Original Research

The ‘long now’ of southern African water: Exploring aspects of enchantment and disenchantment in Brandfort

Johann Tempelhoff
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 11, No 2 | a81 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v11i2.81 | © 2015 Johann Tempelhoff | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 February 2016 | Published: 01 November 2015

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Johann Tempelhoff, Cultural Dynamics of Water (CuDyWat) in the School of Basic Sciences, North-West University, South Africa

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Strategies aimed at understanding contemporary South African water supply and sanitation problems require a broad view of factors such as migration, urbanisation and climate change. Working from a case study of the water supply of the town of Brandfort in the Free State Province of South Africa, attention is given to its contemporary water crisis; the origins of the town in the nineteenth century; a view of the deep time of the region; and suggestions for gaining understanding of the town’s contemporary social ecological history in terms of the dynamics of its local water supplies.


Brandfort; Erfenis Dam; municipal service delivery; water and sanitation; long-term thinking; social ecological systems; panarchy


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