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University of Cape Town (2020)

Transboundary landscapes and rural livelihoods : a case study from the northern Kwazulu-Natal and Mozambique border

Mahlaba, Simlindile

Titre : Transboundary landscapes and rural livelihoods : a case study from the northern Kwazulu-Natal and Mozambique border

Auteur : Mahlaba, Simlindile

Université de soutenance : University of Cape Town.

Grade : Master of Science Environmental and Geographical Science 2020

Résumé partiel
Transboundary landscapes were introduced to southern Africa through colonialism and persist in the present day. These transboundary landscapes are constructed through political boundaries separating states as well as through the linkage of nature reserves and game parks located in adjacent countries. These landscapes have caused shifts in the livelihoods of the rural communities existing near them. This is the case for the Mbangweni rural area in northern KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. This rural area, located in a transboundary landscape formed by the national border that separates Mozambique and South Africa, sits in between Ndumo Game Reserve and Tembe Elephant Park. The proposed linkage of these two nature reserves to each other and to the Maputo Special Reserve in Mozambique seeks to create a transboundary landscape that has negative consequences for the livelihoods of the Mbangweni community. Through the analysis of this rural community and the nature reserves on either side of it, this research sought to enhance understanding about how rural communities interact with transboundary landscapes, as well as the perceptions held by these rural communities and other actors (especially within the conservation sector) about how these landscapes influence rural livelihoods as well as the consequences of these landscapes on rural livelihoods. The study sought to also understand the level of institutional fit and interplay that exists between the institutions that govern over this landscape as well as between the institutions and the lived realities of the Mbangweni community by documenting the historical and current transboundary livelihood practices of the people of Mbangweni, determining the manner in which government actors and conservation authorities perceive and conceive of the transboundary landscape, determining whether or not (and to what extent) local and government perceptions about the transboundary landscape in Mbangweni are similar, and if not, how that affects livelihood activities on the ground and visually mapping out the different perceptions of the landscape held by the Mbangweni community and associated governing institutions. Qualitative data collection methods were used. These included 10 oral history interviews, 2 focus groups and 3 key informant interviews. The findings of this study reveal that the initial establishment of the transboundary landscape in this region led to the separation of the population of the Maputaland. The communities in northern KwaZulu-Natal and those in southern Mozambique once lived as a single population group.

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Page publiée le 25 janvier 2023