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Exploring the "Culture of Non-Payment" in the post-apartheid South Africa

Louw, Olivia LU (2003)
Abstract
”Residents are refusing to pay until an effort is made to clean up, while authorities are refusing to remove refuse until residents pay”. This is the front-page headline of a prominent morning newspaper in Cape Town, South Africa that strikes to the core of what this research seeks to explore. For somewhere between this deadlock lurks a social phenomenon, the “culture of non-payment” borne as a result of the collective resistance of township residents, in protest of the appalling municipal services and apartheid regime. This was accomplished by the boycotting of rents and services in the townships. Withholding payment was a political weapon. It had the intent of crippling the daily functioning of the Black Local Authority in the township... (More)
”Residents are refusing to pay until an effort is made to clean up, while authorities are refusing to remove refuse until residents pay”. This is the front-page headline of a prominent morning newspaper in Cape Town, South Africa that strikes to the core of what this research seeks to explore. For somewhere between this deadlock lurks a social phenomenon, the “culture of non-payment” borne as a result of the collective resistance of township residents, in protest of the appalling municipal services and apartheid regime. This was accomplished by the boycotting of rents and services in the townships. Withholding payment was a political weapon. It had the intent of crippling the daily functioning of the Black Local Authority in the township as a show of civil defiance. It has been purported that the “culture of non-payment” was part of the long history of the ”struggle” or resistance against apartheid. Despite the new political dispensation, acts of resistance by way of the non-payment of municipal services has proliferated in the historically marginalized, predominantly African townships. Outstanding debts are currently estimated at $650 million. A discernment of the phenomena appears to be synonymous with explanations embedded in economics. This study seeks to explore the “culture of non-payment” through an understanding beyond these explanations. Qualitative research methods were employed to extract nuanced understandings of the “culture of non-payment”, where, through an extensive analysis, parts of its complexity has been revealed. (Less)
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author
opponent
  • Prof Gough, Katherine
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
focus groups, apartheid, privatization, geographies of exclusion, collective consumption, free riders, culture of non-payment, geographies of resistance, Social geography, Socialgeografi
pages
232 pages
publisher
Department of Social and Economic Geography, Lund University
defense location
Geocentrum I, föreläsningssalen, 1:e våningen, Sölvegatan 10, Lund
defense date
2003-11-28 10:00
ISSN
0346-6787
ISBN
91-973856-6-2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
cf0b0b8c-a965-461f-84a5-e8c1156480be (old id 21193)
date added to LUP
2007-05-25 13:30:08
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:59
@phdthesis{cf0b0b8c-a965-461f-84a5-e8c1156480be,
  abstract     = {”Residents are refusing to pay until an effort is made to clean up, while authorities are refusing to remove refuse until residents pay”. This is the front-page headline of a prominent morning newspaper in Cape Town, South Africa that strikes to the core of what this research seeks to explore. For somewhere between this deadlock lurks a social phenomenon, the “culture of non-payment” borne as a result of the collective resistance of township residents, in protest of the appalling municipal services and apartheid regime. This was accomplished by the boycotting of rents and services in the townships. Withholding payment was a political weapon. It had the intent of crippling the daily functioning of the Black Local Authority in the township as a show of civil defiance. It has been purported that the “culture of non-payment” was part of the long history of the ”struggle” or resistance against apartheid. Despite the new political dispensation, acts of resistance by way of the non-payment of municipal services has proliferated in the historically marginalized, predominantly African townships. Outstanding debts are currently estimated at $650 million. A discernment of the phenomena appears to be synonymous with explanations embedded in economics. This study seeks to explore the “culture of non-payment” through an understanding beyond these explanations. Qualitative research methods were employed to extract nuanced understandings of the “culture of non-payment”, where, through an extensive analysis, parts of its complexity has been revealed.},
  author       = {Louw, Olivia},
  isbn         = {91-973856-6-2},
  issn         = {0346-6787},
  keyword      = {focus groups,apartheid,privatization,geographies of exclusion,collective consumption,free riders,culture of non-payment,geographies of resistance,Social geography,Socialgeografi},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {232},
  publisher    = {Department of Social and Economic Geography, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Exploring the "Culture of Non-Payment" in the post-apartheid South Africa},
  year         = {2003},
}