"Although there have been some benefits accruing form privatisation in Africa generally and South Africa in particular, the exercise has impacted negatively on socio-economic rights and service delivery. With privatisation, the role of the state in the provision of these services has been taken over by private service providers over which states have no direct control or have failed to exercise control. Although it ought to be acknowledged that there has been an increase in the production levels of some goods and utility services, for instance water and electricity, it is unfortunate that with several people increasingly losing their jobs as public enterprises are privatised, they cannot afford to pay the increased costs of these services. This has been the case with water privatisation in South Africa where the 'full cost recovery' model and the introduction of 'pre-paid metres' have led to disconnections of water to those who are unable to pay, thus reducing access. As a result, since 1994, over 10 million South Africans have had their water disconnected. The main problem has been 'profit motives and cost recovery' on the one hand versus 'poverty, unemployment and inability to pay' on the other. This inevitably impacts negatively on the right of access to sufficient water and also affects the enjoyment of other socio-economic rights and services like food, housing, health care, inter alia. ... This study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one will set out the content of the research, identify the problem and outline the methodology. Chapter two gives a general coverage of privatisation and its inter-relationship with socio-economic rights and services. Chapter three covers the international and regional legal regime governing the protection, respect, promotion and fulfilment of socio-economic rights. It also covers the obligations of both the state and non-state actors. Chapter four will analyse the water privatisation exercise in South Africa, and how it has impacted on the enjoyment of the right of access to water. Based on the findings in chapter four, chapter five will evaluate the privatisation process and determine whether it complies with international and constitutional human rights obligations, followed by recommendations and a conclusion." -- Introduction.
Prepared under the supervision of Prof. Pierre de Vos at the Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2004.