“Free Water” as Commodity: The Paradoxes of Durban’s Water Service Transformations

A Loftus, D Macdonald (Editor), G Ruiters (Editor)

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In September 2002, an article in the Johannesburg Sunday Times declared a “torrent of praise for water man” Neil Macleod—the executive director of eThekwini Water Services (eTWS). The paper went on to extol his tremendous efforts and ingenuity “in turning around Durban’s water woes” (Horner 2002). eThekwini Municipality’s own publication, METRObeat, “saluted” Macleod and his department for having transformed the city’s crumbling water network and having ensured that “Durban leads the way in providing one of the most basic necessities of life: water” (METRObeat, October 2002). Both articles were media responses to an award presented to Macleod by the US National Geographic magazine, along with the enormous praise he had received from both the South African government and other international agencies from around the world. Studies by the Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) at Loughborough University (PDG 2000), Palmer Development Group (DWAF 2001) and the World Bank (2001) have also marveled at the municipal utility.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Age of Commodity: Water Privatization in Southern Africa
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
ISBN (Print)1844071340
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004

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