The "brown" environmental agenda and the constitutional duties of local government in South Africa: a conceptual introduction

  • AA Du Plessis


This note explores the interrelationship between ecologically sustainable development (the green environmental agenda) and pro-poor urban development and environmental health (the brown environmental agenda) in relation to local government in South Africa. The meaning and relevance of the brown agenda versus the green agenda in environmental governance are discussed in general. This discussion subsequently feeds into the argument that South Africa's constitutional environmental right also foresees the advancement of the brown environmental agenda, which has implications for the interpretation and enforcement of local government's service delivery mandate. This link between municipal service delivery and the environmental right further informs understanding of what is required of government to fulfill this right. This paper is thus devoted to an introductory conceptual framing of South Africa's environmental right that goes beyond the green agenda. This impacts on how the constitutional duties of municipalities are interpreted and executed.

KEYWORDS: South African local government; brown environmental agenda; green environmental agenda; local environmental governance; constitutional environmental right.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-3781