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Development policy and water services in South Africa: an urban poverty perspective

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  • Ndodana Nleya

Abstract

This paper explores the impact of overall macroeconomic development policy on water service delivery policy and urban poverty in South Africa. It scrutinises ambiguous definitions of 'urban' in the literature, which tend to obscure the extent of urban poverty in this country. This is crucial given that a large proportion of the urban poor live in informal settlements, which are sometimes lumped with rural areas. Informal settlements are generally characterised by limited essential services such as housing, water supply, storm-water facilities and sanitation services. Water services, like other social services, retain the racial imprint of apartheid. Consequently, water policy in South Africa attempts to address water issues from an equity perspective. By analysing the effects of the tariff subpolicy within the water policy, the paper recommends that free basic water should be made available only to poor households.

Suggested Citation

  • Ndodana Nleya, 2008. "Development policy and water services in South Africa: an urban poverty perspective," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3), pages 269-281.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:25:y:2008:i:3:p:269-281 DOI: 10.1080/03768350802212048
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    1. Case, Anne & Lin, I-Fen & McLanahan, Sara, 2000. "How Hungry Is the Selfish Gene?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 781-804, October.
    2. Frances Lund, 2002. "'Crowding in' care, security and micro-enterprise formation: revisiting the role of the state in poverty reduction and in development," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., pages 681-694.
    3. Case, Anne & Deaton, Angus, 1998. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1330-1361, September.
    4. Anne Case & Cally Ardington, 2004. "The impact of parental death on school enrollment and achievement: Longitudinal evidence from South Africa," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 097, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
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