South Africa: Unfettered Rural Development Tramples the Bucolic Life


South Africa is a developing country. Yet in the era of the climate crisis, it is becoming increasingly clear how development usually equates with environmental degradation and is fuelling (literally) the drivers of climate instability. In our country's quest for social justice we also have to protect everyone's rights to 'an environment that is not harmful to their health and well-being' and to have the environment protected 'for the benefit of present and future generations'. How do we find the balance?In this article, a healthcare worker who has worked in the same rural district hospital for the past 17 years, describes the positive and negative changes she is seeing, and wonders what can be done to balance them out.

The daily commute to work on my bike had just become more interesting. After zigzagging through numerous blockades of felled trees, skidding up and down embankments and narrowly avoiding pedestrians on the pavement, I had come to a point where I could go no further. A community protest demanding piped water was going to trump my attempt at providing healthcare in the public sector. At least for today.

After a few minutes of futile discussion, it was clear I would be...

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