SWAPO, for instance, was against the schemes. So too was the head of the Anglican Diocese of

Damaraland, Richard Wood. In 1974 he stated that ‘[t]he schemes are not being carried out in consultation with the people’. He also said that the water is welcomed, but the plans represent ‘an extrapolation of White hopes for the future of our country’ (Christie, 1976: 41). The Namibian bishop of the

Evangelical Lutheran Church, Dr J.L. de Vries, similarly argued in 1974 that

‘[t]he Ovambo people are very anti-government. It is not that they do not want development, but that they are against schemes imposed from above’. De

Vries furthermore stated that: ‘[W]e feel that the system is run without consultation. We feel that we stand aside from the development of the country’. He was also of the opinion that the Kunene WRMPs were being implemented to serve the military aspirations of South Africa. Likewise, in

1974 a Namibian in Windhoek told Christie: ‘[W]e are against these schemes.

They are not for the people of Namibia. They are for exploitation, not for anything else. The government talks as though the whole purpose is for the

Ovambo—I am sure it is not’ (Christie, 1976: 42). In spite of these protestations and opposition towards the Calueque and Ruacana schemes, the projects were implemented.

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130

4.3. The Border War: 1975-1988

Despite the lack of consultation on and opposition to the projects, the internal political situation in Angola took a turn for the worst in the mid-1970s. In future, events in Angola would have a detrimental impact on the water politics of the Kunene River basin, affecting not only interstate cooperation but also the implementation of other WRMPs.

Immediately after Angola gained independence on 11 November 1975, a civil war broke out involving both internal and external forces. This is one of the main political reasons why the Epupa Dam was not constructed in the 1970s.

Furthermore, with fighting concentrated in the southern part of Angola and in particular in Angola’s Cunene province, the Ruacana hydroelectric complex was seen as an important strategic asset by the warring parties. This strategic importance was highlighted in 1975, while the civil war was still in its early stages, when South Africa became involved in the conflict. However, the dam was not the main reason for the South Africa’s involvement

(McGowan, 1999: 233; Meissner, 2000c: 111).

Prime Minister John Vorster was reluctant at first to become involved in the

Angolan civil war.

45

In effect, South Africa did not want to offend Portugal and international opinion by interfering directly in what was still a Portuguese affair. Nevertheless, after Cuba became engaged in the war, on the side of the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) (which was to become the Angolan government), South Africa became alarmed. Therefore, the Cuban factor was critical in South Africa’s decision to become involved in

Angola (Barber & Barratt, 1990: 191, 189).

More than that, throughout the conflict the Cuban issue was central to South

Africa’s policy on both Angola and Namibia. South Africa’s first military intervention in Angola was in August 1975, when the South African Defence

Force (SADF) intervened to protect the joint Kunene River project at

Calueque. The cause of this action were clashes between the MPLA and the

União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola

(UNITA) and the harassment of workers at the dam site by supporters of both organisations.

South African troops entered Angola to occupy and defend the dam

46

. To elaborate further, Calueque, inside Angola, supplied water from the Kunene to central Ovamboland. Without water, the development of this area would be inhibited. It was widely accepted in international fora, especially the UN, that

South Africa was illegally occupying Namibia. Both Calueque and Ruacana were therefore situated on territory which South Africa may not have defended

45

At a cabinet meeting held in 1978 it was the hawkish Defence Minister P.W. Botha who insisted that South Africa become more directly involved in the Angolan War. The cabinet was overwhelmingly in favour of South Africa’s involvement and Vorster had to give in to the hawks (De Klerk, 1998: 58-59).

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The Portuguese ambassador to South Africa protested against the action, but no assurances could be given by him regarding the safety of the workers at the pump station and the South Africans remained at Calueque (Steenkamp, 1990: 39).

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131 legitimately. Nonetheless, the harassment of workers led to a halt of work and the possibility that no water would be supplied to Ovamboland (Christie,

1976: 31; Barber & Barratt, 1990: 191; Steenkamp, 1990: 37-39).

As indicated, the action by the SADF highlighted the strategic importance of the Ruacana-Calueque scheme for Namibia and South Africa. Obviously,

South Africa not only intervened in the Angolan conflict to take possession of

Calueque and to defend the water resources of SWA; it was also a question of South Africa’s security concerns in the region at large (Steenkamp, 1990:

39). Three aspects impacted on these fears: Soviet and Cuban involvement in Angola; the threat they and other communist surrogates posed to Namibia

(and consequently South Africa); and the military threat to the Kunene River project. As two observers put it, ‘[t]he underlying, but unspoken, motive was thus to ensure a non-hostile, co-operative Angola, with Soviet influence eliminated, which would not threaten Pretoria’s dominance in Southern Africa, particularly in Namibia’ (Barber & Barratt, 1990: 194).

Although the August 1975 Calueque incident was a catalyst to South Africa’s military involvement in Angola, for it gave South Africa a foothold in that country, it certainly was no water war. In due course, other countries also became involved in the Angolan conflict, namely the US, Zambia and Zaire

(Barber & Barratt, 1990: 188, 191-192).

Hence, the Angolan conflict became a classic example of Cold War proxy warfare, fought along the ideological lines of the East-West divide. The

Kunene’s WRMPs (Ruacana and Calueque) therefore played a small role in the war, although both sides saw them as strategic assets. In addition, a number of African leaders both supported and directly appealed for South

African involvement in Angola, such as Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia), Mobutu

Sese-Seko (Zaire), Felix Houphouet-Boigny (Côte d’Ivoire), Julius Nyerere

(Tanzania) and Leopold Senghor (Senegal)—who also feared communist expansion (Steenkamp, 1990: 39; Barber & Barratt, 1990: 188, 191-192).

Except in 1988, no action took place at the Calueque Dam for the rest of the war, although it remained a source of friction (Steenkamp, 1990: 42). The outbreak of war nonetheless had a negative impact on the relationship between South Africa (and by implication SWA) and Angola regarding the

Kunene River project. For example, by 1979 Namibia considered extending its electricity supply-lines to South Africa since the Ruacana hydroelectric plant was not delivering its full capacity due to the war. Because Angola and

South Africa could not agree on the operation of Ruacana, work on the project was suspended. Angola also refused to close the sluice gates of the

Ruacana Weir and to complete work on the Calueque Dam. Consequently, the powerplant could only operate at 120 to 160 MW of its full capacity

(Financial Mail, 24 August 1979: 739).

Nevertheless, the power grid between South Africa and SWA was completed in the early 1980s after Ruacana proved incapable of producing electricity at full capacity (The Cape Times, 22 February 1980: 1). This indicated the

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132 territory’s dependence on South Africa for electricity and the importance of the

Kunene River project. As the 1980s progressed, it was still not possible to tap the Ruacana and Calueque’s full potential because of the antagonistic relationship between Angola and South Africa. The same happened to the

Cabora Bassa hydroelectric scheme in Mozambique after the civil war broke out there (Business Day, 23 March 1987: 6).

The Angolan government obviously used the Ruacana and Calueque dams as a lever to strengthen its position in its military campaign against South

African forces. By not allowing the completion of the project, the water to

Ovamboland and part of the electricity to SWA could not be delivered. This complicated South African operations in the war. However, because South

Africa had extended its power grid northwards into SWA, this had a balancing effect on Angola’s influence (Meissner, 2000c: 112). To a certain extent, this decreased Angola’s strategic leverage over South Africa.

Nonetheless, during the Brazzaville Round of talks in 1988 (to bring an end to the conflict), South Africa negotiated with the Angolan delegation over the status of the Kunene River scheme. The importance of the project to the drought-stricken Ovamboland was pointed out by South Africa. The Angolan side reacted positively to this notion and undertook not to cut water and power to Ovamboland (Die Burger, 29 June 1988: 1). This assurance by Angola not to disrupt the scheme indicated that as talks to end hostilities progressed, so did efforts to cooperate on the development of the Kunene River. It also indicated the importance of the Ruacana-Calueque scheme to SWA as well as Angola.

The strategic importance of the Ruacana-Calueque scheme was again emphasised in June 1988 when Cuban and Angolan forces launched an attack on the Calueque dam, first by land and then by air. During the attack, considerable damage was inflicted on the dam wall and the power supply to the dam was cut. The water pipeline to Ovamboland was also damaged.

This was at a time when Ovamboland was not only suffering from a severe drought, but when negotiations between South Africa, Cuba and Angola were already in progress in an attempt to end the conflict (Die Burger, 29 June

1988: 1; Barber & Barratt, 1990: 342.).

The attack occurred after Angola’s assurance that the water and power would not be cut. The explanation for this could be the Cuban factor. It is contended that the Cubans apparently wanted to inflict as much damage as possible on the South African forces and persuaded Angola to jointly attack the Ruacana-Calueque scheme. At the time, a military expert, Helmoed-

Rohmer Heitman, declared that the objective of the attack on the dam was to put it totally out of commission. Heitman added that ‘what is happening is that the Cubans have added to the bill [of South Africa] for defending Namibia.

Perhaps they think if they keep on adding to it, the cost will become so great that South Africa will pull out’ (The Star, 30 June 1988: 5). This turned out to be the last effort to influence and/or to end the conflict through military means.

After the withdrawal of South African and Cuban forces from Angola in 1988,

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133 bilateral cooperation in the Kunene River would start anew. Yet, the spectre of Angola’s continuing civil war and the involvement of external parties added a new dimension to the water politics of the Kunene River during the 1990s.

4.4. Peace and Renewed Cooperation: 1989-2000

Peace was secured in Namibia and Angola in April 1989 with the commencement of the implementation of UN Resolution 435 and the election of the Namibian constituent assembly seven months later. Immediately thereafter, the two countries started to revive the Ruacana hydroelectric scheme. Delegations from Angola and Namibia met in Windhoek in May

1989 to reactivate the 1969 agreement between South Africa and Portugal.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the establishment of a Joint

Technical Committee (JTC), which in fact was reconsolidated, and to formulate plans to repair the Gové Dam, which was damaged during the war

(Business Day, 23 May 1989: 3; Barber & Barratt, 1990: 344; Meissner, 2003:

263).

In order to maintain momentum, a second meeting of the JTC was organised in June 1989 in Luanda to discuss the damage to the Gové Dam and to deliberate whether foreign assistance was needed to repair the structure since Angola had difficulty raising the funds internally (Die Burger, 24 May

1989: 15; Die Republikein, 13 June 1989: 3). Although the result of the meeting was not clear, it appears to have been decided that repairs to Gové would be executed at a later stage because of the on-going civil war in

Angola. In July 1989, the Administrator General of SWA approved the

Namibian component of the JTC. The JTC met for a third time in July to start planning the reactivation of Ruacana (The Windhoek Advertiser, 12 July 1989:

3). The cooperation between the states was to gain further stimulus with

Namibia’s independence.

After Namibia gained independence on 21 March 1990, the stage was set for greater co-operation between Angola and Namibia on the Kunene River. The two governments could now proceed with the socio-economic reconstruction of Angola and Namibia as they saw fit. The Namibian government realised that the country needed electricity to power its numerous mining operations and to provide employment to its people, and again a number of coping strategies was considered to achieve this. These coping strategies also required negotiated agreements with Namibia’s neighbours (Meissner, 2000c:

114); agreements that were significant developments and represented contractual arrangements that further cemented water resources cooperation between the two states.

On 18 September 1990, Namibia signed two separate agreements with

Angola concerning cooperation on the Kunene River and general cooperation

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. The water agreement reactivated the three previous bilateral

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Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and the Government of

the People’s Republic of Angola in regard to the development and utilization of the water

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134 agreements of 1926, 1964 and 1969 between South Africa and Portugal. The aims of this agreement were:

• To conclude the uncompleted Ruacana-Calueque water scheme.

• To establish a Joint Operating Authority with the task of ensuring the maximum beneficial regulation at Gové that was needed for optimum power generation at Ruacana, to control the withdrawal of water along the middle reaches of the Kunene, and to ensure the continuous operation and adequate maintenance of the water pumping works at Calueque and the diversion weir at Ruacana.

• To allow the PJTC, established in terms of the 1969 agreement, to evaluate the development of further schemes on the Kunene to accommodate the present and future needs for electricity in both countries (Namibia, 1990a:

1-2; Meissner, 2000c: 114; Heyns, 2003: 11).

The agreement of general cooperation created the Angolan-Namibian Joint

Commission of Cooperation (JCC) which was to deal with joint cooperative endeavours on a number of issues, one of which was water. This

Commission was a legacy of the friendly relations that existed between

Angola and the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) in the years before Namibia’s independence (Namibia, 1990b: 2; Meissner, 2000c:

115).

Projections in the early 1990s of Namibia’s electricity consumption however indicated that the country would be in need of an additional source of electricity shortly after the year 2000. Three possible sources of energy were identified, namely an additional interconnected power line to South Africa; a gas-fired power station supplied from the Kudu gas field; and hydroelectricity from Epupa. The Epupa option appeared to be the most viable and, as a result, Namibia entered into discussions with Angola in 1991. These discussions culminated in the Hydroelectric Generating Scheme Agreement

48 signed between the two countries in Lubango, Angola on 24 October 1991.

The main purposes of this agreement were ‘to attain self-sufficiency in electrical energy (for Namibia) … to develop jointly a new hydroelectric scheme … at the most suitable location that can be found in the Epupa region or other location’ (NamPower, 1995: 2). Thus in total, nine written agreements on shared water resources exist between Namibia and Angola, together with one regarding general cooperation and the other concerning the border between the two countries.

potential of the Kunene River

, signed at Lubango, Angola on 18 September 1990; and the

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and the Government of the

People’s Republic of Angola on general cooperation and the creation of the Angolan-

Namibian Joint Commission of Cooperation

, signed at Lubango, Angola on 18 September

1990.

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Protocol of Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and the

Government of the People’s Republic of Angola on the Development of a Hydroelectric

Generating Scheme, in Principle on the Cunene River

, signed at Lubango, Angola on 24

October 1991.

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The two agreements signed in 1990 and the one in 1991 demonstrate not only the importance of international rivers to Namibia’s socio-economic wellbeing but also the amicable nature of the relationship between the two countries. According to Heyns (2003: 11), ‘[t]he future development of the

Kunene basin received immediate attention under the auspices of the PJTC.

A pre-feasibility study on the proposed Epupa Dam hydropower scheme was completed in September 1993. The subsequent feasibility study on this project commenced towards the middle of 1995 and called for a complete reevaluation of the hydropower potential of the lower Kunene’.

Irrespective of the bilateral cooperation since 1990, the water politics in the

Kunene River basin dramatically changed in the early part of the 1990s.

Firstly, the internal conflict in Angola took a turn for the worse after the breakdown of the Lusaka Accord (1994) that was signed by the belligerent parties. Secondly, a different type of actor, namely an interest group, became involved that elevated the dynamics of water politics to a new level.

4.5. The Civil War in Angola: 1990-2003

Since the independence of Namibia in 1990 two factors, namely the war in

Angola and interest group involvement, had a significant impact on the water politics of the Kunene River by influencing the decisions of the two governments on the Epupa scheme. They also (and this is even more so the case in respect of the interest groups) cast a different light on the interaction between the actors.

After the end of the Cold War the conflict in Angola seemed to be on the wane. The Bicesse Accords were signed in 1991 between the warring parties. However, the Accords were never fully implemented because UNITA challenged the result of the presidential elections held in 1992 (Boulden &

Edmonds, 1999: 130). This was the harbinger of a troubled political climate in

Angola during the closing decade of the twentieth century.

The second phase of the Angolan conflict started at the end of October 1992 and lasted officially until 20 November 1994. In 1994, the Lusaka Accord was signed in the Zambian capital by President José Eduardo dos Santos

(Angolan government/MPLA) and Dr Jonas Savimbi (UNITA). Negotiations on the Protocol had taken just over a year, following UNITA’s announcement of a unilateral cease-fire in Abidjan on 14 September 1993 (Cleary, 1999:

145). When the cease-fire broke down, renewed fighting erupted between the

Forças Armadas Angolanas

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(FAA) and UNITA. The Angolan government simply ignored UNITA’s termination of hostilities, disregarded the ensuing peace negotiations in Lusaka and deployed better armed units with new weapons against strongholds held by UNITA (Cleary, 1999: 146).

The renewed fighting negatively affected Angola’s economy. As Cleary

(1999: 146) points out: ‘What little was left of Angola’s economy after almost

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The Angolan government armed forces.

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136 sixteen years of civil war was destroyed between 1992 and the end of 1994.

The GDP declined by seventy per cent over three years; total external debt, as percentage of GDP, almost quadrupled, as did military spending, while social expenditure was halved.’ Not only was Angola suffering from severe economic dislocation, but a landmine problem also increased the seriousness of the country’s economic woes (Boulden & Edmonds, 1999: 131).

How did the war affect the water politics of the Kunene River basin after

1992? Between 1992 and 1998 the war in Angola was one of the most important factors impacting on the water politics of the Kunene River. The decision to build a dam at the Epupa Falls site or the Baynes Mountain site resides with the Namibian-Angolan PJTC. During 1998 and 1999 several meetings of the PJTC, to discuss the proposed projects on the Kunene had to be postponed because of the security situation in Angola (Internet: The

Namibian, 25 June 1998). However, the war was not the only factor delaying the decision on the Epupa Dam. The PJTC also had to put off a decision on the project in July 1998, after it realised that the feasibility study on the project was incomplete (Internet: The Namibian, 10 July 1998).

In 1999, the PJTC decided that a meeting should be held in 2000 to make a decision on the proposed Epupa project. The previous postponement of the decision caused frustration on the Namibian side because if the Epupa Dam was further delayed the cost of the dam would rise and make it unprofitable. A number of projects, including the Haib copper mine and Scorpion zinc mine, would be affected by this and thus, also the long-term economic prospects of

Namibia (Internet: The Namibian, 23 August 1999). This was an important aspect for the fledgling democracy of Namibia, for if the economy did not perform to expectations and create enough employment opportunities, it would spell disaster for Namibia’s democratic transition.

The civil war in Angola, therefore, had an indirect impact on Namibia’s socioeconomic welfare. At the same time, Namibia and Angola were in disagreement on the sites of the proposed dam. Angola favoured the Baynes

Mountain site and Namibia the one at Epupa. The Angolans argued that a dam at the Baynes site would mean that the Gové Dam could be renovated.

This in turn would bring much-needed development to Angola’s Huambo province. The Baynes site, Namibia argued, was too small despite its environmental and social advantages. Furthermore, the Baynes Dam would supply expensive electricity for very short periods only. The Epupa site was also regarded as a prestige site by Namibia (NamPower, 1995: 2; P. Heyns, personal communication, 17 November 2002). Moreover, as had previously been stated by NamPower, ‘[t]here is no indication that Angola will, in the near future, require substantial amounts of electricity from the proposed Epupa power station and also no indication that the power station could be interconnected with the proposed Angolan network for many years to come’

(Internet: The Namibian, 13 July 1998). In respect of the last point made by

NamPower, namely the link-up with the Angolan network, the proposed Epupa

Dam if built at present would be a white elephant, because Angola would not be able to derive any benefit from it (NamPower, 1995: 2).

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As a policy issue, the rehabilitation of Calueque and Gové is also linked to the differences in opinion of the Namibian and Angolan governments on whether to build a dam at Epupa or Baynes Mountain. In July 2000 the Angolan government announced that it did not view the Epupa hydroelectric project as a priority. The rehabilitation of the Calueque scheme and Gové dam in

Angola was a much greater and immediate need for Angola. In response, the

Angolan Minister of Energy and Water Affairs, Luis da Silva, told a news conference in 2000 that the Angolan government had not yet indicated when

Angola might agree on a site for the hydroelectric scheme. His Namibian counterpart, Jesaya Nyamu, indicated that the Epupa scheme was not linked to plans for the Calueque and Gové Dams and that the Namibian government did not see these Angolan projects as obstacles to the project (Internet: The

Namibian, 24 July 2000).

The conflict between the MPLA and UNITA has since ended. This was after the killing of the UNITA leader, Jonas Savimbi, in a battle on 22 February

2002. The death of Savimbi and, 18 days later, of UNITA Gen. Antonio

Dembo, signalled the end of the civil war in Angola (Meissner, 2002:100; Natal

Witness, 25 February 2002: 8). On 25 February 2002, Angolan President,

José Eduardo dos Santos, called for a cease-fire in one of Africa’s longest civil wars. Six weeks later (4 April 2002), the cease-fire agreement was signed between the FAA and UNITA in Luanda. With the signing of the cease-fire agreement Dos Santos announced that ‘the war is over and peace has come back for good’ (The Star, 26 February 2002: 4; Cape Argus, 5 April 2002: 5;

Porto & Clover, 2002: 1).

In December 2002, the Angolan and Namibian governments yet again started negotiations to rehabilitate the Gové Dam. Other future objectives regarding the Kunene, namely the rehabilitation of the Matala irrigation scheme, the rehabilitation and completion of the Calueque Dam embankment, and plans to upgrade the pumping station at Calueque to extract the agreed six m³/s from the Kunene for transfer to Namibia, were also in the offing (Internet: African

Energy Intelligence, 4 December 2002; Heyns, 2003: 12).

Whether or not these developments will usher in a sustainable peace is uncertain. If sustainable peace is possible in Angola, it will hold enormous implications for Angola and the entire SADC region (Cape Argus, 5 April 2002:

5). These implications concern regional stability, socio-economic development, and the spread of democratic principles. Notwithstanding these prospects, internal political dislocation in Angola, like the civil war and its end, is not the only variable influencing the water politics of the Kunene River basin.

In the mid-1990s, the dynamics of water politics in the Kunene River took on a new dimension. This was due to the appearance of a different kind of actor— the interest group—that produced a new type of water politics—that concentrates on the proposed Epupa Dam and that involves the lobbying activities of interest groups to influence the Namibian government not to construct it.

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5. Interest Group Involvement: 1990-2003

At the time of Angola’s civil war in the early 1990s, a number of international and Namibian interest groups became involved in the water politics of the proposed Epupa Dam project. These interest groups interacted with a number of entities, such as the World Bank and the government of Namibia, to prevent its implementation (Meissner, 2000d: 156). However, at the time no interest groups existed in Angola that was lobbying the Angolan government. This absence of Angolan interest groups was confirmed by Uli

Eins, campaigner for Earthlife Africa in Namibia, who indicated that he was unaware of any interest groups in Angola that were against the Epupa Dam

(U. Eins, personal communication, 21 November 2002).

5.1. Issue Areas

Three issues were articulated by the interest groups regarding the proposed dam, namely the plight of the Himba people; the environmental impact of the dam on the Kunene’s aquatic ecosystem; and the water loss from the reservoir behind the dam wall.

5.1.1. The Himba

The Himba are an essentially self-sufficient group of people, numbering about

000 who live in the northwestern corner of Namibia (known as

Kaokoland). Some Himba also live in the southwestern part of Angola bordering on the Kunene River. Although little is known about the Himba in

Angola, because of the civil war in that country that had disrupted governmental administration, they are direct relatives of those living in

Namibia. The Himba are visually distinct from other ethnic groups in Namibia and Angola. They dress in leather aprons and are naked above the waist.

The women also smear their bodies with a mixture of ochre and butter fat.

They are economically independent, and for this reason their culture, traditional way of life, religion, and social patterns have remained reasonably intact. For decades, they have lived in relative isolation, because of the remoteness of Kaokoland and the fact that the earlier colonists of Namibia, mainly the Germans, rarely interacted with them (Internet: FIVAS, 2000;

Ezzell, 2001: 66, 68; Harring, 2001: 39).

The Himba are semi-nomadic herders, keeping cattle, sheep and goats. They move around large areas of Kaokoland and cross the border into Angola according to the season, to gain access to food and to secure grazing for their livestock. During the dry season, grazing and water are mainly found along the Kunene River. It is therefore during this period that their settlements can be found near the river. Here they have access to palms and other trees that provide them and their animals with food and shelter. They also plant gardens in the shade of these trees, to augment their dietary needs. Thus, the riverside vegetation that provides them with food and fodder, and the access they have to water, make the area along the river of vital importance to the Himba during times of drought (Internet: FIVAS, 2000).

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Their cattle’s primary value is cultural although they do represent power and wealth, also considering that the Himba economy requires little or no cash. At present there may be as many as 33 000 head of cattle owned by the Himba community. ‘This is great wealth by African (or even American) standards: they are a prosperous people, living a privileged life-style’ (Harring, 2001: 44,

45). Apart from cattle, land is also of significance to these people. These two aspects of the Himba economy are distinctively interrelated, for no cattle can be kept without large tracks of available land in the semi-arid Kaokoland.

Their land is held communally, with land rights derived from customary law.

Chiefs and counsellors administer this customary law. Their herds of livestock, especially cattle, are large and can number up to 500 per family, with an average of 100 head of cattle per family. Because of the semi-desert environment, this requires a careful allocation of grazing. Only about 1 000

Himba live in the area to be flooded by the proposed Epupa Dam. Since this area has the most reliable source of water, it is therefore reserved for the communal usage and the entire tribe has grazing rights in this area during times of drought (Harring, 2001: 42, 43).

Although the tangible economic assets in the form of land and cattle are important for the livelihood of the Himba, these assets also have cultural and religious significance. For example, their ancestral graves define their unique communal lifestyle and identity as a collectivity. The graves are usually located about one or two kilometres from the settlement and are always near a riverbed. Each Himba picks the site where he or she wants to be buried.

The gravesites are gathering places for ceremonial rites and the commemoration of the ancestors. ‘These gravesites are fundamental statements of identity, indicating where a person felt the most comfortable, where they belonged’ (Harring, 2001: 44). The gravesites therefore not only define the individual’s personal identity, but also that of the entire community.

The Himba, despite their uniqueness, are also accorded a particular status within Namibian society as a minority group. On account of this, local and international interest groups are arguing that the Namibian government will violate their human rights if the dam is built. These interest groups also feel that it will ‘destroy’ the independent life-style of the Himba. In this respect,

Aidan Rankin, from Survival International, argues that ‘the Himba face the prospect of displacement, poverty and—through the thousand-strong workforce [that will construct the proposed dam]—the introduction of new diseases, including AIDS’ (Warwick, 1996: 40).

From their perspective, the Himba themselves base their opposition to the proposed Epupa Dam on a wide variety of issues, such as ancestral graves and threat to their continued existence as an independent people. However, the essence of their arguments against the dam (considering that they are the fiercest opposition force to the Namibian government) is that the land on which it would be build is their land. The Namibian government, therefore, has no right to take the land away from them (Stott, Sack & Greeff, 2000;

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Harring, 2001: 100). In addition to these concerns regarding the negative effect of the proposed dam on the Himba’s livelihood, interest groups also denounce the project on environmental grounds.

5.1.2. The Environment

Concerns about the negative environmental impact of the dam on the riverine ecosystem of the Kunene are also prominent in the arguments of the interest groups. Of particular concern is the impact that the dam could have on the wetlands around the mouth of the river. Here 72 bird species, 14 of which are listed as endangered, are found. Because dams negatively affect riverine ecosystems from source to mouth, interest groups argue that these adverse effects will reach much further into the sea. The plume of the Kunene River’s warm water into the Atlantic can, if reduced by the Epupa Dam, also contribute to the loss of a unique aquatic habitat (Warwick, 1996: 39-40).

5.1.3. Water Loss

There is also the question of water loss from the reservoir of the proposed dam. The interest groups are convinced that the Kunene’s flow is not sufficient for hydroelectric production and to supply water to the region.

Hence it is argued that ‘each year the reservoir would evaporate many times the amount of water currently used by Namibia’s urban population’ (Internet:

Pottinger, 1997a). Yet, the issues articulated not only by interest groups but also by the Namibian government, do not adequately reflect the nature of the water politics of the proposed Epupa Dam. The policy process involving the transnational role and involvement of interest groups should also be considered and requires a more comprehensive analysis.

5.2. The Role and Involvement of Interest Groups

When interest groups became involved in the water politics of the proposed

Epupa Dam in the early 1990s, a distinctive interaction developed between these non-state entities and other actors (especially the Namibian government). Also to be considered is the fact that the Epupa debate is emotion-laden on both sides, especially for those representing the environmental and indigenous human rights lobbies (Miescher, 2000: 349).

Contact between the various actors must be seen in the light of what is known as resource use perception. It is mainly because of resource use perception that interest groups are indeed involved in the debate on WRMPs. In this respect, resource use perception is the perceived utilisation of a resource within a distinctive mindset. Because of this factor, the engineer, the ecologist, local communities and the environmentalist do not see eye-to-eye on WRMPs. These different perceptions bring the nature, scope and intensity of interaction between interest groups and governments regarding the implementation of WRMPs, to the fore.

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According to Harring (2001: 102), ‘the international and Namibian environmental movements [interest groups], including the International Rivers

Network and Survival International, played important roles in publicizing the

Himba struggle against the Epupa Dam, but all became involved well after

Himba opposition was well advanced within Namibia by the Himba themselves’. However, the Epupa debate had been taking place at a national level as early as 1993/1994 (Miescher, 2000: 349; Internet: Survival

International, 2000).

According to Uli Eins (U. Eins, personal communication, 21 November 2002), from ELA-Namibia branch, the Himba became aware of the proposed dam during the pre-feasibility study of 1993. The most probable reason for this was that some members of the pre-feasibility study team apparently informed the Himba about the proposed dam. At the same time, other interest groups also became involved in the debate. This was after a South African physicist, who worked on a study in the Kunene region, alerted Urgewald (Germany) to the proposed dam. Urgewald, in turn, contacted the International Rivers

Network (IRN), who then alerted Earthlife Africa-Namibia branch (ELA) about the project (U. Eins, personal communication, 21 November 2002). In 1995 an anthropologist, Christa Coleman, working with the Himba in the Kunene region, also, highlighted the plight of the Himba should the Epupa Dam be constructed

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(Internet: Coleman, 1995a). The debate was first articulated by individuals, working in a scientific environment, before it was transnationalised on a broader scale.

The emerging plight of the Himba was the initial concern that triggered the fierce debate between interest groups and the Namibian government on the proposed project. Since then, a number of international interest groups with different agendas, together with a number of local interest groups, became embroiled in the debate. At the local level, the Himba community created the

EAC in 1997. The central issue articulated by all of these interest groups was the plight of the Himba people should the dam be constructed (Internet: IRN,

1997a; L. Pottinger, personal communication, 8 June 2000; Heyns, 2003:

12). All other issues revolve around or derive from this main question.

In June 1996, according to media reports, environmental interest groups, especially the Himba community, managed to put a hold on the proposed dam. The objections to the proposed project originated in Namibia and then spread to Sweden. The London-based Wildlife Fund joined the protests that led to a global outcry against the project from environmental and human rights interest groups. According to reports, NamPower was forced to accept the proposal of the interest groups to first do an environmental impact assessment (EIA) before implementing the project. In response, Imker

Hoogenhout, general manager of NamPower’s technical services remarked:

‘[W]e hope to get a final report on July 1, 1997. We are looking at other

50

According to Coleman, president Sam Nujoma put an effective halt to a debate on the topic of the Epupa Dam, involving officials, by declaring that any civil servant opposing the plan would be ‘fired’ (Internet: Coleman, 1995a).

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142 schemes in the same area, but we also want to reassess the conceptual design and viability of the original scheme’. The construction of the proposed dam was eventually delayed until an EIA was conducted; the results of which were published in 1997 (Financial Mail, 21 June 1996: 23).

These events were the first indication that the interest groups were in a way successful in their lobbying campaign against the proposed project. Although plans for the dam were not immediately cancelled though, interest groups did manage to persuade NamPower to first do an EIA before proceeding with the proposed dam. Furthermore, NamPower also indicated that it would be considering other dam sites in the area, other than the one at the Epupa Falls.

Following this, a public hearing on the proposed project was held in the

Namibian capital, Windhoek, in October 1996. In this forum the Himba community voiced their opposition to the dam. The issues they raised to substantiate their objection were, inter alia, that their ancestral graves and cattle’s grazing land would be lost (Internet: IRN, 1996a).

At the hearings project planners stated that they were recommending a further study of new sites for the proposed dam. These sites would have fewer environmental and social impacts than the original Epupa Falls site. The two new sites were described as ‘Scheme B’, which would inundate 382 km², requiring a 161 m high dam. ‘Scheme E’ in the Baynes Mountains, would inundate 49 km² and require a dam 203 m high. In spite of this, the issue of the loss of Himba land was still of concern to the interest groups. Even the representative of the United States Agency for International Development

(USAID), Barbara Belding, responded: ‘Whichever site is chosen, the impact on the Himba will be enormous’ (Internet: Pottinger, 1996a).

In addition to interest groups and aid agencies that spoke out against the proposed Epupa Dam, the main opposition party in Namibia, the Democratic

Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), also became involved in the debate. The DTA sided with the interest groups in March 1997, after the party had made it clear that it would do everything in its power to stop the Epupa Dam. This included an attempt to block any financial assistance that the Namibian government or

NamPower might seek to build the dam. In August 2000, Edward Mumbuu,

DTA Member of Parliament (MP) from the Kunene region, told the National

Council that people from Opuwo would never allow the Government to construct the Epupa Dam (Internet: Pottinger, 1997a; The Namibian, 15

August 2000).

The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) also called on the Namibian government to treat the issue with extreme caution if it wanted to avoid bloodshed. The Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) took a tougher stance than the DTA and NSHR. It warned the Government that it would use litigation if government defended its decision to go ahead with Epupa and if complaints by the Himba were not properly addressed (Internet: Pottinger, 1997a).

In July 1997, Hikunimue Kapika and Paulus Tjavara, two Himba chiefs, went on an anti-Epupa campaign through Europe. The chiefs, as representatives of

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143 the Himba community, visited Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom,

Norway, and Sweden. They met with members of the German Parliament,

European Union ministers, managers of financial institutions, NORAD and

Norconsult, the Norwegian organisation that sponsored the Epupa feasibility study. A press conference was held after their return to Windhoek. Seven overseas organisations,

51

who sponsored the chiefs’ visit, sent a letter to president Nujoma urging him not to agree to build another dam on the

Kunene. The Ministry of Mines and Energy responded to the visit calling it a

‘well organised farce’. The Ministry also stated that the chiefs were used by

‘environmental extremists’ in the West. At the same time, Earthlife Africa, at its African conference, passed a resolution condemning the proposed Epupa

Dam (Internet: ELA, 1997). The EAC’s international campaign against the proposed Epupa Dam, however, did not end with their trip to Europe.

In November 1997, the EAC sent a letter to the president of Finland, Martti

Ahtisaari, asking him to advise the Namibian government not to go ahead with the Epupa Dam and to consider alternative options for power generation. In

December 1997, the International Society for Threatened People also sent a letter to NORAD and Norconsult, asking them to stop supporting the dam

(Internet: IRN, 1997b; Internet: IRN, 1997c).

The efforts of the different national and international interest groups continued during the latter part of 1999. In August, a loose coalition of interest groups sent a letter to Getinet Giorgis (Division Chief Industry and Infrastructure,

South Region) of the African Development Bank (ADB), urging the ADB not to finance the Epupa Dam, if indeed it was considering doing so. The letter was signed by 42 organisations and 17 individuals. Of the 42 organisations, more than half (23) was from South Africa,

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while five were from the UK and three each from Namibia and Germany (Internet: IRN, 1999a; Internet: IRN, 1999b).

The interest groups also urged the Development Bank of Southern Africa

(DBSA), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the ADB not to provide funding for the Epupa Dam project. In response, the DBSA informed the

Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG) that the Bank had discussed the project with the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy and NamPower. The

EIB, on the other hand, indicated that they were not considering any possible funding of the Epupa Dam project. The ADB stated that it had not been formally approached to finance the project. Getinet Giorgis, on behalf of the

ADB, remarked that ‘I can assure you that if requested we will look at all aspects of the project including the issues of concern to you [EMG]’ (Internet:

The Namibian, 7 January 2000).

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These organisations are: Gesellschaft für Aktives Umweltbewusstsein, Arbeitkreis Afrika,

Gesellschaft für Bedrohte Volker,

Survival International, European Alliance with Indigenous

People, FIVAS, The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) International

Secretariat, Copenhagen and IWGIA Sweden (Internet: ELA, 1997).

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These include, among others, the Southern African Rivers Association (SARA), Green

Party of South Africa, Environmental Monitoring Group, Earthlife Africa and the CSIR:

Environmentek.

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The coalition letter to the ADB coincided with a briefing document sent to

South African president Thabo Mbeki by the EMG, just before his visit to

Namibia in August 1999. In this document, the negative effects of the dam on the Himba community and the environment were highlighted. The briefing document echoed Mbeki’s vision of an African Renaissance and emphasised the importance of the minority rights of the Himba. EMG also called on Mbeki to persuade Nujoma to halt further action on the dam until the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams (WCD), which met in

Cape Town in 1998, had been released. The briefing document also stated that the proposed Epupa Dam was undermining the progressive development of Namibia and was contrary to South Africa’s self-interest in Southern Africa

(Internet: IRN, 1999b; The Namibian, 7 January 2000). It is not clear what

Mbeki’s reaction to the document was. Nevertheless, considering that the briefing document did not elicit any response, it is assumed that Mbeki did not speak to Nujoma about the proposed dam, out of respect for Namibia’s internal sovereignty.

These efforts show that the interest groups did everything in their power to stop the Epupa Dam. They also indicate the link between government and citizens, and the democratic processes that are involved in lobbying a particular issue. Both the letter and the briefing document further contributed to the transnationalisation of the Epupa debate and provided an indication of the initiatives that interest groups, irrespective of their limited resources, can take to advance their stance on an issue.

The interest groups also used every possible forum to prevent the Epupa

Dam from being constructed. In November 1999, the EAC and the LAC presented the case of the Himba before the WCD hearings in Cape Town.

During the hearings, the WCD was informed about the negative effects the dam could have on the Himba community. Andrew Corbett, from the LAC, also told the hearing that several meetings of the EAC in Namibia had been broken up by armed police (Internet: The Cape Times, 12 November 1999).

A representative of the Himba community, Mutambo Kapika, also presented a written submission to the WCD regarding the impact of the dam on the Himba.

In it the Himba community states: ‘The Traditional Leadership of the Kunene

Region and members of the communities they represent (“the community”) view the proposed construction of a Hydropower Scheme on the Lower

Cunene River at either the Epupa Falls site or the Baines site with grave concern’ (Stott, Sack & Greeff, 2000).

In August 2000, the IRN welcomed the Angolan government’s remarks that it did not view the Epupa project as a priority. In a press interview, the IRN’s

Steve Rothert said that the organisation was pleased that for now the decision to build Epupa had been ‘put off’. He furthermore said: ‘Many critical questions remain on this project, such as whether better alternatives exist, whether the project is financially viable, and whether the project could be built without violating the rights of the Himba and destroying their culture and livelihoods’ (Internet: The Namibian, 25 August 2000).

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The Namibian government, however, remained committed to the proposed

Epupa Dam despite the opposition to it from local and international interest groups and the main opposition party in Namibia. In 1997, the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Jesaya Nyamu, declared at a public meeting that the dam would be built irrespective of the outcome of the feasibility study (Internet:

ELA, 1997). NamPower also stated that the proposed Epupa Dam would be constructed, irrespective of an agreement between itself, the Electricity Supply

Commission (ESCOM) and Shell Exploration to develop a 750 MW gas-fired power station supplied by the offshore Kudu gas fields. NamPower’s managing director, Leake Hangala, reiterated that the Epupa project would be an ‘excellent’ venture for Namibia in spite of the development of the gas fields.

He also declared that ‘the agreement will in fact enhance the Epupa project.

We have seen that there is a market for both Kudu and Epupa’ (Internet:

Pottinger, 1997a). This is an indication that by 1997, before the publication of the feasibility study, the Namibian government was still determined to go ahead with the proposed Epupa project.

In January 1997, the Namibian government had already indicated its intentions when it announced that if Epupa were to be developed, it would bring much needed job opportunities to the country’s northern region (Internet:

Pottinger, 1997a). This has been reiterated by Piet Heyns, director of water resources in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development when he stated that the Namibian government is determined to build Epupa, if not now then in the future. This could even happen 20 years from now, when different actors are involved, and the political landscape has changed (P.

Heyns, personal communication, 17 November 2002). Uli Eins (ELA) also concluded that the decision-makers of Namibia had stated that the dam will be built ‘not if but when’ (U. Eins, personal communication, 21 November

2002).

Although not much lobbying had been conducted during 2001 to 2004, this did not mean that the interest groups had lain to rest their campaign against the proposed dam (U. Eins, personal communication, 24 October 2002). The argument is that this will change whenever Namibia renews overtures for the construction of the proposed dam. In summary, the core interest group and the outer peripheral groups did not only resort to internal or national means to lobby against the proposed Epupa Dam, they also used transnational strategies and tactics (see table 6). With the probable continuation of lobbying in mind, what is the agential power of the actors involved in the debate on the proposed Epupa hydropower installation?

From Table 6 it is evident that the power approach was used more than the other approaches, followed by the coalition-building and grass-roots mobilisation approaches. The preference for the power approach is an indication that the efforts of the interest groups were primarily aimed at preventing foreign assistance (both financial and ideological) to the Namibian government for the construction of the planned Epupa Dam. Moreover, the extensive use of the coalition-building approach indicates the importance that

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146 interest groups attach to the creation of a loose coalition as a front against governmental attempts to construct another dam across the Kunene River.

Table 6. Interest group involvement in the proposed Epupa Dam.

Interest group

Himba

Community

(EAC)

Urgewald

Year

1993

Agential Role(s) Played Strategy

Opinion generation, policy shaping, watchdog, oppositional, interactive, representation, transnational, empowerment and norms creation agent. and interactive agent

(Approach)

Power and coalitionbuilding

Coalitionbuilding

IRN Since

1993/1994

Opinion generation, policy shaping, norms creation, transnational and oppositional agent

Survival

International

Since

1993/1994

Opinion generation, policy shaping, transnational and oppositional agent

Grass-roots mobilisation

Grass-roots mobilisation

Tactic(s)

Direct communication with top decisionmakers and joining groups across national borders.

Linking groups across national borders.

Publicising the plight of the

Himba.

Publicising the plight of the

Himba.

EAC, IRN, LAC

Himba community

(EAC)

NSHR

LAC

Himba community

(EAC)

1996

1997

1997

Oppositional, transnational and epistemic agents

Publicising the plight of the

Himba. interactive, safety provider and opinion generation agent

Opinion generation and interactive agent approach

Raised the

Himba’s plight at public hearings.

Power Direct communication with decisionmakers

Opinion generation, safety provider, interactive, agenda construction and oppositional agent and interactive agent

Grass-roots mobilisation

Technocratic approach

Coalitionbuilding and power

Issued a warning that it would use litigation

Direct communication with top decisionmakers and joining groups across national borders

Power Direct

Himba community

(EAC)

Coalition of 1999 interactive, norms construction, empowerment and transnational communication with top decisionmakers guardian, policy shaping,

Power Direct communication transnational, representation, interactive and opinion generation agent with top decisionmakers

Oppositional, policy Power Direct

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147 interest groups

(IRN, EAC, ED,

ELA, EMG,

FIVAS, etc.)

EMG shaping, transnational, interactive and opinion generation agent. communication with top decisionmakers

Himba community

(EAC) and LAC

1999

1999

Opinion generation, norm creation, interactive, agenda construction, representation and assistant agent

Opinion generation, norm creation, oppositional, representation, guardian and empowerment agents transnational and interactive agent

Opinion interactive and oppositional agent

Power Direct communication with top decisionmakers the domestic with the international system.

Coalitionbuilding

Supporting

Angola’s decision not to support

Epupa.

Coalitionbuilding

Indirect communication with decisionmakers.

6. Actor Agential Power

The agential power of respectively the interest groups and the government is assessed with reference to the sources of power indicated in the framework for analysis, namely ideological, economic, military and political power.

6.1. Ideological Power

A number of ideologies can be distinguished, due to the large number of actors involved. Before these ideological premises are identified, it is necessary to group the actors. The first is the basin states directly involved in the Project, namely Angola and Namibia; the second is the core interest group

(the Himba community organised as the EAC); the third those from Namibia and the SADC region (inner periphery); and the fourth those from other parts of the world (outer periphery).

These actors have ideological dispositions that are unique to their organisational structure and function. The ideological power of the states and interest groups are analysed using the following criteria, namely:

• social-historical circumstances and the discourse produced in response to these circumstances; and

• the level of national loyalty.

Angola and Namibia are analysed first, followed by the interest groups. Only interest groups that are directly involved are analysed. Since interest groups do not have a population that exhibits national loyalty, their ideological power are only assessed in terms of the ‘social historical’ criterion.

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6.1.1. Angola

The social-historical circumstances in Angola have been dominated by the civil war that raged for nearly 30 years. Although the war is over, Angola’s social-historical circumstances are still to a large extent influenced by the ramifications of this war, as well as by the legacy of Portuguese rule in Angola and political developments in Portugal.

After the Second World War, with the victory of the Allied forces over

European fascist governments (Germany and Italy), the Salazar right-wing government of Portugal found itself ideologically isolated and obsolete. In

Angola, a dependency of Portugal, and particularly in the capital city, Luanda, a ‘discontented black proletariat awaited organisation’. The local authorities in

Angola suppressed opposition politics, which led to greater dissent and radicalisation, because of the right-wing nature of the Salazar government. In

1955, the Angolan Communist Party (Partido Communista de Angola—PCA) was established, which was intolerant of voluntary interest groups. After a few months of the PCA’s formation, it joined other political groupings to establish a nationalist front—the Partido da Luta dos Africanos de Angola

(PLUA). The PLUA became the MPLA at the end of 1956 (Cornwell, 2000:

45).

By 1960, three liberation groups existed in Angola, the MPLA, UNITA and the

Frente Nacional de Libertaçã de Angola

(FNLA). Yet, they did not form a unified front against colonialism. Even so, during the 1960s, the MPLA received support from a number of communist countries, such as the Peoples

Republic of China and the Soviet Union, in its struggle against Portuguese colonialism. Jonas Savimbi’s organisation, UNITA, was characterised as nationalist and anti-imperialist, but it also rejected socialist imperialism. It adopted Mao Zedong’s thinking, and advocated the establishment of a socialist state with the accommodation of the African cultural heritage. The

FNLA had a different, although in some aspects a similar ideological philosophy than the MPLA and UNITA. Its philosophy was also nationalist, but non-Marxist and peasant orientated (Cornwell, 2000: 54, 55, 56). The ideological differences of the movements led directly to the internal conflict. In the words of one observer, ‘[r]eflecting instead their particular class or ethnic interests rather than those of Angolans generally, they turned on one another in a struggle of remarkable ferocity’ (Cilliers, 2000: 1). The three liberation movements were not only pitted against each other, but also against

Portuguese colonial rule (Cornwell, 2000: 56). In the final analysis, the rivalry and competition between the MPLA and UNITA for political dominance in

Angola was the reflection of ‘ethnic, racial, rural/urban and ideological divides that persist to the present’ (Cilliers, 2000: 1).

Events in Portugal played an important role in Angola’s move towards independence. On 25 April 1974, the Caetano government (an authoritarian regime) in Portugal was replaced, in an almost bloodless coup d’état, by the government of Gen. António de Spinola (Cornwell, 2000:57). Shortly before the Lisbon coup, the three liberation movements were already fighting a

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149 liberation war against Portuguese rule. They could, however, not coordinate their liberation strategies and armed conflict among the three groupings occurred (Kirsten & Bester, 1997: 51; Davenport & Saunders, 2000: 527).

Shortly before independence, a transitional government was put in place and the MPLA, UNITA and FNLA agreed to hold an election before the end of

September 1975. This planned election did not take place. The violence among the movements continued and the MPLA succeeded in driving the

FNLA from Luanda. After the FNLA’s ousting from Luanda, it, together with

UNITA, withdrew from the transitional government. This placed the MPLA in sole control of the Angolan government directly after independence (Lazitch,

1988: 25; Warner, 1991; Kirsten & Bester, 1997: 52).

On independence in 1975, Portugal withdrew from Angola and left behind a

Marxist dictatorship that was unable to foster political stability and economic growth. This situation was exacerbated by the civil war, which broke out shortly after independence when UNITA attempted to remove the one-party government (Calvocoressi, 1987: 196; Huntington, 1993: 57-58; Kirsten &

Bester, 1997: 51; Davenport & Saunders, 2000: 527). Ideologically, during the period, 1975-1989, the Angolan government system was dominated by

Marxism-Leninism (Kirsten & Bester, 1997: 51). Kirsten and Bester (1997:

52), argue that the ‘Marxist-Leninist policy trends, particularly Marxist-Leninist prescriptions for a one-party or “vanguard” governing political party, gave rise to the civil war’.

The reason was that the MPLA placed political power in the hands of a few chosen party members, based on the Angolan constitution of 1980 which proclaimed the MPLA as the only lawful party and, gave control to the Polit

Bureau, the Central Committee and the president over the legislative assembly (People’s Assembly) (Blaustein & Franz, 1981: 4; Kirsten & Bester,

1997: 53).

At the end of the Cold War, Angola moved towards a multi-party governmental system. It had been a multiparty state constitutionally since

1992 but due to the civil war that plagued Angola throughout the 1990s, was unable to institute a government of national unity (Kirsten & Bester, 1997: 51).

The MPLA was in fact forced towards change, which is away from its former

Marxist-Leninist leanings by the international pressure for democratisation and economic revival. Therefore, commencing in the early 1990s, a new period of democratising political-constitutional change and free market economic reform took shape (Kirsten & Bester, 1997: 55). Elections followed in 1992, but UNITA’s dissatisfaction with the results led to the continuation of the civil war. Towards the end of 1994, UNITA returned to the negotiating table, after it became clear that it could not win the war (Pereira, 1994: 14;

Kirsten & Bester, 1997: 56).

