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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10202/162

Title: What has trust got to do with it? Non-payment of service charges in local authorities in South Africa
Authors: Fjeldstad, Odd-Helge
Keywords: Public finance
Service charges
Trust
Local government
South Africa
JEL classification: D73, D74, H31, O18, R51, Z13
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: Chr. Michelsen Institute
Series/Report no.: CMI Working paper
WP 2003: 12
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 non-compliance 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 socio-economic characteristics. How can these differences be explained? Moreover, what factors determine citizens’ compliance? This paper argues that non-payment is not only related 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: (1) trust in the local government to use revenues to provide expected services; (2) trust in the authorities to establish fair procedures for revenue collection and distribution of services; and (3) trust in other citizens to pay their share.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10202/162
ISBN: 82-8062-061-3
ISSN: 0804-3639
Appears in Collections:CMI Collection (Reports, Working Papers, Articles etc.)

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