Environmental and related interest groups in South Africa

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This study was undertaken to provide information on interest groups or voluntary organisations which involve themselves in environmental conservation. The primary aim was to identify and list all those groups which together make up the environmental lobby in South Africa. Further aims were to determine the environmental orientation and characteristics of the groups, and to determine the degree of involvement they offer to the general public. The groups which were identified as comprising the environmental lobby are listed in a detailed form in part 2 of this study. They appear to concentrate largely on the conservation of the natural environment. The results of the study suggest that the environmental lobby contains a relatively small number of groups which register limited support. This support is drawn largely from the white section of the population. The groups themselves are well organised, but in general display a low financial base. A greater reliance appears to be made on the development of specialist skill than on the promotion of group cohesion and the generation of public support. It is believed that this may have led to the restriction of opportunities for general public involvement in group activities. It is suggested that groups in the lobby need to expand their interests to include conservation of the built environment, and so increase their appeal to the public. The opportunities for public involvement in group activities at all levels also need to be increased.

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