In summary, according to Kirsten and Bester (1997: 56-57), ‘[t]wo clear ideological influences on the process of change appeared. Marxism-Leninism

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150 played an important role from 1975 up to the end of the Cold War … but was replaced by democratic ways of thinking and influences after the termination of the Cold War’. Notwithstanding this change in the ideological orientation within Angola, democracy could not be secured because of the civil war.

It is within the context of these social-historical circumstances that present and future water resource developments in the Kunene River basin should be understood from an Angolan perspective. Post-war reconstruction within

Angola is one of the main drivers of WRMPs in the Kunene River basin, and according to Simon, (1998: 67) ‘a massive reconstruction and development challenge lies ahead’. The likely route of this post-war reconstruction is to implement infrastructural projects that will generate the necessary employment opportunities for the Angolan workforce. Nonetheless, a number of negative factors stand in the way of these endeavours, including ethnic differences.

Notwithstanding the negative impact of the civil war on Angola’s economy, ethnocentrism still plays a role as an ideology in Angolan national politics.

The fact that the three nationalist groups, each with a distinct power base, were unable to unite the Angolan population in one undivided state, is an indication that the government was unable to set aside or overcome ethnic differences. There is therefore a low level of nationalist loyalty among the

Angola population. Furthermore, these ethnic rivalries have prevented the consolidation of a strong civil society in Angola (Hlope, 1998: 32), although the situation may eventually improve.

Interest groups have, however, not been lobbying the Angolan government to argue for the rehabilitation of the Gové Dam as an alternative to the construction of the proposed Epupa project. The reason for this, according to the IRN, was the civil war. Not even an attempt had been made to directly lobby the Angolan government (U. Eins, personal communication, 21

November 2002). As a result, the coalition of interest groups deliberately circumvented the Angolan government and rather targeted international financial institutions, like the ADB.

Another reason for the absence of the direct lobbying of the Angolan government, was the argument of the IRN that it would only lobby a government if a local interest group asked it to join in a lobby campaign against a WRMP (L. Pottinger, personal communication, 8 June 2000). It is deemed highly unlikely, perhaps even impossible, that an interest group in

Angola would ask the IRN to join it in a campaign against the proposed Epupa

Dam. The reasons for this are:

• Interest groups in Angola rely on the patronage of the MPLA.

• The MPLA relies on ‘mass organisations’ that it created to secure participation of officially sanctioned groups, while the formation of autonomous groups are illegal.

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• The dependent relationship between government and interest groups is a strategy of the MPLA to keep itself in power.

• The democratisation process in Angola has not been well defined and implemented by the MPLA.

• The Angolan government’s relationship with interest groups resembles that of state corporatism. The existence, well-being, and influence of interest groups in Angola depend on the generosity of the government, especially the party controlling it.

• The MPLA has centralised power in the leadership of the party’s upper structure (Malaquias, 2000: 110-111).

These limiting factors may change in due course as democracy gains a foothold, thereby creating conditions that are conducive to the formation and activities of interest groups. If indeed the case, this would lead to a deepening of the dynamics of the water politics of the Kunene River. In such a scenario Namibia could find itself pitted against a stronger counterdiscourse, from both Angola and interest groups, not to build the proposed

Epupa Dam, and to rather pursue alternatives. Such a situation, although hypothetical at the time of writing, will also depend on and be affected by

Namibia’s ideological power.

6.1.2. Namibia

Namibia’s ideological power is contextualised by the country’s social-historical circumstances and the history of the ruling elite. Its social history was dominated by colonialism up to 1990. The history of the ruling elite is also to be understood within the context of South Africa’s dominance of Namibia.

Although this dominance has previously been discussed in the discussions of the hydropolitical history of the Kunene River basin, it is necessary to describe the social-historical circumstances of Namibia, the ruling elite’s ideological history, and Namibia’s democratic credentials in this particular context. These aspects shed further light on the development and articulation of discourses on the Namibian government’s insistence on proceeding with the construction of the proposed Epupa Dam; an insistence based on development and nationalism. The dam will make Namibia independent from ‘foreign’, mainly

South African, electric power (Harring, 2001: 55), an issue that is linked to both development and nationalism.

6.1.2.1. South African Dominance

South Africa’s political, social, and economic dominance of Namibia can be traced back to the First World War. On 14 August 1914, Great Britain declared war on Germany. The Union of South Africa, because of its constitutional status, was automatically drawn into the war. The British government asked South Africa to take possession of Swakopmund,

Lüderitzbucht, and all radio stations in the interior of German South West

Africa, literally to occupy the territory. The South African cabinet was initially

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152 divided on the issue, but decided on 10 August 1914, to go ahead with the invasion and military occupation of German SWA (Spies, 1986: 235).

After the First World War, in 1919, SWA became a Class C mandate under

League of Nations auspices, to be administered by South Africa as an integral part of its territory. Thus began South Africa’s involvement in Namibia, an involvement that would eventually lead to discord with the rest of the international community right up to Namibian independence in 1990 (Du

Pisani, 1989; Barber & Barratt, 1990: 87).

SWA became a mirror image of South Africa’s national policies, especially regarding the issue of apartheid. The domestic and foreign policies of South

Africa were a fundamental factor that determined Namibian politics right up to independence (Barber & Barratt, 1990: 87; Lange, 1990: 413; De Klerk, 1998:

58-59). Effectively, therefore, from the German colonial period until 1990,

Namibia conformed for all intents and purposes to what can be regarded as a settler oligarchy. The dominant group in Namibia’s political system (mainly whites) used the law as an instrument to deny rights to ethnic minorities. This was usually done through restrictive franchise and emergency regulations, backed by hierarchically organised coercion (Bratton & Van de Walle, 1997:

81).

In 1964, the Odendaal Commission presented a five-year development plan for SWA. It recommended that R114.5 million should be spent to execute the plan. Also of significance was the recommendation of a roughly equal division of land between a ‘white’ area and ten black ‘homelands’ under local authorities, under South Africa’s supervision (Barber & Barratt, 1990: 87).

This policy was an extension of the Republic’s policy of grand apartheid into

SWA. The introduction of apartheid in Namibia continued throughout the

1960s and 1970s.

During this period the UN decided that Namibia’s status as a mandated territory of South Africa should be changed. In 1966, the General Assembly of the UN unilaterally terminated South Africa’s mandate over Namibia and assigned the territory’s administration, until independence, to the Council for

Namibia. In 1973, SWAPO was recognised as the sole and authentic representative of the Namibian people by the UN and Organisation of African

Unity (OAU). SWAPO’s armed struggle was also given legitimacy and the organisation received UN observer status. Thus, from 1966 to 1990, the UN saw South Africa’s occupation of Namibia as illegal (Geldenhuys, 1990: 141;

Lange, 1990: 415; The Hutchinson Encyclopedia, 1999: 326). Despite this,

South Africa continued to exert control over Namibia. As a result, these steps were not recognised by South Africa, who continue to maintain de facto control over the territory’s administration.

6.1.2.2. The Ruling Elite

Before the UN General Assembly resolution to terminate South Africa’s mandate over Namibia, SWAPO was established as a liberation organisation

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153 to end South Africa’s occupation through an armed struggle (Saunders &

Kangumu, 1999: 141). What was SWAPO’s ideological orientation before it became the ruling party?

SWAPO’s original ideological foundation was largely Marxist-Leninist. The organisation was established in 1957 in Cape Town, when a number of students and casual labourers from SWA founded the Ovamboland People’s

Congress (OPC). To stress its independent identity from that of the South

African ANC, the OPC changed its name to the Ovamboland People’s

Organisation (OPO). In 1958, the council of Herero chiefs formed a political party called the South West African National Union (SWANU). In September

1959, OPO merged with SWANU, and Sam Nujoma became a member of its

Executive Council. In 1961, during SWAPO’s first congress in Namibia held at Rehoboth, the organisation adopted the armed struggle to liberate

Namibian territory from South African rule. In 1962, SWAPO entered into cooperative agreements with the MPLA and established offices all over Africa, in Moscow, and in some European (mostly Scandinavian) countries (Lange,

1990: 414, 415). From 1966, Nujoma also controlled SWAPO’s armed struggle by its People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) against South

Africa from Angolan bases. Moreover, SWAPO received political and material support from two communist powers, the Soviet Union and the People’s

Republic of China (Hamutenya & Geingob, 1972: 89; Lange, 1990: 413, 414;

Taylor, 1997: 111; The Hutchinson Encyclopedia, 1999: 326; Bauer, 2001:

35). The Marxist-Leninist ideological stance of SWAPO was explicitly stated in its Political Programme of the South West Africa People’s Organisation

(SWAPO) of Namibia

, 1976. The Programme stated that SWAPO’s aim was to ‘unite workers, peasants and progressive intellectuals in a “vanguard party” which is able to secure national independence and to build a “classless society” based on the ideals and principles of scientific socialism’ (SWAPO,

1976: 5). National independence also featured strongly; an indication that

SWAPO viewed the occupation of Namibia by South Africa in a serious light.

Irrespective of its nationalist orientation, SWAPO’s conformity to Marxism-

Leninism is evident in a speech delivered by David Meroro, its National

Chairman, at a conference of the Communist Party of East Germany convened to mark the centennial anniversary of Karl Marx’s death on 12 April

1983. He argued: ‘[T]he revolutionary stage of non-capitalist development is of immediate interest to SWAPO. The socio-economic and political platform of the non-capitalist stage of the national liberation revolution is national democracy. In our opinion, this is a necessary transitionary stage in a situation where the proletariat is still too weak, numerically and in terms of organisation, to take over the leading role in the revolutionary struggle. The experiences of other countries have made it clear that the national democratic state, if it adopts a Marxist ideology, can actually lead the national liberation revolution to new heights of socialism, by consciously striving to create the material and social conditions for the building of a socialist system …

SWAPO is convinced that there is room in our national liberation movement for the adoption and spreading of Marxist-Leninist doctrines, with a view to the

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154 transformation of the movement into a socialist avant-garde party’ (Lange,

1990: 416).

Notwithstanding this, SWAPO shrugged off the Marxist-Leninist ideological stance at independence. The organisation was transformed from an authoritarian liberation movement into a relatively open and tolerant electoral party. This transformation was precipitated by the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the former Soviet Union; a supporter of SWAPO militarily, politically, and diplomatically. In addition, Namibia’s independence occurred at a time when the ideas of neo-liberalism and liberal democracy triumphed over those of communism in all its forms. These democratic ideals were incorporated into government documents and official statements. As a result,

Namibia did not indulge in political and economic experiments, unlike many transitional African democracies during the period following decolonisation

(Lange, 1990: 415-420; Internet: Lindeke, 1995; Bauer, 2001: 53).

Thus SWAPO, having won the November 1989 election, assumed office on

21 March 1990 in a changed political order. The SWAPO leadership immediately adopted a multi-party democracy and an open mixed economy.

However, Namibia’s transition should not be seen as a transition from an endogenous authoritarian rule to an indigenous democratic rule. The transition was rather from decolonisation to political independence. Namibia has been independent for more than a decade, but how democratic is its political system and the governing elite? This question is relevant, especially if Namibia is considered to be one of Africa’s most successful democracies, and one that is conducive to interest group activity (Internet: Lindeke, 1995;

De Klerk, 1998: 170; Bauer, 2001: 34, 35).

6.1.2.3. How Democratic is Namibia?

Bauer (2001: 33-55) attempts to answer this question by looking at Namibia’s democratic record since independence and by using the following minimalist conception of democracy: respect for a new democratic constitution; the institutionalisation of multi-party political system; the use of free and fair elections; the role played by civil society and the media; and economic conditions.

Considering these criteria, Bauer (2001: 33) concludes that there is reason for concern for the consolidation of democracy in Namibia. These concerns can be attributed to a trend of single-party rule, an increase in the concentration of power within the executive branch of government, as well as substantial intolerance of democratic political practices, especially among some government leaders, including the president.

Together with these concerns, there were also incidents of significant human rights violations because of Namibia’s involvement in the wars in Angola, the

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the armed repression of an armed secession attempt in Caprivi. Notwithstanding these concerns, ‘there may still be room for cautious optimism’. This optimism can be ascribed to the growing

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155 influence of civil society organisations and the media in Namibia. Recently a new political party, the Congress of Democrats (CoD) was established (Bauer,

2001:33).

Of importance for this study is the power vested in the executive branch of government and the aspects regarding civil society. The reason for this is that actors in these spheres of Namibia’s political system are mainly taking opposite positions in the debate on the proposed Epupa Dam. Although the other aspects of Namibia’s democracy should not be ignored, these two elements of democracy need to be scrutinised more closely to come to an understanding of the Namibian government’s ideological power.

During the post-independence period, Namibia has seen a steady drift towards a one party dominant political system, characterised by the ruling

SWAPO who had landslide victories in the numerous elections since 1989.

For instance, in December 1999 SWAPO won 76.3 per cent of the votes as opposed to the DTA’s and CoD’s 9.4 and 9.9 per cent respectively. SWAPO therefore dominates Namibia’s legislative bodies, particularly at national level

(Bauer, 2001:4 2). Even so, what are the risks inherent to such a system?

Firstly, the party apparatus can wither away. SWAPO has indicated in the early 1990s that the party has financial difficulties. This resulted in it not being able to sufficiently pay many of its employees and in 1997 the SWAPO

Central Committee even reduced its national organisers from 14 to four. The party’s problems extended beyond financial difficulties. For example, it also had a perceptibly ‘rudimentary organizational and administrative capability’, especially at the local level. According to Bauer (2001:45), ‘[t]his is compounded by a failure to attract more than a handful of the most ardent supporters to party rallies and a distinct lack of party positions on policy— outside of those expressed by government officials’. Ben Ulenga, former

Namibian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, and chairperson of the

CoD, stated that SWAPO did not have the necessary procedures in place to deal with vital national matters. These matters included the issue of excombatants, the land question and the economy (Bauer, 2001: 46).

Secondly, there is a blurring between the ruling party and government. This has been the case since independence. For instance, a December 1997 reshuffle of the cabinet was seen by many as proof that government jobs are being utilised to ‘underwrite the ruling party and its leadership’. President

Nujoma also created the post of Minister without Portfolio for the new SWAPO

General Secretary, Hifikepunye Pohamba. The DTA reacted by arguing that

SWAPO was using taxpayer's money to subsidise the party (Bauer, 2001: 46).

Thirdly, single party dominance will also discourage an open political culture.

Regarding this, it seems as if SWAPO has introduced a number of authoritarian tendencies that characterised its years in exile. These include intolerance of criticism and opposing views concerning policy issues, especially in the case of the debate on the proposed Epupa Dam. In 1998,

Nujoma launched a scathing attack on the opponents of the Epupa project,

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156 mainly aimed at the LAC. He accused unnamed ‘Europeans’ and alternatively

‘whites’ of attempting to divide Namibia along ethnic lines. He stated that they should cease this practice or be deported from Namibia. Hostile references were made towards those who did not fall in line with government thinking, especially ‘Europeans’. According to The Namibian, the President observed that the Government accepted ‘genuine friends but if you come with the aim of white superiority, we will get rid of you’ (Internet: The Namibian, 22 June

1998).

The LAC reacted by saying that it was shocked by the president’s remarks, especially considering that the LAC had supported Nujoma and SWAPO before independence in exposing human rights violations committed by South

African security forces (Internet: The Namibian, 26 June 1998). The

Namibian Non-Governmental Organisations’ Forum (NANGOF) defended the

LAC, declaring that it was concerned about the political intolerance in

Namibia, especially on the part of the country’s political leadership (Internet:

The Namibian, 30 June 1998).

The criticism of Nujoma, levelled at an old ally, indicated the decreasing level of political tolerance, especially concerning the Epupa debate. However, the

Namibian government and the SWAPO leadership have also reacted strongly and harshly towards criticism levelled at Namibia’s involvement in the Angolan civil war and its military intervention in the DRC (Bauer, 2001: 46).

Regardless of the political intolerance towards interest groups’ criticism,

Namibia has a vibrant civil society sector.

Interest groups exist throughout the country to address the broad spectrum of the population’s needs. These non-governmental entities are recent additions to the Namibian political process, only having emerged in the early 1980s.

The issue area of the early interest groups centred on the development needs of disadvantaged communities. However, the articulation of these needs was advanced within the context of partisan politics (Bauer, 2001: 50).

Since independence, there was a blossoming of interest groups, although this was not without problems. Many interest groups had to redefine their roles.

More particularly, they had changed from being protest organisations at the national level to agents and lobbyists for democracy and development at the community level. They also had to redefine their position vis-á-vis the government. In this respect, two problem areas in interest group-government relations became evident. Firstly, the breakdown in the relationship between

NANGOF and the National Planning Commission (NPC). The NPC’s main role is to liaise, on behalf of government, with interest groups. Secondly, interest groups are disillusioned with the government’s slow rate of delivery and its lack of consultation and dialogue with them (Bauer, 2001: 50).

Notwithstanding these problems, interest groups in Namibia are still playing vital roles in Namibian society, especially in areas of policy advocacy and implementation. For instance, NANGOF and the LAC have co-sponsored workshops with other organisations on topics such as ‘How Civil Society Can

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157

Effectively Influence Public Policy Formulation’ and ‘International Human

Rights Standards and Procedures’. It can be said that these, and other organisations, have taken up a watchdog role in the Namibian policy process.

Yet, the actions of interest groups in Namibia are not always appreciated, especially when considering Nujoma’s reaction to critics of the proposed

Epupa Dam project. Nonetheless, there is no anger toward and alienation from the Namibian government on the part of interest groups but rather an eagerness by many groups to engage the state. This is the case despite some political leaders resisting such engagement, and a lack of experience of many interest groups in communicating with the state (Bauer, 2001: 50-51,

54).

From this assessment of Namibia’s democratic transition, it is evident that the country has made great strides in the process of democratisation. This is especially true considering the ruling party’s transition from a Marxist-Leninist organisation to one that has shrugged of this ideological orientation and adopted a democratic one. The transition to a democracy in Namibia is an ongoing process, yet it seems as if interest groups have gone through this transition more smoothly than the ruling elite has. An indication of this is the increasing political intolerance towards criticism of some domestic and foreign policies of government, including the proposed Epupa Dam.

The discourse of the Namibian government, concerning the proposed dam, should therefore be understood within the context of a transitional democracy framework. Because of SWAPO’s Marxist-Leninist legacy and its democratic transition, the ruling party is sometimes intolerant of interest groups. Yet, it is also responding to their criticism in a way reminiscent of liberal-democratic practices. The level of national unity in Namibia, however, sheds further light on the ideological power of the Namibian government regarding the proposed

Epupa Dam.

6.1.2.4. Level of National Unity

National unity in Namibia came under threat in 1998 after a group of about

104 people planned a secessionist rebellion in Namibia’s Caprivi region (The

Star, 12 November 1998: 8). This secessionist incident put some doubt on the national unity within Namibia. However, it is not clear whether this incident will have any further impact on Namibia’s ideological power regarding the proposed Epupa Dam. The reason is the geographical distance between the secessionist attempt in the Caprivi and the Kunene River basin. There is also no contact between this group and the Himba. Because of the absence of contact, no impact is expected, in the sense of the Himba adopting secessionist leanings in response to the water politics of the proposed hydroelectric installation.

6.1.3. The Core Interest Group

The only core interest group presently campaigning against the proposed

Epupa Dam project, is the Himba community organised in the EAC. The

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158 proposed project has led to a higher level of ethnic consciousness among the

Himba, the roots of which lie in their social history.

The Himba are part of the Bantu-speaking Herero peoples. Their origin is not clear, but it is likely that they migrated from central Angola at about 1600.

Around 1750, the Herero moved from Kaokoland to the south and east in search of more and better grazing. The Herero bore the brunt of German colonial rule in the early twentieth century and in 1904-1905, the Germans waged a war of extermination against these people. This resulted in the killing of between 50 and 80 per cent of the Herero. It is not clear why the

Himba did not move with the Herero to the south and east, and subsequently remained behind in Kaokoland. Because of this, they were unaffected by the colonial wars (Harring, 2001: 41).

Kaokoland has been the home of the Himba for the past four hundred years, although their distinctiveness from other Herero dates back much earlier. The

Himba therefore lived in relative isolation compared to the Herero. This isolation was further strengthened by the arrival, of the Germans in 1885. The colonisers never exercised any political and legal control in the areas north of the ‘police line’. The ‘police line’ was drawn, across northern Namibia, by the

Germans to keep their colonists ‘inside’ or south of the line. In this area,

German authorities protected the colonists. Consequently, they also lived under German law. In contrast, the native inhabitants of Namibia who lived north or ‘outside’ the police line, were protected against the intrusion of colonists and were not subjected to German law (Harring, 2001: 41-42).

By keeping the two peoples apart, it was intended to create a peaceful frontier. The Germans did not disturb the Himba. It was only when exploring expeditions passed through Kaokoland that they came across the Himba.

The 30-year period of German colonial rule was a prosperous time for the

Himba. They traded cattle and goods to neighbours on all sides. This made them independent, self-sufficient, and rich in cattle. They also existed as a pastoral people, well adapted to the region (Harring, 2001: 42). Because they could easily cross the Kunene River to protect their cattle against Swartbooi and Topnar Nama cattle raiders, they traversed two colonial dominions;

Portuguese Angola and German South West Africa. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the Himba played the Germans and Portuguese off against each other. Neither one of these colonial powers had effective control over the remote Kaokoland region. Notwithstanding this, by the turn of the century, the Portuguese took control of Himba land in Angola and they moved south into Namibia (Harring, 2001: 41).

When South Africa took political control of Namibia, they changed the

‘isolationist’ policy of the Germans towards Kaokoland. The land north of the

‘police line’ was incorporated into the Namibian and South African economy and it served as a labour reserve and a ‘quarantine zone’. This zone was intended to keep the black population isolated from the white farming communities in the central regions of Namibia. The South African government also tried, for the first time, to control the border between Namibia

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159 and Angola. The government forbade any Angolan traders in Kaokoland and

Ovamboland and attempted to stop the Himba from freely crossing the border with their cattle. The border remained porous though, but the policy was partially successful, especially regarding the movement of cattle (Harring,

2001: 46).

Although incorporating Kaokoland into Namibia, it was also the intention of the

South African government, by controlling the border, to internally detach

Kaokoland. According to Harring (2001: 46), this was done ‘to destroy the

Himba pastoral economy in order to force them into signing migrant labour contracts and going off to work in South Africa’s mines’. However, and despite the closing of the Angolan border and the traditional trade routes of the Himba, their cattle economy expanded. This was due to the South African government starting to inoculate their cattle against cattle disease for fear that it might spread to other parts. This meant that many young Himba did not go to the mines and remained part of the Himba cattle-based economy. After numerous unsuccessful attempts, the South African government realised what was happening and stopped recruiting Himba for the mines in the 1950s

(Harring, 2001: 47).

The Himba were left isolated in Kaokoland. When the Odendaal Commission divided Namibia into apartheid era homelands in the 1960s, the isolation of the Himba was institutionalised. The population density of Kaokoland was very low leading to high administrative costs. Kaokoland was redesignated a homeland, but remained isolated within its former reserve borders (Harring,

2001: 47).

During the 1970s and 1980s, the Himba were assaulted by both the South

Africans (for harbouring SWAPO fighters) and by SWAPO (for living under the protection of the SADF). The Himba did not actively join SWAPO in its armed struggle for Namibian independence. The reasons for this are as follows: they were traditional rivals of the Ovambo; they adhered to their pastoral, seminomadic lifestyle; and they were isolated from forced labour recruitment during South Africa’s apartheid era. As a result, the Himba are not ideologically inclined to be supporters of the SWAPO-led government in

Namibia today. Even so, the Kunene region is one of two that returned a majority to the opposition DTA in previous elections. Relations between the

Himba and SWAPO are, furthermore, not on a good footing (Harring, 2001:

48).

This means that the Himba’s ideological power is projected against government policies in the sense that they will not support such policies. The

Himba are also more likely to align themselves with like-minded ‘others’ in their efforts to oppose the Namibian government’s policy regarding the

Kunene River in Kaokoland. Thus, Himba opposition towards the proposed

Epupa Dam should be seen in this historical context. They have a long relationship with their land. This relationship is recognised by customary law.

Their traditional governmental system still functions today. Chiefs, who decide the day-to-day matters and adjudicate disputes among the Himba,

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160 head this system. They are also by their standards a wealthy people. This prosperity, together with their bilineal family structure, has made the Himba a cohesive society. Their communities are well ordered, with no evidence of social disintegration. The authority of elders and chiefs is respected, as well as that of traditional religion. The chiefs are in constant communication with each other. Because of this, and the other factors mentioned, the Himba are unanimous in denouncing the proposed Epupa Dam project (Harring, 2001:

49). Yet, according to Eins (U. Eins, personal communication, 21 November

2002) the Himba living nearest to the Kunene are those who are most vociferously campaigning against the proposed dam. Those living further away are more supportive of the dam.

6.1.4. Peripheral Interest Groups

In this section, the ideological power of the peripheral interest groups is outlined and analysed. For analytical purposes, only those interest groups directly involved in the debate concerning the proposed Epupa Dam are considered. Regarding this, only three peripheral interest groups can be identified. They are the following:

• Earthlife Africa (Namibia branch);

• the Legal Assistance Centre; and

• the National Society for Human Rights.

6.1.4.1. Earthlife Africa (Namibia branch) (ELA)

The history of Earthlife Africa (Namibia branch) is the history of the establishment of the ELA in South Africa. Earthlife Africa was established in

South Africa in 1988. According to the ELA, ‘[t]he 1980s was an especially politically active period in South Africa. That period of intense, political activity spawned Earthlife Africa. Earthlife Africa provided a context for politics and the environment to be linked and raised as part of political discussion’

(Internet: ELA, 2002). The interest group believes that politics and ecology are integrally linked. Initially, this was in contrast to the ‘conservationist’s colonial approach that saw no link between politics and the environment’

(Internet: ELA, 2002).

The initial organisers of the ELA came from a ‘red-green’ background, i.e. from those who subscribe to a synthesis of socialism and ecocentrism, an orientation that particularly prevailed amongst students who were studying at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits.—Johannesburg, South Africa).

Although Wits students constituted a large part of the organising group of the

ELA, the remainder had a different background. For instance, there were those who hailed from organisations that were banned by the then South

Africa government; ‘working people’; people involved in rural voluntary development work; ‘and assorted bohemians’ (Internet: ELA, 2002).

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161

At a meeting, on 8 August 1988, attended by supporters with the abovementioned interests, the following was decided:

• That an organisation should be formed to address broad-based environmental issues based on the slogan ‘think globally—act locally’.

• That the organisation, although attempting to establish links with other likeminded groups world-wide, would be an African organisation based on the philosophy of ‘African solutions for African problems’.

• That, with this in mind, the group would call themselves ‘Earthlife Africa’ to announce its global focus and its geographic area of activity.

• That it would not limit its organisational base to the Wits University campus.

• That it would carry out ‘an activity and gain recognition from action rather than words’ (Internet: ELA, 2002).

The interest group’s ideological disposition is encapsulated in its ‘Statement of

Belief’, which reads as follows:

‘Earthlife Africa is a multifaceted group with a sense of shared commitment, contributing skills, resources and experience to creating a new society where protection of the environment is a pre-condition. Earthlife Africa encompasses the study of Nature’s subtle web of inter-related processes and the pragmatic application of that study to our interactions with Nature and among ourselves. We are part of Nature and not above it and life depends on wise, respectful stewardship in our biosphere’ (Internet: ELA, 2002).

According to ELA, earth is confronting a number of serious problems, namely an ignorance of environmental issues; a wasteful attitude toward natural resource utilisation; inappropriate use of technologies; speciesism and contempt for life on earth. In combination, these problems lead to ecological devastation as natural resources are exhausted and the biosphere is polluted. Consequently, the quality of life has become diluted and humans fail to recognise the rights of future generations to an earth worth living in

(Internet: ELA, 2002). In other words, there is no scope for sustainable development.

ELA’s purpose is to stimulate environmental awareness through re-education, to create innovative methods of practical action and to forge links with likeminded groups on a global basis. It intends to realise these objectives through active involvement in the following areas, namely on-going scientific investigation and the proposal of viable alternatives and/or solutions; participation in and support of community environmental campaigns; publicising issues through the media; offering input for other organisations in the form of resources and seminars; lobbying support from private business; and educating its members and introducing biospheric issues at schools, technikons, universities and other learning forums (Internet: ELA, 2002).

In sum, ‘[i]f we [humans] nurture this vision with the ‘lifeblood or our ideas and efforts, we [humans]—and our children, may be rewarded with a future worth

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162 living’ (Internet: ELA, 2002). Thus, environmental issues are central to the

ELA’s identity and ideology.

6.1.4.2. The Legal Assistance Centre (LAC)

For the LAC, human rights issues are their central concern, which also shapes the group’s identity and ideological stance. The LAC was established in 1988. The prevailing political climate, at the time of its origin, was described by the LAC as a ‘hostile world’ for the interest group. Namibia was then still under South African control, while its ‘liberation struggle’ (led by

SWAPO) had been continuing for about 16 years. A ‘climate of oppression’ was also the order of the day. The establishment of the LAC was looked upon with suspicion and sometimes, outright hostility, especially by the South

African administration. Others, like SWAPO, saw the LAC as a source of assistance in their struggle against apartheid. During the first year of the

LAC’s existence the South African government even tried to close it down, and some of its staff members received death threats (Internet: LAC, 2002).

The idea for a public law centre was raised in 1986. In this year, church leaders, community groups and donors approached Dave Smuts, a lawyer from Windhoek, to take charge of such a project. Dave Smuts was a likely candidate, because of his focus on and interest in human rights issues

(Internet: LAC, 2002). From the outset, the LAC took up the issue of, and initiated action, against human rights violations perpetrated by the South

African administration. The issue of the establishment of a human rights culture is a central element of the LAC’s activities. According to Dave Smuts,

‘[t]he aim of establishing the centre was closely related to the ideal of establishing a human rights culture [in Namibia] … where human rights would be respected and where the law would be transformed from an instrument of oppression into a means of securing rights and justice’ (Internet: LAC, 2002).

Initially, the LAC was particularly active within the northern regions of

Namibia. Some of the roles the LAC played included the following: it provided an articulated and informed legal commentary on a situation that had become lawless; it channelled the voices of the churches, trade unions and student movement and became a new ally in the struggle to protect human rights; it encouraged the victims of human rights abuses to speak out against their treatment and seek redress; and it made the law operate in a new way, in that it defended the individual against the state rather than providing the state with comprehensive powers of control (Internet: LAC, 2002).

The LAC played a ‘privileged role in Namibia’s transition to independence’.

‘During the first euphoric months of the new nation’s life, the LAC’s reputation for even-handed professionalism, strict adherence to the fair application of law and commitment to challenging injustice increased’ (Internet: LAC, 2002).

The focus of the Centre shifted after independence. While Namibia had a bill of rights, it did not have a culture of human rights. It had a constitution, but most Namibians had no concept of its meaning. It also was now, after independence, democratic, but ‘its democratic traditions had been so

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163 perverted that freedom at all levels was dangerously rootless’ (Internet: LAC,

2002). Because of these features of Namibia’s political system, the LAC adopted a more pro-active role. It placed new emphasis on education, research and policy formulation. It often worked together with the government, in helping to mould the laws of the fledgling democracy (Internet:

LAC, 2002).

Twelve years after independence, the political climate has changed again. As

Andrew Corbett, the LAC’s director from 1992-1999 explains: ‘At five years we were still riding the wave of government approval. We were working in a mainly supportive role—popularising new legislation, ensuring a certain amount of legal access, providing expertise, and training. That work continues, but in recent years, we have found it increasingly necessary to remind the authorities of their constitutional duties as a less tolerant attitude towards opposing views has emerged. Our commitment to the protection of human rights has begun to bring us into occasional conflict with the government’ (Internet: LAC, 2002).

6.1.4.3. The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR)

The NSHR is a Namibian private, paralegal, non-profit and non-party political human rights organisation. Its purpose is to monitor and advocate compliance with both national laws and international treaties regarding civil, cultural, economic, environmental, political and social rights (Internet: IANSA,

2003). This interest group is therefore articulating a wide variety of human rights issues.

This human rights organisation was established on 1 December 1989, to address both the colonial past and the independent future. It is involved in monitoring, campaigning and lobbying, legal defence, research and reporting.

One of its primary focus areas has been past human rights violations by

SWAPO, when it was still a liberation movement, and allegations made against it of torture and the ‘disappearance’ of opponents (Internet: University of Minnesota, 2003).

The Society is organised around a branch network, linked to the headquarters based in Windhoek. Although it has a centralised institutional character, the

NSHR is premised on what its Director describes as an ‘ethnolinguistic’ philosophy, with a cross-section of the nationalities of Namibia represented on its National Secretariat. The NSHR also has observer status at the African

Commission on Human Rights (Internet: University of Minnesota, 2003) and has one of the most important declarations on human rights as its mission statement. The NSHR upholds Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of

Human Rights that reads as follows: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers’ (Internet: NSHR, 2003).

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From the aforesaid it is evident that the NSHR is a broad-based organisation articulating human rights, and the apparent violations thereof, for a wide spectrum of peoples in Namibia. It does not only focus on human rights per

, but has an interest in a number of other issues linked to human rights, that is environmental human rights and the rights of indigenous people. It is for this reason, and because it focuses its attention on the ruling party’s human rights practises, that the NSHR has been directly involved in the debate on the proposed Epupa Dam. Another reason for this is the interest group’s

‘ethnolinguistic’ philosophy, which cuts across racial and ethnic barriers.

Subsequently the NSHR focuses solely on human rights issues, irrespective of whether these involve people and the government or people, the government and environmental concerns.

6.1.5. Outer Peripheral Interest Groups

Outer peripheral interest groups include the following, namely:

• The Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG);

• the Association for International Water and Forest Studies (FIVAS); and

• the International Rivers Network (IRN).

6.1.5.1. The Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG)

The EMG was established in June 1991. This was after it became clear that

apartheid

was ending and that a new government would be responsible for new policies regarding socio-economic development. According to EMG, these ‘new policies would be required to better reflect the needs of all South

Africans’. The interest group was established out of a concern that the demands facing the new government would be met through policies and strategies that will encourage speedy economic growth. However, these strategies and policies would not take into consideration the negative environmental impacts of such economic growth (L. Greeff, personal communication, 18 December 2002).

The EMG’s concerns were based on sustainable development and not on an

‘anti-growth’ position. This sustainable development stance manifested in the first project of the EMG. This was the production of a book, outlining key policy recommendations for sustainable development in a number of issue areas regarding the economy of South Africa. The publication was also aimed at influential decision-makers, who would form part of the new government (L. Greeff, personal communication, 18 December 2002).

Since 1991, EMG has changed from a voluntary association to a trust with a full-time staff. Its role has also evolved. At first EMG provided a link between concerned academics and decision-makers. Today it is a ‘bridge between decision-makers and broad elements of civil society, drawing upon academic expertise where necessary’ (L. Greeff, personal communication, 18 December

2002).

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The EMG has two aims, namely to encourage the development of environmental practices that address environmental injustice and to promote sustainable development; and to strengthen the participation of civil society groups in decision-making processes that affect them (L. Greeff, personal communication 18 December 2002).

The sustainable development stance of the EMG is furthermore encapsulated in the interest group’s mission, which reads as follows: ‘Our mission is to empower people to take charge of their own environment, so that the right to a healthy environment can be enjoyed by all, now and in the future’ (L. Greeff, personal communication, 18 December 2002).

6.1.5.2. The Association for International Water and Forest Studies

(FIVAS)

FIVAS’s predecessor, the Sarawak group, was formed in 1986 when

Malaysian environmental activists informed contacts in Norway that the

Norwegian company STK sought to take part in the huge Bakun Dam project.

This dam would have inundated a huge area of rainforest and forced tens of thousands of indigenous people to leave their homes. From there, the activity expanded to other projects and countries, and FIVAS was formed as an organisation in 1988 (T. Folkestad, personal communication, 18 December

2002).

FIVAS is an independent Norwegian interest group working to obtain and disseminate information regarding the impact of large dams and hydroelectrical projects in the developing world. This is especially the case where the Norwegian government or businesses are involved in large dam projects (Internet: FIVAS, 2002). For this reason, FIVAS is directly involved in the campaign against the proposed Epupa Dam.

FIVAS plays a number of other roles. It attempts to influence Norwegian decision-makers to avoid Norwegian participation in projects with substantial negative impacts. It also endeavours to make Norwegian companies and government agencies apply high social and environmental standards in respect of local communities and biodiversity. The methods used in performing these roles are mainly to gather information from and to distribute it to affected communities, companies, other interest groups and NGOs, and the public. Regarding these roles, FIVAS’s activities are based on cooperation with local organisations and activists in the developing world. This interest group also focuses its efforts on Norway’s role in international financial institutions, including the World Bank (Internet: FIVAS, 2002; T. Folkestad, personal communication, 18 December 2002).

6.1.5.3. The International Rivers Network (IRN)

Based in Berkeley, California, the IRN was established in 1985 by Philip

Williams who, for years, had helped environmentalists to stop water projects

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.

The IRN was founded as a non-profit allvolunteer organisation of activists experienced in campaigning against economically, environmentally, and socially unsound ‘river intervention projects’ (WRMPs). Because of the IRN’s awareness that similar projects and struggles against WRMPs were taking place in other parts of the world, it opened a communication channel with local river activists globally (Internet:

IRN, 2002b). In June 1988 the IRN sponsored an international conference in

San Francisco with the purpose of bringing together interest groups concerned with the protection of rivers and water resources from ‘their most immediate threat—construction of large dams’, attended by 60 people from 26 countries. The attendees of the conference initiated a programme of action that is the foundation of the IRN’s global campaign to protect rivers across the globe. This action became known as ‘The San Francisco Declaration of the

International Rivers Network’ (McCully, 1996: 313).

In 1989, the IRN began to develop a staff of experienced activists trained in economics, biology, engineering, hydrology, anthropology and environmental sciences. This still forms part of the IRN’s institutional capacity to do in-depth research, project critiques, analyse alternatives to WRMPs, and brief activists. The main gist of the IRN’s strategy is to combine its work on changing global policies with campaigning on specific key projects around the world. It also cooperates closely with other environmental and human rights interest groups. This is done on a worldwide basis and takes the shape of

‘cooperative campaigns’ (Internet: IRN, 2002b).

The IRN is therefore a specialised environmental interest group, focusing its activities only on the protection of rivers and their watersheds, and the communities dependent on these (Hoover, 2001: 59; Internet: IRN, 2002b).

This is encapsulated in the vision of the organisation, which states: ‘IRN seeks a world in which rivers and their watersheds are valued as living systems and are protected and nurtured for the benefit of the human and biological communities that depend on them. This vision can be achieved by developing a world-wide understanding of the importance of rivers and their essential place in the struggle for environmental integrity, social justice, and human rights’ (Internet: IRN, 2002b). The IRN therefore does not only recognise the importance of rivers and their watersheds, but also adapts a pragmatic stance on the human communities depending on these natural ecosystems. This pragmatism is further enshrined in the IRN’s mission, which identifies a number of actions, namely to cease and change the degradation of river systems; to support local communities in protecting and restoring the well-being of the people, cultures and ecosystems that depend on rivers; to promote sustainable, environmentally sound alternatives to damming and channelling rivers; to foster greater understanding, awareness and respect for rivers; to support the world-wide struggle for environmental integrity, social justice and human rights (also part of the IRN’s vision); and to ensure that its work is exemplary of responsible and effective global action on environmental issues (Hoover, 2001: 59; Internet: IRN, 2002b).

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Thus, rivers, and their dependent communities, are central to the discourse of the IRN’s campaigning against WRMPs. It is for this reason that the IRN is involved in the Epupa debate. This discourse is informed by the IRN’s pragmatic stance of ‘holism’, embedded in the political ecology ideology.

6.2. Economic Power

The proposed Epupa hydroelectric installation is an expensive venture. The draft final report on the proposed dam, in 1998, put the price tag at US$539.4 million. In 1998, the exchange rate between the Namibian Dollar and the US currency was N$5.80 to the US Dollar. This meant that the project, at the time, was to cost a staggering N$3.128 billion. Moreover, the proposed dam at the Baynes site was also put at N$3.196 billion. According to some interest groups like the IRN, the proposed Epupa Dam project is considered controversial by many financial institutions. Yet, China and Malaysia were reported to be likely sources of financial support for the project (Internet:

Pottinger, 1996a; Internet: The Namibian, 7 December 1998). These reports could, however, not be confirmed by Namibian government officials, who are closely involved in the proposed project (P. Heyns, personal communication,

17 November 2002). Therefore, it can be assumed that China and Malaysia are not at this stage considered possible financiers.

Regarding other external sources for financing the dam, the Namibian government is also not considering the World Bank. The reasons for this are that it is very expensive to borrow money from the World Bank, and that its environmental standards are too high (P. Heyns, personal communication, 17

November 2002). In spite of Namibia’s reservations on borrowing money from the World Bank, statistics from this financial institution will nevertheless be used to evaluate Angola and Namibia’s economic capacity to implement the dam in the future.

Where is Namibia expecting to get the financial resources to finance the proposed Epupa Dam? To answer this question, it should be made clear that both Angola and Namibia will jointly provide money to construct it. However, as previously indicated the Angolans are not too ‘keen’ to build the dam, being more interested in the alternative Baynes Mountain Dam. The burden to finance the dam will most probably fall on Namibia, that is to say if Angola consents to the project at all. Whether Angola has the economic capacity to help finance the project under its current political and economic circumstances, is debatable.

6.2.1. Angola

Before going into detail regarding Angola’s economic capacity, it should be borne in mind that there is a measure of uncertainty regarding these aspects.

However, by considering the prevailing political and economic circumstances, some idea can be formed about Angola’s economic capacity to help finance the Epupa project

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The civil war was the major cause of the collapse of the national economy.

The conflict between the belligerent parties led to the near destruction of the agricultural sector and the petroleum industry, two sectors that are the lifeblood of Angola’s economy. The civil war also exacted a terrible toll on the

Angolan people. Over a quarter of the 11 to 12 million population had been displaced from their homes, often resulting in the loss of all their possessions and means of livelihood. Most of these internally displaced people fled to the cities or to neighbouring countries. Following the cessation of hostilities the situation is rapidly improving (Kirsten & Bester, 1997: 54; Simon, 1998: 67).

Angola possesses substantial natural resources. These include amongst others agricultural land, oil, diamonds, iron, and phosphate reserves. The offshore oil industry still earns 80 per cent of government revenue (Kirsten &

Bester, 1997: 54; Simon, 1998: 67; Cape Argus, 5 April 2002: 5).

However, the country is beset by numerous problems, the most important being of a socio-economic nature regarding the rehabilitation of the national economy. After the cessation of hostilities in 2002, the Angolan government was able to press forward with the reconstruction of the country’s economy, and the improvement of the living standards of the population. As a direct result of these initiatives, the Angolan government is advancing the rehabilitation of the Gové Dam in the upper reaches of the Kunene River basin, bearing in mind that this was previously raised before the cessation of hostilities between the warring parties (Internet: The Namibian, 18 December,

2002).

The renewed Angolan effort to rehabilitate the Gové Dam indirectly augments the arguments of interest groups lobbying against the proposed Epupa Dam.

The fact that the Namibian government mandated NamPower to negotiate with Angola’s power utility on the rehabilitation of Gové is expected to delay the construction of Epupa considering that the repair and rehabilitation of

Gové also involves the de-mining of the dam area, earthworks and upgrading of the hydro mechanical system (Joint communiqué, 2000; Internet: The

Namibian, 18 December, 2002). This delay obviously favours the interest groups.

In 2001, the World Bank estimated the gross national income (GNI) per capita of Angola at US$1 650, while the Angolan economy was ranked 114 th

out of

208 economies in the world. If this is compared to South Africa, ranked 92 nd with a GNI per capita of US$2 820 in 2001, it becomes clear that the economic capacity of Angola to finance the proposed Epupa Dam is limited

(Internet: The World Bank, 2003). It also indicates the extent to which the development of the Angolan economy was hindered during the civil war, despite its huge natural resource base.

Angola is a potentially wealthy country. It is expected that oil production will increase from around 900 000 barrels/day (b/d), at present, to 1.4 million b/d by 2005 and to nearly 2 million b/d by 2007. Offshore oil production dominates the economy by contributing 60 per cent to the GDP. Financial

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Therefore, and taking the prominent position of oil in the Angolan economy and the rise in production over the next few years into account, Angola has the potential to help finance the proposed Epupa Dam project. That is if

Angola shows an interest in the proposed hydroelectric scheme.

6.2.2. Namibia

Currently, Namibia is energetically promoting the Epupa project. The future of the project will therefore hinge as much on Namibia’s economic capacity as on Angola’s economic capacity and consent. In 2001, the World Bank estimated Namibia’s GNI per capita at US$1 960, while its economy was ranked 104 in the world (Internet: The World Bank, 2003).

Namibia has a population of about 1.8 million people. The Namibian economy relies heavily on the extraction and processing of minerals, processed fish, and manufactured goods for export. The country is also the fifth largest producer of uranium in the world and an important source of gemquality diamonds. Namibia has one of the richest sea fishery areas in the world. Furthermore, real GDP growth averaged five per cent from 1990 to

1993, but has slowed down to an average of three per cent during the period

1994 to 2001. In 1996 the proposed dam’s cost was estimated at N$2.5 billion, or one-fifth of Namibia’s GDP (Internet: The World Bank, 2000d).

However, Namibia is in a strong position to finance the proposed Epupa Dam from internal resources.

Nonetheless, there is much uncertainty regarding the economic viability of the

Epupa Dam. This uncertainty results from deflated uranium prices over the past couple of years, together with a decreased electricity demand in the mining sector (consuming 50 per cent of electricity in Namibia). For instance, the opencast uranium mine at Rössing has been hard hit by falling uranium prices and has decreased its output over the past decade (Warwick, 1996: 40;

Internet: The Namibia, 7 January 2000).

6.3. Military Power

Although wracked by civil war for most of its post-independence history,

Angola does not and is not expected to coerce interest groups not to lobby against Epupa. Firstly, as previously indicated, the Angolan government does not support the proposed Epupa Dam. Secondly, and related to the previously mentioned, it has good and friendly relations with Namibia. Angola will therefore not breach this relationship by using military force against any

Namibian or transnational interest groups. Finally, after the end of the civil war, Angola is concentrating most of its efforts on the domestic rehabilitation of its socio-economic infrastructure. The country thus has no time for any further military ‘adventures’.

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Military power is also not one of the capabilities used by the Namibian government to reinforce its stance on the construction of the proposed Epupa

Dam. The reason for this is Namibia’s status and identity as a fledgling democracy. The government avoids resort to physical violence, for fear of destabilising the country. Police harassment was reported, though, by the

LAC. In July 1997, according to the LAC, ‘heavily armed personnel from the

Namibian police broke up a private meeting between the Epupa [Himba] community and their lawyers’ from the LAC and did not allow it to continue.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the comments on and response of the Himba to the social aspects of the feasibility study. The LAC subsequently obtained a high court order that allowed the Himba to meet with their lawyers without fear and intimidation from government agents (Stott,

Sack & Greeff, 2000).

It is highly unlikely that the interest groups in Namibia and the Kunene River basin will in future resort to armed force to further their argument against the proposed project. However, in 2001 a Himba counsellor indicated to the

Scientific American

that the Himba have a ‘plan for resistance’. He did not elaborate on this ‘plan’, but indicated that more than 50 of the Himba chiefs were in the military during the war between South Africa and Angola, and they still had their old .303 rifles. After being asked what the Government’s response would be if the Himba should resist with violence, the Minister of

Mines and Energy, remarked: ‘We know them; they cannot do anything. If they try anything, we will neutralise them of course. But I don’t think it will come to that’ (Ezzell, 2001: 73). Realistically speaking, the Himba do not have the ability, with a limited number of outdated .303 rifles, to resist the implementation of the proposed Epupa Dam by means of a prolonged struggle.

Since many of the interest groups lobbying against the dam are situated outside the Kunene River basin and the SADC region, it would be extremely difficult for them to organise an armed insurrection against the Namibian government, also considering that the majority of them are not militarist in nature and prefer a more pacifist approach. Therefore, a military response from the Himba, the Namibian government and interest groups is highly unlikely and unrealistic.

6.4. Political Power

Angola’s political power is not discussed because the country is not the main driver of the proposed dam. What is the political power of the Namibian government to implement the Epupa Dam? To answer this question it is necessary to analyse the indicators of power of the Namibian government regarding the issue of the proposed dam; the extent to which the Namibian political elite is undertaking routine and institutionalised negotiations with the interest groups involved in the Epupa Dam debate; and the extent to which the Namibian government is able to penetrate civil society and implement political decisions on the intended dam.

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On 8 March 1997, the social study which was part of the feasibility study, was suspended following statements made by the Deputy Minister of Mines and

Energy, Jesaya Nyamu, at a public hearing. He created the impression that the decision to build the dam had already been taken. Consequently, the

Himba community felt that their inputs were irrelevant. They refused to participate in the household, water and health surveys that were still in progress. They also refused to discuss mitigation, which covered all aspects of compensation to persons who would be adversely affected by the dam.

The Himba had a huge problem with the manner with which they were approached by the authorities when the feasibility study was conducted (Stott,

Sack & Greeff, 2000).

The statement by the Deputy Minister added to the level of distrust the community felt towards the government. This lack of trust was already evident before the start of the feasibility study. The community was of the opinion that the government was not serious about objectively assessing the findings of the study, and what the community had to say about the project, before taking a decision on the proposed dam. Instead, and according to the

Himba, the government only wanted to suppress their views (Stott, Sack &

Greeff, 2000).

