Local Governance, Power and Natural Resources: A Perspective from the Rural Areas of South Africa's former Bantustans
This paper focuses on the institutional arrangements that have been put in place to give effect to decentralization and its impact on natural resource management in the rural areas of Transkei region of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. In particular, the paper pays attention to the local actors who hold powers over natural resources, the kinds of powers they hold, the degree of community participation and accountability relations and mechanisms of accountability to which these actors are subject. For purposes of this paper, the \"natural resource\" management issue is investigated primarily through a focus on land issues. Within this context, the role of traditional authorities (chiefs of various ranks) is assessed. The focus on land illuminates problems that are on the horizon for other natural resources, such as forests, wildlife and fisheries, because these latter resources are to be managed through similar structures to those being constructed and contested in the land policy area.