Original Research

The role of science in deepening democracy: the case for water in post-Apartheid South Africa

Anthony Turton
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 5, No 1 | a146 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v5i1.146 | © 2009 Anthony Turton | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 March 2016 | Published: 04 April 2009

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Anthony Turton,, South Africa

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South Africa is a water constrained country with a complex history of resource capture and human rights abuses. Science, as practiced by the national science councils, could play a significant role in deepening our democracy. This paper explores two possible paradigms - one where science is divorced from the national constitution, and the other where our science is embedded in the national constitution. The paper argues that the latter approach would make our national science more relevant, but of necessity would embroil it in issues of historic legacy and therefore become “messy”.


Heroic engineering phase; cholera; Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR); water quality drivers: radiological; chemical and biological; National Nuclear Regulator (NNR); Tooth Fairy Project; Acid Mine Drainage (AMD); heavy metals; uranium


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