According to the Himba community, the government also did not appoint a credible liaison body to facilitate communication between the government and the Himba. This task was to fall on the LAC. Instead a team from the

University of Namibia (UNAM) was given the responsibility, more specifically to discuss mitigation (compensation) with the community, thus by-passing the feasibility team’s work. The Himba community was only approached at the end of October 1997 (Stott, Sack & Greeff, 2000).

According to the Himba, Kapika, one of their chiefs, told the UNAM team that the Himba community did not consider it appropriate to communicate with a new group of consultants. They already had confidence in the existing field team consisting of Dr Micheal Bollig and Dr Margaret Jacobsohn. The UNAM team then apparently by-passed Kapika and approached one of his councillors in an attempt to convince him to attend a meeting with the team.

The UNAM team also offered the councillor money for transport to attend this meeting. The Himba community felt that this was an effort to undermine the authority of the Himba traditional leadership. What in effect happened was that communication between the UNAM team and the community ceased.

The UNAM team eventually completed its study and published the report on it.

No copy was received by the LAC, representing the Himba, for comment

(Stott, Sack & Greeff, 2000).

The final feasibility study, handed to the Namibian government on 4

December 1998, did not contain any specific agreed upon measures to minimise the impact of the project in Namibia on the Himba. The consultants who conducted the report stated that this was because of a breakdown in communication between them and the Himba community. NAMANG, on the

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Namibian government also used other communication methods, apart from the appointment of a liaison body.

One of the most peculiar responses from the Namibian government in 1998 to the lobbying efforts of the Himba against the dam was a gift of a four-wheel drive ‘bakkie’ (pick-up truck) and a speedboat to the Himba community.

Whether these donations were a strategy of the government to reverse Himba opposition to the proposed Epupa project is a matter for debate. If they were, they did not serve their purpose: the Himba community reiterated their antidam stance after the gifts were received (Internet: The Namibian, 2 June

1998; Internet: The Namibian, 2 July 1998).

Gifts were not the only Government response to interest groups involved in the

Epupa debate. In June 1998, President Sam Nujoma launched a scathing attack on the opponents of the Epupa Dam. He also warned foreign nationals who ‘disturbed the peace’ in Namibia that they would be ‘deported’, ‘got rid of’ or ‘dealt with’, with ‘immediate effect’. The LAC, in particular, came under severe criticism from the president (Internet: The Namibian, 22 June 1998).

This reaction not only gives an indication of the strained relations between the government and the interest groups but also demonstrates the Namibian government’s insistence to continue with the implementation of the proposed dam. The utterance of the president was the proverbial spark to the powder keg. This unleashed a fierce debate in Namibia, with other interest groups and the DTA defending the LAC. They accused the president of ‘racism’ and

‘threatening peace and stability in the country’, and SWAPO party members and other political allies of defending the president (Internet: The Namibian,

23 June 1998).

In 1998, the PJTC also found the draft feasibility study to be incomplete. On 9

July 1998, the joint chairs of the PJTC, Siseho Simasiku (Namibia) and

Armindo Gomes Da Silva (Angola), said that the PJTC had found that the study contained deficiencies that must be dealt with before the report was finalised, in order to meet all the requirements of the original terms of reference. This statement followed a meeting of the PJTC to decide whether the planned Epupa Dam was to be constructed or not (Internet: The

Namibian, 10 July 1998; Internet: The Namibian, 18 September 1998). In another statement the PJTC maintains: ‘The major shortcomings relate to the incomplete consideration of mitigation measures and [a] post-construction monitoring plan, inconclusive work performed on the bilateral agreement

[between Angola and Namibia] and the non-inclusion of the terms of reference for the phase three work’ (Internet: The Namibian, 10 July 1998).

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Interestingly enough, the study presented to the PJTC contained comments on the planned project by the Supervision Committee for the Feasibility Study

(SCFS), and other organisations like the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the Norwegian Water and Energy Administration Directorate (NVE).

These latter organisations were specifically asked by the PJTC to review the draft report (Internet: The Namibian, 10 July 1998; Internet: The Namibian, 3

November 1998). These organisations, in particular the SCFS and NVE, were not part of the network of interest groups lobbying against the proposed dam. The reason for the request was that the SCFS, IUCN, and NVE were seen as more authoritative, by the PJTC, than the network of interest groups on the subject matter of the proposed dam.

In March 1999 the Minister of Mines and Energy, Jesaya Nyamu, indicated that a referendum could be held, in the Kunene Region, on whether or not the dam should go ahead. Notwithstanding these overtures, a referendum was never held (Internet: The Namibian, 29 March 1999; P. Heyns, personal communication, 17 November 2002).

At the Southern African Hearings for Communities Affected by Large Dams in

Cape Town, on 11 and 12 November 1999, Andrew Corbett from the LAC also argued that the draft feasibility study completed in 1997/1998 was incomplete. Corbett told the Hearings that this was so on account of government intimidation. ‘The [Himba] community refused to participate in the discussion on mitigation should they have to be relocated from the dam. So, on the World Bank’s terms the project is in fact, unbankable, because the social issues—the mitigation issues—have not been negotiated or discussed with the community’ (Corbett in Stott, Sack & Greeff, 2000).

In 1999, the Himba community also presented a written submission to the

WCD. This stated: ‘Over the past three years there have been meetings with the Government, and in particular the Ministry of Mines and energy [sic],

NamPower, Namang and the consultants working as part of the feasibility study team with the directly affected community (“the Epupa community”) and other stakeholders to discuss the Scheme. In those discussions, the community has always adopted the same approach, namely that they are fearful of a large dam being built at either Epupa or Baines sites and they have explained the reasons for these fears’ (Stott, Sack & Greeff, 2000).

The debate between the transnational interest groups and the Namibian government continued into 2001. In July that year, the Namibian Deputy

Justice Minister, Albert Kawana, stated at a seminar organised by the LAC, in

Windhoek, that Namibia is committed to building the proposed Epupa Dam.

He announced that the Himba had a constitutional right, like each individual

Namibian citizen, to development. The Namibian government will therefore make sure that this right is accorded to them (Internet: The Namibian, 30 July

2001).

In April 2002, the Namibian Prime Minister, Hage Geingob, visited the

Maguga Dam in Swaziland, during a three-day visit to the Kingdom.

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According to press reports, Geingob stated that the Namibian government

‘wants the Namibian media to help resurrect the N$3.3 billion Epupa hydropower plant plan, which he says has been “stalemated” due to opposition from environmentalists and the international media’. Geingob furthermore stated: ‘I brought you [Namibian media] here to see it [the

Maguga Dam] so that in your writing you can help us, because all along you have been writing negative things on Epupa. We are talking about development here. We want to see your editorial after you have seen this

[Maguga dam]’ (Internet: The Namibian, 29 April 2002).

Considering the aforementioned, some measure of infrastructural power is discerned, especially regarding the request to the SCFS, IUCN and NVE, and the request to the media to comment more positively on the proposed dam.

The Namibian government, however, did not, undertake routine and institutional negotiations with the interest groups. Civil society was not penetrated, except through gifts and a conference, to implement the policy

(see Figure 8). To determine the nature of the interaction between the actors, it is necessary to consider the responses of some of the interest groups on the 1998 feasibility study of the proposed project, as well as the Namibian government’s reaction to these responses.

7. Interaction between the Actors

The draft feasibility study was completed in October 1997. A number of independent scientists reviewed the feasibility study at the end of 1997

These reviewers were co-ordinated by local and international interest groups, such as ELA-Namibia and the IRN and included outside experts in the fields of hydrology, freshwater ecology, economics, international law and alternative energy. The reviewers found, inter alia, that the study was not ‘up to standard.’ One of them, Prof. Sydney Harring, a professor in law at the City

University of New York, remarked that ‘[t]here should be no public hearings at all on this woefully incomplete report. Large-scale dams are no longer simply engineering matters: the human and environmental impacts are fundamental and must be given full weight.’ These independent reviews were nevertheless communicated to the government of Namibia and taken a step further during the public hearings in February 1998. The Himba people were asked to comment on the feasibility study, but they still opposed the dam (Internet:

IRN, 1997a; Internet: IRN, 1998; Internet: IPS, 26 January 1998).

Public hearings on the issue of the proposed Epupa Dam were held on 6 and

7 February 1998, in Windhoek. Submissions were presented by both the IRN and the EAC, pointing out the negative effects of the proposed dam on the

Himba and the environment. The IRN also released a press statement in which they reported on the feasibility study. The press release, echoing the conclusions of the experts who reviewed the feasibility study, stated that the investigation was ‘riddled with incorrect conclusions, false assumptions and missing data’ and concluded ‘that it cannot be used as a basis for a wellinformed decision on the project’. The World Bank and the European Union also had strong reservations about the viability of the project, leading to the

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IRN comment that ‘Epupa has the unusual distinction of being found objectionable by the World Bank’ (Internet: Pottinger, 1997a; Internet: IRN,

1998; Internet: The Namibian, 1 June 1998).

Figure 8. Despotic and infrastructural power in the Namibian political system regarding the proposed Epupa Dam.

Namibia

Despotic Power

Infrastructural Power

Despite these objections, the interest groups noted that whatever the results of the feasibility study, a political decision had been taken to go ahead with the proposed dam. In response to this contention, the then Namibian High

Commissioner in the United Kingdom, Ben Ulega, nevertheless alleged that no decision had been taken, also arguing in the process that no decision could be taken before the processing of reports and public hearings were completed. Hence his opinion: ‘There are a number of options to be considered so nothing final could be decided at this [1998] stage. If the project is viable then the Namibian government will go ahead, if it is not, then we will not pursue it’ (Internet: O’Neill, 1998).

This statement, although by a High Commissioner, was made after the submission of the interest groups’ review of the feasibility study. From this statement it is not clear whether the Namibian government had accepted the interest groups comments as a critique of the feasibility study. It can, however, be inferred from their response that the interest groups are against socio-economic development and that they do not ‘care’ about this type of development. This is not the case.

The interest groups are not merely against the proposed Epupa Dam for the sake of opposition. They do propose alternatives such as wind and solar power (renewable energy sources); the Kudu Gas power station with desalination capabilities; and the importation of electricity from South Africa

(Meissner, 1998: 82). They also argue that these alternatives will be cheaper than the Epupa hydropower scheme.

In particular, Power to Namibia and other environmental interest groups in

Namibia are pushing for alternative energy sources, other than the proposed

Epupa hydroelectric power plant. In 1996, Power to Namibia maintained: ‘It is

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176 imperative to actively promote alternative solutions to Epupa rather than just opposing it’ (Warwick, 1996: 41). In this process the interest groups are also using scientific proof as a basis for authoritative argumentation, as expressed through the independent review of the feasibility study. By doing this, they are attempting to influence the Namibian government not to go ahead with the dam.

From the analysis of the role and involvement of interest groups in the proposed Epupa Dam, it is evident that a number of control techniques are used by both sides (interest groups and the Namibian government) (see

Figure 9). The network of interest groups primarily use ‘appeals to shared values’ and ‘scientific proof’.

The ‘appeals to shared values’ consist of arguments that the dam should not be built because of the adverse environmental impacts and the plight of the

Himba. These values are in line with the ideology and identity of the interest group network. Accordingly, the environmental interest groups highlight the environmental dangers of the proposed dam and the impact on the livelihood of the Himba. Similarly, the human rights interest groups focus mainly on the human rights impact on the Himba. The Himba themselves appeal to the government not to infringe on their traditional life-style and to respect their rights as a minority group in Namibian society.

Regarding ‘scientific proof’, the network of interest groups criticises the feasibility studies, saying they were inadequate and conducted in an unscientific manner. Alternatives to the proposed hydroelectric installation are also proposed, backed by ‘scientific proof’ that these are ‘better’ than the intended dam. This was tantamount to an alternative interpretation of the feasibility study.

The Namibian government’s response to these control techniques was

‘alternative interpretations’ and ‘avoidance’. Government officials, especially from the top echelon, projected the planned dam as a right to Himba development. This right to development concurs with the government’s ideological position to advance socio-economic development in postindependence Namibia. The government also ignored the appeals by the network of interest groups that the dam would have a negative impact on the environment. Notwithstanding these control techniques of the network and the responses of government, the Namibian government also uses the control technique of ‘scientific proof’ (see figure 10). This ‘scientific proof’ is in the form of the feasibility studies designed to convince prospective funders that the proposed dam complied with environmental standards, and could therefore be implemented.

8. Analysis

The water politics of the Kunene River can be divided into two distinct periods. The first, from 1926 to the early 1990s is a period of state domination. During this era, a number of WRMPs were implemented,

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177 especially from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. This period is also characterised by no or little opposition from non-state entities, with the result that the states (South Africa and Portugal) were not prevented from implementing the Calueque and Ruacana schemes. The second period, from the early 1990s to the present, is a period during which interest groups became actively involved in the water politics of the Kunene River basin, especially regarding the proposed Epupa Dam project. States still play a role, especially Namibia and Angola, as natural custodians of the Kunene River’s water resources. Notwithstanding this custodianship, attention has shifted away from inter-state interaction to a more inclusive political process, with interest groups also playing a more prominent role.

Figure 9. The control techniques used by the interest groups and responses to them.

Control Techniques used by the Interest Groups

Physical

Coercion through Brute

Force

Economic

Sanctions

Armtwisting

Bargaining Appeals to

Shared

Values

Scientific

Proof

Responses of the Namibian government to Control Techniques

● ●

Trade-offs

Disagreement and Defiance

Counterforce

Disputation Alternative

Interpretation

Avoidance

Disinterest

Delay

Apathy

Bargaining Conditional

Agreement

Full Agreement and

Compliance

Figure 10. The control techniques used by the Namibian government and responses to them.

Control Techniques used by the Namibian government

Physical

Coercion through

Brute Force

Economic

Sanctions

Armtwisting

Bargaining

Trade-offs

Appeals to

Shared

Values

Responses of the Interest Groups Control Techniques

● ●

Disagreement and Defiance

Counterforce

Disputation Alternative

Interpretation

Avoidance

Delay

Bargaining

Conditional

Agreement

Scientific

Proof

Full Agreement and

Compliance

Disinterest Apathy

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Concerning the first period, from the analysis of the hydropolitical dynamics of the Kunene River it is evident that governments play a dominant role in mobilising the Kunene’s water resources. This was the case from the time of

Germany’s colonial rule to about the early 1990s. During this period four dams were built, namely: Calueque, Gové, Matala, and Ruacana, with little or no consideration to the interests and inputs of other actors.

The international political character of the Kunene River basin is therefore materialistic and agent-centric, with states taking the centre stage. States constructed dams and hydropower installations to advance capitalism and industrialism. The infrastructural developments were necessary for the social and economic advancement of Namibia and to integrate its population and economy into the capitalist world economic system. Thus, the two colonial governments, but particularly South Africa, ‘produced’ the international relations of the Kunene River in a rational manner. This was done by cooperating with Portugal, through WRMPs, thus defining the international relations of the Kunene River basin.

Non-state entities, especially the churches, but also individuals were opposed to these schemes. They also acted in a rational manner and argued that the

WRMPs (Ruacana and Calueque) were implemented by an illegal government in an authoritarian manner, to strengthen South Africa’s strategic foothold in Namibia. These interest groups and individuals nevertheless tried to constrain the policies of WRMP construction, but to no avail.

Although states were the most dominant actors in the execution of WRMP policies in the Kunene River basin, they were not the only ones who mattered. Individuals, like Brincker, Gessert, and Schwarz were also prominent actors in their own right, especially Schwarz. Yet, Brincker and

Gessert, who first planned the mobilisation of Namibia’s water resources, received their mandate from the German government in Berlin and in fact represented the state as actor.

It was only Prof Schwarz, with his grand scheme to alter the region’s climatic patterns, who played a role independent of government in the 1920s.

Although his scheme was never implemented, it did raise the awareness level of governments to look into the potential of the Kunene’s water resources as a source of development. This led to two expeditions to the Kunene and other rivers that formed the foundation of Schwarz’s scheme—one in 1927 and the other in 1945. These expeditions were government sponsored. Thus,

Schwarz created the notion that the water resources of the river could be utilised for economic gain. The same could be said of Oppenheimer’s plan to use the Kunene’s water resources for mining purposes. These proposals, to the extent that they were considered, were however also ‘captured’ by the state as actor.

Jan Smuts, although a government representative, furthermore had the economic potential of the river’s water resources in mind when he tried to

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179 redraw the border in the 1920s. With the signing of the 1 July 1926 agreement between South Africa and Portugal, states started to exert more influence over the water politics of the Kunene River basin. It was therefore both states and individuals acting on behalf of the state who ‘created’ the international relations of the Kunene River during the 1920s. However, the water politics regarding WRMP implementation and further cooperation between states, did not advance until the 1960s. This was because the proposed plans, especially those of Schwarz, proved too impractical and expensive to implement and Namibia and Angola were in no great need for water from the Kunene, at that time, because of low population densities and a corresponding lack of economic activity.

Thus, scientific proof and internal materialistic constraints (low population density resulting in the low need for water and electricity) constrained both individual and government plans for the Kunene River. These two aspects created the norm that development of the Kunene River was possible, but not feasible under the prevailing circumstances. Schwarz’s scheme nevertheless created a shared (social) understanding of a standard of behaviour towards the utilisation of the water resources of the Kunene River, evidenced by the government’s response in investigating the scheme twice in 25 years. Actual development would only come later when the Odendaal Commission revived the importance of the Kunene in Namibia’s socio-economic development.

It was South Africa, in cooperation with Portugal, which implemented proposals for two of the four existing dams (Calueque and Ruacana). Their international and domestic agential power was therefore quite high, which led to the implementation of a policy of water resource mobilisation within Angola and Namibia. Negligible to no resistance from interest groups imposed virtually no restrictions on these WRMP implementation policies.

It is therefore concluded that the respective governments had effectively no restrictions placed on them by interest groups to implement WRMP policies.

The reason for this was the ideological modus operandi of the governments.

Both Portugal and South Africa were authoritarian in their policy stances, an inhibiting factor that interest groups, lobbying against WRMPs, had to contend with, since it was impossible to lobby against these projects under such political conditions.

The outbreak of the Angolan civil war and South Africa’s subsequent military intervention did affect the Kunene River basin and influenced South Africa’s interest in the Kunene River basin. Where it previously cooperated with

Portugal to implement WRMPs, it could no longer do so. It now had to defend these WRMPs, especially Ruacana and Calueque, that played a vital part in

Namibia’s socio-economic development. As its interests changed, South

Africa’s policy towards the Kunene changed accordingly.

With Angola and Namibia gaining independence, the state (core) actors in the

Kunene River changed from South Africa and Portugal to Namibia and

Angola. The river was no longer controlled by two authoritarian, oligargic

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180 governments. Except for Angola, a democratically elected government had control over the river basin. Because of Namibia’s already cordial relationship with Angola, cooperation among the states started anew.

It was within this changed political environment characterising the second period in the water politics of the Kunene, that Namibia revived the proposed

Epupa hydroelectric installation. Whereas the dam could not be built earlier, because of the war in Angola, it was possible after 1990. The decision by

Namibia to continue with the project was influenced by the following factors:

• The Kunene River had vast and untapped potential for the generation of hydroelectricity; and

• the new SWAPO-ruled government realised this potential and the prospects thereof for Namibia’s socio-economic development.

After the end of the Cold War, the idea of liberal democracy swept across the international landscape and influenced the appropriate form of a state’s government. SWAPO rescinded its Marxist-Leninist liberation movement identity and became a political party upholding liberal democratic principles.

Even so, this new government was the government of a developing country.

As a result, the ruling party had to adjust its identity and the application of liberal-democratic norms to the confines of a developing country setting.

SWAPO’s interests also changed. No longer was it fighting for independence, but it was now responsible for the well being of its citizens. This well-being was to be realised through the advancement of socio-economic development, and the proposed Epupa Dam was to be one component of this policy.

However, interest groups soon started to campaign against the proposed dam. Their emergence was in part also attributable to the post-Cold War salience of socio-economic issues that were previously suppressed by Cold

War politico-military concerns.

The interest groups are campaigning against the proposed dam because their water resource use perception clashes with that of the Namibian government.

These conflicting perceptions are informed by contradictory norms held by the interest groups and the government. The government’s aim is socioeconomic development. The environmental interest groups’ goal is the protection of the environment and of the Himba’s traditional life-style, and the implementation of alternatives to the suggested dam. The human rights interest groups’ action against the proposed dam is informed by the protection of the human rights of the minority Himba. Thus, it is not only Namibia’s interest that is defined by its identity, constructed by norms, but also the identity of the interest groups. Since the majority of interest groups active in lobbying against the proposed dam are of the associational (promotional) type, the promotion of the interests of the Himba and the environment is therefore a strong incentive to influence the government not to construct the dam.

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The Himba, as a communal interest group, are in alliance with the other interest groups. The community’s identity is constructed by its pastoral lifestyle, which defines its norms in the debate. The Himba’s interest in the planned dam is that they are against it because of its perceived threat to their traditional life-style. Thus, although the interest groups have different identities, their norms are compatible and define their shared interest.

Communal and associational interest groups, from across the world, are now also playing a more prominent role in the water politics of the proposed Epupa

Dam project than previously. The same applies to individuals. A South

African physicist alerted interest groups about the government’s intention and the plight of the Himba, should the dam be built. This set in motion the chain of events concerning the debate about Epupa. Coleman’s actions were also instrumental in this regard. Unlike Schwarz, individuals were more successful in altering the course of history of the Kunene River in the early 1990s. Thus, the actions of individuals in the water politics of the Kunene River are not subordinate to but independent of those of states and governments.

With the involvement of interest groups in the debate, the issue of the proposed dam has been transnationalised. There is therefore no longer a divide between the domestic and international domains concerning the debate. Interest groups have merged these two dimensions into a single social and political order that is both complex and bifurcated. In opposition to the state-centric actors (the Namibian government and NamPower) a plethora of interest groups operate as a network cluster around two norms. The first is the ‘alternatives to dams’ norm and the second is the ‘protection of the

Himba’s minority rights’ norm (see Figures 11 and 12).

The interest groups use a number of approaches to advance their arguments against the proposed Epupa Dam project in the process of merging the domestic and international spheres. These include the power approach, the technocratic approach and the coalition-building approach.

Regarding the power approach, the interest groups communicate their wishes to a wide variety of actors. These actors are either directly or indirectly involved, or not involved at all in the proposed Epupa Dam. The government actors that are directly involved include Sam Nujoma and Jesaya Nyamu.

Government officials who are not directly involved in the debate include

Thabo Mbeki and Martti Ahtisaari.

Indirect personal communication was the most widely used tactic throughout.

This type of contact, includes letter-writing campaigns and public opinion drives. The letters were primarily sent to officials outside Namibia, including the presidents of South Africa and Finland, although the ADB’s Getinet

Giorgis and officials from the World Bank, DBSA and EIB were also targeted.

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Figure 11. Interest groups cluster: the ‘alternative to dam’ norm.

IRN EMG

‘Alternative to dams’ norm

ELA (Namibia branch)

Presentations before hearings were also used as tactics, such as the feasibility study and WCD hearings in Windhoek in 1997 and Cape Town in

1999 respectively. Thus, the interest groups also attempt to influence the

Namibian government through diplomatic channels, by targeting external actors like Mbeki and potential funders of the proposed dam.

The technocratic approach was used throughout the lobbying campaign from

1993 to the present. The LAC and NSHR used their knowledge of legal procedures and the constitutional system to represent the interests of the

Himba in lobbying government. This is evident from the hearings held in

Windhoek and Cape Town. The Himba represented their views at these hearings because their right to do so is enshrined in the Namibian constitution.

The interest group that experienced the steepest learning curve during the campaign, especially regarding the approaches to lobbying, was the Himba community. They gained much knowledge on how the domestic and international systems function, but also gained experience on the use of their alliance with the LAC and other groups to their advantage. They also linked both the domestic and international systems through their visit to Europe.

This was an innovative tactic. They raised the awareness of their plight in countries that are some of Namibia’s most important trading partners and with whom Namibia has historical links (e.g. Germany).

During the visit, the Himba acquired many grass-roots diplomatic skills, cautioning officials in European countries about the ‘negative policy trend’ regarding the proposed dam. Therefore, not only did the Himba develop new norms, but they also communicated the perceived negative norm concerning

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183 the proposed dam to officials in Europe. This was also the case when they presented their argument before the hearings.

Figure 12. Interest groups cluster: the ‘protection of the Himba’s minority rights’ norm.

NSHR

IRN

LAC

‘Protection of the

Himba’s minority rights’ norm

EAC

Coalition building started when the South African physicist, Coleman and the

Himba community informed domestic and transnational interest groups about the proposed Epupa hydropower scheme. A domestic and international policy consensus was established at the same time this transnational coalition was created. This led to the generation of a transnational opinion that was strengthened by tactics used in the power and technocratic approaches.

Opinion against the proposed dam was broadened when like-minded interest groups coalesced with groups that articulated dissimilar views. This brought environmental interest groups into an alliance with human rights interest groups and allowed the alliance to ‘attack’ government policy from both an environmental and human rights and/or legal perspective. These dissimilar interest groups therefore share their expertise within the coalition. This means that the coalition or alliance is in fact an issue or policy network.

Because the network has members from across the world, the transnational character of interest group action is strengthened. The network has in particular assisted the Himba in their lobbying endeavours. The reason for this is that it broadened the communities’ resources and enlarged its volume of advocacy work. The establishment of the network not only facilitated communication between the network members but also within them, in particular the Himba community, the Namibian government and other governments and non-state entities. Thus, there is an issue or policy network that acts as a community and that engages the government politically, not only domestically but also transnationally.

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Starting with the establishment of the policy network, the interest groups played a number of roles that transformed them into agents. The same can be said of the individuals who initiated the debate. As such the individuals mainly played a watchdog role and acted as early warning systems that alerted interest groups about the proposed dam and the likely negative impact it could have on the Himba and the environment. By doing this, they initiated the creation of norms through which the interest groups acted in their lobbying against the proposed dam.

In summary, the interest group network played a wide variety of roles. They played three generic roles, namely discursive, participatory and philanthropic roles. The acting out or fulfilment of these roles, the subsidiary roles, and the interest groups that played these roles are summarised below (see Table 7).

Table 7.

The agential roles of non-state agents in the debate on the

proposed Epupa Dam.

Agential Roles Interest group(s)

Agents who Played these

Roles

Manner in which the

Roles were Played

(promotional)

Interest

Group

Interest

Group

Discursive

Roles

Opinion generation agent

Standard creation agent

Norm creation agent

Epistemic agent

Agenda construction agent

FIVAS, ELA,

EAC, EMG,

IRN, LAC,

NSHR.

FIVAS, ELA,

EAC, EMG,

IRN, LAC,

NSHR.

FIVAS, ELA,

EAC, EMG,

IRN, LAC,

NSHR.

FIVAS, ELA,

EAC, EMG,

IRN, LAC,

NSHR.

FIVAS, ELA,

EAC, EMG,

IRN, LAC,

NSHR. x x Generating the opinion that the dam will be negative to the Himba and the environment.

Influenced government to initiate a proper EIA and reviewed the feasibility studies. x x Creating the norm that alternatives to the dam should be sought by the

Namibian government.

Showed, specialist research, that x x the feasibility studies are not up to standard.

Highlighted the issue of the proposed dam and its impacts on the Himba and environment.

Participation

Roles

Interactive agent

FIVAS, ELA,

EAC, EMG,

IRN, LAC,

NSHR. x x Lobbied government not to implement the proposed dam but rather to seek alternatives.

Interacted with various actors on the domestic and international political

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Representation agent

Transnational agent

Policy shaping agent

Institution creation agent

Watchdog agent

FIVAS, ELA,

EAC, EMG,

IRN, LAC,

NSHR.

FIVAS, ELA,

EAC, EMG,

IRN, LAC,

NSHR.

FIVAS, ELA,

EAC, EMG,

IRN, LAC,

NSHR.

ELA, EMG,

IRN.

ELA, EMG,

IRN x x x

Oppositional agent

FIVAS, ELA,

EAC, EMG,

IRN, LAC,

NSHR.

Philanthropic

Roles

Guardian agent FIVAS, ELA,

EAC, EMG,

IRN, LAC,

NSHR. x x

Assistant agent FIVAS, ELA,

EMG, IRN,

LAC, NSHR. x x x x x x stage.

Presented the interests of the Himba people and the environment.

Established a global issue or policy network.

Safety provider agent

FIVAS, ELA,

EAC, EMG,

IRN, LAC,

NSHR. x

Empowerment agent

FIVAS, ELA,

EMG, IRN,

LAC, NSHR,

EAC. x x x

Alerted possible funders of the proposed dam to its likely negative impact.

Opposed the Namibian government’s plans to implement the proposed dam.

The Himba organised as the EAC, provided safety and security mechanisms that could guarantee the physical safety of the community.

The policy network assisted the Himba community by providing special (legal) services to them and sponsoring their representatives’ trip to Europe.

By lobbying government not to implement the dam and by representing and articulating Himba interests, an attempt was made to prevent structural violence against the Himba by the state.

Empowered the Himba community to lobby against the dam. This action also empowered the other interest groups, in that the

Himba inadvertently provided them with an issue to lobby against the proposed dam.

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Have the interest groups succeeded in halting the government’s policy on the proposed Epupa hydropower installation? From the hydropolitical history of the Kunene River it seems as if they were partially responsible for the postponement of the proposed Epupa Dam. The reasons for this are as follows:

• Before their involvement, and during Namibia’s colonial period, WRMPs on the Kunene River were implemented without any interference or opposition from interest groups. This established the norm that interest group interference would not be an issue in the future.

• Angola does not support the Epupa Dam project. Angola would rather see a dam built at the Baynes site, so that the Gové Dam could be rehabilitated. This is presently the case, with NamPower assisting the

Angolan government in restoring it. This could mean that the proposed

Epupa Dam will not be implemented soon, because Namibian resources are now being used to revive Gové.

• The Epupa hydroelectric installation is still only a proposal. This means that to ascertain the impact of interest groups on the actions of the

Namibian government is itself problematic.

What is the nature of the agential power of the Namibian state and that of the interest groups? From the discussion and analysis of the role and involvement of interest groups in the water politics regarding the Epupa Dam project, the following conclusions can be drawn regarding the agential power of the actors (see Figures 13 and 14). Namibia is afforded a moderately low international agential power because of its assistance to the Angolan government regarding the rehabilitation of the Gové Dam. The Gové Dam and Angola’s insistence on the Baynes site for the proposed dam has led to a delay in the proposed Epupa Dam project. Over the past decade, Namibia could therefore not implement the planned project because of Angola’s opposing view on the site of the dam. Namibia has therefore to a large extent been unable shape the water politics of the Kunene River basin free of international structural requirements i.e. Angola’s opinion on the preferred site of the dam.

The criticism levelled by the interest groups and their domestic and transnational lobbying campaigns reduced Namibia’s domestic agential power to a low level. Namibia has, therefore up to now, been unable to implement the policy. The Namibian government has also shaped the domestic realm to such an extent that it favours the interest groups in their opposition to the planned project. By not conducting a proper EIA, for instance, the government and NamPower afforded the interest groups an opportunity to raise the awareness level of the seemingly adverse effects of the proposed dam on the Himba and the environment. In other words, through its actions it did manage to shape policy in the domestic realm to the advantage of the interest groups.

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It is for this reason that the interest group network has a moderate to high domestic and international agential power. They also shaped the domestic and international realms, through the creation of norms against a backdrop of few or no domestic or international structural requirements. The spirit of democracy in Namibia has afforded them the chance to voice their opinion against the planned dam. The anarchic nature of the international system (no central authority governing actions) allowed the interest groups to lobby governmental and other institutions not to implement or support the proposed

Epupa project.

One of the starkest conclusions to be drawn from the Kunene case study is that the interest groups from abroad and in Namibia did not mobilise the

Himba to oppose the planned hydropower plant. The Himba community was opposing it before other interest groups from outside the river basin and

Southern African became involved. Nonetheless, the peripheral and outer peripheral interest groups did play a role in publicising the plight of the Himba and their opposition to the planned dam.

Thus, these foreign and local interest groups did not co-opt and use the

Himba in their arguments against the dam project. The explanation for this is the cultural and political independence of the Himba and their reliance on the land and river that form the basic resources of their wealth. The Himba are well aware of the fact that if ‘their’ land is inundated by the dam, then ‘their’ wealth will decrease substantially.

It can be concluded that the Himba co-opted the other Namibian and international interest groups and used them through skilful political interaction as lobbyists to advance their cause against Epupa. In other words, grassroots mobilisation was not only part of the strategy and tactics of the peripheral and outer peripheral interest groups, but also part of the strategy and tactics of the core (Himba) group—and the Himba, on the other hand, mobilised and worked with other peripheral and outer-peripheral interest groups.

The Himba have also strengthened other peripheral and outer peripheral interest groups’ oppositional stance towards the proposed dam. Their ethnic identity has been responsible for this as well. Interest groups from Namibia and abroad have been influenced, not to say, impressed, by their traditional life style and the preservation thereof, to the extent that they have been indirectly co-opted by the Himba, to lobby against the proposed Epupa Dam from a broader cultural perspective. The view held by associational

(promotional) interest groups is that if the dam is built, the Himba traditional way of life will disappear. By helping to preserve this, these interest groups have been given a tangible cause to lobby the Namibian government and to take a stand against another dam on the Kunene River. In conclusion, as a communal interest group, the Himba therefore has high reflexive domestic and international agential power.

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Figure 13. The agential power of Namibia and the proposed Epupa Dam.

High

Power

Moderate

International

Agential State

Low

Low

Domestic Agential

State Power

High

9. Conclusion

The purpose of this chapter was to put the political process, involving the interaction between the interest groups and the Namibian government on

Epupa, into perspective. In other words, the chapter described, explained and analysed the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the water politics of the Kunene River basin.

The chapter was divided into a number of parts, scrutinising aspects contained in the framework for analysis. In the first part the Kunene River basin was described. This description showed that the Kunene is a valuable source of hydroelectricity to both Angola and Namibia, as well as a source of water for both countries. This was followed by the identification of the actors involved in the debate on the proposed Epupa Dam. Not only are states involved, but also a plethora of interest groups. Then followed a hydropolitical history of the river to indicate the pattern of interaction among the actors. This showed that individuals were initially deeply involved in the river’s water politics, though this changed when states took over the role of custodianship: a situation that remained unchanged for much of the river’s history.

Nevertheless, this situation changed to a significant extent when the Namibian government mooted the possibility of the construction of a fifth dam downstream from the Epupa Waterfalls. Subsequently, interest groups

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189 became involved; at first only domestically, but later a transnational movement evolved.

Figure 14. The agential power of interest groups and the proposed

Epupa Dam.

International

Power

High

Moderate

Agential State

Low

Low

Domestic Agential

High

State Power

The hydropolitical history was followed by the determination of the agential power of the actors. Namibia’s agential power is significantly lower than that of the interest groups. Contrariwise, the interest groups have more agential power than Namibia. However, an important consideration to keep in mind regarding the higher agential power of the interest groups is the fact that

Angola is not supporting the intended Epupa project. In other words, Angola’s agential power is in this case higher than Namibia’s.

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CHAPTER 6

THE ORANGE RIVER BASIN: THE CASE OF THE LESOTHO HIGHLANDS

WATER PROJECT

1. Introduction

The Orange River, and its main tributary the Vaal, is South Africa’s most important strategic surface water resource. These rivers supply water for a number of economic activities inside and outside the basin, ranging from the agricultural to industrial and from the urban to mining sectors. Most, but not all of the urban, industrial and mining activities are situated within the Gauteng province. Water is supplied to it, and other provinces, through an intricate system of inter-basin transfer (IBT) schemes.

A number of these projects have been implemented since the early 1960s, most notably the Tugela-Vaal River Scheme. One of the most ambitious, recently completed IBTs is the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) implemented by Lesotho and South Africa. Through this IBT, the water resources of the Vaal River system is augmented by water from the upper reaches of the Orange River in the Lesotho Highlands. Shortly before its inception, in the mid-1980s, interest groups also became involved in its water politics.

This chapter puts the political process, concerning the LHWP, involving the interaction between the interest groups and the Lesotho and South African governments into perspective. It thus describes, explains and analyses the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the water politics of the LHWP. This is done in terms of the framework for analysis outlined in

Chapter 4.

Accordingly, the chapter is divided into eight parts. Firstly, a description of the river basin, indicating the importance of the Orange River to the riparian states—especially South Africa, is presented. Secondly, the actors involved in the water politics of the LHWP are identified, including the basin states as well as the interest groups participating in the water politics of the proposed dam. Thirdly, an overview is given of the hydropolitical history of the Orange

River, with the purpose of determining the nature, scope and focus of interaction patterns between the actors. The aforesaid, therefore, provides an overview of the key components of the Orange international river basin.

Fourthly, the involvement of interest groups is described. Fifthly, the agential power of the actors is analysed with reference to the ideological, economic, military, and political sources of power. This is followed, in the sixth part, by an examination of the interaction between the actors. In the penultimate part, an analysis of the case study is done, wherein the transnational role and involvement of the interest groups and the agential power of these entities and that of the Lesotho and South African governments’ are classified in

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191 accordance with the matrix described in the framework for analysis. The aforesaid, therefore, provides an analysis of the agential power of interest groups vis-á-vis the state. Finally, a conclusion is drawn.

2. The River Basin

The Orange River is an international river basin, shared by four SADC states: the Kingdom of Lesotho, and the republics of Botswana, Namibia and South

Africa (see Appendix 4 for map). It rises 3 300 m above sea level in the

Lesotho Highlands in the region of Mont-aux-Sources, where it is known as the Senqu. After leaving Lesotho it flows through South Africa until it forms the border between Namibia and South Africa for 450 km before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay. It has a total length of about 2 300 km with a catchment area of 964 000 km

2

. The Vaal River is the Orange’s most important tributary, and supplies most of South Africa’s economic heartland—

Gauteng—with water. Of the Orange River’s total catchment, four per cent is situated in Lesotho, 62 per cent in South Africa, nine per cent in Botswana, and 25 per cent in Namibia (McKenzie & Roth, 1994: 1; Conley, 1995: 10;

Conley, 1996; Basson, 1999; Heyns, 2003: 18; Mohamed, 2003: 218; Turton,

2003b: 139).

The river has a virtual MAR of between 10.6 to 12 bcm/yr. This amount reflects the volume of water within its system before any development has taken place. It is the most developed river system in the SADC region, based mainly on the contribution of development in South Africa’s portion of the basin. Because of the large-scale development in the basin, the actual MAR is in the region of 5.5 to 6.5 bcm/yr. Of the total MAR, each riparian state makes an unequal contribution. South Africa contributes 55 per cent,

Botswana zero per cent, Lesotho 41 per cent and Namibia four per cent.

Botswana contributes zero per cent, because the Molopo and Nossob Rivers do not contribute any water to the flow of the Orange River (Wilcox, 1986:

102; Le Roux, 1989: 8-9; Davies, 1988: 35; McKenzie & Schäfer, 1991: 1.2;

Conley & Van Niekerk, 1997: 9; Meissner, 1998: 29; Basson, 1999; Heyns,

2003: 19; Turton, 2003b: 139).

2.1. Utilisation of the Orange River

From the description of the Orange River basin, it is clear that the river is

South Africa’s most important surface water resource as evidenced by the importance of IBTs and the utilisation of the river through the LHWP.

2.1.1. Importance of Inter-basin Transfers

The Orange River carries about 20 per cent of South Africa’s surface water resources, while the Vaal River provides most of the water required by South

Africa’s economic heartland (Basson, Van Niekerk & Van Rooyen, 1997: 40;

Turton, 2003b: 140). Approximately 42 per cent of South Africa’s population resides in the Gauteng province. The province also generates 56 per cent of

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192 the country’s industrial and 79 per cent of all mining output (African Business,

October 1998: 8; Conley & Van Niekerk, 1998: 146; Turton, 2003b: 140).

Because of Gauteng’s economic importance, and the fact that water is used in the production of economic goods, the Vaal is one of the most strategic natural resource assets of South Africa. Throughout the latter part of the twentieth century, the Vaal’s water resources have been augmented by IBTs.

It is now linked to ‘eight other river basins in a complex network of IBTs that range from the Limpopo in the North to the Sundays in the South’ (Turton,

2003b: 140).

The Orange River, in particular, plays a central role in the complex network of

IBTs that straddle the South African landscape. The importance of the IBT in the South African economy can be illustrated by the proportion of gross geographic product (GGP) that is supported by IBTs in each of South Africa’s nine provinces (see Table 8).

Table 8. Provinces’ GGP supported by IBTs.

Eastern Cape

Free State

Gauteng

70

65

100

KwaZulu/Natal 70

Limpopo 30

Mpumalanga 70

Northern Cape

North West

Western Cape

50

90

70

Sources

: Basson, Van Niekerk & Van Rooyen, 1997: 55; Turton, 2003b: 142

Accordingly, 100 per cent of Gauteng’s GGP is supported by IBTs, meaning that the province is mostly dependent on water supplies originating from outside its borders. Therefore, the water needs of the province have to be augmented from external locations having an abundance. The most recently developed IBT that supplies Gauteng and parts of the Limpopo and North

West Provinces with water is the LHWP.

2.1.2. The LHWP

The LHWP is an international IBT jointly implemented by Lesotho and South

Africa, the purpose of which is to divert water from the upper reaches of the

Orange River in the Lesotho Highlands to Gauteng—supplying water to the

Vaal River system. Its other main purpose is to generate hydroelectricity for

Lesotho. The joint venture consists of several major and minor dams, a series of water-transfer tunnels dug through the Maluti Mountains and various associated infrastructures, including hydroelectric generators and pumping stations. More than 90 per cent thereof is located in Lesotho (Gleick, 1998:

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93; Horta, 1996: 15-16; Meissner, 1998: 48; Internet: LHDA & TCTA, 2001;

Meissner & Turton, 2003: 117).

The LHWP consists of a number of completed and planned phases, namely

Phases 1 (A and B), 2, 3 and 4. Phase 1A of the project is designed to transfer water at a rate of 18 m³/s and generate 72 MW electricity. This

Phase consists of two dams (Katse and Muela), excavation of 82 km of subterranean water transfer tunnels and the construction of an underground hydroelectric plant. The Katse Dam is considered the ‘jewel’ of the scheme.

It is 185m high, has a reservoir surface area of 35 km², and a reservoir capacity of 1.9 bcm. This phase was completed in 1998 (James, 1980: 103;

DWAF, 1994: 2-5; Wallis, 1996: 24; Gleick, 1998: 95; Mochebelele, 2000:

108; Internet: LHDA & TCTA, 2001; Meissner & Turton, 2003: 117-118).

Phase 1B consists of the construction of another two dams, Mohale (145m high) and Matsoku, connected to the Katse reservoir. This phase was completed in January 2003. It delivers water at a rate of 12 m³/s. The LHWP is Africa’s largest IBT. By 2004, it will transfer an average of 871 mcm of water per year through a network of 260 km of tunnels (DWAF, 1994: 2-5;

Wallis, 1996: 24; Gleick, 1998: 95; Internet: DWAF, 1998; Mochebelele, 2000:

108; Hoover, 2001: 1; Internet: LHDA & TCTA, 2001; Turton, 2003b: 141).

Phases 2 to 4, if constructed, will eventually increase the water transfer capacity to around two bcm/yr in about 20 years from now. However, these phases have not yet been finalised or financed. The continuation of the

Project, through these phases, is currently under discussion while other alternatives are being investigated. In fact, a feasibility study is underway to determine whether Phase 2 will be viable (African Business, October 1998: 8;

Heyns, 2002: 163).

2.2. The Rationale behind the LHWP

The LHWP is managed by the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority

(LHDA), charged with the implementation, operations and maintenance thereof in Lesotho. It is also responsible for construction, environmental protection, and all resettlement and compensation issues. In South Africa, the

Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) and the Trans-Caledon

Tunnel Authority (TCTA) oversee the Project. The TCTA has the same responsibility as the LHDA, but only for those components implemented, operated and maintained in South Africa. The Lesotho Highlands Water

Commission (LHWC), formerly the Joint Permanent Technical Commission

(JPTC), was established in 1986 in terms of the LHWP Treaty to represent both countries. The LHWC has monitoring and advisory powers over the administrative, technical and financial activities (see Figure 15 for a schematic of the Projects institutional side) (Gleick, 1998: 93; Meissner, 2000e: 26;

Internet: LHWP, 2003; Internet: TCTA, 2003a; Meissner & Turton, 2003: 118;

Turton, 2003b: 146).

The LHWP serves a number of secondary purposes that benefit Lesotho and

South Africa (see Table 9).

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Table 9. LHWP purposes and beneficiaries.

Secondary Purpose(s)

Stimulation and acceleration of socioeconomic development of the Lesotho

Lesotho.

Highlands.

Beneficiary

Lesotho and South Africa. Sharing of savings of financial resources by not implementing the Caledon Cascades

Scheme.

The avoidance of air pollution generated by coal-fired power stations to pump the water through the Cascade Scheme.

Lesotho and South Africa.

Fostering of economic and political interdependence.

Lesotho and South Africa.

Jobs that were created during construction. Lesotho and South Africa.

Unpolluted water from Lesotho will increase the quality of that of the Vaal Dam.

South Africa.

Status and prestige because of the size of the project and some of the engineering feats.

Lesotho to a large extent and South Africa to a lesser extent.

Source

: Treaty, 1986: 15; Du Pisani, 1992: 177; Beeld, 14 February 1997: 12;

Beeld, 1 April 1994; Business Day, 9 April 1997: 3; Sowetan, 7 August 1997:

21; African Business, October 1998: 8; Conley & van Niekerk, 1998: 153;

Meissner, 1998: 55; Pretoria News, 9 January 1998: 7; Hoover, 2001: 1;

Turton, 2003b: 147.

Figure 15. The institutional arrangements concerning the LHWP.

South African

Government

Lesotho

Government

TCTA

Source

: TCTA, 2003b: 47.

LHWC

LHDA

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Notwithstanding these benefits, and the fact that Lesotho and South Africa are jointly implementing the Project, a plethora of interest groups are also involved in its water politics.

3. The Actors

From the description of the LHWP, the two core actors who are responsible for its implementation are Lesotho and South Africa. They are core actors because they share, together with Botswana and Namibia, the Orange River basin. For practical purposes, only Lesotho and South Africa will be analysed throughout this chapter, because of the pivotal role they play in the implementation of the LHWP. They are obviously not the only actors engaged in the water politics of the LHWP; a number of local and international interest groups also participate (see Table 10).

Table 10. Actors involved in the water politics of the LHWP on the

Orange/Senqu River.

Actor Core,

1. Botswana

2. Lesotho

3. Namibia

4. South Africa

5. LHWC

Peripheral or

Outer

Type of

Actor/Interest

Group

Base Country

(In the case of interest

Peripheral groups)

Actor

Core

Core

Core

Core

Core

State

State

State

State

Functional

Organisation

Core

Core

Parastatal

Parastatal

Lesotho

South Africa

Core Associational

(Promotional)

South Africa

6. LHDA

7. TCTA

8. Alexandra Civic

Organisation

(ACO)

9. Association for

International

Water and

Forest Studies

(FIVAS)

10. Berne

Declaration

11. Bretton Woods

Project

12. Canadian

Labour

Congress

13. Canadian

Union of Public

Employees

14. Christian Aid

Outer peripheral

Outer peripheral

Outer peripheral

Outer peripheral

Outer peripheral

Outer peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

Associational

(Promotional)

Associational

(Sectional)

Associational

(Sectional)

Associational

(Sectional)

Associational

(Promotional)

Norway

Switzerland

United Kingdom

Canada

Canada

United Kingdom

15. Christian

Council of (Promotional)

Involvement

Direct Indirect

x x

x x x x x x x

x

x

x

x x

x

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Lesotho

16. Development for Peace

Education

17. Earthlife Africa

(ELA)

18. Environmental

Defence (ED)

19. Environmental

Justice

Networking

Forum

20. Environmental

Monitoring

Group (EMG)

21. e-PRAXIS

22. Fédération des

Travailleurs et

Core Associational

(Promotional)

Peripheral Associational

(Promotional)

Outer

Peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

Peripheral Associational

(Promotional)

South Africa

United States

Peripheral Associational

(Promotional)

South Africa

South Africa

Peripheral Associational

(Promotional)

South Africa

Outer peripheral

Associational

(Sectional)

Canada

Travailleuses du Québec

23. Friends of the

Earth

24. Group for

Environmental

Monitoring

(GEM)

25. Highland

Church Action

Group (HCAG)

26. International

Institute for

Environment &

Development

27. International

Rivers Network

(IRN)

28. Jubilee 2000

Coalition

Outer

Peripheral

Outer peripheral

Outer

Peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

(Promotional)

(Sectional)

Associational

(Promotional)

Associational

(Promotional)

United States

United Kingdom

United States

29. Lesotho

Council of

NGOs (LCN)

33. Panel of

Environmental

Experts

34. Philippine

Resource

Outer peripheral

Outer peripheral

Outer peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

United Kingdom

Core Associational

(Promotional)

30. Mennonite

Central

Committee

(MCC)

31. National Union of Public and

General

Employees

Outer peripheral

Outer peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

Associational

(Sectional)

32. Oxfam Outer peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

Associational

(Promotional)

Associational

(Promotional)

Canada and

United States

Canada

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

x x x

x x

x

x

x x x

x x

x x x

x x

x

x

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Centre

35. Probe

International

36. Reform the

World Bank

Campaign

37. Save the

Narmada

Movement

38. Southern

African Rivers

Association

(SARA)

39. The Corner

House

40. Transformation

Resource

Centre (TRC)

Outer peripheral

Outer peripheral

Outer peripheral

Associational

(Sectional)

Associational

(Promotional)

Associational

(Promotional)

Canada

Italy

India

Core Associational

(Sectional)

South Africa

Outer peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

United Kingdom

Core Associational

(Promotional)

Lesotho

x

x

x

x

x x

41. Urgewald Outer peripheral

Associational

(Promotional)

Germany

x

Source

: Internet: Archer, 1996; Internet: IRN, 1999c; Internet: Coverdale &

Pottinger, 1996; Internet: Pottinger, 1996b.

