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University of Hull (2019)

Household waste management in a South African township

Pewa, Mbali Khanya Patty

Titre : Household waste management in a South African township

Auteur : Pewa, Mbali Khanya Patty

Université de soutenance : University of Hull

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2019

Résumé partiel
South Africa emerged from apartheid in 1994 as a nation divided by race and class. The apartheid laws enforced separate development, which disadvantaged the black African population ; especially the Xhosa people in rural Eastern Cape and the Zulu people in KwaZulu-Natal province. The democratically elected government inherited a country marked by social and economic inequalities, which had been enforced by the apartheid regime. A notable spatial variability in South Africa remains the difference in level of basic service provision between the former white suburbs and the black townships. The most visible evidence of poor service delivery in townships are informal household waste dumps. The main causes of the continuing waste problems in South African townships are high population growth and urbanisation rates, compounded by a lack of enforcement of environmental legislation. The transition to democracy demolished laws that restricted free movement between urban and rural areas resulting in large-scale urbanisation. This coincided with the integration into the national economy of black South Africans. The changes in their consumption patterns further accelerated the generation of waste. To remedy the household waste problem, a national policy framework was adopted focusing on achieving environmental and social justice while promoting economic development in deprived regions. The waste management policy aims to create sustainable and inclusive cities. Its implications and effectiveness have not been examined in township areas.

This thesis applies an approach of feminist political ecology to further the understanding of the complex socio-political relationships around household waste management in a multi-ethnic urban South African township. The aim of the research is to develop an in-depth understanding of household waste management in a post-apartheid urban township in order to evaluate the management challenges and identify opportunities for waste minimization. Fieldwork was undertaken in Lamontville Township, an urban community on the periphery of eThekwini Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. The research adopts a mixed methods approach. Qualitative information was gathered through focus group discussions, participatory activities, as well as interviews with waste management stakeholders and key informants. Quantitative data was gathered through a structured household survey that was administered to household members in Lamontville Township. Secondary data was collected from government websites and officials.

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