What has trust got to do with it? Non-payment of service charges in local authorities in South Africa
AbstractA major financial problem in many municipalities in South Africa is the inadequate collection of service charges due to widespread non-payment. The prevailing view is that non-compliance is caused by poverty and the existence of an 'entitlement culture'. However, huge variations in compliance exist both within poor communities and between communities with similar socio-economic characteristics. How can these differences be explained? Moreover, what factors determine citizens' compliance? This paper argues that non-payment is not only related to inability to pay and 'a culture of entitlement', but also to whether citizens perceive the local government to act in their interest. In particular, three dimensions of trust may affect citizens' compliance: (1) trust in the local government to use revenues to provide expected services; (2) trust in the authorities to establish fair procedures for revenue collection and distribution of services; and (3) trust in other citizens to pay their share.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway in its series CMI Working Papers with number WP 2003:12.
Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Public finance Service charges Trust Local government South Africa;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
- H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
- O18 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
- R51 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Finance in Urban and Rural Economies
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
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