According to Table 10, 41 actors are involved in the LHWP, 34 of which are interest groups engaged in the water politics of the Project. The remainder are the four states, the LHWC, the LHDA and the TCTA. The interest groups are not only situated in Lesotho and South Africa, but in other parts of the world. Many of them are from Europe and North America (see Appendix 5).

The countries of these regions have a long tradition of liberal democratic norms and practices that is conducive to the emergence and activities of interest groups. Three core interest groups are involved—the HCAG, the

LCN and the TRC.

The proportional representation of the actors from the core, periphery, and outer periphery indicates that the minority of actors (10 per cent) involved in the water politics of the Project are situated in the periphery that is they are situated outside the Orange River basin, but inside the SADC region. The largest grouping of actors (54 per cent) is situated in the outer periphery, in other words outside the SADC region. Only 13 per cent of the actors are situated within the core, in other words within the Orange River basin itself.

They are Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, the LHWC, the LHDA, the TCTA, the ACO, the Christian Council of Lesotho, Development for Peace

Education, GEM, the HCAG, the LCN, SARA and the TRC.

Not all the actors are directly involved in the water politics of the project (see

Table 10). Only 46 per cent of the 41 actors are directly involved. The rest,

53 per cent, are indirectly involved. The direct involvement stems from the fact that some interest groups constantly lobby the Lesotho and South African governments and the project authorities. Indirect involvement means that some interest groups would only from time to time sign a petition or letter, for

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198 instance, one that is distributed by another interest group. Of the interest groups, 34 per cent are directly involved and 49 per cent are indirectly involved.

Concerning the host countries of these interest groups, the majority are from

South Africa (24 per cent). Interest groups from the United Kingdom represent 23 per cent and from Lesotho and Canada 17 per cent; from the

United States 10 per cent; and from Germany, India, Italy and Switzerland three per cent each (see Appendix 5).

The type of interest group that has the largest representation (63 per cent) in the water politics of the LHWP is the associational (promotional) interest group, followed by the associational (sectional) interest group with 19 per cent. The four state actors (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa) have 10 per cent representation, although only Lesotho and South Africa are directly involved in the LHWP.

Table 10 also indicates the involvement of a number of Canadian trade unions concerned with the Project. When Phase 1A was completed in 1998, about 2

300 workers were laid-off. Canadian companies employed many of them.

The main reason for the involvement of the Canadian trade unions is their solidarity, with the laid-off workers, although another explanation for their involvement is the Canadian company, Acres International, bribing the previous LHDA’s chief executive officer (CEO), Masupha Sole (The Star, 28

September 1998: 2; The Star, 21 May 2002: 5; Sunday Independent, 26 May

2002: 1; Financial Post, 27 June 2002).

4. The Hydropolitical History of the Orange River

The hydropolitical history of the Orange River can be divided into three phases. The first of these deals with the period 1867 to 1956, when WRMPs started to appear in the Orange River basins. The second phase is concerned with the period 1956 to 1986. The third phase is from 1986 to

2004.

4.1. The Start of WRMPs: 1867-1956

Diamonds were discovered on the banks of the Orange River in 1867 and later at Kimberley in 1870. This was followed by the discovery of gold and the subsequent establishment of Johannesburg in 1886 in the Witwatersrand area. These events were significant for the utilisation of the water resources of the Orange and Vaal Rivers. They were trigger events, resulting in South

Africa’s hydraulic mission (Turton & Meissner, 2000: 39-40).

The discovery of minerals in the Orange River basin resulted in an influx of people to the mining centres and the establishment of markets. Water had to be supplied to these economic nodes. Furthermore, because South Africa was in the late nineteenth century still a predominantly agrarian society, irrigation projects were needed (Bath, 1999).

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In the late 1890s, some irrigation, for instance at Kakamas, was started in the

Orange River basin. After the establishment of the Union of South Africa, in

1910, A.D. Lewis, of the Department of Irrigation, did an extensive reconnaissance of the lower Orange River basin for the construction of more

WRMPs. Eighteen years later, Lewis proposed the development of a tunnel to transfer water from the Orange River to the drought-prone Eastern Cape.

This plan was the forerunner of the Orange River Project (ORP) that was implemented in the 1960s (Conley & van Niekerk, 1998: 145; Turton, 2003b:

143).

South Africa suffered a major drought from 1929 to 1931 and was at the time also in the grip of the Great Depression. Following these events, the

Department of Irrigation, on the instructions of the then prime minister, launched a number of nation-wide poverty-relief programmes. The main aim was to supply employment to so-called ‘poor whites’ and to implement irrigation projects to get agriculture on a sound footing (Conley & van Niekerk,

1998: 144; Turton, 2003b: 143).

These events and the reaction they invoked regarding the construction of

WRMPs can be seen as a fundamental component of the hydraulic mission.

During this phase large-scale labour-intensive irrigation and other WRMPs were implemented on the Orange and Vaal Rivers. The most notable of these is the ORP (Conley & van Niekerk, 1998: 144; Turton, 2003b: 143).

4.2. The LHWP: 1956-1986

The ORP was the first IBT to be built in South Africa, with construction starting in the late 1960s. Other IBTs were also implemented after the ORP, most notably the Tugela-Vaal Transfer Scheme in the 1960s and 1970s supplying water to the Vaal River system (RSA, 1962: 9-10; Conley & van Niekerk,

1998: 145; Turton, 2003b: 143). Shortly before the implementation of these

WRMPs, the LHWP was investigated by consulting engineers.

4.2.1. A New Idea and Political Issues

The LHWP originated from two main considerations, namely that the Vaal

Dam would not be able to meet growing water needs indefinitely, and that the

Lesotho Highlands are a potentially reliable source of water supply. In 1950 the UK High Commissioner to Lesotho, Sir Evelyn Baring, requested a survey of the water potential of the country. He realised that water was the only natural resource Lesotho had in abundance. Sir Peter Ballenden, Director of

Public Works, chose the engineer Ninham Shand to determine the viability of exporting Lesotho’s water (Brooks, 1970: 12; Van Robbroeck, 1986: 1; LHDA

& TCTA, 2001: 1).

Shand consequently published a plan, known as the Oxbow Scheme, to harness the upper reaches of the Senqu River and transport the water to the

Orange Free State gold mines. This project involved the construction of a

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200 high-altitude dam, a hydroelectric power station, and a tunnel trough the

Maluti Mountains. The plan was initially rejected, but in the mid-1960s, a drought caused renewed interest (Eksteen, 1972: 123; Van Robbroeck, 1986:

1; LHDA & TCTA, 2001: 1).

The original idea was to sell both water and electricity to South Africa. The reason for this was that Lesotho was still a poor and underdeveloped protectorate of the UK. It was therefore assumed that Lesotho and South

Africa would both benefit from the scheme. South Africa would get water to sustain gold production and Lesotho much needed development in the form of infrastructure (Smit, 1967a: 40; Smit, 1967b; Eksteen, 1972: 121). South

Africa’s participation was, therefore, crucial.

From its inception it was realised that the Scheme’s success would rest entirely on South Africa’s willingness to buy these commodities. Not only that, in 1956 the UK government declared that South Africa’s cooperation was necessary for the construction of Oxbow. However, South Africa did not give any guarantee to this effect. Because Lesotho was less developed than

South Africa, and because it would be impossible for the country to implement such a project unilaterally at a projected cost of R24 million, it would be essential for South Africa to become a partner in the venture (Eksteen, 1972:

121).

South Africa’s initial unwillingness

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to be a partner changed during the period

1966 to 1967. South African policy-makers then realised that the Vaal Dam’s capacity would be insufficient to continue providing water to the country’s economic heartland. The period 1966-67 was also a period of drought.

Consequently, in 1966, the South African government set up a Commission to look into the matter of alternative water resources and hydroelectricity from

Lesotho. The Commission concluded that it would be in South Africa’s best interest to implement the project, but that the country should not be solely dependent on water and electricity from Lesotho. The Scheme would only serve as a supplementary source of water (White, 1965: 264; Eksteen, 1972:

122). A water scarcity therefore prompted the South African government to consider alternative water sources. Yet, South Africa was still not willing to enter into a joint venture with Lesotho because of the dominant role played by politics.

A few political issues were identified that could jeopardise the Scheme:

• South Africa’s insistence on the incorporation of Basutoland (as Lesotho was then known) into the Republic;

• South Africa’s apartheid policy and the criticism it attracted;

• the Basutoland Congress Party’s (BCP) demand that territory, lost in the

Basotho Wars of the nineteenth century, be handed back; and

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This initial unwillingness was due to the Vaal River system not experiencing any water shortages at the time.

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• South Africa’s reluctance to be dependent on a foreign state for its water and electricity needs (Shand, 1956; Young, 1961: 227; Eksteen, 1972:

122; Barber & Barratt, 1990: 19).

Nonetheless, in March 1967 a preliminary feasibility study was presented to the Lesotho government. This study was conducted by Ninham Shand and

Partners in association with Merz and McLellan. Discussions on the proposal with the South African authorities resulted in substantial changes to the design of the project (Van Robbroeck, 1986: 1-2; Turton, 2003b: 145).

In the following decades, political issues, particularly apartheid, were to have a significant influence on the interaction between Lesotho and South Africa concerning the LHWP. These issues also defined South Africa’s security concerns over the Project. The question of South Africa’s apartheid policy was, before Lesotho’s independence, already the proverbial thorn in

Lesotho’s side. The then Minister of Economic Development, Charles

Molapo, stated that if South Africa should buy water and electricity from the

Oxbow Scheme, it would change Lesotho’s economy drastically. Despite this, he also declared that Lesotho was afraid that if South Africa acquired a hold on Lesotho’s economy, it would impose its apartheid policy on it (Eksteen,

1972: 122-123).

4.2.2. Independence and Cooperation

After Lesotho gained independence in October 1966, premier Lebaua

Jonathan announced that the Oxbow Scheme was a high priority on his country’s development list. In fact, Jonathan stated that if the scheme were to be implemented, Lesotho’s budget would show a positive balance for the first time. Subsequently, negotiations between Lesotho and South Africa took place and, on 23 February 1968, Jonathan announced that an agreement in principle was reached. Both countries hailed this step as the beginning of a long-term positive relationship (Smit, 1967b: 298; Eksteen, 1972: 123, 124).

Construction of the Scheme did not start immediately; because South Africa was implementing the Tugela-Vaal Scheme and South Africa was not ready and willing to be dependant on water and electricity from an ‘unreliable state’

(Barber & Barratt, 1990:129). Already the hydraulic mission was hampered more by political circumstances than insufficient technical and human resources.

For instance, negotiations on the implementation of the 1966 proposal between Lesotho and South Africa, assisted by the World Bank, failed to produce an agreement, and were terminated at the end of 1972. Van

Robbroeck (1986:2) commented as follow on this: ‘The reason for this failure was the vastly different perceptions the two countries had on the Royalty to be paid for the water. The RSA originally (in 1968) offered a tantieme of 0,5c/m³, which was later raised to 1,25c/m³, over and above the full cost of water production. Lesotho on the other hand, as advised by the World Bank, wanted a return of [eight per cent] per annum on capital invested. The RSA

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202 argued that this was unreasonable, because Lesotho did not put up equity, but relied on loans, which were fully serviced by the RSA’.

In addition, South Africa could increase the capacity of the Tugela-Vaal at a much lower capital cost. This was due to the provisions made for extensions of the first phase of the Tugela-Vaal Transfer Scheme, in the form of the

Sterkfontein Dam, that would meet the water demands of the Vaal consumers until 1992 (Van Robbroeck, 1986: 3). Nonetheless, future political relations would have a greater impact on the LHWP than engineering solutions.

4.2.3. Worsening Relations

In the early to mid-1970s, relations between South Africa and Lesotho started to deteriorate. In 1975, the Vorster-government classified Lesotho ‘an extremist state’. Even so, negotiations on the LHWP were re-opened, but because of the 1976 political upheavals in South Africa, talks were suspended. Between 1976 and 1978, the Project came to a virtual halt with

South Africa unwilling to pay the full price of the water. It wanted a 50 per cent discount, but Iran

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convinced it to pay the price Lesotho was asking and the dispute ended (African Research Bulletin, 15 July - 14 August 1977: 4357;

Wilsenach, 1982: 104; Van Robbroeck, 1986: 3; Barber & Barratt, 1990: 130;

Meissner, 1998: 49-50).

In 1978, the LHWP was revived, but the two governments still disagreed on a few issues. This new initiative commenced when the Planning Division of the

Department of Water Affairs (DWA) produced an internal report, recommending that the Upper Orange be considered a source of water for the

Vaal River. A larger scale development project was now feasible, considering the exponential nature of the demand growth for water and the time lapsed since the Oxbow Scheme was initially advanced. At this stage, analysts also pointed to the economic interdependence of the countries, regarding the

Project (Wilsenach, 1982: 104; Van Robbroeck, 1986: 3; Turton, 2003b: 145).

Henry Olivier and Associates, consulting engineers, were appointed to carry out some desk studies, following which discussions with Lesotho were reopened. This was in line with the earlier agreement, following the political events of 1976, that a joint preliminary feasibility investigation be launched.

Each country was to appoint its own consultants, under the direction of a Joint

Technical Committee (JTC) that held its first meeting in 1978 (Van

Robbroeck, 1986: 3).

Henry Olivier and Associates and Binnie and Partners (on behalf of Lesotho) were instructed to collaborate in the production of a joint preliminary feasibility report. Lesotho insisted on two conditions, namely that all layouts considered were to include hydroelectric power development in Lesotho itself and that no

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Before the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Iran was one of South Africa’s largest trading partners and one of the potential financiers of the LHWP (African Research Bulletin, 15 July-14 August

1977: 4357).

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203 layouts were to involve storage capacities on the Caledon River (Van

Robbroeck, 1986: 3-4). This was one of the first concrete indications that

Lesotho wanted to utilise the Project for its political advantage as well.

These conditions had an important impact on the outcome of the study. In

May 1979, the JTC produced a preliminary feasibility report on the strength of which it was decided to proceed with a final feasibility study. Each country was to contribute half the cost to the study (Van Robbroeck, 1986: 3-4).

Cooperation was unfortunately inhibited due to the discord that prevailed between the countries.

4.2.4. The Feasibility Study

According to Van Robbroeck (1986: 4), ‘[i]t took Lesotho a considerable time to mobilise funds for its share of the cost of the feasibility study. Although it had provisionally been agreed to establish a joint body to appoint joint consultants, conditions attached to the funding aquired [sic] by Lesotho from the European Development Fund prevented this, and a complicated arrangement had to be devised for co-ordinating and supervising the study’.

Irrespective of this ‘complicated arrangement’, a satisfactory result was achieved. This bore testimony to the goodwill and negotiating skills on both sides. It was never necessary to take disputes between the consulting engineers to government level. Meetings at these levels were only held at the particular stages when important policy decisions were required. The mobilisation of the study teams started in August 1983 (Van Robbroeck, 1986:

4).

The study was conducted in two stages. Stage 1 was the identification of the layout, to be studied in detail in Stage 2. The first stage was to confirm that there were no insurmountable socio-environmental or legal barriers. It was also to establish that the benefits would be sufficient for both countries to continue with the study. The study was concluded in December 1985 and the results published in the final report in April 1986. The report consists of a

Main Report and a number of Supporting Reports, namely:

• Hydrology Studies.

• Geotechnical and Construction Materials Studies.

• Environmental and Social Impact in Lesotho.

• Topographical Surveys and Mapping.

• Management and Manpower Studies.

• Legal Studies in Lesotho.

• Infrastructure.

• Design Studies.

• Project Cost Studies.

• Economic and Financial Appraisal (Van Robbroeck, 1986: 4-7).

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Regarding the socio-environmental impact, the report concluded that the main impact would be the loss of some 4 000 ha of arable land and 18 700 ha of

365 people would have to be resettled.

Nevertheless, according to the report the extra employment, new and improved infrastructure, fisheries and tourism, and the distribution of the additional income from water sales in the Lesotho economy would more than offset the negative impact (Van Robbroeck, 1986: 11).

On institutional arrangements, the Report recommended that a parastatal authority be established in each country, responsible for all the works within its own territory (LHDA and TCTA). The reason for this arrangement was the disproportionate size of the project to Lesotho’s economy, and the fact that it was considered inappropriate for a bi-national agency to implement, maintain and operate a project of this magnitude and scope. Furthermore, and because the Vaal River water users would pay most of the cost, it was deemed necessary to establish a joint agency for monitoring the Project with certain powers of approval. Each country was to have equal representation on the LHWC (Van Robbroeck, 1986: 11; Vorster, 1987-1988: 116; RSA,

1989: 1, 3; Meissner, 2000e: 27; Turton, 2003: 146).

The consultants also prepared a draft Treaty

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. This Treaty contained the agreement reached at the technical level. The Treaty was extensively reviewed and revised by the legal staff of the Departments of Foreign Affairs of both countries. The Treaty, inter alia, stipulated that the benefits of the project would be divided 56-44 in Lesotho’s favour. This meant that, expressed in 1986 values, by January 1995 and using 1985 prices, Lesotho would receive an estimated R1.297 billion in royalties per year (Van

Robbroeck, 1986: 11). Nevertheless, it was not always easy to organise the institutional arrangements contained in the LHWP Treaty.

4.2.5. Macro Conflict and Micro Cooperation

The inter-state conflict situation between the two countries reached an apex in

December 1982, after South Africa launched an attack against the African

National Congress (ANC) in Lesotho. In 1983, Lesotho threatened to withhold water from the Project if South African military involvement continued and

Lesotho maintained that it would suspend any form of cooperation concerning the Project (Die Vaderland, 16 March, 1983: 3; Sullivan, 1989: 208). This was before the implementation of the Project, and an indication of the impact of the macro conflict between Lesotho and South Africa.

With military intervention by South Africa in mind, Lesotho demanded that a clause be written into the LHWP Treaty wherein Lesotho could shut off water in case of a political dispute. Lesotho argued that because it would deliver the water, it could also control the source. To give South Africa some reassurance, Lesotho indicated that it would inform South Africa before such

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Treaty on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project between the Government of the Republic of

South Africa and the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho

.

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205 a cut-off. South Africa was dissatisfied with this assurance, and demanded an uninterrupted flow in turn. South Africa also threatened Lesotho that if it should rescind on any undertaking given in a future agreement on water transfers, such a breach would constitute a right to military intervention (The

Daily News, 16 April 1983: 7).

South Africa was unable to obtain such a guarantee and the negotiations over the water came to a halt (The Star, 12 August 1986: 11). Both South Africa and Lesotho thus used the LHWP for political gains: Lesotho to get an assurance that its territorial integrity and sovereignty would not be violated and South Africa to ensure that it would receive an uninterrupted water supply. Nonetheless, the mere fact that Lesotho controlled the source of the water put the country in a powerful position to influence South Africa’s behaviour.

Notwithstanding these political undertones, planning for the LHWP continued from August 1983 to August 1986 (Showers, 1996: 12). During 1984, the situation concerning the LHWP was still tense despite (micro) technical cooperation. This was due to South Africa’s unhappiness with ANC members residing in Lesotho; the presence in Maseru of embassies from East bloc countries; Lesotho’s criticism of apartheid; and South Africa’s assistance to the Lesotho National Liberation Army (LNLA). South Africa demanded that

Lesotho enter into a security agreement with South Africa, but Lesotho declined (Barber & Barratt, 1990: 318).

In response, South Africa threatened to withdraw from the LHWP if the security situation did not improve. The viewpoint held by Lesotho was that the

LHWP had nothing to do with such a treaty. South Africa, on the other hand, indicated that sabotage of the project was a possibility (The Star, 19 May

1984: 2; Rand Daily Mail, 19 September 1984: 3; The Cape Times, 22

September 1984: 2).

The incentive of the LHWP became an important diplomatic tool for South

Africa in an attempt to obtain concessions from Lesotho. Thus, the Project was used to improve South Africa’s external security position. This indicated that South Africa was still not willing to place itself in a position whereby its economic heartland would be vulnerable to decisions made by one of its

‘enemies’ (Leistner, 1984: 113), and thereby also jeopardising South Africa’s economic security. At the time, the LHWP was, therefore, seen as both a source of socio-economic development and a security concern. ‘High’ political concerns were, however, not the only issues to impact on the situation, as subsequent events indicated.

On 21 September 1984 negotiations took place between Lesotho and South

Africa in Cape Town. After the meeting, the feasibility study of the LHWP was restarted following the pull-out of South African engineers from the study earlier that year. The security argument was still high on South Africa’s agenda. South Africa, for example, still insisted that it would not sign the

Treaty without an integrated security arrangement and that Lesotho should

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206 get rid of ‘political problems’, like the ANC. South Africa still believed that it could not trust Lesotho with the physical security of the Project. The rationale behind this insistence was the detrimental experience it had with the

Calueque Scheme on the Kunene River in August 1975 (Die Burger, 22

September 1984: 5; Sunday Express, 7 October 1984: 1; Beeld, 9 October

1984: 14; Die Vaderland, 11 October 1984: 10; Meissner, 2000d: 111).

The security situation of South Africa was, in 1984, still the most important issue. At a National Party (NP) congress the then Prime Minister of South

Africa, P.W. Botha, stated that it was difficult for South Africa to commence with the LHWP because of Lesotho’s insensitivity towards South Africa’s security needs (Coetzee, 1984: 132; Leistner, 1984: 113). The development of the LHWP was, therefore, dependent on the bilateral relations between the two states (Coetzee, 1984: 132). Throughout the 1980s, South Africa thus linked the LHWP to the issue of security. If Lesotho signed a security treaty with South Africa, it would have had a positive impact on the latter’s regional security climate.

The proverbial last straw regarding South Africa’s relations with Lesotho was the opening of the Cuban embassy in Maseru and continuous support given to the ANC by the Jonathan government. Late in 1985, South Africa imposed an economic blockade on Lesotho (Tsikoane, 1990: 117). This had a significant although negative impact on Lesotho’s internal political situation because the following year the Jonathan government was toppled in a coup

d’état

.

4.2.6. Coup d’état and the LHWP Treaty

On 16 January 1986, Gen. Maj. Lekhanya staged a coup d’état, toppling the

Jonathan government. It was alleged that South Africa was the main instigator of the coup, especially following evidence that South African officials had met with Lekhanya on 17 January 1986. In spite of the meeting having taken place, it could not be proved that South Africa was directly involved

(The Economist, 25 January 1986: 41; Baynham & Mills, 1987: 52; Sullivan,

1989: 209).

The coup was a watershed in the relations between South Africa and Lesotho, not only over the broad spectrum of political issues, but also regarding the

LHWP. An ‘unfriendly’ government was removed and replaced with a more compliant one. With the political ‘problem’ out of the way, the Project could be implemented as part of South Africa’s ongoing hydraulic mission.

After the coup, relations between the two governments improved, especially on security and economic matters. Lesotho expatriated most of the ANC’s members and broke off diplomatic ties with communist countries. This improved political environment culminated in the signing of the LHWP Treaty

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Treaty on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project between the Government of the Republic of

South Africa and the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho

.

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207 on 24 October 1986 (Treaty, 1986; Beijing Review, 10 February 1986: 11;

Thabane, 2000: 634). The Treaty was important for South Africa, assisting it to break out of its isolation mould. It was the first international treaty South

Africa signed after the Nkomati Accord in 1984 with Mozambique and the

Lusaka Agreement

with Angola that same year (Barratt, 1985: 417; Barber &

Barratt, 1990: 294).

According to the South African government, it also showed the rest of

Southern Africa that to cooperate with South Africa could produce positive results. The signing of the Treaty can be seen as a reward from South Africa to Lesotho for complying with South Africa’s wishes regarding the issues of the ANC and communist bloc embassies (Sullivan, 1989: 209). It was therefore also a good public relations exercise for an internationally ostracised

South Africa.

After the signing, a series of feasibility studies were undertaken. This was to secure ‘the services of engineers, natural and social scientists to investigate and report on ways in which the construction of dams and related infrastructure was going to affect people and the environment in the designated areas’ (Thabane, 2000: 634).

4.3. Improved Relations and Implementation: 1986-2003

From 1986 onwards, bilateral relations kept on improving as the Project was implemented. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the 2 February 1990

De Klerk-speech, the entire SADC region saw a melt-down of hostilities, at least in some areas. In 1992, South Africa and Lesotho established diplomatic relations and in March 1993 the military government in Lesotho was replaced by a civilian one. Following the general election of April 1993 in

Lesotho, Vincent Mokhele was sworn in as Prime Minister. He immediately committed his country to good relations with South Africa and the development of Lesotho’s economy. He was of the opinion that within this political and economic framework, the LHWP would be of paramount importance (Beeld, 31 March 1993: 15).

During the period 1993 to 2003, the general bilateral relations between South

Africa and Lesotho were characterised by growing cooperation over the

Project. Collaboration was further strengthened by the ongoing political reforms in South Africa and the election of the ANC as the ruling party.

Paradoxically, during South Africa’s apartheid era the ANC was against the

LHWP, for political reasons. In particular, it saw the Project as a ‘domination instrument’ of South Africa in the Southern African region (The Citizen, 16

November 1994: 13; Business Day, 23 January 1998: 9) and as a bargaining instrument of South Africa to gain leverage over Lesotho’s Jonathan government and to put pressure on Lesotho to get rid of the ANC and communist bloc embassies. After the 1994 elections, the ANC as the ruling party changed its position and started to support the LHWP on account of the benefits the Project would have for both countries.

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On 22 January 1998, Phase 1A of the LHWP was put in operation. At the opening ceremony, South Africa’s President Nelson Mandela and Lesotho’s

King Letsie III commissioned the official transfer of water to South Africa.

Namibia’s President Sam Nujoma and Botswana’s President Sir Ketumile

Masire also graced the ceremony with their presence (Sowetan, 22 January

1998: 23; Die Volksblad, 23 January 1998: 1; TCTA & LHDA, 2001: 2).

A year later, the Muela hydropower station was commissioned. Of Phase 1B, the Matsoku Weir and the transfer tunnels from Matsoku to Mohale and Katse were enabled in October 2001 (TCTA & LHDA, 2001: 2). In February 1998, the South African government had decided, in conjunction with Lesotho to proceed with the rest of Phase 1B. The government claimed that it would save R500 million through this decision, which was supported by the World

Bank. Bank staff concluded that only a lengthy delay could theoretically save any money on the project. However, this would come at an unacceptable risk of economically crippling water shortages in Gauteng by the second decade of the twenty first century (Business Day, 25 March 1998: 3; The Star, 25

February 1998: 3). Later that year, an event would take place that would lead to renewed interest in Lesotho’s internal political affairs and the LHWP.

4.3.1. Operation Boleas

In September 1998 South Africa, under the auspices of SADC, was involved in Operation Boleas, together with Botswana, to quell a military rebellion in

Lesotho. After the 1998 SADC involvement in Lesotho, speculation and even outright accusations were rife, to the effect that the incursion was for one reason, and one reason only—water (The Economist, 26 September 1998:

49; Saturday Star, 7 November, 1998: 11).

The reason for the involvement of SADC—and especially of South Africa— was not purely for water, but to stabilise an unstable state that had fallen victim to its own politicians’ selfish endeavours. In other words, the decision by SADC to become involved in Lesotho was to prevent a democratically elected government from being overthrown by means of a military coup. In essence, the involvement was for the purposes of altering the authority structures of Lesotho, to influence the balance of domestic forces and to neutralise the destabilising influence of the Lesotho army.

Even so, relations between South Africa and Lesotho over the LHWP were not soured by the incident. This is an indication that, although it might seem that countries are in conflict with each other (which was not the case regarding the SADC military involvement in Lesotho), they can and will cooperate over water resources of international importance. Other, more conspicuous, aspects would have an impact on the interaction of the different role players.

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4.3.2. The World Bank Threatens to Withdraw Financial Support

In November 1998 the World Bank delayed the signing of a US$45 million loan for Phase 1B. It also threatened to withdraw a loan agreement of

US$1.5 bn. This came after the Bank indicated it would take these drastic measures if compensation claims by Highland villagers and project governance issues were not resolved, according to sources that worked closely with the project. The World Bank and project planners, on the other hand, stated that the Bank would not withdraw financial support for the

Project. These sources said that the Bank had presented a list of additional conditions before the loan could be signed. These were as follows: the appointment of Bank approved personnel to development teams in the

Highlands; the submission of a plan to ensure the compensation of all villagers affected by the project; and the construction of new housing for villagers who lost their houses during Phase 1A of the project (The Star, 26

November 1998: 1).

This was the second time the Bank presented the LHWP authorities with such an ultimatum in two years. In 1996, it also threatened to withdraw its support unless the LHDA attended to the backlog of compensation claims (The Star,

26 November 1998: 1). A more positive development within the Orange River basin would follow two years later.

4.3.3. The River Commission

On 3 November 2000, the basin states took a major step towards regional cooperation and coordination in the utilisation of the Orange River’s water resources, with the signing of an agreement establishing the Orange-Senqu

River Commission (DWAF, 2000).

The Commission’s purposes were to develop a comprehensive perspective on the Orange River basin; to study the present and planned future uses of the river system; and to determine the requirements for flow monitoring and flood management. It was tasked to give advice to the Botswana, Lesotho,

Namibian and South African governments on technical matters regarding the equitable utilisation of the system’s water resources. One of its first assignments was a joint assessment of all the resources and uses of the entire basin (DWAF, 2000).

The planning process to establish the Commission was not without political manoeuvring. Initially South Africa did not want Botswana to be included in the Commission because in living memory it did not contribute any significant water to the flow of the river. Botswana rebutted by stating that this was not the case and it should be part of the Commission. Botswana was supported by Namibia and Lesotho. South Africa changed its stance and agreed to

Botswana’s inclusion (F.A. Stoffberg, personal communication, 10 November

1997).

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Lesotho and Namibia supported Botswana in its claim in an effort to minimise

South Africa’s political dominance of the basin. South Africa is, after all, the upper riparian in the Vaal River and the middle riparian in the Orange

(Meissner, 1998: 63). The establishment and operations of the Commission were, however, overshadowed by a more controversial episode in the

Project’s history.

4.3.4. Corruption

On 20 May 2002, Masupha Sole, former CEO of the LHDA was convicted on

13 counts of bribery. He accepted bribes from international firms based in the

US, the UK, Canada, Italy, France and Germany. In return, he granted them lucrative contracts for the Project. Judge Brendon Cullinan, under Lesotho’s jurisdiction, found that as the CEO and an engineer, Sole knew the sources and purpose of the payments made to his accounts at banks in Lesotho,

Zurich and Ladybrand (South Africa) through intermediaries. Sole was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment (The Star, 21 May 2002: 5; Financial

Post, 27 June 2002; The Economist, 21 September 2002: 73).

Sole received US$350 000 from the Highlands Water Venture consortium, consisting of Impregilo (Italy), Hochtief (Germany), Bouygues (France),

Stirling and Kier International (UK) and Concor and Group 5 (South Africa).

Other civil engineering and construction firms involved included: ABB, a

Swedish and Swiss consortium; ACPM (Lesotho); Cegelec, a partner that included CGE-Alstom and General Electric; Coyne et Bellier; Sogreah and

Spie Batignolles (France); Lahmeyer International and Asea Brown Boveri

Schaltanlagen (Germany); Asea Brown Boveri Generation (Sweden); Acres

International (Canada); Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners and Belfour Beatty

(UK); and the Universal Development Corporation and Electro Power

Corporation (Panama) (Sunday Independent, 26 May 2002: 1; Sunday

Independent, 22 December 2002: 13).

According to the Financial Post (27 June 2002), Acres International played the largest role in the corruption saga. Count 9 in the charge sheet involved 20 payments by the company into Swiss Bank accounts over a period of six years. The company denied all involvement in the affair despite it standing trial in a separate case. It was found guilty and its appeal overturned

(National Post, 23 August 2003). Less than a year after Sole’s conviction,

Phase 1A and B would be completed.

4.3.5. Completion of Mohale Dam

Notwithstanding the corruption saga still haunting the Project, the Mohale

Dam was completed in January 2003. The completion of the dam formed the end of the construction of Phase 1B. Subsequent phases of the LHWP are still under consideration, but any decision to proceed is likely to be somewhat later than originally envisaged due to a reduced water demand (Business

Day, 24 January 2003: 3; Die Volksblad, 24 January 2003: 3; P. Pyke, personal communication, 18 December 2003).

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Construction on the Mohale Dam and its transfer tunnel to the Katse Dam started in 1998. Plans to construct further dams, tunnels and weirs have been shelved for now. Willie Croucamp, Director of International Projects at DWAF, states that the water being delivered is sufficient for South Africa beyond

2020. He indicates that: ‘It is clear that there is no need for further construction in the immediate future. The decision to implement further phases has been postponed’. The Project is now maintained by the LHDA and TCTA and the two Authorities have started with development projects.

This is seen by the World Bank and other development agencies as the main test for the Project. From the royalties a number of projects will commence including skills and economic development and the promotion of agriculture

(Business Day, 24 January 2003: 3; Die Volksblad, 24 January 2003: 3).

This is not to say that the bilateral cooperation between Lesotho and South

Africa on the Project is over. It is rather the start of a new phase. Moreover, it does not mean that only a political relationship exists between the basin states and development institutions; interest groups are also part of the political process.

From 1956 to 1986, the two governments, together with their respective officials, were the main role players in the LHWP’s water politics. This was in line with the realist perspective of world politics then prevailing. This changed with the transnational role played by and the involvement of interest groups.

Although MNCs were important actors in the implementation of the Project, they only played a role insofar as to assist the governments in implementing the LHWP. The nature of the political interaction between governments and

MNCs is usually stable and highly predictable. Timetables are kept and there is a strict adherence to budget limits. The public relations aspect of the project is also fine-tuned and reports are made available in the popular press and other printed and electronic media formats. This is to keep the public abreast on progress. The political environment is therefore ‘smooth’, reliable and without any turbulence and outside noise, unless corruption surfaces.

This changes as soon as opposition to a project or part thereof arises, and this happened with the LHWP, with interest groups responsible for most of the clutter and turbulence.

5. Interest Group Involvement: 1985-2003

Interest groups were involved in the water politics of the LHWP before construction even started. This section explores their involvement, starting with the issues generated by the Project. These interest groups interacted with a number of entities, like the World Bank and the government of South

Africa, in an endeavour to have it deferred, halted or for the proper implementation of the compensation policy.

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5.1. Issue Areas

Table 11 indicates a plethora, not to say surfeit of issues articulated by the interest groups. What is also of importance is the history of their involvement and the roles they played in upsetting the predictable and stable environment of the decision-makers, financial institutions and engineering contractors involved in the Project.

Table 11. Issues and related aspects articulated by the interest groups.

Issue(s) Articulated

Water losses and higher water tariffs in the

Rand Water distribution area.

Resettlement of Lesotho Highland communities. funding for the Project.

According to interest groups, this is a traumatic experience for these communities.

Compensation for lost land and other assets. The cash compensation package should be improved because there is an undervaluation of lost gardens and trees by a factor of ten.

Environmental impact.

Interest group argument(s)

Interest groups are concerned that DWAF will be lax in providing education on the merits of water conservation in its haste to recover

Loss of resources.

Downstream habitats will be adversely affected by the LHWP. The fish resources and ecology of the Project area have also not been mapped.

There is a negative impact on the quantity

Impact due to construction.

Dam safety. and quality of the natural resources in the

Project area, for instance pastureland decreased by 5 000 ha due to the construction of the Katse, Muela and Mohale

Dams.

Because of construction activities, like blasting, drilling and road construction, springs and wells have dried up and villagers are forced to travel long distances to collect water.

Drowning, of humans and livestock in the

Katse reservoir is a common occurrence.

Impact downstream of the project.

Social impact.

Cultural impact.

About 150 000 people are negatively affected by reduced water flows in the Orange River.

Social traumas include: shanty towns, rising food prices, an increased crime rate, a higher risk of sexually transmitted diseases— including HIV/AIDS, shebeens (unlicensed establishments selling alcoholic liquor) and prostitution. This was mostly the result of the influx of work seekers into the Project area.

The Katse Dam destroyed the local rain maker’s ritual site, the Zionist congregation in

Ha Theko lost their baptism pool and the rain-attracting stone of Ha Tsepo was also lost due to reservoir inundation.

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Sources

: Business Day, 19 March 1998: 14; Internet: Coverdale & Pottinger,

1996; Archer, 1996: 4, 10-11; Internet: Pottinger, 1996b; Horta, 1996: 15;

Internet: IRN, 2001a; Hoover, 2001: 5, 7-9, 10, 11-12; 13-15; FIVAS, 2002.

5.2. The Role and Involvement of Interest Groups

In 1985, a year before the signing of the Treaty, the Mennonite Central

Committee (MCC) placed two field workers in the central project area for monitoring purposes. This was the start of interest group involvement in the water politics of the LHWP. Two days before the signing of the Treaty,

President Samora Machel of Mozambique died when his presidential plane crashed on South African soil. Students from the National University of

Lesotho reacted to his death by attempting to stage a demonstration in the capital Maseru. This demonstration was to coincide with and to disrupt the signing of the Treaty. Police intervened and broke it up and the demonstration failed (Internet: Khits’ane, 1997; Thabane, 2000: 634). After the attempted demonstration, there was a lull in interest group activity for about 17 months.

In April 1988, a workshop was organised by the TRC at the request of the heads of churches in Lesotho. Part of the workshop dealt with the LHWP and many of the participants had close contact with the communities to be affected by the Project. The workshop anticipated some of the socio-political, economic and environmental problems likely to impact on the communities living in the Project area. At the workshop a representative committee was elected to draw up recommendations with the affected communities. These recommendations were directed by the Heads of Churches of Lesotho and presented to the Lesotho government. Consequently, a loose coalition of activists was formed to deal with the issues surrounding the communities to be affected (Internet: Khits’ane, 1997). The churches played an important part in the establishment of this coalition, for they had a long-standing relationship with the Basotho and a good reputation in Lesotho, dating back to the 1800s.

Since 1988, a number of local and international interest groups, such as the

MCC and TRC, lobbied the respective governments, the LHDA and TCTA and the World Bank to halt construction of the Project, to implement alternatives and to improve compensation. They also continued with the monitoring of the

Project and its impact. These interest groups hailed from different backgrounds, for example from associational (promotional) to communal. The alternatives suggested were mainly in the form of water demand management

(WDM) in Gauteng, based on the arguments of the interest groups that water savings in the province would make the Project obsolete (Archer, 1996;

Meissner, 2000f: 25).

This, however, was not their only concern. In its quarterly journal, World

Rivers Review

, the IRN noted in 1994 that the water Transfer Tunnel North had to be entirely lined with concrete. This raised the cost of the project by a further R250 million and caused a delay of one year (Internet: Coleman,

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1994). Publishing an article on this, the interest group attempted to articulate that the project was not as well planned as initially thought. It therefore portrayed a negative image of the Project, to help sway people’s opinion against it. Nonetheless, monitoring would form an important part of interest group involvement for the years to come.

In January and October 1994, Robert Archer of Christian Aid toured the

Project and produced a report emphasising three concerns: the poor relationship between the Highlands communities and the governments and

Project authorities; the delayed implementation of the Project’s compensation and development programme by the LHDA; and the difficulty the Project will face in Phase 1B if acceptable alternative land is not found for the displaced

(Archer, 1996: 51).

From 8 to 28 November 1996, Christian Aid and Oxfam, the HCAG, and the

Christian Council of Lesotho visited the LHWP. The group was assisted by other interest groups or NGOs that work in the Project area or have an interest therein, namely the Lesotho Council of NGOs, the MCC, the TRC, the

Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and GEM (Archer, 1996: 2, 3).

The purpose was to ‘examine the LHWP’s compensation programmes and other policy issues and also assessed opportunities to establish incomegenerating or development projects in the LHWP area’ (Archer, 1996: 3).

Consequently a report was published wherein the objectives and recommendations of the interest groups were outlined (to be discussed in more detail with reference to actor interaction). Nonetheless, the visit was an indication of the seriousness with which the interest groups viewed the

Project’s impact on the Lesotho Highlanders. This was further exemplified when the Katse Dam’s sluice gates were closed in 1995 and the response it invoked.

This event came only two weeks after Moea Ramokoatsi, a representative of the HCAG, met with World Bank officials in Washington D.C. The purpose of the meeting was to request that the gates remain open until the Project’s critical unresolved problems were addressed (Internet: Coleman, 1995b).

Ramokoatsi was joined by representatives from the IRN, ED (based in

Washington) and the MCC. Ramokoatsi also met with officials of the United

States Treasury Department and other agencies involved in the Project. The meeting’s purpose was to register a list of complaints from people living near the dam. She requested that plans for Phase 1B be postponed until critical issues originating from the completed Phase 1A, affecting 20 000 people, were resolved. These issues included deteriorating health conditions and inadequate compensation (Internet: Coleman, 1995b).

Campaigning against the LHWP continued in 1996, when DWAF reported that it might have to halt its involvement in the Project after the first Phase (1A and

B) was completed. This was greeted by the interest groups, in particular the

IRN, as good news. Pottinger wrote that the LHWP was therefore ‘a pipe dream of over-eager engineers’. She also stated: ‘As often the case with

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215 hurriedly planned water projects in meteorologically unpredictable arid regions, the hydrological estimates were wrong: there isn’t enough water to fill the planned dams, and as a result there is a lot less money for Lesotho’

(Internet: Pottinger, 1996b; Hoover, 2001: 7-9). These statements are an indication of divergent resource use perceptions of the various interest groups, engineers and governments benefiting from the WRMP.

The interest groups were not only engaging the then South African government, but they were also finding fault with the way the decision to proceed with the project was taken. Horta (1996: 20) was of the opinion that

‘many project-related decisions are being made by the apartheid-era bureaucracy which remains entrenched in South Africa. The apartheid-era planners of the Lesotho Highlands Project were concerned about a reliable supply of water for industrial growth. An adequate supply of safe water for the disenfranchised black majority of the country was not a high priority’. She also said that the South African government, although it was providing access to clean water to all, could implement alternatives to the LHWP. These included WDM and water savings by industries (Horta, 1996: 19). Linking the

LHWP with apartheid was an effective way of getting a message across. The

Project was linked to a highly controversial policy—apartheid, thereby linking it to the discourse of exclusion and ostracism. Moreover, the interest groups were not merely against the LHWP, but alternatives were also proposed. This is a normal response when a policy is opposed and was also the case in the aftermath of labour unrest on one of the Project sites.

On 14 September 1996, labour unrest broke out at a construction site near

Mohale. According to the IRN, ‘[a]t least five workers were shot dead and some 30 injured’ during the incident. The interest group said that the unrest broke out because of the unequal treatment of Basotho workers compared to those from other countries; the police harassment of workers; the dismantling of negotiation structures set up between the contractors and the local workers’ union; and the beating of workers who earlier stole cement from the project site. The coalition of interest groups (consisting of the IRN, ED and EMG, amongst others) called on the World Bank to use its good offices to coerce the Lesotho government and the LHDA to take proper measures regarding the incident (Internet: Pottinger, 1996b; Meissner, 2000f: 26). This is an important indication of the transnational role and involvement of interest groups. A global development institution is lobbied by interest groups from the US (the IRN and ED) to intervene in the domestic politics of a developing

African country. Not only were there interest groups from the outer periphery that actively lobbied various actors in the international political environment involved, but local interest groups were also hard at work.

Before construction commenced on the Mohale Dam in 1997, villagers from

Ha Nqheku filed a lawsuit against the LHDA in the Lesotho High Court. The villagers’ argument was that the LHDA was violating national laws regarding the seizure of land. The lawsuit stated that the village’s fields, trees and water supply were negatively affected by construction work. Yet, this does not seem to have been the real issue. The LHDA did not register the names of

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216 property owners in a ‘book of reference’ as required by Lesotho law and the

Project’s own legal documents. The claimants asked the court to ‘declare the operations of the Project a violation of [their] rights’ and directed the LHDA to make the books of reference available, or to stop construction if the Project authorities refused. They also questioned the legality of the project’s 1990 compensation regulations and asked the court to ‘direct the authority to submit its accounts dealing with compensation to be inspected by [their] representatives’ (Internet: Pottinger, 1997b). Superficially it appeared as if the villagers in the Lesotho Highlands did not have access to huge amounts of financial and human resources and perceivably power. Their lawsuit is an indication to the contrary. It was also an indication that they were assisted by other interest groups (IRN and ED, for instance), from a liberal-democratic settings, like Canada or the United States, who transferred their knowledge of legal procedures to these communal interest groups.

In January 1998, after the commissioning of Phase 1A, interest groups became more vociferous in questioning the South African government’s determination to continue with further Phases (Business Day, 19 March 1998:

14). Thus, as the Project’s first Phase was completed the lobbying intensified because of the importance of the first event and the media attention it received.

On 22 January 1998, a number of interest groups released a statement, calling on the South African and Lesotho governments to halt further development of the LHWP until ‘outstanding social, environmental and economic concerns’ were resolved. The interest groups included GEM, ACO, the Soweto branch of the SA National Civics Organisation (NCO), ELA, the

Environmental Justice Networking Forum (EJNF), HCAG and the IRN

(Business Day, 23 January, 1998: 4).

The interest groups claimed that about 2 000 people displaced by the Katse

Dam had not been compensated and that both Lesotho and South Africa had also failed to address ecological matters. These ecological concerns included the impact of reduced river flows on local fish populations, the effects of the manipulation of the natural flow canals, the project’s impact on Namibia, the hampering of water conservation by imminent increases in water supply costs.

They also stated that an EIA had not been completed before Phase 1A commenced, which was contrary to international law and professional standards (Business Day, 23 January, 1998: 4; Internet: IPS, 30 January

1998: 1).

The interest groups also objected to Phase 1B, particularly the construction of the Mohale Dam. They argued that this Phase would seriously undermine creative management efforts on the part of DWAF and Rand Water to increase equity and efficiency in Gauteng and Southern Africa. Such efforts include education, the introduction of water-saving products like dual-flush toilets, tariff reform, and fixing leaks and plumbing systems, in other words

WDM. The groups moreover maintained that Phase 1B would increase water supply costs which would be passed onto the consumer (Business Day, 23

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January, 1998: 4). Therefore, a risk discourse was introduced to coincide with the increased media attention.

In a letter to the Business Day, Richard Sherman from GEM reiterated the

‘grave concerns on ecological, social and economic grounds’ of the project.

He indicated that they had made their position clear about the LHWP. From

1996 to 1997 a number of conferences and workshops were held by GEM to debate the issue. These had been attended by officials of government, the

World Bank, the DBSA and Rand Water. Sherman also wrote: ‘A mountain of correspondence testifies to the well informed and urgent debate over whether the people of Lesotho have been treated properly; whether the regional ecology can stand such unprecedented reversal of water flow; whether conservation measures can now be applied (given the huge inflow of Lesotho water that must now be paid for and hence consumed); and whether the many vastly undeserved Gauteng consumers will ever receive their research [sic]

[reconstruction] and development programme promise of a free, lifeline supply’ (Business Day, 23 January 1998: 9). This indicates that at the point where the public and media’s interest increases over a WRMP, interest groups will use such events to campaign more strongly against it. It is, therefore, all about propaganda.

During January 1998, the Indian interest group, Save the Narmada

Movement, joined the international network of interest groups campaigning against the LHWP. Shritad Dharmabhikary, representative of the movement, argued that they had huge successes in stopping the construction of the

Sardar Sarovar Dam in the Narmada River in India. Because of this success, they decided to join the network. He also had an interview with Kader Asmal, the South African Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry and later chair of the

WCD, meaning that the movement had a certain amount of insider status (Die

Volksblad, 28 January 1998: 2). The increased campaigning, therefore, seemed to produce results, with another knowledgeable interest group joining the coalition.

The WCD was launched in February 1998. The Commission is an international and independent body consisting of 12 commissioners. The origins of the WCD date back to April 1997, when governments, government agencies, and interest groups sponsored a meeting in Gland, Switzerland, between dam proponents and those who are critical of dams. The common ground between the two groupings was sufficient to lay the basis for the establishment of the WCD. On the establishment of the WCD, the IRN’s Lori

Pottinger said that interest groups are ‘concerned about having someone

[Asmal] supportive of the World Bank and a controversial dam [Katse] heading the commission’. She also stated that there should be ‘now [1998] a moratorium on large dam building’ as the WCD’s establishment ‘vindicates claims that large dams have had massively negative social, environmental and economic impacts’ (Business Day, 20 February 1998: 5; WCD, 2001: 2,

4; Fujikura & Nakyama, 2002: 301). This was not to be since another influential international organisation would have a greater impact.

