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The Neoliberalisation of the Local State in Durban, South Africa

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There exists a growing literature on the geographical aspects of neoliberalism and neoliberalisation. In this paper I focus on how the neoliberalisation process is articulated at the scale of the local state in Durban, South Africa. I examine the neoliberalisation process through the lens of the water sector. This paper contributes to the body of literature showing how private sector governance techniques are being used in the public sector effecting its neoliberalisation. I show how pricing structures are neoliberal and in turn how they are deployed and contribute to the neoliberalisation of the local state in Durban. I show that accounting strategies, tariff structures, and cost recovery measures are central to the neoliberalisation process in Durban.

Keywords: Durban; South Africa; neoliberalism; privatisation; water

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of KwaZulu-Natal; South Africa, Email:

Publication date: 2010-03-01

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