Munich Personal RePEc Archive

A short review on the ‘Phiri Water Rights’

Sahoo, Ganeswar (2010): A short review on the ‘Phiri Water Rights’.

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Abstract

Nothing is free in this free world. As public good is concerned, water is often termed as a ‘common good’ instead of a public good. In economics, water is an economic good and not a free good. To a layman, water is his/her basic human right and it cannot be deprived at any cost. This paper reviews some debates regarding rights to water in Phiri in the post-apartheid South Africa. In this brief review, I find on one side, the international trends towards cost-recovery and commercialization of water through privatization, or corporatization, or governmental policy, and other hand, the struggles of poor households to this social injustice. The main debate heads towards two synonymous words ‘sustainable development’ (social welfare without negative impact on future generations) and ‘social justice’ (social welfare at current age). The main theme of this water battle is the installation of prepaid water meters that lead to the constitutional challenge of the basic human right of the masses.

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