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On 21 May 1998, the World Bank’s executive board postponed, until 4 June, a decision on a US$45 million loan for Phase 1B of the Project. This was after the lodging of an anonymous complaint by three residents of Alexandra (a

Johannesburg suburb). In April, a similar grievance was filed by the civics organisations of Alexandra and Soweto. After a meeting with Asmal, and a visit to the Project, the protest was withdrawn. The three individuals decided, though, to further pursue the issue. The objection was not handled by the board, but by the inspection panel that acts as the Bank’s ombudsman. It was expected that the loan would be approved on 20 May 1998. Conversely, several members of the board wanted clarification over the implications of the complaint under the Bank’s procedures. For this reason a decision was delayed until the next available date—4 June 1998 (Business Day, 22 May

1998: 2; City Press, 6 September 1998: 2; Internet: IPS, 10 March, 1998).

The complaint, supported by the IRN, stated that the Bank’s analysis justifying the loan was flawed and it would make more sense to focus on WDM rather than the construction of another US$1.5 billion dam. Members of the ACO believed that the price of water to Gauteng would increase to such an extent that the poor would be unable to afford it. One of the claimants commented that the Bank’s delay was ‘at least an acknowledgement that [their] grievance is actually going to be addressed’. The IRN argued that the Bank should further delay its decision on the Project until all social, economic and environmental issues were resolved. Pottinger responded: ‘If these issues remain unresolved and the loan is approved, the World Bank will be supporting a project that is not needed for at least seven to 11 years. [This would] broadcast the message that the bank supports supply-driven water resources management, even in one of the most arid areas of the world’. On

4 June 1998, the World Bank’s executive board approved the loan. Pamela

Cox, World Bank country director for South Africa and Lesotho reiterated that the Project is ‘the lowest cost alternative for water supply to Gauteng province’ and ‘a major source of development for Lesotho’ (Business Day, 22

May 1998: 2; Business Day, 5 June 1998: 3). The interest groups were, thus, unsuccessful in using the poverty issue to influence the World Bank.

Even so, in July 1998, Jim MacNeill, a World Bank ombudsman arrived in

South Africa to investigate whether the complaint needed further investigation.

On 3 September 1998, the World Bank’s inspection panel alleged that it had found no grounds for further investigation regarding the Bank violating its own policies in approving the loan. The panel agreed that water prices had risen beyond the ability of some to pay, and that the leaky infrastructure was causing ‘severe wastage and health problems in Alexandra, Soweto and other townships where conditions were harsh and unsanitary for millions of people’.

Yet, there was no connection between these conditions and any ‘observance or not by the bank of its own policies and procedures’. The panel also found no evidence that the three individuals from Alexandra who initially lodged the complaint were intimidated by the South African government into dropping their charges (Business Day, 23 July 1998: 8; Business Day, 4 September

1998: 3). Despite this, the ACO would continue its campaign against the

Project.

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At a meeting of the ACO Housing Committee, held on 11 October 1998, the participants agreed to continue the campaign to oppose the LHWP. This was after they lodged a complaint with the World Bank in May 1998, that the Bank had violated policies in supporting apartheid era plans to supply water to

South Africa. They urged the World Bank to delay Phase 1B of the project.

Their argument rested not on the disruption of their livelihoods, as in the case of the Lesotho Highlanders, but the money spent on the Mohale Dam. This, the ACO argued, would lead to water tariff increases in Gauteng and a depletion of resources that could better be utilised to fix leaking pipes and taps, extend services to all residents, and create jobs (Internet: SAEP, 1998).

For the ACO, poverty alleviation, urban service delivery and socio-economic development are of paramount importance. Alleviation of poverty and proper compensation are high priorities for the Lesotho Highlanders. These differences in issues arise because of the respective urban and rural locations of the two interest groups. It was, however, agreed at the meeting that the

ACO would respond to the World Bank’s Inspection Panel (which found no connection between the project and the poor state of water services in

Gauteng) and build alliances with the other interest groups that are opposed to the project (Internet: SAEP, 1998).

On 11 and 12 November 1999, the South African Hearings for Communities

Affected by Large Dams were held in Cape Town. At these Hearings participants from Southern African countries met to discuss and analyse the negative and positive social, environmental and economic impacts that large dams have had on their communities. The hearings were hosted by the EMG,

GEM, and the Botswana Office of the IRN, under the patronage of Reverend

Njongonkulu Ndungane, the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town (Stott, Sack

& Greeff, 2000).

Secretariat staff of the WCD, most notably Asmal as chairperson, and Ronnie

Kasrils, Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry and Justice Albie Sachs of the

South African Constitutional Court, were also present (Stott, Sack & Greeff,

2000). At the hearings, villagers from the Project area in Lesotho gave evidence of their experience regarding the implementation of the Project and how it affected them. Didian Malisemelo Tau, from the Makotoko Village in

Lesotho told of the people’s experience when Mohale Dam was constructed.

He described their way of life before the LHDA asked them, in 1995, to move off their land. The village community literally lived off the land, in other words they had a self-sustainable existence. They had enough fire-wood for cooking and heating, enough clean water from springs and wells for drinking and cooking, enough pasture to raise livestock which was sold for an income, and adequate housing. The village was therefore sustaining itself off the land and its economy was based on subsistence farming. Maize and vegetables were grown to satisfy their own needs and the surplus was sold (Stott, Sack &

Greeff, 2000).

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The LHDA told them to move ‘because they will build a dam there which will help the R.S.A by water. The factories and industries of R.S.A need water to proceed their work’, Tau said. The community resisted. According to Tau,

‘L.H.D.A project promised to beautify our lives more than what we had. It promised to increase our buildings. They said we are few and they can help us but the people who need our water, are many and it is difficult for them to help them because they are many. If we move away there, and the project builds a dam there, that water can save many people’s lives. We agreed to move away to save many people’s lives with our water and we hoped that the project will be trusted to satisfy us with all that it promised to do for us because we save many people’s lives’. The community’s position was that,

‘few people agreed to move away from a place to save many people’s lives’.

Similar grievances were raised by other villagers from the highlands. Yet, according to these complaints, the LHDA reneged on its policy (Stott, Sack &

Greeff, 2000).

The aforesaid provides an indication of what is valuable to the Highlanders and Alexandra residents. There were, therefore, slight differences in the value assessment of resources between the two communities, but still they loosely cooperated in policy discussions. The outer peripheral interest groups, on the other hand, articulated issues that were more abstract.

The IRN and Public Services International (PSI) sent a letter to the World

Bank President, James Wolfensohn, in November 1999. In this letter, the interest groups raised the issue of corruption and maintained that the Bank

‘bears a responsibility here [LHWP], since it is the sponsor of large and profitable projects which attract the multinationals. The Bank has adopted clauses in its procurement guidelines, which state that it will declare a company ineligible for future contracts if it has engaged in corrupt practices’.

They impressed on the Bank the need to act against the companies involved in the corruption scandal stating that the Bank ‘is morally obliged to take this action. We also believe that its own guidelines, adopted to combat corruption, oblige it to do so’ (Internet: IRN, 1999c).

In June 2000, people to be resettled from the Project area to make way for the

Matsoku Dam demanded compensation from the Project authorities before they were moved. They received advice on this from their neighbours who were resettled in 1998 from the Mohale Dam site. They were advised to demand compensation before they were moved because, as the former neighbours warned: ‘If you wait until you’ve been moved you will find you have no more power than a toothless dog’ (Internet: TRC, 2003).

In October 2000, the IRN reported that the Rural Development Plan, implemented in 1990 by the LHDA, had failed to electrify the homes of project-affected people. About US$1 million was set aside for this purpose.

The IRN stated: ‘It appears project authorities never had any intention of following through on this commitment’. The IRN, furthermore, alleged that the

Project authorities had admitted in December 1999, that the rural

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221 electrification programme had not yet been implemented. The IRN was sceptical whether it would ever be implemented (Internet: IRN, 2000a).

Furthermore, the LHWP was criticised for non-compliance with the WCD guidelines. These guidelines were contained in the WCD’s final report, published in November 2000 (Internet: IRN, 2001; Fujikura & Nakyama, 2001:

301). Regarding these guidelines and the commitment made by the Lesotho and South African governments in 1986 about the resettlement and living standards of the affected communities, the IRN remarked that ‘standards of living for the majority of the project-affected people are in fact declining’

(Internet: IRN, 2001b). It was against this background that the IRN criticised the LHWP on the WCD guidelines, by highlighting a number of issues and recommendations from the WCD with which the LHWP had not complied (see

Table 12).

Table 12. WCD guidelines and the IRN’s criticism.

WCD Guideline

Those bearing the social and environmental costs and risks of large dams are frequently not the same people who receive the social and economic benefits. The WCD, therefore, recommends that governments should accord social and environmental aspects the same significance as technical, economic and financial factors when pondering whether to build a dam.

The WCD reiterates the necessity of meaningful participation of people whose livelihoods, human rights and property and resource rights may be affected by dams.

The Commission recommends negotiations in which all stakeholders have an equal opportunity to influence decisions from the beginning of the planning process.

The WCD states that special attention is necessary to ensure that compensation and development measures are in place well in advance of resettlement. Furthermore, a clear agreement with the affected people on the sequence and stages of resettlement will be required before construction or any project preparatory work begins.

IRN Criticism

The LHWP had a profound impact on

Lesotho’s economy. In 1998, it accounted for 13.6 per cent of the GDP and royalties contributed 27.8 per cent of government revenue. However, Lesotho’s poor have seen little of these benefits. The Lesotho

Highlands Water Revenue Fund (LHWRF) must distribute the royalties to the poorest in Lesotho. However, corruption forced the

World Bank to restructure it.

The IRN contends that participation by affected communities has been minimal at best. Affected people have had no forum to negotiate effectively on how the Project’s dams would affect them, let alone influence the decision to build them.

Resettlement was unnecessarily stressful for LHWP-affected people. No compensation was received, despite World

Bank policy requiring it. Where resettlement took place, the people were resettled to places with inadequate and unsafe drinking water and where they experienced hostility from host communities. They had no opportunity to negotiate binding performance contracts.

Source:

Internet: IRN, 2001b.

The IRN also criticised the Project for having too many negative effects on downstream ecosystems, and is, moreover, highly inefficient in supplying water to Rand Water’s delivery area (Internet: IRN, 2001b). By linking it to constructed standards of behaviour, the IRN highlighted the negative aspects

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222 of the Project. This is a sophisticated way of lobbying, even though, more traditional methods of lobbying were also used.

Demonstrators protested against the LHWP at three dam sites on 19

November 2001. In particular, they indicated the lack of fair compensation for property lost and unfulfilled promises of development in affected communities.

They demanded a 10 per cent share of the royalties and a commission of inquiry to look into the Project’s impact on local people. A petition was delivered in which they stated: ‘We have tried by all possible means to get a fair and reasonable compensation for our property … but this was all a fiasco.

We were promised development … but this has not materialised to date’

(Internet: IRN, 2001b). This was the second time in the Project’s history that a co-ordinated protest took place. About 1 000 affected people gathered at

Katse and Mohale, and about 300 marched at Muela Dam (Internet: IRN,

2001b).

The impoundment of land from the Mohale Reservoir commenced a year later. The rising water level of the reservoir, however, threatened the

Lakabane family. Their predicament and the subsequent responses to it gives a good indication of the nature of the interaction between a family, an interest group and a parastatal.

The Lakabane family lived on a hill in the middle of the reservoir area. When impoundment started, the family faced the prospect of relocation or drowning.

The obvious option was resettlement. There was, nevertheless, a problem.

The LHDA told the family that they were not entitled to resettlement because the land on which they lived and the homestead on it were bequeathed to

Makobeli, Lakabane’s brother. Lakabane also received letters of confirmation from the rest of the family, the District Secretary and the Principal Chief of

Thaba-Bosiu that the land and all on it belonged to Makobeli. This, according to the interest groups, did not convince the LHDA (Internet: The Survivor, 14

November, 2002).

Makobeli approached the TRC to intervene and assist them in the matter.

The TRC made a commitment that it would negotiate with the LHDA and solve the family’s predicament. Other members of the community wherein the

Lakabane family lived also appealed to the LHDA and the Lesotho government to resettle the family (Internet: The Survivor, 14 November

2002). The TRC and other interest groups engaged the LHDA and the

Authority decided in December 2002, that the family would be resettled at Ha

Tsolo near Maseru (Internet: The Survivor, 9 December 2002). With this, the

TRC mediated between the most basic unit of society—the family—and a parastatal, to successfully resolve the issue.

Throughout their campaigning against the implementation of the LHWP, the interest groups played a variety of agential roles and used a number of strategies and tactics (see Table 13).

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Table 13. Agential roles, strategies and tactics used by the interest groups.

Interest group Year Agential Role(s) Played Strategy

(approach)

Tactic(s)

Student protest 1986 Opinion generation, policy shaping, and oppositional agent.

TRC 1988 onwards

Standard creation, interactive and assistant agent

IRN

Christian Aid,

Oxfam, HCAG, and Christian

Council of

Lesotho

1994 Opinion generation and transnational agent watchdog, representation, guardian and interactive agent

Grass-roots mobilisation

Coalitionbuilding

Coalitionbuilding

Technocratic, coalitionbuilding, and power domestic and international systems

Controversial action.

-

Connecting issues

Linking domestic and international systems, joining groups across national borders and direct communication with decisionmakers

Policy interactive, empowerment, transnational, representation and opinion generation agent

Power Direct communication with top decisionmakers

IRN 1996 creation, oppositional and

DWAF decision not to transnational agents

Norms transnational and policy shaping agent

Grass-roots mobilisation implement further phases of the LHWP

Ideological enticement

Communal interest groups

Technocratic. Litigation

GEM, ACO,

ELA, HCAG, and IRN

Save the

Narmada

Movement

1998 shaping, safety provider, norms creation and opinion generation agents

Policy shaping, norms creation, assistant, transnational, interactive, agenda construction, oppositional and epistemic agents

Coalitionbuilding interactive and policy shaping agent

Power and coalitionbuilding

Connecting issues, joining groups across national borders

Direct communication with top decision-

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Opinion agenda construction, transnational, policy shaping, norms creation, oppositional, institution creation and assistant agent

Technocratic

Transnational, creation, interactive, representation, oppositional and policy shaping agent

Power, technocratic and coalitionbuilding

EMG, GEM and IRN transnational agents

IRN 1999

Communal interest groups

2000 creation assistant agent

Grass-roots mobilisation policy shaping, standard creation, watchdog and transnational agent

Policy shaping and

Power

Coalitionbuilding makers and joining groups across national borders

Assisted in the formation of the WCD

Direct personal communication with top decisionmakers, linking domestic and international systems and joining groups across national borders

Use of celebrities

(Archbishop) and interaction with top decisionmakers at the hearing

Direct communication with top decisionmakers

Perforation of social networks

Communal 2001 oppositional and norms creation agent

Policy shaping and norms creation agent regarding negative policy trends, link domestic

(LHWP) and international

(WCD) systems

Power Influence through constituencies

This Table is instructive regarding the roles, strategies and tactics used by the interest groups. Firstly, the individual interest groups played multiple roles simultaneously. Where one role was played, for instance by the MCC in

1985, one strategy and one tactic was used, namely, a watchdog role, using a technocratic approach to link the domestic and international spheres. This

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225 was in line with the MCC’s identity as a Christian and humanitarian organisation, that promotes peace and goodwill among people. By playing a watchdog role, a ‘benign’ role, is exhibited by this identity. The other interest groups, on the other hand, played roles that were more ‘active’ (or aggressive) and used more ‘active’ strategies and tactics such as the power approach and grass-roots mobilisation, especially when opposing certain issues of high salience, like labour unrest and corruption. This is an indication that interest groups were willing to use all means necessary to oppose a policy issue, and that they were drivers of the political process.

It is also important to note that villagers (communal interest groups) in the project area played an important part in lobbying. These were the interest groups most immediately affected and they supplied much of the required information to the other inner and outer peripheral interest groups. These communal groups therefore played the roles of transnational, empowerment, policy shaping, oppositional, opinion generation, representative and interactive agents. The information they supplied to inner and outer peripheral groups empowered the latter to continue their lobbying efforts.

Thus, interest groups, especially the communal type, were not mere passive observers of domestic and international political events and occurrences.

They were active participants and because of this, they were some of the most important drivers of water politics within the international river basin. A better understanding of these roles is gained from the examination of the agential power of the interest groups and state actors.

6. Actor Agential Power

The agential power of the interest groups and states is determined with reference to the ideological, economic, military and political power elements outlined in the framework for analysis.

6.1. Ideological Power

A number of ideologies can be distinguished, due to the large number of actors involved. Before these ideological premises are identified, it is necessary to group the actors. The first group consists of the basin states directly involved in the Project, namely Lesotho and South Africa; the second comprises the core interest groups; the third those from South Africa and the

SADC region (inner periphery); and the fourth those from other parts of the world (outer periphery).

The ideological power of the states and interest groups are analysed using the following criteria: social-historical circumstances and how discourses are produced and the level of nationalist loyalty (in the case of states only).

The two states will be analysed first. (Botswana and Namibia will not be considered since they are not involved in the Project.) Because Lesotho and

South Africa are jointly implementing the LHWP, they are politically united and

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226 stand, in some instances, opposed to the interest groups (Meissner, 1998: 52-

56). For practical purposes, only the interest groups directly involved will be analysed. Some of the interest groups examined in the Kunene (Epupa) case study are also directly involved in the LHWP. They are the ELA, EMG, FIVAS and the IRN. To avoid duplication, their ideological power will not be analysed, but their role and influence will be outlined. While the states’ ideological power will be evaluated using the criteria outlined above, the interest groups’ will be explored using only the first criterion.

6.1.1. Lesotho

Lesotho’s ideological power is considered in the context of the country’s socio-historical circumstances. Lesotho’s geopolitical position is the most prominent factor that influences its social-history. Surrounded by South Africa it had to ward off attempts at incorporation. Nonetheless, although an independent sovereign state, Lesotho has always been part of South Africa’s sphere of influence, especially concerning its political economy. Thus, the overriding ideological discourses behind Lesotho’s involvement in the LHWP and its implementation are political independence and socio-economic development.

6.1.1.1. Independence from South Africa

Lesotho’s political independence from South Africa can be traced back to the

1840s. It should be understood within the context of a hegemonic power struggle between the British Empire and the establishment of white Afrikaner sovereignties (the Boer Republics of the Orange Free State [OFS] and the

Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek

[ZAR]). British interaction with the Basotho began in 1842. Dominated by the philosophy of humanitarianism, the British emphasised African rights and the creation of a Christian buffer state north of the Orange River. This was to restrict the expansion of white settlement (a process later known as the Great Trek). This ideal came to fruition in the

Napier Proclamation

of 1842 and the Napier Treaty signed in 1843. The

Proclamation warned the emigrant farmers (Voortrekkers—participants in the

Great Trek) not to interfere with Moshesh (the Basotho monarch at that time).

Another purpose of the Treaty was to encircle the Boers with independent black client or treaty states (Eksteen, 1972: 7, 159, 160; Tylden, 1944: 23-24;

Stevens, 1972: 98; Lelimo, 1998: 14, 197).

Moshesh, impressed by the British who proclaimed Christian values and their expression of good will, sided with them as a guarantee against the landgrabbing Voortrekkers. The Voortrekkers, although also proclaiming Christian values did not recognise the validity of African polities. Land, needed by the

Voortrekkers

for the establishment of an independent state, became a defining characteristic of Basotho-Boer relations following the establishment of the OFS in 1854 (Lelimo, 1998: 197).

This was the same year the British withdrew from the Orange River

Sovereignty and left behind an undefined border between the OFS and

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Basutoland

57

. It led to the escalation of tensions over conflicting land claims.

Consequently, three open and violent confrontations took place, one in 1858, the second in 1865, and the third in 1867. The last nearly destroyed the

Basotho nation (Eksteen, 1972: 24, 28-40; Lelimo, 1998: 198, 199;

Rosenberg, 2001: 135). However, as Lelimo (1998: 198-199) argues,‘[i]t was only the over riding geo-political factors of British policy in the sub-continent which finally induced [the Governor of the Cape Colony, Sir Philip]

Wodehouse to save the Basotho nation when it was in peril of destruction.’

These geopolitical factors included the containment of the OFS along neocolonial lines whereby it should not have an independent foreign policy and an outlet to the sea for trade and international diplomacy. This consideration was the most important in a list that led to the annexation of Basutoland as a protectorate by the British in 1868. Other factors were the degrading racial policies of the Boer Republics, the plight of Basotho women and children, the expulsion of French missionaries, and the economic cost of the three wars.

Annexation prevented the OFS from overrunning Moshesh and securing an outlet to the sea at Port St. John’s (Grobbelaar, 1939: 1, Stevens, 1972: 98;

The Economist, 30 May 1998: 46; Lelimo, 1998: 199, 200; Rosenberg, 2001:

136).

Following the annexation, Moshesh’s request for a form of indirect rule was ignored, magistrates were placed in the Mountain Kingdom, and the land base of Lesotho reduced. Part of Lesotho’s territory was ceded to the OFS, and is still part of South Africa today. With the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, the Basotho nation united, and called, not for the return of the territory, but the prevention of Basutoland’s incorporation into South Africa.

The aim of the British and South Africans were to incorporate the three

Protectorates (Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Swaziland), for it made no economic sense that they should be kept in a semi-autonomous state

(Eksteen, 1972: 60; Lelimo, 1998: 202; Rosenberg, 2001: 137).

However, ‘[g]iven the fact that Blacks would not be given any political rights in the proposed Union, and fearful that more land from the Protectorates would ultimately be alienated to the whites despite provisions to the contrary in the

South African Act, [the] Basotho fought strongly against incorporation’

(Lelimo, 1998: 203). This gave rise to a national identity, which served to reinforce the physical borders, separating Lesotho from South Africa. Hence

‘[t]he Basotho cast South Africans into the role of the hostile “other” in their emerging national consciousness’ (Rosenberg, 2001: 133).

Successive Union governments raised the issue of incorporation during the course of the twentieth century but failed. For instance, during the Second

World War, Jan Smuts proposed that the UK transfer the three Protectorates to the Union. With this, Smuts attempted to increase South Africa’s sphere of influence and strengthen the British Commonwealth. In 1950, D.F. Malan raised the incorporation issue again. He argued that the ‘delay of transfer

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Before 1966, Lesotho was known as Basutoland.

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228 implied a position of inferiority for the Union as a commonwealth state.

Furthermore, that no other state would tolerate being compelled to harbour territories belonging to another country within its borders’. The NP government was so confident that the territory of Basutoland would be incorporated, that the Tomlinson Commission (1950-1955) factored it (and

Bechuanaland and Swaziland) into the plans for new African homelands

(Spence, 1968: 74; Stevens, 1972: 97; Rosenberg, 2001: 147).

The failure to incorporate Basutoland into South Africa was attributed to the following factors: The Basotho were vigilant about the issue since they feared the loss of more land; the racial policies of the Union became increasingly repressive and prejudiced towards blacks; and British policy stipulated that such a transfer was only possible after the Basotho had given their consent

(Barber & Barratt, 1990: 18-19; Lelimo, 1998: 203; Rosenberg, 2001: 133-

134). These reasons represent the gist of Lesotho’s sovereign independence, and encapsulate the following ideological discourses: self-rule over a territory

(territorial integrity and sovereign independence), anti-racism, and an individual and collective free will (nationalism/patriotism linked with an independent Basotho identity).

Appeals by the Basotho in the past for the return of conquered territory were also unsuccessful mainly due to British geo-political interests after the Second

World War. These demands gave rise to new mass-based political movements like the Basutoland African Congress (later the Basutoland

Congress Party). One of its slogans read: ‘Hold fast to your shield and let it be firm Father of Senate [Letsie, son of Moshesh I], you see that this land is going’. It asked for vigilance on the part of the Basotho because their enemies, the whites of South Africa, were still intent on taking the land through incorporation. When this danger passed after 1945, another saying developed: ‘Let the land return’ (Lelimo, 1998: 204). These slogans are indicative of the high sense of independence held by the country. The

Basotho would not have asked for the territory if they wanted to be incorporated into South Africa, even after the ANC came to power in 1994.

For over a century and a half, Lesotho has exhibited a great sense of political independence. However, the country’s economy is largely dependent on that of South Africa.

6.1.1.2. Socio-economic Development

Despite Lesotho’s political independence, it remains within South Africa’s sphere of influence. Lesotho’s economic fortunes are inextricably linked to those of South Africa, as a satellite economy. This dependence was already evident in 1900, when its economy started to become increasingly dependent upon migrant remittances. During the period 1909-1910, 82 000 Basotho sought work in South Africa as legal and illegal workers. Migrant labourers to

South African mines increased from 32 000 in 1909 to 50 233 in 1933, and reached 154 782 in 1956. There was also an increase of Basotho workers on

South African farms and in its cities (Rosenberg, 2001: 137; ASS, 2002a:

551).

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Before and after independence, Lesotho relied heavily on remittances from these workers, especially those in the gold mining industry. A share of their earnings automatically goes to the Lesotho government. Still, in the late

1990s this started to decline, mainly due to the 1997 fall in the gold price below US$300 per ounce (oz.). In mid-2001, the gold price stood at US$272 per oz. During this period, gold mining companies reduced their workforce.

Thousands of workers lost their jobs, many of them migrant workers.

Consequently, between 1989 and 2001 about 61 000 Basotho returned to their native country, where unemployment is high. The Lesotho government also lost a significant amount of foreign revenue, and its income from this source declined from M1.4 million in 1999 to M1.3 million in 2000 (Weisfelder,

1972: 128; The Economist, 29 September 1990: 47; ASS, 2002a: 551; New

African, May 2003a: 54).

Apart from the remittances of migrant workers, Lesotho has another major exploitable natural resource—running water—which is transformed into foreign revenue through the LHWP. The sale of water to South Africa can have an enabling effect on Lesotho’s socio-economic development, especially seen in the face of a decline in remittances. For instance, in 1998 Phase 1A of the project contributed more than five per cent to Lesotho’s GDP, and created the equivalent of 40 000 full-time jobs. Between 1994 and 1998, the economy grew by ten per cent, largely attributable to the LHWP. Moreover, due to the generation of hydroelectric power the national grid was expanded to 8 000 households at the end of 2002 (The Economist, 30 May 1998: 46;

ASS, 2002a: 553).

Nonetheless, the LHWP’s contribution to Lesotho’s GDP fell from 12.1 per cent in 1999/2000 to 6.5 per cent in 2000/2001, and was forecasted to decline to six per cent in 2002/03 as Phase 1B came to an end (ASS, 2002a: 553).

Thus, Lesotho’s continued political independence from South Africa and the economic development of its people created strong ideological forces within

Lesotho for the advancement of the LHWP. It also created an opportunity for

Lesotho to expand its sovereign independence in the face of a large, and in the past, threatening neighbour, as well as creating an opportunity for socioeconomic upliftment funded by royalties.

6.1.1.3. Level of National Loyalty

Although Lesotho was characterised by political instability (see Table 14) after independence, there are no indications that national unity is threatened.

A precondition for socio-economic development, according to Lesotho’s Prime

Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, is political stability. As indicated, Lesotho had experienced a number of political episodes in the past that undermined this.

In May 2002, voters went to the polls for an election in which the country replaced its Westminster-style first-past-the-post electoral system with a unique mix of simple majority and proportional representation (the mixedmember parliament). This was an attempt to bring a measure of political

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230 consistency to Lesotho politics. The rationale behind the move was to ensure majority rule by the victorious party while guaranteeing a voice in the National

Assembly for minority parties. Moreover, it was to prevent a re-occurrence of the disastrous 1998 elections, in which the Lesotho Congress for Democracy

(LCD) won 79 of the 80 seats with 60 per cent of the vote. The Basotho

National Party (BNP) won the remaining seat with 24 per cent of the vote

(Ajulu, 2001: 50; The Times, 25 May 2002; New African, May 2003b: 6).

Despite Lesotho’s turbulent history, the level of national loyalty towards the state remains high.

Table 14. A concise history of Lesotho’s political instability.

Episode Year

Declaration by Chief Jonathan that the 1970 election was invalid and his 1970 proclamation of a state of emergency whereby he arrested leaders of the BCP and seized power.

Failed coup attempt by Vincent Mokhehle, leader of the BCP. 1974

1985 Cancellation of the elections by Jonathan increased hostility with the

LLA (military wing of the ‘external’ faction of the BCP), which launched a number of attacks on BNP targets.

Coup

resulting in Maj. Gen. Justin Lekhanya seizing control of the government.

January 1986

All formal political activity was suspended by the military council.

Lekhanya suspended the King’s executive and legislative powers after a

coup

plot.

Another coup and Lekhanya was ousted by Col. (later Maj.-Gen.) Elias

Phitsoane Ramaema.

Discontent within the armed forces and a subsequent mutiny.

March 1986

1990

30 April 1990

November

1990

January 1994

August 1994

Skirmishes between rebel troops and forces loyal to the government.

A royal coup by king Letsie III after dissatisfaction with the BCP government.

Mokhehle formed a new political party, the Lesotho Congress for

Democracy (LCD) to which he transferred executive power. This was after a protracted struggle between rival factions for control of the BCP.

Anti-government demonstrations broke out in the capital in July 1998, over irregularities during the elections. This led to Operation Boleas.

March 1997

September

1998

Source

: The Star, 31 January 1970: 1; Weisfelder, 1972: 126; Akokpari,

2002: 1; ASS, 2002a: 547-549.

6.1.2. South Africa

South Africa’s ideological power should be viewed in terms of the country’s social-historical circumstances, especially regarding that of the present ruling party—the ANC. South Africa’s political-social history was dominated by

apartheid

until 1990 and provided the context of the history of the ANC. The government’s ideological stance is one of the most important elements of the agential power of both states in implementing the LHWP. The overriding ideological discourses informing the government’s stance towards the Project are nation-building and economic growth. It is within the framework of these

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231 discourses that the Project is justified and the government is resisting attempts by interest groups to stop the LHWP.

This section explores the social-historical circumstances of South Africa under

apartheid

, the ruling elite’s ideological history and the ANC’s attempts at nation-building and economic growth. The latter aspects are important, for it is within the discourse of nation-building and economic growth that the dynamics of the role and involvement of interest groups find meaning.

6.1.2.1. Apartheid

One of the most important political aspects of modern South Africa is the policy of separate development based on racial classification, namely

apartheid

. During the twentieth century, South African society was characterised by race as a basis of political organisation and institutionalisation. There was a commitment by the white elite to establish and maintain a white state on the African continent.

This commitment was already entrenched at the end of the Second World

War and was strengthened in 1948 when the NP came to power and introduced apartheid as official government policy. In 1955, Johannes

Strijdom, the then Prime Minister of South Africa, confirmed: ‘Our task in

South Africa is to maintain the identity of the white man: in that task we will die fighting’. Ten years later, Hendrik Verwoerd, as Prime Minister of South

Africa, said: ‘Our motto is to maintain white supremacy for all time to come over our own people and our own country, by force if necessary’ (Barber &

Barratt, 1990: 2). The rhetoric on militarism aside, the former Prime Ministers’ declarations are an indication of the affirmation of apartheid and the supremacy of white people in South Africa.

This policy found expression in a number of laws adopted by successive

South African governments since 1910. Apartheid goes back a long way in

South African history, and is not purely synonymous with the NP after 1948 since the latter did not invent racial segregation. Still, the legislative

blitzkrieg’ of the NP reinforced apartheid (Hill, 1972: 68; Leatt, Kneifel &

Nürnberger, 1986: 67, 72; Ross, 1999: 114). This ‘blitzkrieg’ was in line with the consolidation of Afrikaner nationalism, characterised by an array of laws, regulations and bureaucracies that were created to reinforce Afrikaner ethnic unity and promote Afrikaner interests. ‘Apartheid was racist in that it acted against miscegenation through the Mixed Marriages Act (1949) and the

Immorality Act

(1950). The Population Registration Act (1950), the

Reservation of Separate Amenities Act

(1953) and the Group Areas Act

(1950) were passed to ensure the separation of races in the “common area” of South Africa. Later coloureds were removed from the voters’ roll so as to prevent a coalition of coloured and English-speaking white voters’ (Leatt,

Kneifel & Nürnberger, 1986: 72; Ross, 1999: 136).

Apartheid

regulated every aspect of South African society. Blacks were excluded from any significant role in the central political process. Parliament,

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232 until 1985, was composed of whites who were elected by whites. ‘The

President’s Council, formed in 1980, was charged with developing a new constitution. But the Council excluded blacks, and its Asian and coloured members were nominated, not elected’ (Leatt, Kneifel & Nürnberger, 1986:

72).

Nonetheless, the most ambitious project under apartheid was the establishment of the homelands or Bantustans. This was an attempt to ensure self-determination for all South African peoples, with self-government given to black ethnic nations—to create a national consciousness among the various ethnic groups. The main intention of the Bantustan policy was to ensure that each population group could make its own choices about its political future in its own state. In 1976 Transkei became the first black

‘independent’ homeland, followed by Bophuthatswana in 1977, Venda in 1979 and Ciskei in 1981 (Leatt, Kneifel & Nürnberger, 1986:73; Geldenhuys, 1990:

137; Ross, 1999: 137, 138). These so-called ‘states’ did not find favour with the rest of the international community and were not recognised as sovereign independent states.

Apartheid

, with its embedded racial character, put South Africa at odds with the rest of the world and resulted in the country being ostracised for almost the entire second half of the twentieth century. This ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 and the reforms instituted by former President

F.W. De Klerk in 1990, when he dismantled apartheid (Beinart, 1994: 254).

These events had a profound impact on the ANC’s ideological stance. Four years later, all South Africans went to the polls for the first time since the 1853

Cape Colony election (Giliomee, 1994: 4). The ANC won a landslide victory and Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black President. One of, if not the principal domestic force that took previous NP governments to task over apartheid was the ANC.

6.1.2.2. The ANC

The ANC was established at Bloemfontein on 8 January 1912, two years after

Union as the South African Native National Congress. The two events, although temporally separate, are related. Firstly, the Union was a political entity in which only whites enjoyed a political franchise, therefore indicating the connection between important events in white and black politics

58

.

Secondly, the ANC was formed in reaction to this exclusion (Reid, 1972: 32;

Leatt, Kneifel & Nürnberger, 1986: 91; Meli, 1988: 37, 39; Esterhuyse, 1990:

9; Norval, 1990: 3).

The ANC was mainly concerned with the economic and political well-being of blacks during its early formative years. This preoccupation with black welfare and political rights is evident in the passing of the Land Act of 1913. The Act

58

Similarly, the Peace Treaty of Vereeniging (May 31, 1902) contained, in Article 8 (Clause 9) this exclusivity in the following statement: ‘no franchise for the natives until after the introduction of selfgovernment’ (Norval, 1990: 1). This was only realised in 1994.

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233 strengthened black opposition to their exclusion in that the ANC opposed any threatened loss of franchise and land rights (Leatt, Kneifel & Nürnberger,

1986: 91; Esterhuyse, 1990: 10; Norval, 1990: 4; Beinart, 1994: 87). The

ANC also had other goals, namely political unity between different black peoples; the establishment of equal rights and justice for black people; influencing black public opinion regarding their aspirations; and representing black people in central and local governmental structures (Esterhuyse, 1990:

10).

During the first phase of its existence, the ANC was therefore an interest group. This is evident from its activities, especially regarding certain bills, during the 1920s and 1930s. At the time, former Prime Minister Hertzog endeavoured to solve ‘the native problem’ by governmental means. Two statutes were implemented; the Native Trust and Land Act, which allocated a little more land to the reserves, and the Representation of Natives in

Parliament Act

. The latter Act abolished the Cape common voter’s roll and introduced separate representation of Africans by whites in the House of

Assembly and the Senate, and established the Natives Representative

Council (NRC). The ANC energetically opposed both these bills (Leatt,

Kneifel & Nürnberger, 1986: 91-92).

This led to the establishment of the All-African Convention (AAC). The AAC was not only opposed to the Hertzog bills, but also attacked British colonial policy in sub-Saharan Africa. It argued racial and land segregation led to ‘two nations within one state’. The Marxist influence within the AAC was evident, and its policy was consequently more militant than that of the ANC (which was, with other organisations, part of the Convention). This is not to say that the ANC was communist orientated. Traditional leaders were against the

ANC association with the South African Communist Party (SACP) (formed in

1921). The ANC disassociated itself from the SACP in 1930, when the moderate Pixley Seme was elected as chairman in place of Josiah Gumede, who was sympathetic towards the communists (Leatt, Kneifel & Nürnberger,

1986: 91-92; Esterhuyse, 1990: 11-12).

During the 1930s, the ANC continued to opt for a political protest programme that included a strategy of protest and petition. This was not effective though, and the ANC lost many members, despite an attempt to establish the Non-

European Front in 1939, leading to better relations with the SACP

(Esterhuyse, 1990: 12).

Together with the SACP, the ANC founded the African Mineworkers’ Union in

1941, and in 1943, membership was broadened to include whites. It was during this time that the ANC Youth League

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was created by a number of nationalistic intellectuals. Within the League Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo were shaped as political leaders. In 1943, the ANC published its African Claims, calling for ‘one man one vote’ linked with

59

The Youth League was formed as a pressure group within the ANC and to publicly arouse political consciousness among blacks (Leatt, Kneifel & Nürnberger, 1986: 95).

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234 separate representation in Parliament and local authorities (Esterhuyse, 1990:

12; Leatt, Kneifel & Nürnberger, 1986: 93; Norval, 1990: 37).

Smuts, as Prime Minister, was asked to reassess policies regarding blacks in light of African Claims, but refused. This was the turning point for the ANC, experiencing pressure from the militant Youth League to adopt a more aggressive approach towards the government. The political distance between the ANC and the Smuts government grew substantially, increasing even more when the NP came to power. The NP’s racial segregation policy set the scene for more militant confrontations with the ANC. During 1949, the Youth

League condemned apartheid and called for action to fight it. This was in the form of strikes, confrontational protests, boycotts and civil disobedience

(Leatt, Kneifel & Nürnberger, 1986: 93; Norval, 1990: 40; Beinart, 1994: 148).

With this, the ANC’s defiance campaign started in earnest in 1952. The

Programme of Action was a consequence of pressure from the Youth League to use more aggressive means and to develop mass appeal. The Defiance

Campaign failed. In 1955, the ANC, together with other organisations like the left-wing white Congress of Democrats, adopted the Freedom Charter (a mixture of classical liberalism and modern African socialism) (Leatt, Kneifel &

Nürnberger, 1986: 96, 100; Meli, 1988: 119; Esterhuyse, 1990: 13; Beinart,

1994: 148).

The adoption of the Freedom Charter led to the breakaway of some leaders of the Congress Youth League to form the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) in

1959, for they did not share the vision that South Africa belonged to all (black and white) who live in it. Instead, it belonged to Africans only (Leatt, Kneifel &

Nürnberger, 1986: 97). This is an indication of the ANC’s ideological stance compared to that of the PAC. The ANC wanted an inclusive society

(pragmatic and liberal), whereas the PAC stood for a more exclusive African society (racial and radical).

Nevertheless, the ANC continued its struggle against racial segregation. It decided to launch an anti-pass campaign in December 1959, to begin on 31

March 1960. The PAC launched a similar campaign before the ANC could do so. This led to the tragic events of Sharpeville on 21 March 1960 when 69 people were killed and 178 were wounded when police fired into the crowd of demonstrators (Leatt, Kneifel & Nürnberger, 1986: 99; Meli, 1988: 140;

Esterhuyse, 1990: 16; Barber & Barratt, 1990: 69-70).

Countrywide political unrest ensued. The government declared a state of emergency, detained over 20 000 people, and banned the ANC and PAC under the Suppression of Communism Act. The two organisations went underground and organised military wings: Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) (Spear of the Nation) for the ANC and Poqo (Alone) for the PAC. The ANC reorganised itself as an organisation that operated mainly in foreign countries giving backing and some legitimacy to the armed struggle. In 1961, Nelson

Mandela and others abandoned the policy of non-violence—there were, they argued, two alternatives—submit or fight. They opted to fight and chose

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235 sabotage as a strategy (Leatt, Kneifel & Nürnberger, 1986

:

99-100; Meli,

1988: 140; Barber & Barratt, 1990: 71; Esterhuyse, 1990: 16-17). However, both organisations were infiltrated by the security apparatus of the government and a number of leaders were arrested, among them Nelson

Mandela himself. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1963

(Esterhuyse, 1990: 17).

With the armed struggle, the ANC intensified its international campaign to isolate the NP government politically, culturally and economically. The foreign mission of the ANC had the following goals: to garner political and other forms of support overseas; to create opportunities for military training and to develop strategies for the infiltration of military cadres into South Africa (Esterhuyse,

1990: 17, 18).

Then came the events of 1976. The Soweto riots led to another countrywide spate of political upheaval. It was not only confined to black townships and coloured townships also rioted. In the wake of the clamp-down on dissidents, thousands of young blacks left the country to join the ANC’s military wing

(Barber & Barratt, 1990: 204; Esterhuyse, 1990: 19).

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the ANC led a campaign of violence against the state and its citizens. Internationally the ANC garnered increased support and the South African government became more isolated, which reached a peak in 1986 with the adoption of the Comprehensive Anti-

apartheid Act

(CAAA) by the US congress. The 1980s were also a tumultuous time in South Africa’s history, with civil disobedience and sabotage the order of the day. Central to these events stood the ANC, with its seemingly communist stance supported by the Soviet Union and SACP

(Barber & Barratt, 1990: 333).

In light of the internationalisation of the ANC’s activities, what was its relationship with other ideological forces, like communism? Many of the

ANC’s leaders were from an educated, middle-class elite, influenced by liberal ideals. It was for this reason that the ANC saw the PAC’s Africanism as a

‘black version of Afrikaner nationalism’. The ANC was prepared to work formally with communists. However, ‘a Marxist analysis of the South African predicament in terms of class gained little credibility among its members’

(Leatt, Kneifel & Nürnberger, 1986

:

101). The reasons for this are manifold and complex. Firstly, the ANC lost face because of communist policy changes, as in the communist support for white workers in the 1922 general strike. Secondly, the African worker did not relate politically to the white worker. Thirdly, race and not class, was the cause of the problem. The ANC, therefore, could not be seen as a Marxist-Leninist organisation (Nel, 1990:

41). Yet, the ANC’s affiliation with the SACP, and indirectly with the Soviet

Union, brought a number of radicalising and moderating influences to bear on the organisation (Nel, 1990: 47-48).

Within the ambit of radicalisation, the formal and informal contacts between the ANC and SACP led to the ANC paying more attention to the issue of a

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236 radical and socialist transformation of the socio-economic conditions within

South Africa. This was particularly the case in the period 1969 to 1986 when the ANC paid more attention to the plight of black workers. This radicalisation should be understood within the context of Karl Marx’s radical philosophy of communism in that it addresses the unjust economic production forms in a capitalist system. For this reason the ANC associated itself with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) (Nel, 1990: 47-48). Furthermore, another form of radicalisation took place in 1968, when the ANC started to underwrite the Soviet Union’s proletariat internationalism, supporting its viewpoint of what was in the best interest of the international worker (Nel,

1990: 48). With respect to moderation, the SACP’s formal ideology and organisational characteristics led to the ANC’s inclusion of whites. The

SACP’s modernising concept of solidarity among workers also rejected tribalism as well as racism. This was deepened by the ANC’s efforts at nation-building since its establishment in 1912 (Nel, 1990: 51-52).

Global events in the late 1980s and 1990 had a sobering effect on the ANC’s ideological direction. Communism was discredited as a ‘failure’ and through internal reforms the ANC and its majority black supporters were incorporated into the mainstream South African political setting. When the ANC, after four years of negotiations with the government, won the general elections in April

1994, it could institute the political changes it had propounded for so long.

The most important programmes were nation-building and socio-economic development, areas of concern almost entirely ignored by all previous South

African governments.

6.1.2.3. Nation-building

Currently, nation-building within South African society finds expression in

Ubuntu

. This is the short-form of an isiXhosa proverb Umuntu ngumuntu

ngabantu

, meaning: ‘A human being is a human being only through its relationship to other human beings’. Ubuntu implies a number of social aspects: a sense of hospitality and the integration of strangers, solidarity

(survival in the face of abject poverty) and, alternatively, ostracism and compulsory conformity (Marx, 2002: 52).

An alternative side of Ubuntu is invoked when the strategy for survival is transformed into a nationalist ideology. Thus Ubuntu is elevated to a new cultural nationalism, as articulated for instance, by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), when he

‘Christianised’ Ubuntu as a form of human compassion contrasted to

apartheid

(Marx, 2002: 52).

What is the linkage between nation-building and Ubuntu? Ubuntu is, according to Marx (2002: 53), ‘a formula that at one and the same time excludes and includes, integrates and rejects. Out of the goal of unity and harmony, the practice of exclusion and separation follows inevitably, because identity can only be established through difference. Thus, included in the project of nation-building is the need to ensure conformity and the

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237 suppression of dissidence’. The government therefore interprets any criticism of its actions as evidence of its critics’ own limitations (Marx, 2002: 54).

Thus, interest groups criticising the LHWP are seen not as part of the Ubuntu spirit of nation building, but as ‘others’ with a different identity to Africanism.

This explains the branding of interest groups involved in the large dam’s debate. Asmal has called on occasion the interest groups lobbying against the LHWP ‘environmental terrorists’ (Q. Espey, personal communication, 28

August 2003). In the context of Ubuntu, this means that interest groups are not supporting nation-building by being against a project that is going to bring wealth and prosperity to the previously excluded portion of South Africa’s population. Accordingly, the LHWP, although 90 per cent of the Project is situated outside the country, should not only be seen as a strategy to bring water to South Africa’s economic heartland, but also as part of the greater nation-building project of the ANC.

6.1.2.4. Economic Growth

Apartheid

was responsible for turning South African society into one of the most unequal in the world. The wide disparities in education, health care and the economy favoured the 13 per cent white population at the expense of the

75 per cent black portion (ASS, 2002b: 966; PRS, 2002: 64). Within this context, the ANC, as ruling party, is attempting to bring about changes within society to address these imbalances. An important element of this strategy is economic growth, since economic life is embedded in social life (Polanyi,

1957; Lazar, 1996: 599, 623).

During the period 1990 to 1994, the ANC changed its stance towards economic life in South Africa from centralised statist intervention in the economy to a more market driven attitude. The main reasons for this move are as follows: growing realism concerning economic options; strong criticism from domestic and international businesses and investors; fear of mass white emigration or resistance; the humiliating collapse of state-run, repressive

‘planned’ economies of East-Central Europe; and globalisation, with its profound impact on the macroeconomic policy and ideology of the government (Lazar, 1996: 612; Magubane, 2002: 89).

Against this background the communist influence, the anti-apartheid struggle and the resistance against the previous government’s regional expansionist policies, at first informed the ANC’s discursive stance against the LHWP.

When it assumed power and had a mandate to redress inequalities, its ideological orientation changed.

Accordingly, the ANC initially launched the leftist, basic-needs-oriented

Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) as a vehicle to address national oppression through socio-economic transformation—the ANC answer to an economic policy. Two years later the RDP was replaced by a rightist, neoliberal Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) policy and an industrial policy through which the government hoped to create economic

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238 growth and jobs, redistribute income, and provide funds for social expenditure and welfare programmes (Magubane, 2002: 92, 100, 102; Peet, 2002: 54).

Water is needed for industrial development and economic growth, but water also needs to be redistributed more equitably between the different uses and users in society. It is for this reason that the current government is taking the stance that water is an economic and social resource and therefore it supports the LHWP. With equality in mind, what is the level of national loyalty towards the government’s policies?

6.1.2.5. Level of National Loyalty

Voter loyalty towards the ANC-controlled government’s nation-building initiative remains high. Support to its policies is reflected in the fact that it won the 2004 general elections with a near two-thirds majority. Irrespective of ideological and social dimensions, South Africa’s population at large shows a commitment to nation-building and national loyalty. The only real dissenting voice comes from the ultra-right wing, as recent events have indicated.

In 2002, white right-wingers, including senior SANDF officers, were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit sabotage, sabotage and high treason.

They, amongst others, allegedly

60

planned to blow up the Grootdraai and Vaal

Dams with the intent of causing an untold loss of lives as well as economic disruption; the seizure of army bases and military hardware; the execution of a coup; and the repression and repatriation of coloureds, blacks, Jews and whites who were not prepared to work with the alleged conspirators. The right-wingers believe that ‘pure whites’ should govern South Africa and all racial impurities were to be ‘wiped out’ (Sunday Times, 31 March 2002: 4; Die

Volksblad, 11 April 2002: 1; Beeld, 17 August 2002: 4).

The number of ultra right-wing supporters in South Africa constitute about

3 772 people who planned to overthrow the government, without being linked to a specific political party (The Citizen, 15 August 2002: 1; The Star, 15

August 2002: 2). This is about one per cent of the white population and 0.008 per cent of the entire population of South Africa. Could these right-wingers overthrow the government and unleash a racial war?

Their efforts, to not only overthrow the government and unleash a racial war, but also to build loyalty among other whites, are unlikely to be successful or widely accepted. This is an overestimation of their support at best. Moreover, in October 2002 when acts of sabotage were committed in Soweto and

Bronkhorstspruit, every political party in the country, the Freedom Front (a moderate right-wing party) included, condemned their action (Venter, 1998: 5;

Business Day, 31 October 2002: 4; Beeld, 31 October 2002: 2). Writing in

1998, four years before the ultra right-wing activity, Venter (1998: 6) stated:

‘What resistance remains [of the white right-wing after 1994] would be of a certain nuisance value: right-wing terrorist action which could be contained by

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At the time of writing the thesis, the trial of the right-wingers were continuing and no court finding could prove or disprove the plan.

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239 the new state’. This is the case and there is no chance that these elements constitute a serious threat to national loyalty.

6.1.3. Core Interest Groups

Three core interest groups are engaging government and project authorities regarding the LHWP, namely the HCAG, the LCN and the TRC.

