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Bond (Chapter 7) discussed at length the counterproductive impact of the ‘user-charges’ policy in the provision of water and sanitation services in South Africa; where people in poor neighbourhoods are forced to get water from deadly sources. The case of KwaZulu Natal Province in 2002 – where the cost of responding to the cholera outbreak far outstripped the outlay that would have been needed to provide the households with clean water – is an important reminder of the dubious cost–benefit analysis that underscores much of the aggressive neoliberal thinking.

6 per cent for Sweden. 35 in the United States. Indeed, a targeted model of social policy was found, on the whole, to be much smaller for countries pursuing targeted policies than those pursuing ‘encompassing’ policies. The paradox of targeted models, as Korpi and Palme (1998: 672) noted, is that in ‘discriminating in favour of the poor . . ’ The ‘paradox of redistribution’ is that: by providing high-income earners with earnings-related benefits, encompassing social insurance institutions can reduce inequality and poverty more efficiently than can flat-rate or targeted benefits .

The multipolar world of the 1960s and the 1970s offered a greater diversity of ‘learning sources’ in comparison to the highly diminished policy space of the late twentieth century. The transitional phase had involved demands by the ‘donors’ and Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs) for the replacement of personnel responsible for economic policies, and the use of ‘brute economic force . . to push through certain idea. The unresponsiveness of African bureaucracies and their apparent unwillingness to learn has been used to justify the conditionalities that have accompanied policy making.

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