"Against the preceding background, the phenomenon of privatisation has come to be a particularly important factor with respect to the progressive realisation of the right to water. Privatisation is the process of transferring property from public ownership to private ownership or transferring management of a service or activity from government to the private sector There has been a rapid growth in the privatisation of essential services in many African states, based on the belief that the private sector can deliver growth and efficiency more effectively than the public sector. This supposition has not been borne out by the available evidence. Cote d'Ivorie was the first African state to privatise its water delivery system in 1960. Since then, over 18 major water contracts have been awarded by at least 14 African states, including Senegal and South Africa, to private concernts for the delivery of water. A host of other states are planning to or are already in the process of privatising their water delivery systems. The main impetus behind this spate of sometimes frenzied privatisation, has been the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who make the privatisation of public services or utilities an unavoidable condition for loans to African states. These two institutions have however, quite recently, come under serious pressure to fundamentally rethink the use of conditionality and have initiated a series of evaluations which are expected to result in some critical conclusions. This study aims to demonstrate through the two case studies of Senegal and South Africa that privatisation of water by African states can affect the process of 'progressive realisation' and may actually result in the violation of the right to water guaranteed under international human rights law. It investigates whether privatisation of water by African states affects the obligation of progressive realisation of the right to water. The choice of Senegal and South Africa is based on the fact that studies on the development and impact of water privatisation in both states have been carried out and futher whilst Senegal is an example of 'privatisation forced by the World Bank', South Africa is not. In addition, both states are parties to international human rights instruments that implicitly or explicitly guarantee the right to water. ... Chapter 2 will discuss the 'right to water' and the obligation of progressive ralisation with regard to the overall promotion and protection of economic, social and cultural rights. It will examine whether such a right actually exists under international human rights law, its nature and extent and the content of the obligation to progressively realise it. Chapter 3 will focus on the process of privatisation, its varous forms and the impetus for such a process. It will also explore arguments in support of, and against, privatisation. Chapter 4 will analyse the impact of privatisation on the obligation to progressively realise the right to water by looking at the situation pre- and post-privatisation. Some concluding remarks will be made in chapter 5." -- Introduction.
Prepared under the supervision of Prof. J. Oloka-Onyango at the Faculty of Law, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2006.