6.1.3.1. The Highlands Church Action Group (HCAG)

The HCAG was established in 1987. Its formation was a response to the churches in Lesotho as well as other organisations’ concern about the impact of the LHWP. The first reaction was from the MCC, who placed two field workers in the central Project area in 1985. The second was the result of the

Heads of Churches Workshop for clergy and other church workers in the mountains, focusing on the proposed LHWP. The participants were firstly dissatisfied with the way such an important decision was made without prior consultation with the affected people. Secondly, they were concerned about the ability of the Project authorities to deliver the promised goods and services. At the workshop a decision was taken on arrangements to monitor the Project’s progress. It was within these structures that the MCC joined forces with the churches in Lesotho and the HCAG was formed (Internet:

Khits’ane, 1997).

Leaders from Lesotho’s Anglican, Catholic, and Independent churches are its

The HCAG’s transitional management committee includes representatives from two interest groups, the TRC and the Development for

Peace Education (DPE); and from two church organisations, the Christian

Council of Lesotho and the MCC. Christian Aid and Oxfam fund its work

(Archer, 1996: 2). There is therefore a strong ecumenical element involved in the interest group.

The churches in Lesotho, and their allies in other countries like the MCC and

Christian Aid, through their lobbying against the Project, are ideologically committed in their opposition to the LHWP, and ideologically linked to society.

Hence the churches’ decision, to side with the poor and oppressed, as required by the scriptural truth of the Bible that God is a God of the poor and oppressed. ‘The church, therefore, in ministering God’s love and forgiveness to all has to make a preferential option for the poor and oppressed if she wants to follow in her Master’s footsteps’ (Leatt, Kneifel & Nürnberger, 1986:

299-300). It is for these reasons that the churches and related ecumenical interest groups are involved in the LHWP.

6.1.3.2. The Lesotho Council of NGOs (LCN)

Although called the Lesotho Council of NGOs (LCN), it is an interest group with representation and policy shaping (influencing) roles. The LCN was established in 1990 to coordinate the activities of NGOs and other civil society actors. Since its inception, it has played an important role in promoting

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240 democracy. At first, it adopted a non-political stance, perhaps in fear of a negative response from the military government. Yet, the LCN soon changed its orientation to become more political, and even engaged the military government when democracy came under threat. As argued by Akokpari

(2002: 2): ‘As a result of these democratic stances, it succeeded in hastening the disengagement of the military from politics in 1994. This achievement has been largely due to the inclination of the leadership towards democracy.’

Throughout the 1990s, the LCN played an important part in bringing about political change in Lesotho. For instance, it was ‘instrumental’ in invalidating the royal coup of August 1994. In addition, in 1997, it was employed in mediating the constitutional crisis that was aggravated by the breakaway faction of the elected BCP government, led by Prime Minister Ntsu Mokhele

(Akokpari, 2002: 3). The LCN’s involvement in politics is therefore based on the ideology of liberal-democracy and it is through this ideology that it contributes to discourses regarding the LHWP.

6.1.3.3. The Transformation Resource Centre (TRC)

The TRC was founded in 1979 by Jimmy and Joan Stewart as an ecumenical and non-governmental membership organisation. The TRC played an important role in the non-violent struggle against apartheid. Its ecumenical character is reflected in the fact that it is partially funded by Christian Aid and the MCC (TRC, 2003).

It serves as a resource centre for those individuals and organisations committed to work for peace, justice and participatory development in Lesotho and parts of the SADC region. The ideological stance of the interest group is captured by Jimmy Stewart, when he declared: ‘We have begun to see that true justice and true sharing will only happen when real power to decide and act is spread through our peoples, through every community, at every level, until it reaches to the highest forces and influences them’ (TRC, 2003). This is an indication of its commitment to its main objective, namely to the peaceful co-existence of peoples, communities and the state through the dissemination of power throughout all layers of society.

Other objectives of the TRC are first, to cooperate with Basotho communities, churches, other organisations, government and international agencies to promote and protect human rights, economic justice, participatory development, democratic government, the rule of law and peaceful resolution of conflicts in Lesotho and the SADC region; and secondly, to facilitate effective teaching of the principles of democracy and good governance in the

Secondary and High Schools of Lesotho (TRC, 2003).

Presently, the TRC has three field workers serving the affected areas of the

LHWP. Their primary role is to act as ‘friends of the affected communities, to facilitate their empowerment and to enable them to express their own needs and goals’. The ‘TRC also monitors resettlement and integration of relocates into their new communities’ (TRC, 2003). As an interest group, the TRC has

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241 close relations with the World Bank, LHDA and other international interest groups and NGOs, concerned with the environmental and social risks of high dams. It wants to ensure that the Project benefits both Lesotho and South

Africa, without sacrificing the rural poor for ‘high tech development’ (TRC,

2003). It is with this social-historical background in mind that the TRC is contributing to discourses on and ideologically influencing the compensation policy of the LHDA.

6.1.4. Inner Peripheral Interest Groups

6.1.4.1. The Alexandra Civics Organisation (ACO)

Alexandra is a predominantly African township, about 13 km from

Johannesburg’s city centre, and surrounded by formerly exclusively white residential areas. It is a polluted, over-crowded and dangerous slum with minimal infrastructure, and home to the poorest people in urbanised South

Africa (Ndletyana, 1999: 35; Weissman, 1996). These conditions formed the immediate background to the creation of the ACO. However, its establishment was also closely linked to the emergence of civic associations throughout South Africa during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Civic associations were formed to address the grievances of township residents, concentrating efforts on so-called ‘bread and butter issues’. During unrest periods, they joined the ANC in the struggle and accentuated these issues. Local community action was mobilised against state policies, becoming a significant arena of political conflict. Apartheid therefore prompted the formation of civics throughout South Africa (Shubane & Madiba, 1994: 241; Mtimkulu, 1995: 43;

Ndletyana, 1999: 34).

Black university students played a leading role in this process and student organisations that embraced a radical form of black consciousness formed the nucleus of the civics movement. The first civic emerged in the aftermath of the 1976 Soweto uprising to provide organisational support for the resistance activities of that period. The increased organisation of workers into trade unions during the late 1970s provided another stimulus. Furthermore, services in the townships were poor, material deprivation was a concomitant feature of township life, and residents were not democratically represented in the local councils. These societal factors contributed to the establishment of civic associations (Lodge, 1983: 353-354; Shubane & Madiba, 1992: 2-3).

The political violence sweeping across South Africa in the mid-1980s was another important factor contributing to the formation of civics. During the first six months of 1986, violent encounters between police and Alexandra residents led to increased collective initiatives. On 29 April 1986, the trade unionist and Alexandra Action Committee (AAC) leader, Moses Mayekiso, announced that the AAC was taking control of Alexandra with the intention of making the township ungovernable, and that leaders from various community organisations would assist the AAC in the running thereof. The AAC became the forerunner of the ACO. Mayekiso wanted to establish a worker’s party with a worker’s charter, ‘which would state clearly who would control the

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242 farms, factories and mines once apartheid was abolished’. Mayekiso termed the Freedom Charter a ‘capitalist document’ and therefore did not subscribe to it (Carter, 1991: 115, 132; Weissman, 1996; Ndletyana, 1999: 35). As a result, the formative years of the ACO were heavily influenced by a socialist ideology.

The ACO was established in 1989, against the backdrop of rent increases, poor social services, and political opposition to apartheid local government.

The ACO allied itself with the liberation movement under the leadership of the

United Democratic Front (UDF). As apartheid ended, the ACO shifted its focus from protest action to socio-economic development (Ndletyana, 1999:

35; Mayekiso, 1993; Weissman, 1996). The socio-economic challenges facing Alexandra are still its main focus, evidenced by Mayekiso’s opinion that: ‘So far, our economic situation and the physical environment in which we suffer have not improved much’ (Mayekiso, 1996).

Even so, the ideological power of the ACO, like most other civic organisations in South Africa, had been diluted by two factors. The first, ironically, was the demise of apartheid. After apartheid was abolished, the ACO lost most of its momentum and energy since it no longer had a political rationale to function as an anti-government organisation. The second was the local government elections that drew in a new generation of local councillors from both the ANC and the civic movement. As the new councillors took up their positions and initiated the process of township development, the basis of civic associations was eroded. Suddenly the ACO was plagued by financial problems, skills’ shortages, declining influence within the alliance and a demoralised leadership (Ndletyana, 1999:35). Thus, the ACO does not have the ideological power it previously had to oppose government policies, the LHWP included.

6.1.4.2. The Group for Environmental Monitoring (GEM)

The Group for Environmental Monitoring (GEM) was established in 1991 to conduct research on major environmental problems in South Africa. It was premised on a paucity of reliable information on the environment and related issues, and was founded in response to needs expressed in the run up to the

Rio Summit. In other words, that the environment cannot be understood outside a relationship with socio-economic development, especially in a country with limited resources and large inequalities in sharing those resources (GEM, 1994: 6; Internet: GEM, 2003).

Concerned trade unionists, academics, journalists, lawyers, and researchers were responsible for its creation. Their aim was to popularise a vision of sustainable development in Southern Africa, by raising awareness and environmental education (GEM, 1995: 2; GEM, 1996: 2). This popularisation of sustainable development is encapsulated in GEM’s mission and vision, namely that ‘GEM strives for equitable and ecologically sustainable development for South Africans and all peoples in this and future generations’

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243

(GEM, 2002). This vision is achieved through its 12-point mission, which informs its ideology and the way it produces discourses:

• Promoting and monitoring sustainable options through the equitable use and access to natural resources within ecological limits, the enhancement of biological diversity, and the promotion of a clean and healthy environment.

• Redressing past and continuing environmental injustices.

• Redefining security to include pressing socio-economic issues such as poverty eradication and good environmental governance.

• Building environmental awareness and confidence within society to ensure appropriate decision-making and action.

• Creating synergy through strong and active sustainable development networks of environmentally conscious civil society organisations in support of these strategies.

• Creating local successes that can be replicated.

• Researching sustainable development issues, in particular case studies of successes and failures.

• Providing information and research to support community development.

• Advocating sustainable development policies and monitoring the implementation thereof.

• Promoting environmentally sensitive consumption patterns.

• Ensuring the needs of those that it serves are met.

• Improvement through internal reflection and teamwork (GEM, 2002).

Thus, sustainable development is a central element of its ideology. It is also noteworthy to see that GEM does not only focus on advocacy but that research and information dissemination play a central role in its activities.

This is an indication of a pragmatic interest group, which not merely opposes policy—but serves as a driving force in the development, articulation and dissemination of alternatives to adverse environmental policies.

6.1.5. Outer Peripheral Interest Groups

In the previous chapter on the Kunene, the ideological power of a number of outer peripheral interest groups was discussed. Two of these interest groups are also involved in the LHWP, namely FIVAS and the IRN and therefore require no further discussion in this regard.

6.1.5.1. Christian Aid

The churches in the UK and Ireland formed Christian Aid in 1945. Initially it was known as the Christian Reconciliation in Europe in response to the plight and needs of refugees and churches after the Second World War. In 1949, it became part of the British Council of Churches as the Department for the

Inter-Church Aid and Refugee Service. At this stage, it got involved in world refugee settlement and justice issues. It also worked closely with the World

Council of Churches and the churches in the newly independent countries of

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244 the South (especially in Africa and elsewhere where decolonisation was taking place) (Internet: Christian Aid, 2001).

In 1964, it changed its name to Christian Aid and since 1991 has functioned as a separate legal entity, although in close relationship with the Council of

Churches (Internet: Christian Aid, 2001). The interest group works in over 60 of the world’s poorest countries on long-term development projects where the need is greatest. Its essential belief is summed up in the statement: ‘We believe in life before death. This belief is there to strengthen the poor, share common humanity and promote the dignity and rights of women and men everywhere’ (Internet: Christian Aid, 2001).

With this in mind, Christian Aid strives to:

• End poverty and promote the dignity and basic rights of every person.

• Provide resources that enable poor people to improve their quality of life.

• Work with poor and marginalised communities who are struggling for justice and to support them as they tell their stories, so no one can plead ignorance.

• Empower people to reform the systems that keep them poor.

• Take the risks and ask the questions that spotlight the causes of poverty.

• Engage young and old, poor and rich in a global movement that changes the course of history.

• Work with partners in the Church, and those of other faiths and beliefs who side with the poor.

• Be inspired by the Gospel of good news to the poor, which promises a fulfilling life for all and the hope of a new earth (Internet: Christian Aid,

2001).

The eradication of poverty is central to its ideology. This is done through a number of intentions, of which the most important is ‘to strive for demonstrable changes to address unjust and unequal power relationships, systems, structures and processes that discriminate against the poorest people, achieving these through education, advocacy and campaigning’

(Internet: Christian Aid, 2001).

6.1.5.2. Environmental Defence (ED)

Environmental Defence (ED) was established in the US in 1967, after four scientists from Long Island won a court case banning the pesticide

dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane

(DDT). It was the beginning of modern environmental law and following the event ED was established (Internet: ED,

2003). The scientists, therefore, acted in defence of the environment—hence its name.

From the beginning, ED was committed not only to oppose ill-conceived policies, but also to propose alternatives. It still uses litigation when necessary, but works increasingly and directly with business, government,

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245 and community groups, forging solutions to environmental problems. The interest group is dedicated to protecting the environmental rights of all people, including future generations. Among these rights are clean air and water, healthy and nourishing food and a flourishing ecosystem (mission statement).

Guided by science, ED evaluates environmental problems and works to create and advocate solutions that win lasting political, economic, and social support because they are non-partisan, cost-efficient and fair (Internet: ED,

2003). This mission statement, like GEM’s, is greatly influenced by sustainable development and a green political or ecocentric ideology. The fact that it is guided by science lends ED more credibility than other more ideologically orientated interest groups like Greenpeace. It is also an indication of ED’s pragmatic stance within the policy process.

6.1.5.3. The Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)

The Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) was founded on 27 September

1920, three years after the rise of communism in Russia and two years after the end of the First World War. On that day, 13 church leaders met in Elkhart,

Indiana (US), to discuss ways how North American Mennonites could respond to the needs of hungry people in the former Soviet Union. The MCC’s name is a reflection of the coming together of different church groups into one central committee. Today it is supported by 15 different Mennonite groups and the Brethren in Christ as the relief, development, and peace service wing of the Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches in Canada and the US. The

MCC placed workers in Lesotho in 1973 and works closely with the TRC

(Internet: MCC, 2003). It is, thus, like the TRC and HCAG an ecumenical interest group.

It is motivated by the Bible and the Mennonite experience. The Bible calls

Christians to serve those who are hungry, thirsty, sick, in prison and strangers

(Matthew 25: 35-36) (part of the MCC’s mission statement). This command was expressed by Menno Simons (hence Mennonite), a sixteenth century church leader, who stated: ‘True evangelical faith cannot lie sleeping, it clothes the naked, it comforts the sorrowful, it feeds the hungry, it shelters the destitute, it cares for the sick, it becomes all things to all men’. This pastoral expression is furthermore articulated in its mission statement, that ‘the MCC seeks to demonstrate God’s love by working among people suffering from poverty, conflict, oppression and natural disaster; MCC serves as a channel for interchange by building relationships that are mutually transformative; and

MCC strives for peace, justice and dignity of all people by sharing our experiences, resources and faith in Jesus Christ’ (Internet: MCC, 2003).

The Mennonite experience relates to the familiarity many Mennonites have had with war, refugee flight and hunger in the former Soviet Union and

Europe. This past experience causes them to respond ‘compassionately to others who are hungry, caught in war or refugees’ (Internet: MCC, 2003). The pastoral ideology has impacted on the way the MCC generates discourses on

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246 and engages in the water politics of the LHWP, being guided by the plight of the poor and displaced.

6.1.5.4. Oxfam

Oxfam has been working with impoverished people in 70 developing countries for over 50 years. At any given time, Oxfam can work with more than 3 000 local groups in the developing world. The interest group is a ‘development, relief, and campaigning organisation dedicated to finding lasting solutions to poverty and suffering around the world’, but it also carries out advocacy and policy work to ensure that governments and international organisations understand the issues surrounding poverty (Internet: Oxfam, 2003).

Oxfam’s six core beliefs are an indication of its socio-historical background, informing its ideology and the way it produces discourses:

• The lives of all human beings are of equal value.

• In a world rich in resources, poverty is an injustice which must be overcome.

• Poverty makes people more vulnerable to conflict and natural calamity; much of this suffering can be prevented and must be relieved.

• People’s vulnerability to poverty and suffering is increased by unequal power relations based on, for example, gender, race, class, caste and disability; women, who make up a majority of the world’s poor, are especially disadvantaged.

• Working together, a just and safer world can be built, in which people take control over their own lives and enjoy their basic rights.

• To overcome poverty and suffering involves changing unjust policies and practices, nationally and internationally, as well as working closely with people in poverty (Internet: Oxfam, 2003).

Oxfam also has an independent identity that has a bearing on its ideological power. This identity has the following characteristics:

• Oxfam works internationally as part of a worldwide movement to build a just and safer world.

• It is an independent UK organisation, registered as a charity, affiliated to

Oxfam International, with partners, volunteers, supporters and staff of many nationalities.

• Oxfam is accountable both to those who support it and those whom it seeks to benefit by its efforts (Internet: Oxfam, 2003).

Oxfam is therefore an interest group that highlights the worldwide plight of the poor. This is the main issue it articulates, with the other being injustice, which it feels lies at the heart of the poverty problem.

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6.2. Economic Power

The LHWP is one of the largest engineering endeavours ever constructed on the African continent. The multiplicity of its different components, its sheer size and the implementation of the institutional arrangements also make it expensive. The original cost of the project was US$3 770 million, with Phase

1B costing a total of US$1 100 million. The final price of the project as of

March 2003, for Phase 1A is R9.6 billion and for Phase 1B R6.1 billion. Thus, the Project has a total cost of R15.7 billion. Most of the financing was raised through loans, because the LHDA is not an equity based financial institution

(ASS, 2002a: 552; Internet: LHWP, 2003; TCTA, 2003b: 49) (Table 15 outlines the loans that were secured from other financial institutions for financing the Project).

Table 15. Financial institutions lending money for construction of the

LHWP.

Institution Amount

World Bank

(million US$)

45

DBSA 45

European Investment Bank

Dresdner Bank

110 na

Banque Nationale de Paris

Credit Lyonnais

Hill Samuel Merchant Bank

Standard Merchant and Corporate Bank (SMCB) na na na na

Amalgamated Banks of South Africa (ABSA)

Rand Merchant Bank

First National Bank (FNB)

South African capital, money markets and Vaal

River water users. na na na

US$825 million

Source:

Finansies & Tegniek, 3 March 1986: 27; The Star, 20 November

1991: 28; Business Day, 22 June 1990: 3; ASS, 2002a: 552; Business Day,

22 August 1986: 8; Business Day, 21 August 1986: 1; Sunday Times, 5

October 1986: 3; The Citizen, 21 January 1987: 17; Sunday Times, 23

September 1990: 4.

The economic power of Lesotho and South Africa differs considerably relative to implementing the LHWP.

6.2.1. Lesotho

The burden for finding the financial resources for the Muela power station fell on Lesotho. All debt servicing regarding this component is handled by the

LHDA on behalf of the Lesotho government. By 1987, it had already secured amounts from various financing agencies. Funding was also secured inside the region. In 1988, the LHDA signed a further R106 million loan agreement with the DBSA, after the DBSA had previously loaned the Project R128.6 million. Furthermore, the Lesotho government had contributed R4.6 million

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248 for the construction of access roads to the Katse Dam’s construction site

(Business Day, 12 November 1986: 4; Financial Mail, 13 November 1987: 31;

The Citizen, 16 April 1988: 13; Internet: LHWP, 2003).

What is Lesotho’s economic capacity to help finance the LHWP? Lesotho has funded the construction of the Muela hydropower plant, estimated at R860 million at 1991 prices. The electricity produced by Muela will be used exclusively by Lesotho, making it less dependent on ESCOM for its energy needs. The funding of Muela hinged therefore on Lesotho’s economic capacity and on the ability of consumers to pay for the electricity (Business

Day, 28 November 1991: 3; Internet: The World Bank, 2000c).

In 2001, the World Bank estimated Lesotho’s GNI per capita at US$580.

Lesotho has an estimated population of about 2.1 million people. The annual population growth rate is in the region of 1.6 per cent. Yet, this growth rate is retarded by an HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of about 31 per cent. More than 85 per cent of the population lives in rural areas and is engaged in agricultural and informal activities (Internet: The World Bank, 2001a).

Agriculture contributes about 14 per cent to the GDP. This sector has also been a supplementary source of income since 50 per cent of rural households’ income comes from family members working in the South African mining sector. Although declining, migrant earnings still constitute about 30 per cent of Lesotho’s GNI. Moreover, around 35 per cent of the labour force is unemployed or under-employed (Internet: The World Bank, 2001a).

Nonetheless, Lesotho has registered an impressive economic performance between 1995 and 1997. During this period, the GDP growth rate averaged about 10 per cent. Growth has, however, slowed down after the September

1998 political turmoil and the completion of Phase 1A. The LHWP was mainly responsible for rapid economic growth in the mid- to late 1990s (Internet: The

World Bank, 2001a). It will probably slow down further now that Phase 1 has been completed.

Despite concerns over political instability that reduced economic growth, the

Muela power station was financed by Lesotho and completed. The question remains whether or not there is a market in Lesotho for the electricity. If not, electricity can always be exported to South Africa; earning the country much needed foreign revenue. Nonetheless, because of the production of electricity

Lesotho will save about US$9.6 million (at 1991 prices) per year in electricity bills to ESCOM. In addition, the supply of water to South Africa contributed about R250 million in 1998 to Lesotho which will increase to about R1.1 billion

per annum

on completion of the Project (Business Day, 28 November 1991:

3). This will be a substantial boost to the country’s economy enabling it to service the financial package of the Muela power station.

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6.2.2. South Africa

In terms of the LHWP Treaty, the South African government is responsible for the costs of the water transfers and provides the guarantees required to support the funding. The TCTA is the South African government’s agent in making debt-service payments related to interest and capital (Internet: LHWP,

2003).

When the Treaty was signed, South Africa was facing one of its biggest challenges in its political history—that of punitive international sanctions.

South African borrowers, the DWA included, were seen as persona non grata in foreign capital markets. Thus, for Phase 1, South Africa, through the

TCTA, was expected to provide R250 million needed for the construction of the South African portion. The money was raised on the local capital market.

The remaining R1.16 billion was borrowed on the international market under the guidance of the World Bank acting for the LHDA (Sunday Times, 5

October 1986:3; Business Day, 12 November 1986: 12).

In 1987, South Africa announced that it would stand guarantor for all interest payments and redemptions on the R4.5 billion Project. A number of financial institutions were to fund the project, namely the South African government, the World Bank, the EU, the International Development Bank and other smaller funding agencies. The South African government contributed R8.6 million to the construction of one of the access roads to Katse (Business Day,

8 October 1987: 4; The Citizen, 16 April 1988: 6).

Although some of the money for the Project was borrowed from international financial institutions, it is the LHWP’s water users that will fund the Project

(The Citizen, 24 October 1997: 20). If the South African users are going to fund the Project, in other words, the servicing of the loans, what is the nature of South Africa’s economic power? South Africa has a population of about

44.8 million with a growth rate of 2.1 per cent. Yet, South Africa has one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the world. By the end of 2001, the adult prevalence rate was 20.1 per cent. The country has nevertheless a GNI per

capita

of US$2 820, but has one of the highest income disparities in the world.

About 13 per cent of the population (around 5.4 million people) live in ‘first world’ conditions, while about 53 per cent (22 million people) live in ‘third world’ circumstances. Of these people only one quarter of households have access to electricity and running water; 50 per cent have primary school education and over 33 per cent of the children suffer from chronic malnutrition

(Internet: The World Bank, 2000c).

Nonetheless, South Africa’s economy is based on abundant mineral and energy resources. Much of the manufacturing industry is based on mining, and exports are led by gold and diamonds. In recent years, the tourism industry, as an earner of foreign revenue, has been catching up with the mining sector and is likely to surpass it (Internet: The World Bank, 2000c).

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Because the water from the LHWP is used in Gauteng and other provinces, it is also necessary to outline the economic conditions of this province to fully comprehend South Africa’s economic power (see Table 16).

Table 16. A comparison of the Gross Geographic Product (GGP) of

South Africa’s nine provinces.

Province GGP (million) Percentage (%) of

South Africa’s total

Eastern Cape

Free State

R29,049

R23,688

GDP

7.59%

6.19%

North West

Northern Cape

Western Cape

R21,252

R8,000

R81,800

5.56%

2.09%

14.2%

Source:

RSA, 2002.

Table 16 indicates that Gauteng has the largest GGP of all nine provinces. It also makes the largest contribution to the country’s GDP. Thus, the province has the economic ability to pay for the LHWP. It was therefore impossible for the interest groups to convince the World Bank and other financial institutions to discontinue their financial support. The World Bank had in any case financed only a small fraction of the Project’s cost.

6.3. Military Power

Military power has not been used to implement the LHWP. Although there was speculation on South Africa’s involvement in the 1986 coup, this could never be proved. However, nine months after the coup the LHWP Treaty was signed. The linkage of military power and the LHWP was again mooted during Operation Boleas. Because of military action near the Katse Dam, it was speculated in the media that South Africa used its military power to secure the flow of water from Lesotho (Homer-Dixon, 1994: 19; Meissner,

2000e: 26; Turton, 2003b: 146).

Operation Boleas was widely condemned by some SADC member states.

Yet, and according to Turton (2003b: 159), ‘Boleos [sic] was launched at the written request of the elected government of Lesotho, which was being threatened by a military coup; the rationale, therefore, was to prevent this from happening and to restore security. The fact that some of the fighting occurred at the Katse Dam has been argued by some commentators to be evidence of a “water war”’. Turton (2003b: 159) ‘refutes this conclusion’ because ‘the fighting was not over the resource itself’. He furthermore

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251 declares: ‘It is logical for a country such as South Africa to wish to protect large infrastructural developments (such as the LHWP) during times of internal political upheaval, for two good reasons: first, South Africa is strategically dependent on the LHWP (a possible water-war argument); secondly, South Africa paid for the entire cost of the project (with the exception of the Muela Power Station), which is situated in another country, so she has a vested interest in protecting a major investment from possible sabotage’. Therefore, military power was not used, although political power is employed on a constant basis.

6.4. Political Power

To determine the political power of the states, it is necessary to analyse a series of events that indicate the nature, scope and degree of the states’ political power.

(a) GEM Workshop

: In August 1996, GEM held a workshop on the LHWP and its impact on the communities living in the Project area. The then South

African Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, Asmal, in a speech at the occasion gave the guarantee that the communities would be ‘better off’ because of the Project. According to members of GEM, the Minister became frustrated with the interest group’s continued criticism of some aspects of the

Project, and in his address labelled them ‘environmental terrorists’. The

Minister adopted the same viewpoint at the launch of the WCD report in 2000 in Pretoria, when the GEM director, Quinton Espey, interacted with him on the

LHWP (Hoover, 1996: 6; Q. Espey, personal communication, 28 August 2003;

Personal Observation). What is of significance is not the guarantee given by the Minister, but the fact that he attended the workshop, thereby interacting with the interest group. Nonetheless, labelling them ‘environmental terrorists’ is the antithesis of a ‘friendly’ penetration of civil society. It is also an act that does not denote routine and institutionalised negotiations.

(b) Memorandum of Understanding

: In May 1998, a Memorandum of

Understanding (MOU) was signed between the LHDA and Lesotho interest groups. This MOU, inter alia, addressed the responsibilities of the interest groups involved in the Project. The signing thereof was a new development in the relationship between the actors. Since 1994, the LHDA had initiated regular monthly meetings with the interest groups, when issues of concern were discussed. Subsequently, action plans were developed and implemented, which culminated in the signing of the MOU, which was hailed by both the World Bank and the UNDP as ‘unique’ (Meissner, 2000f: 26).

One of the most important sections of the MOU is the principle of cooperation that guides the parties’ cooperative endeavours. It not only outlines the nature of the relationship between the LHDA and interest groups, but also the way interest groups are expected to behave during their interaction with affected communities (section 6.1 and 6.2). Accordingly:

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6.1 Lesotho Highlands Development Authority and the cluster of NGOs

[interest groups] commit themselves to work in ways that ensure integrity, mutual respect, transparency, accountability, efficiency, full disclosure and access to information in their dealings with each other and affected communities.

6.2 The NGOs [interest groups] commit themselves to work in ways that ensure accountability to the affected communities, integrity, effectiveness and accountability in their implementation of specific programmes falling within the areas of co-operation identified in section

5.0 of this MOU. The NGOs working on LHWP programmes that are governed by this MOU shall be capacitated to perform the services and carry out their obligations with due diligence, efficiency and economy, in accordance with generally accepted techniques, practices, professionalism and shall observe sound management and technical practices (MOU, 1999).

Section 6.5 requires of the parties that they develop a code of conduct to govern the cooperative relationship, which will apply to those activities carried out on behalf of the affected communities (MOU, 1999: 5). As one observer puts it: ‘The project [LHDA] has learnt the lesson that the NGOs [interest groups] having worked with the communities, have an essential role to play in the delivery of services to the communities by the project and that both the

NGOs [interest groups] and the LHDA have the same objective, which is to ensure delivery to the communities’ (Mochebelele, 2000: 111). Nevertheless, the MOU was a failure as reflected in the Parliamentarians visit to the affected communities and the ombudsman inquiry. Thus, routine and institutionalised negotiations were rendered ineffectual and more confrontational interaction ensued.

Figure 16. The prevalence of despotic and infrastructural power within the South African and LHDA political systems regarding the LHWP.

South African Government and the LHDA

Despotic Power

Infrastructural Power

The practice of MOUs between project authorities and interest groups may become the norm in future large dam projects. An impediment that hampers such a development is the inclination of governments and project planners, desperate to implement water development projects, to exclude interest

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253 groups from such endeavours out of fear that these non-state actors will obstruct development (Meissner, 2000e: 25). A despotic attitude will also hamper successful co-existence.

Figure 17. The prevalence of despotic and infrastructural power within the Lesotho political system regarding the LHWP.

Lesotho Government

Despotic Power

Infrastructural Power

Both the South African government and the LHDA exhibit a high degree of despotic power (see Figure 16). The opposite applies to the Lesotho government, especially since late 2002. This is exemplified by the visit of

Lesotho parliamentarians to the Project area and the ombudsman inquiry shortly thereafter (see Figure 17).

(c) Parliamentarians’ Visit

: From 7 to 8 November 2002, Lesotho parliamentarians visited the areas affected by the LHWP. The TRC, through the Speaker of the National Assembly, organised the visit. Its objective was to acquaint the members of parliament (MPs) and Senators with developments relating to social and environmental aspects of the Project (The

Survivor, 22 January 2003).

This gave communities in the area of the Katse Dam a chance to communicate directly with their government representatives. Community members told the parliamentarians that they were disgruntled and disappointed with the way the Project authorities treated them. George

Molise from the Bokong community adjacent to the Katse Dam said: ‘The

Project has made several promises to us as far as our compensation for our communal and private assets were concerned. They used to supply us with fodder to replace our grazelands destroyed by the construction works of the

Project. After some time they stopped the supply of fodder saying that they would give us money. But that money has not come until now’. Another

Bokong villager, Mohapi Makoetlane, testified that they do not want this dam.

‘[It] has brought no socio-economic developments to this area as promised’

(The Survivor, 22 January 2003).

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The Bokong community appealed that a motion be put before Parliament calling for the compensation policy of the LHWP to be made into law or at least gazetted it to oblige the LHDA to comply with its provisions. The villagers indicated that the compensation policy was not legally binding (The

Survivor, 22 January 2003). The leader of the Lesotho Workers’ Party (LWP),

Macaefa Billy, remarked that the plight of the communities was serious,

‘heartbreaking’ and needed Parliament’s urgent attention. He also insisted:

‘Government, through the LHDA, should be brought before the courts of law to answer all these grievances. All non-governmental organisations under the umbrella of the Lesotho Council of Non-governmental Organisations should be mobilised for funds for such a court case and solidarity’ (The Survivor, 22

January 2003).

According to the Deputy Leader of the BCP, Sekoala Toloane, it was unfortunate that MPs for the affected areas were not present to hear the grievances. He furthermore told the press: ‘These are not political party issues. Nevertheless, they are national issues, which need the concerted effort of all including Parliament and government. We must lobby and fight for the establishment of a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee dealing with issues related to the affected communities and the Project. This is very important and urgent. It is the primary duty of government to ensure welfare and security of the people against projects that impact negatively on them’ (The

Survivor, 22 January 2003). These utterances are an indication that the issue of compensation had finally reached the policy agenda. However, the LHDA tried to influence this.

Before the visit, the LHDA, through the Ministry of Natural Resources, informed the TRC that no arrangements had been made for the parliamentarians’ visit. The LHDA also stated that such visits should be arranged well in advance so that the parliamentarians could be briefed by trained people and that arrangements could be made with contractors working on sites to avoid the embarrassment of not allowing parliamentarians access to some areas (The Survivor, 22 January 2003).

Following the visit, in January 2003, the LHDA expressed concern that the

MPs did not get a balanced brief on the project. This followed complaints by communities that they received improper compensation. The LHDA maintained that it always had an open-door-policy regarding compensation matters. It also prepared a second visit to take both the Upper and Lower

Houses of Parliament to the Project sites where they ‘will get first hand information’ (The Survivor, 22 January 2003). The initial visit was, however, followed by an inquiry by the Lesotho ombudsman.

(d) The Ombudsman Inquiry

: At the beginning of March 2003, the Lesotho

Ombudsman, Sekara Mafisa, held a week-long formal inquiry into the complaints of the communities. The inquiry came after the ombudsman received many written complaints over the period December 2002 and

January 2003 from people who had been affected by the Project in various ways. Seven resettled communities had the same complaints, inter alia, late

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255 payment of compensation money, inadequate compensation for communal assets and no vocational training as promised. The conclusion drawn by the villagers was that the LHDA was responsible for their decreasing living standards. The ombudsman also investigated the complaints because the

Lesotho government wanted to finally lay the matter of compensation to rest

(The Survivor, 13 March 2003; The Survivor, 6 August 2003; G. van der

Merwe, personal communication, 20 August 2003).

The ombudsman’s report was published at the end of July 2003. Mafisa concluded that the LHDA should pay interest at the commercial bank lending rate in terms of section 39 (2) of the LHDA Order No. 23, 1986 on all compensation outstanding at the time of the inquiry. The report states: ‘This delay in the payment of compensation monies subjects the already traumatized resettles/relocates to unexpected hardships.’ The ombudsman furthermore recommended that the ‘communities be involved truly and in earnest in the revision of the Compensation Policy’ (The Survivor, 6 August

2003). This is an indication that the communities were not fully involved in the policy process from the onset.

The report also stated that compensation for communal assets should be enjoyed by both the resettled and host communities by expending the funds on development projects such as the construction of access roads, water supply, the provision of electricity and the initiation of income-generating activities to avoid the polarisation of communities and the alienation of the resettled community by the host community. ‘We endorse the idea of cooperatives as a means by which these funds may be accessed by the beneficiary communities. The communities also have a right to suggest ideas on how best they can access these monies without taking any risks’ (The

Survivor, 6 August 2003).

Mafisa called for closer cooperation between the LHDA, the resettled communities and core interest groups. In the report he stated that the LHDA was unable to function successfully in its administration of the compensation programme of the affected communities and ‘do not meet it a fraction of the way’. The report, therefore, emphasised and reflected the relationship between the LHDA and Lesotho interest groups and called for repair of the damaged relationships between the two parties. Nevertheless, according to

Mafisa, the LHDA as a public institution should take the lead in this regard.

Mafisa stated that the interest groups were good vehicles to exemplify the good image of the LHDA to the rest of the world, and this vehicle is needed by the LHDA (The Survivor, 6 August 2003). This is an indication that the MOU, signed between the LHDA and interest groups, was a failure. It can be concluded that the LHDA should make more use of its infrastructural power and less of its despotic power, by engaging the interest groups in a constructive manner. According to the ombudsman, the LHWC, as overseer of the Project, should carry out its obligation to the LHDA in terms of the

Treaty. Because of these recommendations, the report was viewed as a victory by the interest groups, especially the TRC (The Survivor, 6 August

2003).

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The inquiry and report was a significant turning point in the relationship between the core interest groups, the affected communities and the LHDA.

The ombudsman is an officer of the state appointed to safeguard citizens’ rights and to investigate allegations of misadministration, ranging from the improper utilisation of powers to the failure to follow procedures and plain incompetence. His or her role is to enhance and not replace normal avenues of complaints like administrative courts or elected representatives.

Notwithstanding this specific role, the ombudsman’s investigations and findings seldom have the force of law. An ombudsman is concerned with wider administrative morality. This concern is the gist of the change in the relationship between the three actors. In effect, the ombudsman had found that the LHDA was administering the compensation programme in an immoral and ineffective manner. This moral aspect also surfaced when the corruption scandal rocked the Project. Thus, morality does play a significant role in domestic as well as international affairs, with the exercise of despotic power, in this case, seen as being immoral (Venter, 1991: 86-87; Heywood, 1997:

355).

Although the ombudsman does not have executive powers whereby the

LHDA could be criminally prosecuted, the report empowers the interest groups to exercise sound control over the LHDA. As indicated, the interest groups viewed the report as a great public relations victory, to be used as a benchmark to evaluate the performance of the LHDA and the issue of compensation. Because of this success the interest groups may in future call on the ombudsman’s services; that is to say if the interest groups and the

LHDA fail to put their differences aside and recommit themselves to cooperation through a refined MOU—thus improving infrastructural capabilities in policy implementation.

7. Interaction between the Actors

A number of incidents, which occurred during the course of the interest groups’ campaign, are indicative of the interaction between the actors. These relate to the control techniques used and the resistance to these procedures.

(a) Moea Ramokoatsi’s Meeting with the World Bank

: When Moea

Ramokoatsi met World Bank officials in October 1995, they recognised her complaint and indicated that Phase 1A need to be ‘cleaned up’. They also remarked that the Bank did not intend to move forward with Phase 1B until existing problems are resolved. Despite this assurance, World Bank consultants were already doing preliminary work on Phase 1B, with advanced infrastructure in place. At the closing of the sluice gates of the Katse Dam,

Asmal (the former South African Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry) gave the project ‘a clean bill of health’. He said that the interest groups had accentuated the negative aspects of the Project while disregarding the positive elements (Internet: Coleman, 1995b). The World Bank reacted through conditional agreement, while Asmal responded by disagreeing, disputation and alternative interpretation.

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(b) Response to Labour Unrest

: On 14 September 1996, labour unrest broke out at the construction site of the Muela power station, near Butha

Buthe. Reports stated that some workers were killed by the police and that others were injured. Interest groups in Lesotho, the LCN in particular, responded strongly to the incident and accused the police of improper conduct. The Lesotho interest groups contacted the IRN and the ED, petitioning them to add their voices in calling for justice in the matter.

Collectively they requested the World Bank to use its good offices to pressurise the Lesotho government and the LHDA to take proper measures.

In response, World Bank team visited Lesotho in October 1996 to investigate the incident. It stated in a letter to the interest groups that ‘the objective of this visit was to try to determine for ourselves what happened’. A report was compiled after the visit (Internet: IRN, 1996b; Internet: IRN, 1996c). The coalition of interest groups also requested for an international commission of inquiry, but the Lesotho government refused. It did, however, launch an internal inquiry into the matter, following pressure from the World Bank

(Internet: IRN, 1996b; Meissner, 2000f: 26).

The World Bank report contained a number of recommendations:

• The Lesotho government should establish an independent and transparent public Commission of Inquiry to examine the issues that led to the labour dispute and the events. While the internal inquiry might be a useful precursor to such a Commission, the establishment of the public

Commission of Inquiry should not depend on the outcome of the internal inquiry.

• That the capacity of the Lesotho government be strengthened to enable it to monitor labour disputes at the LHWP more efficiently. A dedicated unit dealing only with the LHWP might be the best option.

• That the LHDA should incorporate the lessons of recent events in the drafting of contracts for Phase 1B to ensure close monitoring of labour relations and occupational health and safety issues (Internet: IRN, 1996b).

Thus, the interest groups, through appeals to shared values (justice), convinced the World Bank to apply pressure on the government and LHDA.

(c) Interest Group Recommendations to Project Authorities

:

Representatives from Christian Aid, Oxfam, the HCAG, and the Christian

Council of Lesotho met a number of South African government officials and other organisations in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Maseru, in November 1996

(see Table 17).

After the visit, a number of recommendations, contained in a report, were presented to the Project authorities:

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• The LHDA should strengthen its capacity to manage complex issues of social policy, by appointing expert staff to senior posts in the organisation and the LHWC.

• Both governments should eliminate policy differences. The Project should evaluate the impact on less-affected people by adopting a list rather than a community-based approach. It should also publicise its long-term compensation policy in the Project area and keep the development aspects of the compensation programme alive.

• The operation of the Lesotho Highlands Water Revenue Development Fund should be transparent, accountable and politically neutral. The Lesotho government and the Project authorities should use the Development Fund to spread the benefits of the Project more equitably across the Highlands.

• The Project should cease to use external contractors to build replacement houses, but use local builders and local material for this purpose. The compensation programme should include all sources of income, dagga

(marijuana) included.

• The coalition of interest groups welcomed the LHDA’s policy to support work undertaken on social issues in the Project area. Yet, the government,

Project authorities and NGOs should publicise information about the health and social problems that are likely to occur in Phase 1B and encourage public discussion on the matter.

• The Project should communicate its policies more clearly and consistently in the Highlands, and provide more information in Sesotho.

• More NGOs could work in the Project area to deliver services and monitor the LHWP. The interest groups urged those NGOs that were thinking of opening programmes, to do so. The NGOs working in the Project area should also form a group and seek recognition from the Project. Moreover,

Project authorities should regularly meet with NGOs that work in the area to discuss policy matters and agree to guidelines for financial and other forms of cooperation between the Project and NGOs (Archer, 1996: 52-55).

Table 17. Individuals consulted during the Christian Aid, Oxfam, the

HCAG, and the Christian Council of Lesotho’s visit to the LHWP in

November 1996.

Chief Seeiso B. Seeiso

Mr. R.T. Mochebelele

Dr. F. Falhlbusch

Mr. H.A. Plettenberger

Mr. W. Maartens

Mr. W. Croucamp

Mr. T. Putsoane

Mr. M. Lerotholi

Mr. T. Pekeche

Dr. M. Nyaphisi

Mr. D Field

Principal Chief of Matsieng

Lesotho government (LHWC)

Lesotho government (LHWC)

South African government (LHWC)

South African government (LHWC)

South African government (LHWC and

DWAF)

LHDA

Lesotho government (Ministry of Natural

Resources)

Lesotho government (Ministry of Natural

Resources)

LHDA (Environment Division)

Hunting-Consult 4

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259

Mr. G. Wain

Mr. M.C. Moteane

Chieftainess M. Mateal

Chief R. Qhobela

Chief S. Mohale

Mr. M. Sejanamane

Mr. Matobakele

Development Bank of South Africa

(DBSA)

British High Commission

Thaba Tseka Training Centre

Chief of Ngoajani

Chief of Muela

Chief of Mohale

HCAG

HCAG

Source

: Archer, 1996: 3

The report and recommendations are part of argumentation and policy prescription based on ‘scientific proof’. This was, however, not the only report produced by the interest groups.

(d) Report by the HCAG

: Two days before the commissioning of Phase 1A, in January 1998, the HCAG released a report on a survey conducted in the

Project area. It concluded that 75 per cent of the Highland villagers affected by the LHWP believed that their standard of living had decreased since the start of the project. The report also showed that 40 per cent of the 93 households surveyed claimed their grievances and compensation claims had not been addressed. Only two of the households were satisfied with the compensation (The Star, 21 January 1998: 5; Business Day, 19 March 1998:

14). In response to these findings the HCAG commented: ‘The inaction on the cases shows, at best, a lack of co-ordination and organisation within the

[LHDA] bureaucracy. At worst, it demonstrates a lack of respect for affected people as well as a lack of co-operation with non-government organisations’

(The Star, 21 January 1998: 5).

Willie Croucamp, Director of International Projects at DWAF, however indicated that he was satisfied that compensation was adequately addressed by the LHDA. The World Bank had set in place performance milestones for the LHDA that were successfully met. The LHDA had also previously appointed new staff to its compensation department in 1997. Croucamp furthermore remarked: ‘There has been satisfactory progress for the World

Bank to go ahead [partially funding Phase 1B], I think that is the best evidence that the LHDA has got behind some of the problems that have been plaguing the project. Our view is that this is not an issue (any longer)’. A survey conducted by the LHDA indicated that all but 14 of 679 complaints lodged in the Phase 1A area had been settled to the satisfaction of the parties concerned (The Star, 21 January 1998: 5; Business Day, 19 March 1998:

14). The South Africa government, therefore, reacted to the ‘scientific proof’ of the interest groups through disagreement, counter-force and disputation.

(e) Three Individuals Complain

: After the complaint lodged by the three

Alexandra individuals in May 1998, and after the World Bank’s inspection panel decided in September 1998 that no further investigations be conducted,

Asmal argued that issues raised by the claimants were ‘extremely relevant’.

These issues, namely wastage of water in townships and water tariffs, ‘have

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260 been vigorously pursued by the Department over the past four years’. The

Minister also stated: ‘It is the democratic right of individuals to question decisions of government and international organisations. The independent review process by the [World Bank] ombudsman proved that we are transparent in our dealings, that this is a sound project that benefits both

South Africa and Lesotho’ (City Press, 6 September 1998: 2). The response of the Minister to reply on the ‘appeals to shared values’ control technique was indicative of an alternative interpretation of the grievances of the

Alexandra residents. This reaction would surface again when interest groups tried to prove that Operation Boleas was a ‘water war’.

(f) Water Wars?

: Some of the interest groups saw Operation Boleas to be the first example of a water war in the Southern African region. The IRN, ED and

SARA made a direct link between the Operation and the LHWP, saying that ‘a massive World Bank-funded water project in the African nation of Lesotho helped spark the type of armed confrontation water experts predict. The prejudice toward big infrastructural projects promotes unsustainable, inequitable water-management—in short, the perfect setting for future water wars’ (Internet: IRN, 1999c). Graeme Addison, from SARA, in a letter to the

Mail & Guardian

of 2 to 8 October 1998 remarked: ‘The attack was more than symbolic. Like the United States in Kuwait, we had a strategic interest in a precious natural commodity. The Lesotho Highlands Water Project and in particular Katse dam are the key to South African thinking (if you can call it that) about Lesotho’.

Meissner (1998: 20) and Turton (2000c: 112) define a water war as a violent confrontation that directly results from a desire for access to water. Water is therefore both a necessary and sufficient condition that causes a war or violent confrontation between actors. The claim by the interest groups that

Operation Boleas was Southern Africa’s ‘first water war’ was nevertheless denounced by the director-general of DWAF, Mike Muller. He said that the

LHWP brings benefits to both countries. In other words, a win-win situation prevails regarding the Project. If South Africa did intervene in Lesotho and did use the fostering of democracy as an excuse, as the conspiracy theory goes, the water from Lesotho would have become too expensive for South Africa, not only in terms of human lives, but also economically, according to Muller

(Mail & Guardian, 16 October-22 October 1998: 28). DWAF thus disagreed with the interest groups’ ‘scientific’ argument that Operation Boleas was a

‘water war’.

(g) Interaction with the World Bank

: The ongoing corruption scandal that rocked the Project in 1999 led to further interaction between the interest groups and the various state, parastatal and non-state entities assisting in its implementation. The letter sent by the IRN and ED to the World Bank on the issue, evoked a response from the latter. In the letter, the interest groups claimed that the Bank played a much larger role than mere limited funding.

‘Not only did the World Bank finance the design of the project; it also is responsible for setting up and coordinating the financing program. It is unacceptable for the World Bank to claim that it is a passive bystander in the

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261 unfolding corruption investigation’. Based on this, the interest groups therefore demanded that the Bank ‘debar the companies involved in the bribery from future World Bank-financed activities. It should also launch an investigation into its own role in this controversial project’ (Internet: WPC,

1999). ‘Arm twisting’ was therefore the technique used.

Responding to the letter, Jean-Louis Sarbib and Callisto Madavo from the

Bank stated that it was proud to make the project a reality, despite its limited financial contribution of five per cent of total costs. It also committed itself to fight corruption in African countries (Internet: WPC, 1999). In other words, the

World Bank would not debar companies involved in the corruption scandal

(disagreement was the response). The World Bank also declared that it supported the Project because of its importance to Lesotho, South Africa, and the entire SADC region, and because it believed that the project served the poor in Lesotho and South Africa (Internet: WPC, 1999). Poverty reduction was therefore presented as a fundamental reason for the Bank’s involvement in the Project.

The Lesotho interest groups, in turn, responded by a letter to the Bank’s reaction stating that they ‘are troubled, however, by their [Bank officials] failure to promise World Bank sanctions against the 12 multinational corporations when it is proved that they bribed the former chief executive of the LHWP’. The interest groups also dismissed the claim that the Bank was helping poor communities in Lesotho through a social fund set up with LHWP revenues and called the fund ‘a tool of opportunistic politicians’. The Lesotho interest groups declared that they supported the LHWP, but questioned the

‘openness and care with which it was prepared’. They called on the Bank to serve the ‘poor’ by helping them to ‘challenge the existing power and economic relations that keep [them] “poor”’ (Internet: WPC, 1999). This was an attempt at the ‘appeals to shared values’ control technique.

