In South Africa, environmental management is a separate legal and institutional system parallel to planning, and the two are poorly integrated. This paper uses an institutional analysis of the relationship between environmental management and planning in the KwaZulu-Natal province to understand the tensions that arise. The basis for tension is identified in the divided legal and institutional systems; duplication in the regulatory systems; their overlapping but also divergent purposes; inadequate strategic plans; institutional divides; lack of capacity; as well as in divides arising from less tangible elements, including different discourses, practices, policy communities and identities. Movements towards integration need to consider both the formal system and these intangible dimensions.
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