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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The urban political ecology of water in Cape Town
Author:Smith, LailaISNI
Periodical:Urban Forum
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:social inequality
water supply
External link:https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12132-001-0016-4
Abstract:This paper approaches the issue of equity in access to water among township dwellers in Cape Town via an urban political ecology approach. It illustrates how South Africa moved from a notion of distributive justice - the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) of 1994 promised universal delivery of social welfare provision - to a skewed version of procedural justice through the Growth Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) strategy, which specifies the market as the main social and environmental mechanism for service distribution. This shift from equity concerns to efficiency gains threatens to create an institutional framework that prevents historically marginalized groups from amending the structural inequities in the distribution of public services, such as water provision. The author points out how power relations embedded in the urbanization of Cape Town and the resulting inequalities in the distribution of water create a logic of an economic 'growth' paradigm that promotes efficiency at the expense of equity. Bibliogr., notes.