(h) Alternatives Suggested

: A report submitted to the WCD by EMG, GEM and the IRN, in November 1999, based on scientific research conducted by a team of experts from the three interest groups, declared: ‘Water conservation and demand management (WC/DM) holds tremendous potential to help the region to meet its water needs’. This was to show that the LHWP had an alternative for the alleviation of water scarcities experienced in the Rand

Water delivery area. The report indicated: ‘Very few WC/DM measures have been implemented in southern Africa to date. Research conducted for this report suggests that fewer than one-third of the 40 million urban water users who are served by developed supply systems are encouraged to use water efficiently by any measure other than escalating block tariffs’ (Internet: Rothert

& Macy, 1999).

The report also declared: ‘An increase in efficiency of only 20 percent in urban and agricultural water use would save 9 000 million m³ [of water] each year— more than the combined use of Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and

Zimbabwe, and more than 10 times the combined yield of Katse and Mohale dams’ (Internet: Rothert & Macy, 1999). According to the interest groups, by

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262 implementing WC/DM (appeal to a shared value) instead of large WRMPs, like the LHWP, Southern Africa could save a large volume of water. The interest groups and governments therefore used various control techniques in their interaction with one another (see Figures 18 and 19). Throughout a campaign, interest groups obviously use a number of control techniques.

These evoke responses from those actors at whom these techniques are directed and vice versa. This is significant, because the process of control and counter-control drives the hydropolitics of WRMPs.

8. Analysis

The Orange River is South Africa’s most strategic surface water resource, providing water to various users playing an important role in the economy of

South Africa. This strategic importance was already realised in the 1960s when the South African government started implementing IBTs. The LHWP is the most recent, and most probably the last of these water transfers. This prognosis is primarily based on the transnational role and involvement of interest groups. It is anticipated that economic considerations and especially the limited availability of financial resources, as well as alternative policy initiatives, articulated by interest groups, like WDM, will in future have an impact.

Figure 18. The control techniques used by the interest groups and responses to them.

Control Techniques Used by the Interest Groups

● ● ●

Physical

Coercion through

Brute Force

Economic

Sanctions

Armtwisting

Bargaining Trade-offs Appeals to

Shared

Values

● ●

Scientific

Proof

Responses of the South African Government to Control Techniques

● ● ●

Disagreement and Defiance

Counterforce

Disputation Alternative

Interpretation

Avoidance Delay

Bargaining Conditional

Agreement

Full Agreement and

Compliance

Disinterest Apathy

Interest groups are omnipresent in any democratic society, based on their representing role and attempts to influence public policy. These are fundamental agential roles and all other subsidiary roles are based on, or derived from them. Interest groups, because of their near-universal character, could transnationally be involved in any policy field—including water resources management as the case of the LHWP testifies. They are primarily, but not exclusively, involved in the domestic political arena when

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263 engaging government in the water policy sector. However, over the past decade they have also become transnationally involved in the Lesotho and

South African water sectors through the LHWP. In this respect, not only interest groups from South Africa engage governmental and parastatal institutions on water policy, but groups from around the globe are also participating.

This chapter covered some of these nuances in order to put the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the water politics of the LHWP into perspective. Of importance in this context is the nature of the transnational involvement of interest groups. The MCC had already field workers in place before the Project’s inception in 1986. Thus, the transnationalisation of the

LHWP commenced at a very early stage, through an interest group with a truly transnational character. Soon thereafter, the Lesotho interest groups followed, with the establishment of the HCAG and its monitoring activities in the Project area. Only then did interest groups from South Africa and further afield become involved. The transnational movement thus grew over the years to such an extent that the LHWP was no longer only a bilateral project between two states, but a multilateral, globalised one involving a plethora of interest groups.

Figure 19. The control techniques used by the South African government and responses to them.

Control Techniques Used by the South African Government

Physical

Coercion through

Brute Force

Economic

Sanctions

Armtwisting

Bargaining Trade-offs

Appeals to

Shared

Values

Scientific

Proof

Responses to Control Techniques by Interest Groups

● ● ● ●

ρ

Disagreement and Defiance

Counterforce

Disputation Alternative

Interpretation

Avoidance

Disinterest

Delay

Apathy

Bargaining

Conditional

Agreement

Full Agreement and

Compliance

This is noteworthy, for although Project officials did and still do not have a high level of routine and institutionalised negotiations with interest groups, attention was redirected away from the engineering feats to the political and socio-economic aspects and ramifications of the Project. This redirection was transnational in nature, with interest groups from outside Lesotho and South

Africa’s borders, taking both governments and Project authorities, especially the LHDA, to task about the adverse impact of the LHWP and its various components. Thus, it is not only the involvement of states and of contractors

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264 and sub-contractors from across the world that provides the LHWP with a transnational cross-border character (cooperation on the flow of water across or, in this case, under the border), but interest groups as well.

Interest groups possess a certain measure of agential power to affect policy changes. Although they could not prevent the implementation of the LHWP, since the state’s agential power prevailed, they were part of both the policy and the integrated water resources management (IWRM) process. Initially, these non-state actors played an insignificant role when the Project was first suggested in 1956. At the time the main goal was to sustain socio-economic development in South Africa and to initiate it in Basutoland. The only norm, within the engineering community, was that large water infrastructural projects were a necessity for development, informed by the state’s hydraulic mission.

States played the dominant part in this materialistic and agent-centric milieu and they created the international political setting of the Orange River during the period from 1956 to 1986. This is evident from the rational behind the

LHWP, namely to sustain development and stimulate it. Lesotho and South

Africa sought their power, interests and utility-maximising choices through,

inter alia

, the LHWP. This is furthermore evidenced by low-level conflict that erupted from time-to-time between the two countries over contentious political issues, particularly apartheid. During this period, the Project was also used by Lesotho as political leverage since South Africa was dependent on the

LHWP as a potential source of water, and because Lesotho was able to translate this vulnerability into power and influence.

The predominance of state actors declined when interest groups became seriously involved in the water politics of the Project. At first these actors played a monitoring role, in other words, they were watchdogs. This role changed as more components of the Project were implemented, leading to stronger interest group opposition. With this, a new normative structure took shape around the issues of the Project. One of the most significant is that large dam projects are not essential to secure an abundant water supply.

Alternatives, like WDM, are available. This norm was mainly imported by outer-peripheral interest groups (ED, FIVAS and IRN) and adopted by some of the inner-peripheral interest groups (ACO, ELA, EMG and GEM). The inner-peripherals, however, had different intentions in mind in expressing this norm. For instance, for the ACO the development of Alexandra was the main priority. For EMG, ELA and GEM, the environmental considerations and the human rights of the Lesotho Highlanders were of key concern.

Thus, the ‘alternative to dams’ norm is shared by interest groups, but utilised to advance different political agendas. This means that amongst the interest groups, a norm literally becomes a commodity. Because of their dissimilar identities, ideologies and interests, interest groups use the particular norm differently and therefore play different roles. A number of interest groups nevertheless clustered around this norm (see Figure 20).

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The interest groups also converged on the norm of the reduction of poverty in the highlands communities, specifically phrased as the ‘protection of the poor’.

In this case, interest groups with an ecclesiastical or philanthropic identity played a major role (see Figure 21). In this respect, interest groups from both the core and outer-periphery attached themselves to the ‘protection of the poor’ norm and argued against the Project.

These two norms sustained the interest groups and their actions and also served as a source of information. Paradoxically, the interest groups also created and enhanced these norms to the extent that they observe and respond to the hydropolitical environment of the LHWP. This process is called normative commensalism and refers to the symbiotic relationship that exists between the norms created by the interest groups and the interest groups using the same norms to sustain their arguments for or against a policy, project or programme (see Figure 22). Both the ‘alternative to dams’ and the ‘protection of the poor’ norms were actively articulated, but only the

‘protection of the poor’ cluster of interest groups have had a measure of success to influence the actions of the LHDA.

Figure 20. Interest groups cluster: the ‘alternative to dams’ norm.

IRN

ACO

ED

‘Alternative to dams’ norm

ELA

EMG

GEM

The ombudsman inquiry and subsequent report and World Bank reaction attest to this. The ‘alternative to dams’ norm cluster of interest groups could convince neither the governments nor the project authorities to halt the

Project. The main consideration was the fact that there was not enough water in the Orange River for more dams. Other reasons were the World Bank’s low profile in financing large dams, seen together with South Africa’s ability to finance the Project from internal revenue sources. The World Bank also

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266 supported the Project and this support was instrumental for its implementation. Because of these factors, the interest groups were, therefore, unable to lobby the governments of developed states and the Bank to reduce funding and thereby inhibit the progress of the Project.

Moreover, as a key factor the ANC’s identity changed at least five times during the period from 1912 to 2004. It progressed from an interest group

(1912 to 1960) to a national liberation movement (1961 to 1990), to a political party (1990 to 1994), to a ruling party with a socialist agenda (1994 to 1998) and finally to a ruling party with a more liberal-capitalist agenda (1998 to

2004).

Figure 21. Interest groups cluster: the ‘protection of the poor’ norm.

LCN

TRC

MCC

‘Protection of the poor’ norm

HCAG

Oxfam

Christian Aid

With the end of apartheid, a new norm was advanced in South Africa, namely racial inclusivity through nation-building. This reconstructed the ANC’s identity, which in turn changed its interests to that of a political party aspiring to become the ruling party, as opposed to a liberation movement. However, its ideology initially remained unchanged. When it became the ruling party, its identity changed as well as its interests (see Figure 23). It was during the first shift that the ANC started to support the LHWP, since the latter was to become an important component of its future water and overall socioeconomic policies. Within the RDP policy framework, 18 million people needed water. The LHWP could supply a substantial volume of water to many of these ‘have-nots’. However, since sustained socio-economic development was also a priority, the Project was an important component of this process, supplying water to Gauteng. When the ANC altered its ideological stance from socialist to liberal-capitalist (with residual socialist elements) in the period 1998 to 2003, the norm emerged that anybody who is against the LHWP is undermining development, namely an ‘exclusion and ostracism’ norm. Therefore, through an ideological shift and the creation of

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267 the exclusion and ostracism norm, the ruling party and the South African government’s ideological power prevailed over the interest groups. This had an adverse impact on the success rate of interest group lobbying.

Figure 22. The process of normative commensalism.

Interest groups

Observing

The

Hydropolitical

Environment

Create

Interest groups use norms to learn and influence, also considering that norm application determine interest group roles.

Figure 23. The ANC’s ideological and norm shift.

Ideology Norm

(Changed from socialistic to liberal-economic)

Norms

(Ubuntu, exclusion and ostracism)

Identity

(Supporter and implementer of

LHWP)

Interests

(Nation-builder and sustainer of economic development)

Another dimension strengthening the ideological power of the South African government is its relationship with Lesotho. The two countries enjoy a good relationship, strengthened by the LHWP and their shared attitude towards

Lesotho’s independence and opposition to apartheid. The interest groups clustered around the ‘protection of the poor’ norm have nonetheless had some success lobbying the LHDA regarding its compensation policy.

Lesotho’s norm and identity affect this. To counter its unstable domestic political image after September 1998, Lesotho changed its identity drastically

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268 in 2000 with the adoption of the mixed-member parliamentary system. A norm change also occurred, shifting from political actors (e.g. the military, the king, and political party leaders) exhibiting deviant behaviour to them demonstrating acceptable political actions. Thus, the norm change reconstructed Lesotho’s identity leading to a change in its interests.

This ‘acceptable behaviour’ norm reconstructed the country’s identity to that of a responsible actor on the international stage, which in turn changed its interests (implementing this responsible actor identity). This is exemplified in

Lesotho by the crackdown on corrupt companies and the ombudsman inquiry. This afforded interest groups the opportunity to be more successful in lobbying for investigations into inadequate compensation policies. Thus, with

Lesotho gaining the moral high ground, its ideological power gained strength, but in a way that afforded interest groups a better chance at lobbying success.

Moreover, the nature of the LHWP as an international project means that the two states’ domestic and international spheres are facets of a single social and political order. The interest groups are together with the states, project authorities and other non-state actors, the main drivers that link the domestic and international spheres into a single social and political order through their policy shaping (influencing), representation, and transnational agential roles.

By lobbying the various actors, the interest groups are responsible for change in an important sector of the global political environment—the possible decline of the state. It is, however, concluded that in this case the state as actor did not significantly decline. In fact, there was no decline at all. Both states reconstructed themselves through the change in norms, identities, and interests, through their interaction with interest groups, albeit being compelled to do so because of international and domestic political events.

This raises the issue whether interest groups constitute a ‘community’ opposed to state policies or certain components of policies. The loose coalition, the clustering of interest groups around the two main norms and the way they engaged the governments and other non-state actors are evidence of such a ‘community of political engagement’. Interest groups successfully prescribed what appropriate behaviour ought to be, especially the LHDA, and with this induced a number of transformations. Although the coalition of interest groups failed to prevent the implementation of Phase 1A and 1B, they were responsible for introducing certain changes. These were either broadbased (within the overall South African and Lesotho water sectors) or specific

(concerning the LHWP itself).

Firstly, their role and involvement were unprecedented. Before the implementation of the LHWP, the South African Department and Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) went about its business in an undisturbed manner.

Many projects were implemented without the interference of interest groups.

This was clearly not the case with the LHWP and it was no longer a matter of

‘business as usual’ for DWAF. This change was therefore broad-based in that a governmental department had to contend with increasing interest group involvement.

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269

Secondly, no longer was it only government departments, contractors and financial institutions that were involved in the implementation of the project.

Interest groups also started to take an interest and through them civil society participation became more pronounced. There was therefore a paradigm shift regarding the implementation of WRMPs in the South African water sector with interest groups contributing to the development of a more complex and rapidly changing policy environment.

Thirdly, along with a change in the actor dimension, the hydropolitical environment changed accordingly. The interaction was no longer limited to the governments of two states, financial institutions and various MNCs implementing certain parts of the project. Interaction also involved interest groups who brought about a widening of the interactive network between the state and the non-state actor community, thereby also creating new channels of communication.

Lastly, one of the most important and far-reaching changes was the discourse modification regarding the LHWP. Knowledge and power are inextricably linked and mutually influence each other.

The discourse changed when the interest groups become involved and criticised the Project and some of its components. No longer were WRMPs seen as benevolent, in providing water to a developing society. Interest groups started to question their viability and benefits to society, voiced concern about their negative impact, and even proposed a policy alternative—

WDM. This meant that many citizens empowered themselves with alternative knowledge (discourses), whereas in the past they unquestioningly accepted the knowledge forwarded by governments, project planners and managers.

In this respect, Richardson (2000: 1021) states that: ‘Whilst not always a threat, ideas and knowledge can have a virus-like quality and present a very real challenge to those stakeholders who have relied on the security of cocoon-like policy communities. Ideas, like viruses, tend to be destabilizing agents and demand much skill on the part of existing players, if these players are to retain their existing benefits. In practice the new ideas and their attendant policy frames often “capture” all stakeholders who then find themselves adjusting to a new set of rules and power distributions quite different from the old policy regimes’. Interest groups are major producers of virus-like ideas and knowledge through their agential roles.

The change regarding the LHWP was therefore temporal, agential, political and discursive. Within these domains, interest groups always play an important role. They are therefore, along with states and governmental institutions, the driving forces behind water politics. Thus, interest groups are part of the policy process on account of their norm creating ability. This agential role, along with their policy shaping (influencing) and representation roles are largely responsible for their importance as role players in international and domestic water politics.

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Furthermore, members of interest groups like Moea, the three Alexandra residents, and the Highland villagers were transformed into agents by the norms they upheld and pronounced. These norms enabled them to act politically as representatives of the interest groups and communities they were members. Using their freedom of speech and association as agents in a democratic context, they embedded themselves, consciously and subconsciously, in established and accepted international norms (e.g. freedom of speech and association) and acted in accordance with these norms.

The behaviour of the interest groups, made possible by their inter-subjective social contexts, led to a relationship and understanding between them based on shared norms and practices. For instance, the interest groups’ response to labour unrest; the recommendations to Project authorities; the reports regarding compensation and social upliftment; the complaints by Alexandra residents; the articulation of the ‘water wars’ discourse; the interaction with the

World Bank concerning corruption and the suggestion of alternatives to the

Project created and enhanced norms that impacted on the power relationship between the states and interest groups and that gave meaning to the interest groups’ action.

The norms created or advocated by the interest groups, also informed their identity. Because the interest groups were regarded by the South African government, the LHDA and to a certain extent the TCTA as inhibitors of socioeconomic development and nation-building, they were excluded from negotiations concerning the project. Thus, the South African government responded through exclusion to the ‘alternatives to dams’ norm identity of the interest groups. Nonetheless, following its identity change from an unstable to stable entity, the Lesotho government responded more favourably to the interest groups requesting the parliamentarians to visit the Project area. This shows that only one actor in a relationship has to change its identity for the whole relationship to be redefined.

From the previously mentioned discussion and analysis of the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the water politics of the LHWP, the following conclusions are drawn regarding the agential power of the actors

(see Figures 24 and 25).

South Africa is credited with high international and domestic agential power.

The reason for this is that present and past governments had the ability to implement the LHWP with little concern to interest groups. The present government resisted all attempts by the interest groups, from the outer- and inner-periphery and the core not to implement the Project. Although the interest groups brought about a discursive change regarding large dam projects, they were unable to stop the Project.

Notwithstanding South Africa’s high agential power, the interest groups, especially those from the core and inner-periphery, are credited with moderate international agential power and high domestic agential power. The

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271 moderate international agential power of the interest groups manifests in their discursive modification ability regarding the LHWP, and their high domestic agential power in their ability, especially that of the Lesotho interest groups, to secure the visit of the Lesotho parliamentarians to the Project area, the consequent ombudsman inquiry and the report that followed.

Figure 24. The agential power of South Africa and Lesotho regarding the LHWP.

International

Agential

State Power

High

Moderate

South Africa

South Africa

Lesotho

Lesotho

Low

Low

Domestic Agential

High

State Power

The Lesotho government, on the other hand, exhibits a high degree of reflexive agential power. This means that their agential power is embedded not only in the capitalist class both inside and outside Lesotho, but also in the normative structures of society. Evidence of this is the crackdown on corrupt

MNCs involved in the LHWP; the visit of the parliamentarians and their attendance to the grievances of the Highland communities; and the ombudsman inquiry. This was brought about by Lesotho’s changed identity as a responsible ‘citizen’ of the international community; economic considerations, e.g. to attract foreign revenue based on a ‘solid’ reputation as a country in which it is worthwhile and safe to invest; the democratisation process that has gained momentum since 2000; the anti-corruption campaign; and general efforts on the part of the Lesotho government to create a stable and peaceful society. Therefore, Lesotho’s reflexive agential power was not only induced by the transnational role and involvement of interest groups, but also came about from its willingness to reverse its unstable political climate.

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Figure 25. The agential power of the interest groups involved in the debate over the LHWP.

High

Moderate

International

Agential

State Power

Low

Low High

Domestic Agential

State Power

The fact that the LHWP has been completed does not mean that the transnational role and involvement of interest groups have ended. They are expected to remain transnationally involved and to continue to play a representation and policy shaping (influencing) role. More specifically, their watchdog role in the hydropolitics of the Orange River is expected to become more intense and pronounced as democracy is consolidated in Lesotho and

South Africa.

9. Conclusion

The purpose of this chapter was to put the political process, encapsulated by the interaction of the interest groups, governments and other actors involved in the LHWP, into perspective. In other words, it described, explained and analysed the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the water politics of the LHWP by using the framework for analysis. This was accomplished by first describing the Orange River basin and showing that the

Orange is one of South Africa’s most important surface water resources, in that it supplies water to a number of economic activities within and outside the basin. Secondly, the actors within the river basin were identified, indicating the plethora of interest groups involved in the LHWP. Thirdly, the Orange

River’s hydropolitical history indicated that states played a predominant role

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273 until the ‘arrival’ of interest groups in 1985, where after the nature and scope of the interaction changed significantly. Whereas states were the predominant actors, interest groups became more prominent in their pronouncements. Fourthly, the agential power of the actors was assessed. It was found that the interest groups have moderate agential power and that

South Africa had high agential power. Lesotho, on the other hand, actually increased its reflexive agential power after changing its identity.

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PART III

ASSESSMENT

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CHAPTER 7

A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE TRANSNATIONAL ROLE OF

INTEREST GROUPS IN THE KUNENE AND ORANGE RIVER BASINS

1. Introduction

The purpose of this chapter is to compare the two case studies by using a synthesis of the ‘process and institutions studies’ (Peters, 1998: 13) comparative method, comparative mapping (based on Brinkerhoff and

Crosby’s [2002] political mapping) and the dynamics of distant proximities

(Rosenau, 2003). The ‘process and institutions studies’ comparative method is used since only a small number of case studies, namely two, have been conducted. The chapter consists of four parts. Firstly, a comparison is made of interest groups as transnational agents, based on their actual transnational role and involvement. Secondly, a comparison is made with reference to two generic types of criteria, namely processes and institutions. Under these two generic types a number of sub-criteria are used for comparison purposes, namely micro-macro interactions; organisational explosion; bifurcation of global structures; weakening of states and territoriality; authority crises; subgroupism; the nature and structure of the institutions’ authority; the authority types of the institutions; and the nature of the states and interest groups’ (the institutions) transnationalism. This also involves an application of the comparative map of Brinkerhoff and Crosby’s (2002) ‘political mapping’.

Thirdly, the comparative map is interpreted in order to identify the similarities and dissimilarities of the case studies. Finally, a conclusion is drawn.

2. A Comparison of Interest Groups as Transnational Agents

This comparison of the transnational role and involvement of the interest groups in the two river basins is made with reference to the types of interest groups involved, the approaches used by the interest groups, the roles they played and the factors determining their success.

2.1. Interest Group Typology

What is notable regarding the role and involvement of different types of interest groups is the large number of associational (promotional) interest groups in both cases. This is mainly due to the nature of the issues involving the construction of large dams. In the first place, many interest groups from an environmental background, more specifically those who promote sound environmental practices through their endeavours, are convinced that large dams have a detrimental impact on aquatic and marine ecosystems.

Secondly, according to many interest groups, particularly those with a human rights background who promote the cause of minority groups, large dams also have a negative impact on humans.

Also notable is the fact that more associational (sectional) interest groups are involved in the Orange River basin than in the Kunene River basin. This can

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LHWP, which is obviously not the case in respect of the Epupa Dam project, since it is only a proposal at this stage. Thus the issues of a WRMP, whether planned or constructed, will influence the type and the number of interest groups involved. The location of the WRMP also plays a role—in this respect

Epupa is planned for a remote part of Namibia and the LHWP was constructed in remote parts of Lesotho. In the case of the LHWP, the project has a more significant impact on metropolitan and industrial nodes situated some distance away from the Project, than is the case with the proposed

Epupa Dam. Both locations, however, contain rural communities that are affected, leading to the involvement of communal interest groups in both cases.

2.2. Approaches

The interest groups used a number of approaches (see Table 18). In the case of the LHWP, the technocratic approach was used more frequently than in the case of the proposed Epupa Dam. Grass-roots mobilisation, coalition building and the power approaches were used to an equal extent during the lobbying campaigns against both WRMPs. The reason for this is the complexity of the LHWP in technical, financial and legal terms. Because of these complexities, the interest groups had the opportunity to use the technocratic approach more often and had to involve more actors than was the case with the proposed Epupa Dam. For instance, Lesotho, South Africa, the World Bank, other financial institutions and a number of contractors were involved in the technical, financial and legal arrangements of the LHWP, whereas in the case of Epupa only one legal agreement between Angola and

Namibia dictated the terms of reference. At this point, it will be pertinent to indicate that in the case of the LHWP, not all the interest groups were against the Project, but rather against the manner by which the LHDA implemented its compensation policy. At present, this is not the case in respect of the proposed Epupa Dam where all interest groups oppose the project.

Table 18. The approaches used by the interest groups.

Kunene River

(1994-2003)

Technocratic

Grass-roots mobilisation

Approaches used

Number of times Orange River the approach was used

3

3

5

6

(1985-2003)

Technocratic

Grass-roots mobilisation

Coalition building

Power

Number of times approach the was used

7

3

Coalition building

Power

7

5

2.3. Interest Group Roles

Since similar approaches were used in both river basins, the agential roles of interest groups were largely alike, although certain dissimilarities also emerged (see Table 19).

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Table 19. The roles played by the interest groups and the frequency of these roles over time.

Approaches used

Kunene River Frequency of the Orange River Frequency of the

(1994-2003) roles (1985-2003)

Opinion generation agent agent

Standard creation agent 0 Standard agent

Norm creation agent

Epistemic agent

Agenda construction agent

Interactive agent

Representation agent

Transnational agent

Policy shaping agent

Institution creation agent

2

1

Norm creation agent

Epistemic agent

2 Agenda agent

12

4

10

5

Interactive agent

Representation agent

Transnational agent

Policy shaping agent

0 Institution agent

Watchdog agent

Oppositional agent

Guardian agent

Assistant agent

Safety provider agent

Empowerment agent

1

9

2

2

2

3

Watchdog agent

Oppositional agent

Guardian agent

Assistant agent

Safety provider agent

Empowerment agent

roles

5

1

10

1

1

7

3

11

11

1

3

6

0

2

1

1

One of the most important reasons why these similarities and dissimilarities are so noticeable is because of the time dimension. As previously indicated, interest groups have been involved in the LHWP for nearly two decades

(1985-2004), whereas they have only been involved in the proposed Epupa

Dam for one decade (1993-2004). More importantly, in both cases the interest groups did not play significant philanthropic roles, although this is more evident in the case of Epupa than the LHWP. The plight of the Himba is an important consideration in this regard, for the Himba community (organised into the EAC) performed many of the philanthropic roles towards its members.

The Lesotho highlanders did not organise themselves into an interest group, but rather utilised other existing interest groups opposing the LHWP.

In both cases, the interest groups were at most equal in their roles as transnational agents. This is explained by the contemporary internationalisation and globalisation of domestic policy issues. However, the interest groups in the Orange River basin were more involved as policy shaping and norm creation agents than those in the Kunene River basin. This is not only as a result of having been involved for a longer period in the

Orange than the Kunene River, but also because the LHWP’s impact on the environment and the population has been more wide-ranging and traumatic than the Epupa project is expected to be when constructed. The LHWP, firstly, had an impact from the source of the Orange to its mouth and secondly, it had an impact on both the Lesotho and to a certain extent South

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African communities. The Epupa Dam, will affect a shorter stretch of river and although it also involves two states (Angola and Namibia), will involve fewer communities. The latter, however, has a high emotional quality since it involves the Himba’s minority rights.

Because of this emotional quality linked to the Himba way of life and minority rights, the interest groups on the Kunene River issue are more involved as opinion generation and interactive agents than those involved in the LHWP.

As a result, the need to raise sympathy towards the Himba, led to a higher frequency of interaction between the interest groups and decision-makers.

2.4. The Success of the Interest Groups

The relative success of the interest groups, in modifying governmental policies concerning the WRMPs, was influenced by a number of factors (see

Table 20). One of the most important considerations is the fact that Angola is not overly enthusiastic about the proposed Epupa Dam. This has had a significant influence on the interest groups’ lobbying campaign over the

Kunene River scheme, because Angola does not support the proposed Epupa

Dam, which is weakening Namibia’s position. Other factors had an influence in both cases.

Table 20. Factors influencing the success of the interest groups.

Factor Influence: Yes/No

Maintaining contact with important policy makers.

Kunene River Orange River

Yes No

Yes Yes Variation in the domestic and international political structure over time.

The governing elite influences interest group effectiveness.

Yes No

Yes Yes Aspects unrelated to interest group/government relations.

Policy type and political arena.

Public opinion and dominant ideology in society.

Interest groups exemplifying socio-economic issues have more status in society.

No

No

No

Yes

No No

Temporary circumstances.

Level of interest group support.

Expertise at interest groups’ disposal.

Type of sanctions or rewards interest groups employ.

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes Yes

No No

Their influence stems from policy consequences.

Power or influence flows from their resources.

Success is derived from interest groups’ access to government.

The interest groups achieve success because they triumph in the decision-making process.

No No

Yes Yes

No No

No No

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It is notable that there has been a variation in both the domestic and international political structures over time. This factor, together with temporary circumstances, had an impact on the success of the interest groups involved in both WRMPs. The end of the Cold War, political reform in

South Africa, Namibia’s independence and Lesotho’s changed identity impacted significantly on the involvement of interest groups in both river basins. This meant that more interest groups could apply pressure on national governments as well as on international institutions such as the

World Bank and on other government leaders.

The same applies to aspects not directly attributable to interest groupgovernment relations. The latter had an impact on the success of the interest groups. In the case of the Kunene River, it was Angola’s disapproval of the

Epupa site that had a greater impact than the interest groups’ lobbying campaign. In the case of the Orange River, Lesotho’s new identity had a bearing on the decision to allow the ombudsman to investigate the compensation policy of the LHDA. Nevertheless, the expertise at the disposal of the interest groups was admittedly a significant factor in bringing pressure to bear on the governments and project authorities in both cases. Not only did the interest groups have technical expertise on the environmental and population impacts of large dams, but also legal expertise as in the case of the LAC. The technical and legal expertise were shared by the interest groups on a continuous basis, and enabled some of them to produce convincing arguments against the WRMP. Because of this expertise, they also had at their disposal an element of ‘scientific proof’, thus adding weight to their impact and ability to influence the other actors. In both cases, this enabled the interest groups to influence government, IGOs and project authorities.

3. A Comparative Map of the Case Studies

As previously indicated, use was made of the ‘process and institution studies’ comparative method. This method allows for the selection of a small number of cases and to indicate both the nature of the processes and the institutions, and the nature of the water politics involved. The processes and institutions provide the sub-criteria used for comparative purposes, in other words these two elements constitute the generic aspects from which a meaningful comparison of the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the

Kunene and Orange River basins is derived. Furthermore, the selected criteria, contained in the comparative map (see Tables 21 and 22), are as broad as possible in order to identify both similarities and dissimilarities

(Cooper, 1996: 192; Peters, 1998: 13).

Based on these criteria, the comparative map is used in the same way as a conventional topographical map of a landscape to locate direction-finding beacons (see Tables 21 and 22). Like a topographical map, the comparative map is divided into sectors separated by lines of ‘longitude’ and ‘latitude’. On the ‘longitudinal’ (vertical) column, the processes and institutions, with their different criteria are situated, while on the ‘latitudinal’ (horizontal) rows

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280 dissimilarities and similarities are situated and separated by a line (meridian

[blue arrow]), the deviation from which indicates the extent of dissimilarity and similarity. The processes and institutions are similarly divided by an ‘equator’.

Aspects of the case studies will be located on the map to indicate to what extent they are dissimilar or similar. In summary, to make sense of these similarities and dissimilarities, the comparative map simplifies the ‘real world’ by condensing it into two dimensions: horizontal and vertical (Brinkerhoff &

Crosby, 2002: 164).

This facilitates theory building on the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in water politics. As such, the comparative map is not only applicable to interest groups involved in transnational water politics but can also be applied to other situations where interest groups, or any other nonstate entities, are involved. Furthermore, what is of utmost importance is not the mere placing of criteria on the map, but the interpretation of these criteria and discovering why they are found in a specific location.

In this regard, and based on Brinkerhoff and Crosby’s (2002: 164) discussion of the purpose of ‘political mapping’, the different levels of politics

(subnational, national, regional and supranational) and the complexities thereof can be overwhelming. ‘With the quantity of information available, political analysis and determination of what is important are daunting tasks.

The difficulty stems largely from problems of processing the information; that is, how to organize the information and make it useful’ (Brinkerhoff & Crosby,

2002: 164). In short, the comparative map is therefore utilised to organise and make sense of the information generated by the case studies.

It must, however, be borne in mind that the comparative map lacks dynamism, considering that changes in the political landscape often take place at a rapid pace. A single comparative map is therefore a mere ‘snapshot’ of a given situation in time. It is a ‘loyal representation’ of a situation in a particular time dimension. This can nevertheless be an advantage to the political scientist, activist and decision-maker. Similar to time-lapse photography (via a series of individual photos) the dynamics of politics within the river basin start to take shape if the cognitive mapping is applied over time (i.e. in respect of a timeseries) (Brinkerhoff & Crosby, 2002: 165).

4. Reading and Interpreting the Comparative Map

From the comparative map, it is self-evident that the water politics of the two case studies exhibit similarities as well as dissimilarities. In this section, these similarities and dissimilarities are ‘unpacked’ and explained.

4.1. Processes

The process-based criteria of comparison are micro-macro interactions, organisational explosion, bifurcation of global structures, weakening of states and territoriality, authority crises and subgroupism.

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4.1.1. Micro-macro Interactions

In the case of the proposed Epupa Dam project, individuals occupied a central position in the lobbying activities against the dam. The physicist from South

Africa was responsible for the initial involvement of interest groups in its water politics. Therefore, an intentional micro input initiated the development of the power relationship between the interest groups and the Namibian government. However, the Himba community was already aware of their plight should the dam be built. Thus, the plight of the Himba, an issue raised by themselves in concert with other actors, was the initial ‘tipping point’

(trigger event) that led to activists lobbying against the planned dam. The actions of activists from the IRN, especially Christa Coleman, should also be noted in this regard. However, her involvement started only after Himba opposition against the suggested dam was well advanced.

This trigger event led to activists pressuring policy- and decision-makers (in the Namibian government and NamPower). This was done through appeals to shared values and ‘scientific proof’, to address the problem. Nonetheless, the reactions of the elites amounted mainly to alternative interpretations and avoidance (disinterest and apathy). Furthermore, the decision-making elites also used appeals to shared values and scientific proof to refute the claims made by the interest groups. Regardless of these control techniques on the part of the discursive elites, the interest groups responded through disagreement and defiance, counterforce, disputation, alternative interpretation and avoidance (disinterest and apathy). This led to a mutually reinforcing situation, for every argument put forward by one party would result in a counter-argument by the other party. This is termed a discursive trap, wherein both actors are jostling to get their arguments accepted by society, but from which none will escape because of the salience and importance of the debate to each one of them. This is an important feature of the water politics of the proposed Epupa Dam project, especially regarding the interaction between the interest groups and the Namibian government.

However, this is not the case concerning the interaction between Angola and

Namibia regarding the intended construction of the Baynes or Epupa Dams, which has led to a situation where a final decision on the Epupa project has been deferred.

Regarding the micro-macro interactions between the actors during the implementation of the LHWP, interest groups featured more prominently in the initial lobbying activities against the Project. The MCC posted two field workers in the project area in 1985. This was followed, in 1986, by the student protests in Maseru in an attempt to disrupt the signing of the Treaty.

In 1988, a concerted effort was made by ecumenical interest groups to produce recommendations, together with the affected communities, regarding the impacts of the Project on these communities. Consequently, more interest groups from abroad became involved in the LHWP’s water politics.

Thus, the interest groups were responsible for fashioning macro consequences. More specifically, a transnational interest group (the MCC) was at first responsible for raising the awareness level of the Highland

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The opinion of collectivities therefore became the ‘tipping point’ in the involvement of interest groups in the LHWP’s water politics.

Moreover, interest group leaders viewed the problem differently than the pro-

Project elite, as mass opinion in South Africa and Lesotho remained unchanged despite a recognition of the problem. In 1986 government leaders ignored the students’ opinion. It was only later, when a transnational campaign against the LHWP was initiated that policy- and decision-makers from South Africa and the World Bank in particular responded to the problem in terms of their own values and deliberations. On the part of South Africa, this was mainly due to the ANC’s changed identity. This transnational action led to an increasing interaction between the interest groups and their leaders, on the one hand, and the government of South Africa, the LHDA, the TCTA and the World Bank, on the other.

This being the case, the action on the part of the interest groups involved various control techniques i.e. ‘arm twisting’, bargaining, appeals to shared values, and ‘scientific proof’. In contrast, the state collectivities reacted to these techniques through disagreement and defiance, disputation, alternative interpretation, avoidance (disinterest and apathy) and conditional agreement.

The South African government also used control techniques to further its arguments for the construction of the LHWP, i.e. appeals to shared values and ‘scientific proof’. The interest groups, on the other hand, reacted through disagreement and defiance, counterforce, disputation and alternative interpretation. Throughout the mid-1980s to 2004, these control techniques were used by both sides in a manner similar to what was experienced in the

Kunene River. Nevertheless, the findings of the Lesotho ombudsman tipped the scale in favour of the interest groups’ arguments. In other words and as previously pointed out, a collectivity (state) elite promoted arguments of the interest groups, because of Lesotho’s changed identity.

Although individuals (micro actors) and interest groups (macro actors) were responsible for initiating the lobbying process against Epupa and the LHWP respectively, both these actors were of a non-state nature. Thus individuals, acting alone or in concert, were the shapers of micro-macro inputs. In both cases, their initial feats were intentional, leading to action to be taken or avoided by government elites. In contrast, a discursive trap does not exist in the water politics of the LHWP, mainly because the LHWP’s Phases 1A and

1B have been completed which is not the case of the proposed Epupa Dam.

4.1.2. Organisational Explosion

The organisational explosion of non-state actors is one of the most notable features of the water politics of the proposed Epupa Dam. Before the early

1990s, there were only two actors (Angola and Namibia) directly involved, whereas by 2004 50 actors were involved. This represents a significant increase in the population of actors over a period of just more than a decade.

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This is the direct consequence of opposition to the proposed construction of the dam and the lobbying of domestic and transnational interest groups.

This growth in the interest group population afforded individuals and collectivities at the micro level, particularly the Himba community, the opportunity to introduce intentional inputs into macro processes. The Himba chiefs’ overseas visit, to garner support from other macro collectivities, was a direct consequence of this organisational explosion to the extent that transnational interest groups provided financial support for it. Thus, although a loose coalition was formed, it afforded both the Himba and other domestic and transnational interest groups the opportunity to converge and participate in organisational activities. Moreover, because of the loose ties between these non-state collectivities, it gave other interest groups the opportunity to join the lobbying campaign. Stated differently, the very looseness of interest group networks was a stimulus for the organisational explosion that occurred in the Kunene River basin. In short, the sheer number of interest groups that bridged the micro and macro levels of interaction overwhelmed the few state actors.

In the Orange River basin, concerning the LHWP, a similar organisational explosion occurred although not as extensive as the one in the Kunene. In

1985, there were four state actors sharing the Orange River basin—

Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa, and one non-state actor—the

MCC. By 2004, there were 41 state and non-state actors. This growth, as was the case in the Kunene, empowered people because the Lesotho interest groups were no longer alone in their lobbying against the Project. Other interest groups were able to assist in direct communication between the leader of the HCAG, Moea Ramokoatsi, and the World Bank. Furthermore, interest groups were also able to join the loose coalition later during the campaign, most notably the various Canadian labour unions that threw in their weight behind the lobbying effort.

Although the scale of growth in the Orange River basin showed a smaller increase over a longer period of time than was the case in respect of the

Kunene, the amplification effect was nonetheless significant. The reason for the lower growth rate was the temporal dimension or stage of history during which the LHWP was implemented. The LHWP Treaty was signed during the

Cold War and the time of South Africa’s isolation from the rest of the international community. Internationally, South Africa was fighting a war on the Angolan-Namibian border to keep the so-called ‘red danger’ (communism) at bay. Domestically there was a state of emergency and a clampdown on the activities of so-called ‘illegal organisations’ like the ANC and PAC. Under these circumstances, the ending of apartheid or the upholding thereof was an overriding concern for opposing factions in South African civil society. The protection of the environment was therefore not a main concern, with the result that environmental groups were unable to gain a foothold. It was only when the domestic situation in South Africa improved that environmental interest groups, like EMG and GEM, who eventually played a prominent role together with the IRN in the water politics of the LHWP, were formed. When

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South Africa was subsequently reintegrated into the international community during the early to mid-1990s, environmental and human rights interest groups utilised the normalisation of relations and the greater opportunities this provided, to become transnationally involved in the LHWP. This was approximately the same time that interest groups became involved in the proposed Epupa Dam project. Thus, the timing of the implementation of the

LHWP was a crucial factor in the proliferation of non-state entities in the water politics of the Project.

Hence, regarding the organisational explosion, there are striking similarities but also conspicuous dissimilarities between the two WRMPs. The first dissimilarity is the rate of growth, which was lower over a longer period in respect of the water politics of the LHWP and higher over a shorter time span in respect of the proposed Epupa Dam. The second dissimilarity is the composition and size of the loose coalition or network of interest groups. This is due to the salience of issues regarding each WRMP. In the case of the

Epupa, the main issue is the threat the dam poses to the traditional lifestyle of the Himba and their ‘unspoiled’ and stable natural environment. More environmental and human rights groups of the associational (promotional) type are therefore involved. As regards the LHWP, there were fewer interest groups, but more labour unions (associational [sectional] interest groups) involved because of the labour unrest and the corruption scandal involving

Acres International, the Canadian MNC.

4.1.3. Bifurcation of Global Structures

The bifurcation or the existence of two worlds within the water politics of the two WRMPs, namely the state-centric and the multi-centric or multiple actor worlds, is closely linked to the organisational explosion. In respect of the proposed Epupa Dam, which involves the two state collectivities (Angola and

Namibia) on the one hand, and the plethora of national and transnational non-state actors (interest groups) on the other, interest groups are interacting with the government of Namibia which is situated in the state-centric world.

Thus, whereas in the past, states and the state-centric world were prominent in the water politics of the Kunene River basin, this is no longer the case.

Moreover, the Kunene River’s water politics is now described in a bifurcated fashion: with states and their institutions playing a role on the one hand, and a variety of domestic and transnational interest groups interacting with these state institutions, on the other. Through this bifurcation, Namibia as state actor has been weakened in its ability to implement its policy; without the interference of non-state actors, it would have been much easier for the

Namibian government to implement the hydropower project.

This bifurcation is also evident in the Orange River system as regards to the

LHWP. As has been indicated earlier, the variety of interest groups involved in the water politics of the LHWP is not as extensive as those influencing the

Namibian government. However, the same bifurcated situation exists concerning the LHWP. The interest groups are also interacting with the government of South Africa, the LHDA, the TCTA, and the World Bank

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285 regarding a number of issues concerning the LHWP. Even so, this interaction has been a mixture of competition and cooperation. Thus, as is the case regarding the proposed Epupa Dam, states and their institutions are no longer the most prominent actors in the Orange River basin because of the role and involvement of interest groups since the mid-1980s. Has there been a weakening of states in the case of the LHWP? To a certain extent yes, because they are no longer alone in the implementation process of policies in the Orange River system. Yet, the fact that Phase 1A and 1B have been completed, largely in the absence of interest group involvement, is an indication of the prominence of the state in the river system.

There is therefore a noticeable similarity between the bifurcated situation within the Kunene and Orange River basins. In both these river systems, two worlds are now existing alongside each other: the state-centric world embracing states, their institutions and inter-governmental organisations, and a multi-centric world including a large variety of interest groups. There is, however, one significant difference. The interest groups involved in the

Kunene are competing largely with the Namibian government, whereas there is a mixture of competition and cooperation between the interest groups on the one hand and the Lesotho and South African governments, the LHDA, the

TCTA, and the World Bank on the other. The reason for this is the increasingly negative image attached to the large dam building industry, mainly because of the role and involvement of a world-wide and transnational

To get rid of this negative image, implementing authorities, like the LHDA and the World Bank, are more likely to cooperate with interest groups than to stand by and see their images tarnished by these non-state entities.

4.1.4. Weakening of States and Territoriality

As indicated in the previous section, the agential power of the Namibian government has been weakened to a considerable extent regarding its policy concerning Epupa. The Namibian government, together with the Angolan government, was immediately following independence the main actor negotiating the rehabilitation of the Ruacana and Calueque water projects.

However, this prominence changed when the Namibian government indicated that it would prefer to construct a hydroelectric power plant downstream from the Epupa Waterfalls. Suddenly, the government’s authority and legitimacy to do so was undermined, first by the Himba community, and then by other domestic and transnational interest groups. Yet, it was not only the actions of these interest groups that impeded the implementation of the proposed hydroelectric power station. Angola’s insistence that a dam should be built at the Baynes Mountain site was another significant factor. Along with the actions of the interest groups, ‘deterritorialisation’ had set in. The Namibian government could not control the transnational flow of ideas across its borders especially those between the domestic and transnational interest groups.

That being the case, the electronic media and other communication channels have facilitated the flow of ideas and lobbying across state borders. Thus,

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286 interest groups have capitalised on the microelectronic revolution to convey their message, and to influence the Namibian government through a loose network. No longer is the Namibian government able to shape events in the

Kunene River basin as it sees fit, but it also has to contend with the views of interest groups. There has therefore been effectively an erosion of Namibia’s sovereignty. Its government does not speak for the entire population abroad: the Himba chiefs have also done so on their overseas visit. It could do so, but it is highly unlikely that the Namibian government will use force as a last resort to implement Epupa, since it would tarnish its international image.

Where the South African government had been the sole actor in WRMPs on the Orange River from the late 1800s to 1986, this is no longer the case.

Similar to the Namibian government, the South African government also played an important part in the negotiation of numerous treaties regarding the governing and sharing of the Orange River with its neighbours, for instance the LHWP Treaty. Yet, its legitimacy and authority has been eroded because of the role and involvement of interest groups.

Subsequently, and in comparison to the ‘deterritorialisation’ of Namibia, a similar situation occurred within both South Africa and Lesotho. Although a

Treaty governed the implementation of the LHWP, it was the criticism from interest groups levelled against the Project that has transcended the territorial borders of both countries. The visit by Christian Aid and Oxfam in 1994 and

1996 is an indication of this process. Moea Ramokoatsi’s visit to the World

Bank is another example, indicating that not only do project authorities and government officials speak for both countries, but private citizens as well.

This process was facilitated by air transport and the personal computer. As is the case in the Kunene River basin, the process of ‘deterritorialisation’ is posing a challenge to the ‘myth of states as sovereign actors’ within the

Orange River basin, largely due to the interest groups’ challenge to state sovereignty.

A new order has therefore emerged in both the Kunene and Orange River basins, with heterogeneous units interacting in the water politics of these river systems. No longer are states the main actors; interest groups have also raised their voices in the governing of these international river basins. The reason for this similarity in both river basins is that the states sharing them are part of the international community, and are therefore, just like any other state, not immune to ‘deterritorialisation’ and a diminished sovereignty and policy implementation capacity. Moreover, because these processes occur to a similar degree in both the Kunene and Orange River systems, it is an indication of a global trend in the role and involvement of interest groups in the water politics of WRMPs.

4.1.5. Authority Crises

The authority crises experienced by the affected states followed closely on the weakening of state sovereignty and ‘deterritorialisation’. As regards the proposed Epupa Dam this authority crisis is visible because of the decision

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287 paralysis affecting the implementation of the scheme. This situation has enhanced the image of the interest groups, although the difference of opinion between Angola and Namibia on the issue where to construct the intended dam in fact had the greater impact. Even so, at this stage no authority vacuum exists in the Kunene River basin, to be filled by interest groups, although it could be heading that way.

In comparison, the authority crisis regarding the LHWP is not as acute and visible as that in the Kunene River and is at most a partial crisis. None of the necessary elements of an authority crisis is evident in this case, i.e. bureaucratic disarray, executive-legislative stalemate, and most importantly, decision paralysis. What is noticeable regarding the LHWP is contestation between the interest groups and the South African government, the project authorities and the World Bank. At times, this authority was challenged, but subsequently restored, with the result that there was no decision paralysis.

The authority crisis in the Kunene River thus differs from that in the Orange

River basin, where it is noticeably absent.

4.1.6. Subgroupism

With respect to subgroupism, there is a high degree of similarity in both cases. Within the Kunene River basin, the Himba community exemplifies subgroupism. This subgroupism within the Kunene River is a product of the

Himba’s long-standing historical roots, reinforced by the lore of the community having survived South African efforts to integrate them into Southern Africa’s political economy. Furthermore, the fact that there is a dispute between the

Himba and the Namibian government, has led to increasing disappointment on the part of the interest groups with the governmental apparatus. The

Himba’s alienation, brought about by the apparent disregard of their minority rights and claims to the land, has thus led effectively to politics of identity.

To a similar extent, subgroupism is also evident in the Orange River. The

Highland communities and the Lesotho interest groups’ activities serve as examples. The Highland communities have historical links with each other as well as with the interest groups, because of the role the church played in some instances. Thus, they are like-minded and exist in a close-at-hand environment. Furthermore, because the interest groups were disappointed by the exclusion of the Highland communities from the decision-making process, an alienation from the governmental apparatus concerning the LHWP occurred. Due to the HCAG’s establishment by the church organisations, during the 1988 workshop, there is clear evidence that subgroupism begets further subgroupism. This has led to the emergence of politics of identity among the communities and the Lesotho interest groups. The nature of these community-based politics of identity revolves around the fact that communities are under siege from a foreign government and a project authority that are collaborating in an attempt to destroy the livelihoods of community’s members. These politics of identity have weakened both the South African government’s and the project authority’s consensus around the shared goal of the LHWP. However, the Lesotho government reacted favourably to this

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288 politics of identity when it ordered the ombudsman enquiry. Hence, Lesotho regained some of its lost authority and legitimacy through the ombudsman process.

The significance of the similarity of the process of subgroupism lies within the traditional communities that are involved, their plight leading to more subgroupism, and the politics of identity that came about because of their disappointment with and alienation from the governmental system’s performance. Even so, the only difference between the two cases regarding subgroupism is that Lesotho was the only state not to be weakened because it reacted to its citizens’ criticism towards the LHDA’s compensation policy in a favourable manner—that is, by referring to the ombudsman process.

