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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:What's Trust Got to Do With it? Non-Payment of Service Charges in Local Authorities in South Africa
Author:Fjeldstad, Odd-Helge
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
service industries
public sector
local government
Politics and Government
Economics and Trade
Urbanization and Migration
Abstract:A major financial problem in many municipalities in South Africa is the inadequate collection of service charges due to widespread nonpayment. The prevailing view is that noncompliance is caused by poverty and the existence of an 'entitlement culture'. However, huge variations in compliance exist both within poor communities and between communities with similar socioeconomic characteristics. How can these differences be explained? Moreover, what factors determine citizens' compliance? This paper argues that nonpayment is related not only to inability to pay and 'a culture of entitlement', but also to whether citizens perceive the local government to act in their interest. In particular, three dimensions of trust may affect citizens' compliance: trust in the local government to use revenues to provide expected services; trust in the authorities to establish fair procedures for revenue collection and distribution of services; and trust in other citizens to pay their share. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]