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Publication Details

Reference
Ndlovu, Molefi Mafereka  (2008) The damming of Lesotho’s Water and the consolidation of commodity relations in occupied Azania : Critical Theory appraisal of the ‘civil society’ challenge for free basic water services in Johannesburg, Gauteng. . Centre for Civil Society : 1-32.

Summary
Water has become a focal and dynamic terrain from through which the intercourse of forces are articulating and defining new theoretical and actual contents to the concept of’ civil society’ in occupied Azania (South Africa); this paper seeks to lay out key debates and developments in the on-going discussion over mega-Dams Projects such as the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. The paper will compare this to current global discourses on civil society and consider the implications of the struggle against water privatisation currently underway in Gauteng’s largely Black township of Soweto (Phiri).Thirdly; the discussion is based on a comprehensive desk-top analysis of key opinion makers on this issue as well as personal interactions. Fourth; the paper seeks to challenge popular assumptions about progressiveness of notions like ‘civil society’ ‘free-market democracy’ and the inevitability of rationalised commodification of water services on the rest of the continent (Aethiopia ). The paper will consider the situation of the residents of Gauteng’s largely Black township of Soweto (Phiri) focusing on the legal challenges currently underway in Johannesburg High Court. The paper will consider ironic fact that both ‘civil society struggles’ remain confined in courtroom walls, albeit under different circumstance in each country. The paper does not offer hard clean cut solutions but merely tries to open the space for dialogue over the developments of and between civil society efforts cutting across the two countries; in order to highlight stark continuities in current efforts to toward an alternative approach in so far as Liberal conceptions of citizen/customer/person underlie current right-based discourse of civil society and ‘liberalising gesture of neo-colonial state.

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