4.2. Institutions

In this section, the institutions contained in the comparative map, namely the states and the interest groups involved in the water politics of the WRMPs, are compared.

4.2.1. States

As regards the structures of authority of the states, consideration is given to

Namibia in the case of the Kunene River basin, and in the case of the Orange

River system, Lesotho and South Africa.

4.2.1.1. Structures of Authority

Namibia’s authority is based on and stipulated in its constitution, bylaws, legislative enactments and judicial decisions. In other words, the Namibian state’s authority rests on the foundation of a democratic political system. Also important in this regard is that its authority is endowed in a steep tradition that grew out of SWAPO’s independence struggle. It is this tradition that is partly responsible for the fact that the majority of Namibia’s citizens habitually comply with government directives. The exception being the 1998 secessionist movement in the Kavango region. Nevertheless, the fact that the

Himba was always an autonomous community and not part of the independence struggle explains to an extent why they are unwilling to let the government construct a dam in the territory they occupy.

In the case of Lesotho, the country has been independent since 1966, much longer than Namibia. Yet, since independence until 2002 Lesotho’s political climate was characterised by political instability. However, in 2002 stability was ensured through a revision of the electoral system. Lesotho’s authority is also endowed in a steep tradition, dating back to the 1840’s when Moshesh united the Basotho nation. This tradition has led to the Basotho nation adopting an independent identity from that of South Africa, as has been exemplified by the refusal of Lesotho to be incorporated into the Republic

(and its predecessors). The monarchy in Lesotho is also part of this tradition.

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South Africa, like Lesotho and Namibia, also has a democratic political system, following the reforms initiated by former President De Klerk. In contrast, its traditional authority basis differs fundamentally from that of

Lesotho, and to a certain extent Namibia. The struggle against apartheid, led by the ANC and PAC, is the tradition that informs citizens’ willingness to comply habitually with the ANC-led government’s directions. The only indication to the contrary was the purported planned coup d’état by rightwingers (the so called Boeremag) whose plans never came to fruition.

Nevertheless, the struggle against apartheid by the ANC and PAC, gave the

ANC in particular a high degree of traditional authority that assisted the organisation in winning the 1994 and subsequent elections. Thus, the South

African government’s authority structure is greatly enhanced by this tradition.

The democracies of Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa came about under different circumstances. In the case of Namibia it was the struggle for

Namibia’s independence, led by SWAPO, that brought about a new set of domestic micro-macro interactions leading to the specification of the state’s authority in its constitution and laws. Lesotho’s unstable political system since independence produced a different electoral system that dictates future micromacro interactions. It also has a much longer democratic tradition than that of

Namibia. In South Africa, the struggle against inequality and disenfranchisement (a direct consequence of apartheid) gave way to a new dispensation and the election of the ANC-led government. It is these occurrences that had an influence on the identity of the three states’ governments, which, in turn, had an impact on the conduct of the micro-macro interactions regarding the water politics of the proposed Epupa Dam and the

LHWP.

4.2.1.2. Types of Authority

As regards the types of authority of the states, consideration is given to the following types of authority namely, moral, knowledge, reputational, issuespecific and affiliative authority.

(a) Moral Authority

: Has there been a reduction in the moral authority of the

Namibian government regarding its plans to construct another dam on the

Kunene River? To a certain extent, yes. Factors that contributed to this are the ‘scientific proof’ the interest groups used to criticize the feasibility study,

Nujoma’s disapproval of the involvement of foreign interest groups in the debate, and the Himba being portrayed by interest groups as the victims of human rights abuse. These factors led to the tarnishing of the Namibian government’s reputation, in the face of the interest groups, as a moral entity that took the interests of all its citizens to heart. Another element in the equation is the fact that Mbeki did not attempt to influence Nujoma not to construct the dam. This could have been seen as tantamount to discrimination for South Africa was involved in implementing the LHWP.

However, the fact that the Himba were allowed to present their views at hearings in Windhoek, prevented the total loss of the government’s moral authority.

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There was also a reduction in the moral authority of the South African government, the project authorities (the LHDA especially), and to a certain extent the World Bank. Factors that contributed to this were the interest groups’ continuous criticism of the Project, their use of ‘scientific proof’, the corruption scandal that rocked the Project, and the ombudsman’s investigation. This led to the creation of an image that the implementing authorities were dishonest and that they did not perform their task properly.

However, meetings with members of the Alexandra community, the failed

MOU, the direct contact between the HCAG and the World Bank, and the

World Bank’s investigation into the labour unrest prevented a total loss of moral authority.

There is therefore a high degree of similarity between the loss of moral authority of the Namibian and South African governments and the implementing authorities of the LHWP. In both cases, habitual compliance on the part of local communities to policy was not readily forthcoming. The only government not to lose a great deal of moral authority was the Lesotho government through the ombudsman investigation. Different factors led to the loss of moral authority in respect of each case study, namely the different sets of actors involved. In the case of Epupa, the World Bank is not involved whereas it was in the case of the LHWP. In the case of the proposed Epupa

Dam, there are also no implementing authorities, like the LHDA and TCTA.

(b) Knowledge Authority

: The fact that the Namibian government changed the feasibility study team, led to the Himba community dismissing the team as untrustworthy. Trust had already been established between the original feasibility study team and the Himba, and when the one from the University of

Namibia replaced this team, habitual compliance of the Himba towards the proposed dam was irrevocably damaged. The loose coalition of interest groups that developed since the early 1990s and the use of the Internet to get their message across led to the decreasing reputation of this type of authority. For instance, the IRN runs a website continuously, regularly updated on the issues related to the proposed project. This availability of alternative information has created a measure of cynicism towards the arguments of the Namibian government and NamPower for the future construction of the dam.

The IRN’s website on the LHWP is similar to that of the proposed Epupa

Dam. On it, articles, press releases and statements are published and regularly updated. This also gives a view of the Project that differs from the one communicated by the implementing authorities, especially the LHDA and

TCTA and which in turn similarly induced a certain degree of cynicism towards the arguments of the implementing authorities.

Thus, in both cases, the IRN’s use of microelectronic technology has produced distrust towards the views of the Namibian government on the one hand and the LHWP’s on the other. Yet, in the case of the intended Epupa

Dam, the Himba’s reluctance to accept the University of Namibia’s feasibility

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291 team has led to even more pronounced cynicism regarding, and suspicion of

Namibia’s suggested policy. In other words, in both cases the governments and implementing authorities’ practices and rendition of events have been the object of suspicion and at times ridicule. In contrast, the knowledge authority of the interest groups has increased.

(c) Reputational Authority

: Declining reputational authority is closely related to the erosion of the knowledge and moral authority of the governments and implementing authorities. Because of the latter, their reputations have been damaged considerably. If the Namibian and South African governments should attempt to implement larger dam projects in future, they will most probably also loose reputational authority. In contrast, the only government that has gained in reputation is again Lesotho, because of its crackdown on corrupt MNCs and the ombudsman investigation.

(d) Issue-specific Authority

: In the case of the envisaged Epupa Dam, the

Namibian government has lost much of its issue-specific authority to provide electricity on account of two factors. Firstly, it has difficulty in implementing the project because compliance towards the intended project is not forthcoming from the Himba community. Secondly, there is also the issue of

Angola wanting to rehabilitate the Gové Dam and for this purpose it is propounding the construction of a dam at the Baynes site. This was not the case with the Lesotho and South African governments’ issue-specific authority. The fact that Phase 1A and B had been completed is an indication of this, despite the interest groups’ criticism of the project. Thus, regarding water affairs, the South African government’s issue-specific authority is still intact. There is therefore a difference between the two governments’ issuespecific authority. Whereas Namibia cannot readily even begin to implement its policy regarding the intended hydroelectric power plant, Lesotho and South

Africa were able to do so during the first two phases of the LHWP.

(e) Affiliative Authority

: There is a significant difference between Namibia, on the one hand and Lesotho and South Africa on the other, in producing habitual compliance to implement Epupa and the LHWP, respectively. In the case of Namibia, the loyalty of the Himba towards their own kin is one of the most debilitating factors. This was not the case within Lesotho. Although the

Lesotho Highlanders were critical of the Project, their loyalty towards the

Basotho nation was unmoving. South Africa also does not have the same problem Namibia has, except where the Alexandra community indicated their unwillingness towards habitual compliance regarding Phase 1A and B of the

Project. As was the case with the Lesotho Highlanders, the Alexandra community is still loyal towards the South African state and government.

Thus, the Himba, their independence, and traditional lifestyle are the gist of the reason for the significant difference between the degree of affiliative authority between Namibia, Lesotho, and South Africa. The Himba factor is therefore expected to be the ‘Achilles’ heel’ of the proposed dam in the long run.

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4.2.1.3. Nature of Transnationalism

In both cases, there is a stark difference between the nature of transnationalism in respect of Namibia on the one hand, and of Lesotho and

South Africa on the other. The reason for this is the fact that different states are either implementing or want to implement the WRMP. This has led to different actors, apart from interest groups, being active in the planning and implementation process of both WRMPs. For instance, Namibia has at this stage only contact with Angola, because the Kunene River is shared by these two countries. In addition, there is no consensus on the dam site since

Angola favours the Baynes site and Namibia the Epupa site.

During 1986, South Africa and Lesotho had reconciled differences and overcome a tumultuous relationship to jointly implement the LHWP. The financing and construction of the Project forced Lesotho and South Africa to develop intergovernmental relations, most notably with the World Bank and a variety of MNCs that were mainly responsible for the physical construction of the infrastructure of Phases 1A and 1B. Moreover, the more severe confrontational relationship between the Namibian government and the interest groups is not evident in the case of Lesotho’s and South Africa’s interaction with the interest groups. There is therefore a greater mixture of conflict and cooperation in the case of the LHWP than in the case of Epupa.

The significance of these differences lies in the differing geographical locations of the two river systems within SADC. In short, these two factors gave rise to different sets of actors being involved in the respective WRMPs, with consequent differences in the nature of transnationalism.

4.2.2. Interest Groups

This section explores and assesses structures of authority, types of authority and the nature of transnationalism of the interest groups.

4.2.2.1. Structures of Authority

There is a great deal of similarity in the authority structures of the interest groups involved in the Kunene and Orange River basins. In both cases, none of the communal interest groups, namely the Himba and Lesotho Highlanders, resorted to coercion or the threat of the use of force to mobilise their members to campaign against the WRMPs. The reason for this is that whereas most interest groups rely on voluntary membership, the Himba and most of the

Lesotho Highland communities are the exception since their membership is derived from kinship. There is thus a high degree of habitual compliance within all the interest groups, since they are based either on voluntary association or on kinship ties. The interest groups’ authority is founded on informal as well as formal sources of legitimacy, strengthened by a horizontal or lateral network between them and vertical tribal hierarchies in the case of the Himba and Lesotho Highlands communities. The lateral network is also an important element in the establishment of loose coalitions.

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4.2.2.2. Types of Authority

As regards the types of authority of the interest groups, consideration is given to the following types of authority namely, moral, knowledge, reputational, issue-specific and affiliative authority.

(a) Moral Authority

: It is evident that there is a high degree of similarity of the interest groups’ moral authority. In the case of the Kunene River basin, the

LAC and the NSHR with their record of protecting the human rights of people are pivotal. These two interest groups found an ally in the Himba community because of their ability to garner the support of those in need of human rights protection. The LAC and NSHR are therefore backed by moral authority, which attaches a high value to the human dignity, freedom, and well-being of the Himba. In comparison, the variety of interest groups with an environmental agenda, are also supported by this moral authority although they do not focus exclusively on the Himba. They are therefore ‘fighting’ for the rights of the environment, supported by an ecocentric moral authority.

In the case of the LHWP, the various ecumenical interest groups are similarly endowed with moral authority, for example Christian Aid, the HCAG, the MCC and Oxfam. For these organisations, their ecclesiastical calling for the wellbeing of their fellow human beings is the basis of their moral authority and of the habitual compliance of their members and other like-minded interest groups. The historical relationship between Lesotho society and the Christian church is an important factor in this moral authority. Moshesh had already established a close and strong relationship with French Protestant missionaries in the 1840s, a relationship that was strengthened when Dr John

Philip, the British missionary leader, visited Moshesh in 1842 (Keegan, 1996:

248-249). The direct involvement of the churches and their watchdog role are further elements of this relationship. These factors have also contributed to the establishment of a loose coalition between the ecumenical and environmental interest groups. Since the latter focus on the environmental consequences of the LHWP, they also exhibit an ecocentric moral authority.

Hence, there is a high degree of similarity between the moral authority of the interest groups respectively involved in the water politics of the proposed

Epupa Dam and the LHWP. The only difference lies in the types of interest groups. In the case of Epupa, interest groups with a human rights agenda cooperate with environmental interest groups. In the case of the LHWP, ecumenical interest groups cooperate with environmental interest groups. In both cases, the moral authority of the interest groups has increased substantially, irrespective of the fact that different types of interest groups are involved, who derive their moral authority from different issues.

(b) Knowledge Authority

: Although not as visible as the moral authority, the knowledge authority of the interest groups in both cases is to a great extent similar. As has been mentioned earlier, in the case of the planned Epupa

Dam, interest groups themselves made use of the epistemic community and

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294 their own in-house research teams. This in-house research was used by the

IRN and other interest groups to investigate and recommend alternatives to the planned hydroelectric power station. This was also the case with the

LHWP, where Christian Aid, the IRN, the MCC, and Oxfam used field workers in the affected area to research the potential effect of the Project on the

Highlanders. This was done in cooperation with the Lesotho interest groups, most notably the TRC and the HCAG.

Although the research produced limited results in both cases, it nevertheless represented an alternative to the knowledge the governments (more specifically engineers and other scientists) had produced and disseminated to advance the projects. In both cases, a large degree of similarity therefore exists regarding the content of the knowledge. In the case of Epupa it was the potential impact of the dam on the social integrity of the Himba community and the environment, and in the case of the LHWP, it was the social integrity and the environment sustaining this social cohesion that defined the content of knowledge.

(c) Reputational Authority

: Although a high degree of similarity exists in the moral and knowledge authority of the interest groups, their reputational authority is dissimilar in each case. In the case of the proposed Epupa Dam, the interest groups were unable to use their reputation in the international community to produce habitual compliance from the Namibian government.

This was not entirely the case with the interest groups’ role and involvement during the construction of the LHWP. The reputation and ability of the interest groups to influence the policy process was not lost on the World Bank. This reputation was reinforced by the past experience of the World Bank, considering that interest groups had previously been able to prevent it from assisting in the construction of other large dam projects such as the Sardar

Sarovar Dam in India. In other words, the reputation of interest groups based on their ability to emphasis the negative effects of dam building projects, is a source of reputational authority.

Thus, the fundamental difference in both cases is again the fact that one

WRMP was constructed and the other only being planned, with subsequent different types of actors involved in both. In particular, the intergovernmental relationship between South Africa and the World Bank, made it possible for the interest groups to influence the World Bank personally.

(d) Issue-specific Authority

: Many of the interest groups involved in both cases have become experts on the issue of WRMPs, and the effect they have on the environment and human beings. This is exemplified by the fact that these interest groups, most notably the IRN, occupy a central position in the establishment of the WCD. Yet, in both cases the interest groups were to a certain extent ridiculed by Namibian and South African government officials, for not being knowledgeable regarding the issues of large dam construction, and the benefits derived from these structures. This was especially the case with foreign interest groups. Thus, it was not so much their knowledge of a specific issue that was ridiculed, but rather their interventionist type of

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295 approach to the issues at hand. What is noticeable in both cases as well is that interest groups with a certain type of issue-specific knowledge are involved. These range from interest groups with an environmental agenda, to those, such as the IRN, that campaign specifically against large dams and those with a human rights and labour agenda.

(e) Affiliative Authority

: In both cases, another striking similarity between the interest groups is their affiliative authority. In the Kunene River basin, this is especially the case with the Himba community and its authority inherent to the shared affiliation through common cultural, ethnic and religious roots. The

Himba depend largely on affiliative authority to foster habitual compliance among its members and to induce protest against the construction of the proposed Epupa Dam. Similarly, in 1988 when the churches in Lesotho convened their workshop to discuss the likely impact of the LHWP on the

Highland communities, their shared Christian affiliations led to the establishment of the HCAG, and the rallying of other ecumenical interest groups to the cause of the Lesotho interest groups. Affiliative authority also sustains the loose coalition that exists between the ecumenical interest groups. In both cases, the perception that the Himba and Highland communities were beleaguered by their respective governments’ intentions to construct WRMPs therefore contributed to the strengthening of affiliative authority.

4.2.2.3. Nature of Transnationalism

Because of the high degree of similarity between the types of authority inherent to the interest groups active in the Kunene and Orange River basins, a similar degree of transnationalism is prevalent. In both cases, like-minded, but different sets of actors are coalescing in their campaign against the

WRMPs. The amicable and cooperative relations that exist between the various interest groups in both cases are not only noticeable, but also serve to bridge and link the two cases. The linkage is made possible since the same interest groups are involved, such as EMG, FIVAS and the IRN. Moreover, the bridging effect makes it possible for the loose coalition to extend their influence to the domain of the other WRMPs as well. The linkage manifests in the complementarities of the transnational roles of the interest groups. They do not see each other as ‘others’, but as like-minded actors who are arguing for the worthy cause of upholding democratic principles and the well-being of other human beings. Thus, the nature of the transnationalism of the interest groups has made it possible for communal and associational (promotional) interest groups to have contact with institutional and associational (sectional) interest groups, and vice versa. The significance of this is that, unlike states with different ideological mind-sets and identities, interest groups readily form loose coalitions despite their ideological and identity differences. In other words, conflict among different interest groups, articulating the same cause, is highly unlikely where transnational bonds exist.

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5. Conclusion

In this chapter, a comparative analysis was made using a dynamic comparative map. The purpose of the map was to indicate the degree of similarities and dissimilarities between the two case studies and therefore presented a ‘snapshot’ comparison of the intended Epupa Dam and the completed LHWP, based on the specific criteria used.

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Table 21. A comparative map of the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the Kunene and Orange

River basins.

Case Studies

Criteria Kunene River (Proposed Epupa Dam) Orange River (LHWP)

Micro-Macro Interactions

Organisational Explosion

Interest groups and states are interacting with one another. Individuals are prominent actors especially representing the Himba community

Huge organisational explosion from the early 1990s to the present. Forty-nine actors are involved in the water politics of the proposed Epupa Dam.

Interest groups and states are interacting with one another. Individuals are prominent in the

LHWP especially representing the Lesotho

Highlanders.

Huge organisational explosion from the mid-

1980s to the present. Forty-one actors are involved in the LHWP’s water politics.

Bifurcation of Global Structures

Weakening of States and

Territoriality

Authority Crises

Subgroupism

Two ‘worlds’ exist in the Kunene River basin: the statecentric world made up of states, their institutions and

IGOs, and the multi-centric world comprising of the

Two ‘worlds’ exist in the Orange River basin: the one is made up of states, their institutions and IGOs, the other consists of interest groups. interest groups.

The Namibian government’s authority and legitimacy have decreased considerably.

The South African government and LHDA’s authority and legitimacy have decreased to a certain extent, while Lesotho’s has increased.

Less of an authority crisis than in the Kunene Decision paralysis is endemic to the Kunene River because the Namibian and Angolan governments cannot agree on a dam site.

River basin, because the South African and

Lesotho governments have already implemented Phases 1A and 1B of the LHWP.

Interest groups seek like-minded others in their struggle against Epupa, which led to a transnational pattern of interaction between domestic and

Interest groups sought like-minded others in their struggle against the LHWP, which led to a transnational pattern of interaction between international interest groups (see Appendix 3 for map). domestic and international interest groups

(see Appendix 6 for map).

States Structures of authority

Angola and Namibia are involved. Angola is in a state of transition from a Marxist-Leninist political system to a potentially democratic one, while Namibia is already a fledgling democracy.

Lesotho, South Africa and project authorities are involved. Lesotho has changed from an unstable democratic society to a stable one.

South Africa is a fledgling democracy.

Types of authority

Moral A significant reduction of Namibia’s moral authority. A limited reduction of South Africa’s moral authority, and an increase in Lesotho’s.

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Interest

Groups

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Knowledge

Reputational

Issue-specific

Affiliative

Nature of transnationalism

Structures of authority

Types of

Changing of original feasibility team led to a diminution of knowledge authority.

Loss of moral and knowledge authority led to a reduction of reputational authority on the part of the

Namibian government.

Loss of issue-specific authority regarding the supply of electricity.

The Himba do not comply with the Namibian policy on

Epupa.

Alternative view of the Project given by interest groups led to a reduction of knowledge authority on the part of the Project authorities and the governments.

Loss of moral and knowledge authority led to a diminishing of reputational authority of the

South African government, the LHDA, TCTA and World Bank.

Increase in issue-specific authority regarding the supply of water to the Vaal River system.

Lesotho Highlanders are still loyal to the

Basotho nation and in South Africa only a few inhabitants of the Alexandra township did not readily comply with the LHWP policy.

Different states, IGOs and interest groups are transnationally involved.

Different states, IGOs and interest groups are transnationally involved.

None of the interest groups resorted to coercion or threatened to use force to mobilise members against

Epupa.

None of the interest groups resorted to coercion or threatened to use force to mobilise members against the LHWP.

authority

Moral

Knowledge

Reputational

Human rights interest groups were backed by moral authority.

Epistemic community and in-house research teams were used.

Interest groups were unable to use reputational authority to produce habitual compliance.

Ecumenical interest groups were backed by moral authority.

Epistemic community and in-house research teams were used.

The reputation of the interest groups to influence the policy process was not lost on the World Bank.

Issue-specific

Nature of transnationalism

The interest groups have become ‘experts’ in the implementation of large dam projects.

Affiliative Himba authority. exhibits a high degree of affiliative

The interest groups have become ‘experts’ in the implementation of large dam projects.

Various interest groups in Lesotho have a shared affiliation towards the Christian religion.

Like-minded interest groups coalesced in their Like-minded interest groups coalesced in their campaigns against Epupa. campaigns against the LHWP.

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Table 22. A comparative map indicating the degree of dissimilarities and similarities of the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the Kunene and Orange River basins.

Case Studies

Criteria Degree of Dissimilarities Degree of Similarities

Micro-Macro Interactions

Organisational Explosion

Bifurcation of Global

Structures

Weakening of States and

Territoriality

Authority Crises

Subgroupism

States

Interest

Groups

Structures of authority

Types of authority

Moral

Knowledge

Reputational

Issue-specific

Affiliative

Nature of transnationalism

Structures of authority

Types of authority

Moral

Knowledge

Reputational

Issue-specific

Affiliative

Nature of transnationalism

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CHAPTER 8

EVALUATION

1. Introduction

As an evaluation, this chapter concludes the study by answering the research question and by addressing the problem statement. This is done with reference to a summary of the problem statement and propositions, the study itself and the findings of the study. The resulting critique is levelled towards the transnational role and involvement of interest groups, followed by recommendations concerning both the theory and the practice of the transnational role and involvement of interest groups in the water politics of the Kunene and Orange River basins. A conclusion is drawn in the last part of the chapter.

2. The Problem Statements

As has been mentioned in chapter one, the primary research question is: To what extent do the transnational activities of interest groups, concerning the implementation of WRMPs in selected Southern African international river basins, undermine the acceptance of policies and actions authorised at the state level of world politics? Phrased in another way, to what extent do the transnational role and involvement of interest groups challenge and erode state agential power (at a national and international level) in respect of water politics?

Two secondary questions arise from this main problem statement. The first asks to what extent do interest groups, as transnational actors, bridge the traditional boundary (distinction) between the domestic and international domains. The second subsidiary research question enquires to what extent do interest groups, as non-state actors, influence and change the existing relationships between state and society (government and citizen) at both the domestic and international levels.

Consequently, the first subsidiary proposition is that in respect of water politics, interest groups are bridging the boundaries between the domestic and international domains to such an extent that a distinction between the two spheres can no longer be maintained. The second subsidiary proposition is that interest groups are influencing and changing the traditional relationship between state and society or government and citizen to such an extent that the citizen is empowered to influence governmental policies at an international level. Based on these sub-propositions, it is the primary proposition that in respect of the water politics of international river basins in Southern Africa, state agential power is not significantly eroded by the transnational role and involvement of interest groups.

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3. Findings

In both case studies, there was a substantial challenge to and erosion of the national and international agential power of the states. In a temporal context, previous involvement of interest groups in both Epupa and the LHWP was limited to the involvement of international consulting engineering companies, in other words MNCs. Interest group involvement was nearly non-existent, especially in the case of the Orange River basin. In this system, there was no opposition to the implementation of WRMPs before construction on the LHWP began. Nevertheless, in the Kunene River basin some opposition from interest groups, especially the church, did exist before Epupa was actively mooted by the Namibian government in the early 1990s. Yet, this opposition of the church was not of a collective and transnational nature; it was of a domestic and individual type. Moreover, this limited opposition was mainly concerned with the construction of the Calueque Scheme and the Ruacana hydropower complex. The church was also not so much against the WRMPs, as against South Africa’s occupation of Namibian territory, and the disregard of human rights, especially in the context of the border war at that time. Thus, the development of the water resources of the Kunene River basin was a subordinate issue in the context of the wider regional politics where South

Africa took centre stage.

The number of interest groups involved in the water politics of both WRMPs changed significantly during the period from the mid-1980s to the early

1990s. This was consistent with the phasing out of hostilities between South

Africa and the rest of the countries in Southern Africa. This development was conducive to the establishment of associational promotional interest groups, such as EMG, ELA and GEM focusing on the environment and human rights issues.

Hence, in the Kunene and Orange River basins, there was a phenomenal increase in transnational interest group activity that undermined the acceptance of the actions and policies authorised at the state level. This undermining was at first subnational and national, but gradually became transnational as more interest groups from the periphery and outer-periphery became involved in the water politics of the WRMPs. What is also of importance, in both Epupa and the LHWP, are the issues that were accepted and rejected by the interest groups.

In the Kunene River basin, the Himba are totally against the intended Epupa

Dam, which is not the case regarding the LHWP. In the latter case, it was the compensation and relocation policies of the LHDA that was the proverbial thorn in the Lesotho Highlanders’ side. There is therefore a difference in degree of the challenge and erosion of the policies initiated at the state level in both cases. This is indicated by the agential power of both the interest groups and states that share the international river basins.

In the Kunene River basin, the interest groups have moderate international agential power, and moderate to high domestic agential power. Namibia’s

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302 international and domestic agential power is substantially lower than that of the interest groups. One important factor that explains this, is the fact that

Angola is also resisting, to some extent, Namibia’s plans to construct a dam downstream from the Epupa Waterfalls. Although Angola is not collaborating with the interest groups, the country still has an impact on the agential power of the interest groups. Had Angola supported Epupa, the interest groups’ agential power would have been substantially lower. Another factor is the high profile achieved by the Himba community by refusing to accept the policy concerning Epupa as legitimate. To elaborate, the Himba are a fiercely independent and ‘rich’ people, with a traditional lifestyle matched by few other tribes on the African continent. These aspects explain their appeal to environmental interest groups, who propagate sustainability at all levels of society. The Himba are undeniably the epitome (to the environmental interest groups) of a sustainable community, who live in harmony with their natural environment by not degrading it through a capitalist system of wealth accumulation. They are also seen as a minority people, by the human rights interest groups, under siege from the Namibian government. To protect their minority rights, these interest groups are assisting them in their ‘fight’ against

Epupa.

The opposite is the case in the Orange River basin. Regarding the LHWP,

South Africa’s international and domestic agential power is much higher than that of the interest groups. Yet, the interest groups have high domestic agential power, especially those based in Lesotho, and moderate international agential power.

South Africa’s international and domestic agential power relative to the LHWP is higher than that of the interest groups for a number of reasons. Firstly, the

South African government had been contemplating the idea of transferring water from Lesotho to the Vaal River system for 30 years before the signing of the LHWP Treaty in 1986. The seriousness of the South African government’s plans is contained in the following aspects: a consulting engineer (Ninham Shand) first looked into the project and drew up plans for the project (these plans were later revised during discussions between the two countries’ respective departments of water affairs); the Project was used by both Lesotho and South Africa for political leverage as the Vaal River system gradually became inadequate in providing water to South Africa’s economic heartland—Gauteng. Thus, South Africa, from 1956 to 1986, invested huge amounts of technical and political resources into the Project. These technical and political commitments culminated in the signing of the Treaty, outlining how the Project would be implemented (the technical or functional aspect) and who would be involved (the political side of the negotiations). Secondly, during the planning phases of the Project, from 1956 to 1986, there was no interest group involvement except for the MCC that became involved only in

1985. Eventually, when work on the project started in 1986, there was only a limited number of interest groups active in the debate. There was therefore no substantial challenge to and subsequent erosion of the South African government’s intention regarding the LHWP dating back to 1956. This put the interest groups at a disadvantage, and also explains why they mainly

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303 contested the compensation and resettlement policies of the LHDA and mounted criticism against the South African government on these and other issues.

Thirdly, the interest groups could not effectively challenge the economic power of South Africa concerning the financing of the project. Put differently, because the World Bank only financed four per cent of the project, the interest groups could not follow a route whereby they could lobby the Bank, and other financiers to withdraw funding from the Project. The fact that South Africa borrowed money from the domestic money market gave it an advantage in this matter. Fourthly, SWAPO gave Lesotho its consent towards the construction of the LHWP. This meant that Namibia was in principle supporting the Project, which is not the case with Angola and Epupa. Hence, there is no undermining of the project from one of the core state actors active in the Orange River basin. The interest groups were therefore unable to use such an issue to their advantage in their debate on the LHWP.

In the fifth place, the ANC changed its stance from being anti-LHWP to pro-

LHWP, when it became the ruling party. This meant that the Project was backed by the ruling party’s ideological power. Related to this is the fact that during the ANC’s anti-LHWP stance, there was no substantial transnational and domestic interest group involvement in the debate. This transnational role and involvement of interest groups occurred only later, after the ANC’s changed stance. In the sixth place, international river basin commissions (like

ORACOM) can confer a high level of agential power to the basin states of an international river. These river regimes are like a club to which only the riparian states, but not interest groups, have access. Decisions regarding policy actions within the river basin are made by the states and are discussed in these regimes (these commissions are therefore exclusive state fora).

Interest groups will only have outsider status, unless the governments of the riparian states should decide to allow them representation on the

Commission, or if governments are pressured to include interest groups.

The reason for the interest groups’ moderate agential power, concerning the

LHWP has to do with Lesotho’s changed identity over the past few years.

Because the Lesotho government adopted a tough stance against corrupt

MNCs and changed its electoral system, it became more responsive

(reflexive) to the wishes of the Lesotho interest groups (seen in the case of the ombudsman inquiry) than in the past (especially regarding the labour unrest). Regardless, South Africa’s involvement in the Project had a balancing effect on the interest groups’ international agential power. South

Africa’s high agential power made it difficult for the transnational network to erode South Africa’s policies on the LHWP. However, in their attempt to oppose South Africa’s policy, the interest groups mounted a significant challenge towards the South African government’s stance on the Project.

Regarding the extent to which interest groups as transnational actors are influencing and bridging the traditional boundary (distinction) between the domestic and international domains, they are able to do so through the variety

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304 of roles they play. Although the domestic and international agential power of the interest groups is questionable, especially regarding the LHWP, they are

the

actors who bridged the divide between the domestic and international domains. Not even the riparian states were able to do so and in such an innovative and cost-effective manner. Regarding the proposed Epupa Dam, interest groups were able to establish a loose coalition or network that spanned the entire globe within a matter of years. This is an indication of the effective matter in which the interest groups made contact with like-minded others. Even so, it must be remembered that it was an individual who started the whole process of the transnational involvement of the interest groups regarding Epupa. This was also the case with the LHWP; even before the signing of the LHWP Treaty in 1986, the MCC had already been transnationally committed to the Project. To sum up, individuals (micro actors) and interest groups (macro actors) are, like states or any other actor in international affairs, important initiators and influencers of and bridges between the international and domestic domains.

That being the case, to what extent then can interest groups influence and bridge the divide between these two domains? To answer the question it will be necessary to determine at which system levels can interest groups operate simultaneously. With respect to the water politics of the WRMPs, the interest groups have simultaneously been operating in the subnational, national, regional, and supranational (global) domains. On the subnational level, the interest groups at the core interacted with each other on a continuous basis.

This was the case in respect of the Lesotho Highlanders and the Lesotho interest groups. Regarding the Himba, they deliberated among one another and formed themselves into a communal interest group—the EAC, indicating the extent to which their kinship ties had evolved to provide a basis for the interest group. Nationally, the interest groups interacted with other likeminded groups as well as with government. The same situation developed on the regional level. On the supranational (global) level, the actors with whom the interest groups interacted were somewhat different to those at the subnational, national and regional levels. On the supranational (global) level, intergovernmental organisations, like the World Bank, and other governments became targets of the interest groups’ lobbying endeavours. In the case of

Epupa, the Himba chiefs’ visit to Europe is particularly indicative of this situation. The same applies to the LHWP, where Ramokoatsi’s meeting with

World Bank officials and the Alexandra Three’s lobbying of the World Bank, serve as examples. Hence, interest groups, as transnational actors, are able to influence and bridge the traditional boundary (distinction) between the domestic and international domains at the subnational, national, regional and supranational (global) levels. Moreover, leaders from collectivities (Kapika and Tjavara and Ramokoatsi), at the subnational level are able, through the assistance of other like-minded interest groups, to circumvent the national and regional levels and to interact with other actors directly (e.g. the World Bank,

European Parliamentarians and US officials) on the supranational (global) level. This also holds true for individuals who are not leaders of collectivities, for example the Alexandra Three. In addition, an important variable in this process is the involvement of interest groups, usually but not always from

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305 developed countries, to assist those interest groups from the developing country financially, to circumvent the national and regional levels. This process is called circumvention: the deliberate circumvention of the national and regional levels to lobby actors directly on the supranational (global) level

(see Figure 26).

Figure 26. The process of circumvention.

The process is usually but not always driven by another interest group or interest groups from a developed country or region, assisting the interest group from a developing country or region.

Interest group(s) from the subnational level circumventing actors at the national and regional levels in order to directly lobby supranational actors.

Subnational level

National level Regional level

Supranational (global) level

Circumvention is an important element in the relationship between interest groups and governments regarding the implementation of policies or programmes. Interest groups are willing to circumvent a state’s sovereignty, by lobbying other governments or IGOs to get them involved in an internal matter on the interest group’s behalf. In this way, there is not a distinction between the boundaries of the domestic and international domains; it is completely eroded. This means that the territorial integrity of the state has also been compromised. Thus, interest groups are active and unfeeling when it comes to the sacrifice of a state’s sovereignty and territorial integrity when bridging the boundary, and to influence states and other actors beyond a country’s borders. What this also means is that interest groups will do anything in their power to articulate an issue, even if such an action compromises state sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Following this, norms are also drivers (independent variables) of the interactive process between interest groups and governments or other actors.

This interaction is linked to the process of normative commensalism.

Normative commensalism assists interest groups to learn what is happening in the hydropolitical environment and to influence governments, IGOs and other non-state entities. Because influence is a component of power relationships, norms and norm creation act as facilitators within the interactive process. Thus, when considering the circumventionist process and normative

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306 commensalism, interest groups and norms are active in the realm of world politics to bring about different interactive approaches. Stated differently, interest groups as actors, and norms as abstract shared values, are independent variables in the political process of international river basins.

With the disappearance of the divide between the domestic and international political domains, the traditional hierarchical relationship between state and society (government and the citizen)—at both the domestic and international levels—also changes. Interest groups have mainly done this through the erosion of habitual compliance with policies. To be more precise, the different roles interest groups play cause this changed hierarchical relationship between state and society. Through their three generic roles, namely discursive, participation and philanthropic, interest groups have come to fill the void left by governments. This void is constantly recreated, as governments are unable to fulfil their responsibilities towards their citizens, like the provision of wholesome freshwater and a healthy and safe environment to live in. From the Epupa and LHWP issues it is clear that the governments of the main riparian states intending to, or actually implementing, the WRMPs, and the project authorities in the case of the LHWP, have reneged on their duty to

‘look out’ for the needs of the affected communities and the natural environment. Interest groups readily stepped in to take up the issues of the safeguarding of the Himba’s minority rights and the Kunene’s aquatic ecosystem, as well as lobbying for the improvement of the Lesotho

Highlanders’ living conditions.

Through the articulation of such salient issues, and the roles played by the interest groups in both the Epupa Project and LHWP, the interest groups have influenced and irrevocably changed the traditional hierarchical relationship between the state and society. In the past, this relationship was strictly hierarchical, with governmental decisions being implemented from the top down onto society. What has happened in the water sector over the past ten years in Southern Africa is that the hierarchy has in many instances fallen away or been inverted. Where it has disintegrated is where interest groups are communicating with governmental officials and project authorities on an equal footing. Where it has turned upside-down is where interest groups have been able to get their message across, and where government officials or project authorities have reacted to this. A clear example of this is the Lesotho parliamentary visit to the LHWP area, organised by the TRC. Thus, in a situation where interest groups lobby against a WRMP, there will most probably be a mixture of three ‘hierarchical’ situations: top-down, levelled and bottom-up. The prevalence of one situation will depend on the type of government system and the agential power of the states and interest groups.

In the case of the proposed Epupa Dam, a mixture of a levelled and bottomup relationship exists. Regarding the LHWP, top-down, levelled and bottomup relationships characterised the entire history of interest group involvement.

In all three hierarchical situations, the citizen is empowered to influence governmental policies, even if it is top-down with no consultations at the onset of the policy process. As the policy is implemented, interest groups will articulate issues concerning the policy or the policy process. Thus, policy

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307 implementation is not an exclusively governmental endeavour; the citizen, through the interest group, also stakes his/her claim to the policy process.

4. Critique

Having answered the research question, a critique of the transnational role and involvement of interest groups is necessary. One of the most profound critical issues to be raised in this regard is to what extent interest groups are contributing to the democratic process. Closely related to the democratic process is the representation of interest groups of broader society, especially when democracy is defined as rule by the people. For instance, does the

Alexandra Three represent the entire Alexandra community, or more specifically, who gave Ramokoatsi the mandate to meet with the World

Bank? Moreover, when interest groups lobby from the outer- and innerperiphery, does it constitute intervention or is it foreign political engagement in the interest of minority groups and the environment? These are questions that are closely related to the issue of global governance, where governance is seen as the effective management and allocation of scarce resources within society, while non-state actors hold governments accountable for their actions when doing so. Interest groups should fulfil this role but should also be kept accountable by their constituents for their actions when lobbying transnationally.

5. Recommendations

Based on these findings, a number of recommendations are offered. These are grouped under three generic categories, namely, critical theoretical gaps, recommendations for a future research agenda and policy recommendations.

5.1. Theoretical Challenges

A number of critical theoretical gaps exist in the HSCT exclusively devoted to water politics. The identification of these gaps assists in the development of an alternative theory that is also exclusively devoted to water politics.

Moreover, the theory of social constructivism assists in the development of this new theory, called hydro-normative commensalism, and explores the interaction between actors internal and external to the river basin, norms and normative commensalism.

The first major challenge within the HSCT is that it omits any explanation of the role of norms in politics. This has serious implications for the development of hydro-normative commensalism, because norms play such an important part in the transnational role and involvement of groups in the water politics of international river basins. Firstly, if the relationship between norms and actor behaviour are not explored, water politics itself is not adequately explained.

Secondly, the HSCT deals mainly with social instability but it does not say too much about social stability regarding interest group lobbying, since its emphasis is on the internal dimension of water politics. Therefore, the HSCT does not bridge the divide between the domestic and external realms of water

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308 politics. Thirdly, the HSCT emphasises the role of the state in the different transitions when water scarcities are encountered. Individuals are completely ignored, i.e. the theory does not explain how individuals, as part of collectivities, set about producing change in the water sector. The HSCT therefore does not shed much light on the role of interest groups in this regard. What it actually does, fourthly, is to place a too high premium on the ability of interest groups to bring about changes in the hydraulic mission. In other words, it concentrates too much on one role of interest groups—their influencing role. Having said this, a more comprehensive theory—hydronormative commensalism—is proposed (see Figure 27).

Hydro-normative commensalism has a number of basic assumptions. The first assumption is that individuals are the initiators of change in the water politics of international river basins. In other words, individuals cause ‘tipping points’ or trigger events that reconfigure the composition of actors actively involved in the water politics of domestic and international river basins. These individuals are not only governmental, IGO or project authority officials, but also individuals who are not part of the governmental system and who are not leaders of state and non-state organisations. The individuals do not contract with the state to bring about change regarding water policies, but do so voluntarily and in an ad hoc manner. An individual, whenever he or she feels the need to act to bring about change in a domestic or international river basin, will do so without the consent of the state or any other collectivity. The reason why individuals act in this way is an overall change in the norm that governed the situation in the past, namely the norm relating to national loyalty towards the state. The individual no longer has a strong attachment towards the state or ruling government, as has been the case in the past. He or she is therefore quite able to shift his or her loyalty towards a non-state entity, or to

‘blow the whistle’ on governmental action that is expected to negatively affect other individuals or collectivities. Thus, altruism towards entities other than the state has taken shape and is informing individual’s attitudes and actions towards water politics. Moreover, human relations, including international relations, are no longer made up only of material conditions or forces, but of the thoughts and ideas about the human condition.

The second assumption, closely linked to the first, is that interest groups are together with states, the key drivers of water politics. Admittedly, interest groups consist of individuals who have a shared loyalty to each other, to the interest group and other like-minded interest groups. Their prominence does not only derive from the involvement of individuals, but also from the fact that the hydropolitical environment and the domestic and international system allow them to function as the main drivers. The nature of the domestic and international system and the hydropolitical environment is dynamic, allowing new actors and issues to appear on the global and domestic stage and agenda respectively. This environment is also predominantly democratic, which allows the voluntary association of interest groups to form loose coalitions, and to freely express and exchange ideas and influence the governmental policy process. Thus, norms are also drivers of water politics— the democratic norm is in this case a prime example.

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The third assumption is that individuals, interest groups and states, create norms in order to direct water politics in domestic and international river basins. The identity and ideology of the particular actor play an important part in this regard with the shared beliefs composing and expressing the interests and identities of the actors. It is through an identity-informed ideology that an actor will create a certain norm that will in turn be used to establish the actor’s reaction towards a particular issue and relationship with another actor.

Discourses also play a part, but more in respect of the action-side of the equation than the identity, ideology and norm side. Thus, an identity informs an actor’s ideology, which influences its norm creating ability, and discourses are produced. In other words, discourses on policies and issues are only invoked at a later stage of the policy process when the interest groups are interacting with the state, governmental officials, IGOs, project authorities and

MNCs. The compilation of types of actors will of course differ when different issues are articulated within the domestic and international river basin, but the roles played by the interest groups will remain largely the same. Thus, another role that individuals, interest groups and states can play is that of norm creators, which falls under the discursive generic role. There is therefore a strong ideational element, based on the shared intersubjective beliefs among people, present in the water politics of WRMPs. This element is found within the coalition of interest groups and the states implementing the water project.

The fourth assumption is that the propensity for conflict between like-minded interest groups is very low because of the nature of the coalition between them. Within a loose coalition, it is easier to break away from the group if conflict arises, rather than to waste valuable resources to dominate the debate. In addition, the real focus is on influencing policies that are implemented by government. This implies that interest groups will rather concentrate on lobbying government than to ‘fight’ among themselves.

Moreover, because interest groups cluster around certain norms, the norm acts as an inhibitor of conflict and sustains the relationship between them.

Thus, by focusing on the norm, little time and energy is available for conflict within the coalition. Interest groups are therefore rational actors in the domestic and international political systems when campaigning against

WRMPs.

The fifth assumption states that the hydropolitical environment acts like a

‘laboratory’ for interest groups and states. This means that interest groups and states observe the hydropolitical environment. This observation is then translated to create different norms, which in turn are used by interest groups and states for purposes of learning and influence. States will also use opposing or alternative norms to persuade interest groups not to lobby against a policy. In this case, the norm of WRMPs being vehicles of socio-economic development is propagated as part of the state’s influencing endeavour.

Another norm, that translates opposition to government policy or programmes into an act of disloyalty, is also invoked by the state.

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The sixth assumption is that interest groups use the international system as a resource pool in their efforts to lobby government. Circumvention is the process used by interest groups to gain access to this resource pool. This process is therefore one of the ways through which relations are formed and expressed. The resource pool not only contains other state actors willing to lend support to interest groups in their lobbying endeavours, but also particular norms that interest groups will use in the debate on a policy matter.

This resource pool also comprises the international river basin itself. The natural and geographical environment of the river basin, namely the hydropolitical environment, therefore also serves as a resource pool from which interest groups and states receive clues on how to develop an argument for or against a WRMP. These clues will be translated into norms.

To conclude this section on hydro-normative commensalism it is necessary to develop a new definition of water (hydro-) politics. Three definitions are currently available, namely those of Elhance (1997), Meissner (1998) and

Turton (2003a). Elhance (1997: 218) declares that ‘water politics is the systematic analysis of interstate conflict and cooperation regarding international water resources’. Meissner (1998: 4-5) provides a more elaborate definition that states that ‘water politics is the systemic investigation of the interaction between states, non-state actors and a host of other participants, like individuals within and outside the state, regarding the authoritative allocation and/or use of international and national water resources—rivers, aquifers, lakes, wetlands and glaciers’. Turton (2003a: 16-

17), in his criticism of the latter two definitions of water politics, is of the opinion that ‘hydropolitics is the authoritative allocation of values in society with respect to water.’ He furthermore notes that: ‘This definition builds on the time-proven fundamental principles of politics that were developed by [David]

Easton in 1965 and makes them relevant to water.’ However, the definition that Turton (2003a) provides is in essence the same as Meissner’s definition.

Moreover, while Turton’s definition of hydropolitics is based on Easton’s

(1965: 21) definition of politics as the ‘authoritative allocation of values in society’, the latter has little to say about norms as values, how norms as values are created, who is responsible for creating norms as values and where norms as values originate.

Although, the definitions of Elhance (1997), Meissner (1998) and Turton

(2003a), indicate the nature of water politics, none of them elaborate on the role of norms and normative commensalism in water politics. Because of the centrality of norms in water politics, a new definition of water politics should read as follows: water (hydro-) politics is the transnational interaction, through norm creation and utilisation, between a plethora of non-state and state actors, varying from individuals to collectivities, regarding the allocation and use of, and perception of domestic and international water resources. This definition is neither exhaustive nor definitive but may assist in the development of future research agendas concerning the interaction between different actors in domestic and international river basins.

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5.2. Towards a Research Agenda

The different chapters in this thesis have dealt with a number of related topics.

In addition, the focus of the study was on the intersection of a number of units and levels of analyses i.e. the individual and collectivity as units, on the one hand, and the subnational, national, regional and supranational (global) levels of analyses on the other hand. This study, however, is not intended as the final word on water politics in international river basins. To get closer to a research agenda, the focus of the study is used to group aspects together that form part of the research agenda. These aspects are the units and levels of analysis, as previously indicated. It is important to take these different units and levels of analyses into consideration, because water politics does not occur in isolation or at a particular level of society. Because water is a resource that is used by both individuals and collectivities, and utilised by human beings and the natural environment at the subnational, national, regional and supranational (global) levels, any future research agenda should encompass these elements. The research agenda thus needs to take the form of research questions, grouped under the different levels of analyses.

(a) The individual unit

• How are people from rural communities interacting with government regarding policies on water resources?

• Does the individual possess agential power when it comes to influencing governmental water policies?

• If an individual possesses agential power, what is the nature of this agential power?

• Is the individual able to play different agential roles when interacting with government officials on matters pertaining to water resources?

• Is poverty an inhibiting factor in the individual’s ability to interact with government on water policy issues?

(b) The subnational level

• To what extent are interest groups within a state able to influence the government of that state not to import virtual water?

• What is the likely relationship between interest groups and catchment management agencies (CMAs)?

• To what extent are interest groups expected to get involved in CMAs so as to influence government policies in domestic and international river basins?

• Does the same situation, regarding the interaction of interest groups, governments and other state and non-state actors that exists in respect of the Kunene and Orange River basins also prevail in other Southern African international river basins, particularly the Okavango River basin?

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(c) The national level

• How does the internal political milieu of a basin state impact on the water politics of an international river basin?

• Is there a place for political risk analysis (PRA) in the international water politics of international river basins?

• What is the likelihood that the Namibian government will be able to implement either the Baynes or Epupa Dams, considering that interest group activity is expected to increase rather than to decrease in the future?

(d) The regional level

• What is the level of public participation in Southern African international river basins?

• How will public participation affect the future interaction of the basin states of international river basins?

• Is there a difference in the way interest groups operate at the regional level as opposed to the national and global levels?

• Is the transnational role and involvement of interest groups endemic to other Southern African international river basins?

• Does this transnationalism differ from that of the Kunene and Orange River basins?

(e) The supranational (global) level

• To what extent are interest group roles facilitating the formation of subgroupism at the global level regarding water policies?

• Are global water fora, like the Global Water Partnership and the World

Water Council, acting as interest groups to influence governmental policy regarding domestic water resources?

• To what extent are interest groups, involved in water policy matters, contributing to the epistemic community’s understanding of integrated water resources management (IWRM)?

5.3. Policy Recommendations

Apart from recommendations towards a research agenda policy recommendations are also outlined. The first consideration to keep in mind is the overall nature of the international political system and the processes occurring within this system. The international political system is a system that is occupied by a larger variety of actors. In this regard, it is a mirror of the domestic system. One of the most important processes within this system is that people are communicating with each other more frequently, and across ever increasing geographical and cultural distances.

It is recommended that any policy within an international river basin should