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World povertyNew policies to defeat an old enemy$
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Peter Townsend and David Gordon

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9781861343956

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861343956.001.0001

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date: 23 August 2017

Urban water supply, sanitation and social policy: lessons from Johannesburg, South Africa

Urban water supply, sanitation and social policy: lessons from Johannesburg, South Africa

Chapter:
(p.251) TEN Urban water supply, sanitation and social policy: lessons from Johannesburg, South Africa
Source:
World poverty
Author(s):

Jo Beall

Owen Crankshaw

Susan Parnell

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861343956.003.0011

This chapter examines policies to improve urban water supply and sanitation in the poorest countries. Johannesburg provides the case study. The city is posed with the challenge of meeting ‘the pressing service needs of burgeoning numbers of historically disadvantaged urban dwellers, without compromising the standards of services and supply to better-off rate-paying citizens’. The limited ablution facilities, which are used by women and children as well as men, are associated with the worst humiliations of abject living conditions, such as lack of privacy, hygiene, and basic dignity. The case shows how the Johannesburg authority was trying to make the best of an inheritance of extreme inequality, as well as the unrealisable expectations of both the majority of the South African population and the international financial agencies.

Keywords:   urban water supply, sanitation, Johannesburg, ablution facilities, hygiene, extreme inequality

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