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Negotiating the Global and the Local: Evaluating Development Through Public–Private Partnerships in Durban, South Africa

Abstract

Within a context of transition, South African cities such as Durban are required to address the dual development imperatives of socio-economic redistribution and increasing global competitiveness. Processes associated with shifts to urban governance and partnerships are being drawn on to achieve these urban development goals. In 1999, the Durban Growth Coalition, a strategic partnership between business and government, emerged to address urban economic development concerns. The partnership has led to the successful planning and implementation of various flagship developments within the city. This paper evaluates the processes of the Coalition and associated projects in order to assess to what extent the partnership is successfully addressing the dual imperatives of post-apartheid redress and integration into the global economy. The paper thus critically examines the implications of using public–private partnerships as mechanisms for equitable development in South Africa and highlights the possibility of the emergence of deliberative processes of decision-making through partnerships.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. Here, precedence is given to public-private partnerships but in many cases civil society is increasingly involved in networks of decision-making (Pendras 2002; Rycroft and Scott 1998).

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Acknowledgements

Research funds from the National Research Foundation in South Africa and the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) are gratefully acknowledged. Assistance from Moreland Developments (now Tongaat Hulett Developments) and Sibongele Maphamulo with the River Horse Valley study is acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Jennifer Houghton.

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Houghton, J. Negotiating the Global and the Local: Evaluating Development Through Public–Private Partnerships in Durban, South Africa. Urban Forum 22, 75–93 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12132-010-9106-5

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Keywords

  • Public–private partnerships
  • Urban development
  • Durban
  • Deliberation