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Two events will be open to the public. View the PDF flyer...

Please RSVP by April 11 to

BOOK LAUNCH – The Future of Public Enterprises: A Global Overview

When: Monday, April 14
Where: Townhouse Hotel, 60 Corporation St, Cape Town
Time: 4-6 pm

David McDonald, Professor and Co-director of the Municipal Services Project
Daniel Chavez, Fellow at the Transnational Institute
Sebastián Torres, National Director at Uruguay’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining

Rethinking Corporatization and Public Services in the Global South (Zed Press, London, 2014)

After decades of privatization, government ownership and public management are back in vogue. David McDonald, editor of the book, will provide insight into one of the most important trends in essential services in the global South: corporatization, a model of arm’s-length public enterprises owned and operated by the state. If sometimes driven by neoliberal agendas, there exist examples of corporatization that have delivered progressive public services. Drawing on original case studies from Asia, Africa and Latin America, this book critically examines the histories, structures, ideologies and social impacts of corporatization in the water and electricity sectors. 

Reorienting Development: State-Owned Enterprises in Latin America and the World
(Transnational Institute (TNI), Amsterdam, 2014)

Co-editors Daniel Chavez and Sebastián Torres will discuss the resurgence of state ownership and management as a development strategy in Latin America following the failure of privatisation in service delivery, and emerging analytical perspectives that challenge the hegemony of the free market paradigm globally. Researchers and policy-makers from the International Research Network on Public Enterprises and Development contributed to the book following an international conference held in Montevideo in 2012, jointly organised by TNI, Uruguay’s National Directorate of Industries (MIEM-DNI) and the state-owned telecommunications company ANTEL.

PLENARY DEBATE – Public Services in Post-Apartheid South Africa

When: Tuesday, April 15
Where: Townhouse Hotel, 60 Corporation St, Cape Town
Time: 2-4 pm

What’s “public” about public services in the post-apartheid era? How do water, health care and electricity services in South Africa compare to successful public delivery elsewhere in the world? Join us to hear leading scholars and activists reflect on these questions at the end of a three-day international conference examining alternatives to privatization of essential services, and what it means for South African governments, trade unions, NGOs and grassroots organizations.

Irvin Jim, General Secretary, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa
David Sanders, Emeritus Professor, School of Public Health, UWC
Greg Ruiters, Professor, School of Government, UWC
Samantha Ashman, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Johannesburg, and Co-Director of PERSA