Recurrent drought in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality of the North West Province in South Africa: an environmental justice perspective

16 August 2013

This article adopts an environmental justice approach to recurrent drought in the North-West Province of South Africa. It is based on a secondary data analysis of a study – of which the author was a research team member – conducted in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality in February 2007, which assessed the impact of drought on older people. The methodology used during the initial study included observation, individual interviews, focus group interviews and participatory research. The author of the present article suggests, however, that discourses of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and ’legislative compliance’, as in many other South African contexts, have not yet been a particularly useful framing for issues of disaster and drought. The author suggests that environmental justice discourses might offer a more useful framing or conceptualisation for those concerned with the issue of recurrent drought in the study area or similar contexts.