Instead of an ideological obsession with illusory private sector ‘solutions’, the international community would do better to support socially ambitious public operators working together in partnership with other public utilities.
A few weeks after the May coup against Dilma Rousseff by conservative parties backed by the country's largest corporations, Brazil's “interim” government, led by Michel Temer, signed an emergency loan to the State of Rio de Janeiro to help finance infrastructure for the 2016 Olympics – in particular for a subway line connecting the sports venues. The bailout was conditional to selling off the State's public water supply and sanitation company, the Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos (Cedae)
The largest Public-Private Partnership in water sector in Germany ended in 2013 after the longstanding social mobilisation. Remunicipalisation cost a high price for the city of Berlin though. Berliners have striven for new challenges.
This working paper and infographic provide an overview of a great ‘fire sale’ of public services and national assets across Europe that is providing profits for a few transnational companies but is often fiercely opposed by its citizens.
The Central Jakarta District Court on 24 March annulled the water privatisation contracts of Suez (PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya – Palyja) and Aetra, finding that the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) were negligent in fulfilling the human right to water for Jakarta’s residents.
(Press release: 24 July 2013) A large group of Greek, European and international organisations, networks and others have requested the bidders for the Thessaloniki Water and Sewage Company to withdraw their bids. They want the bidders to respect the wishes of the workers and local communities who do not want their company to be run by private operators.
International Water Justice community sent the petition to the Supreme Court of Indonesia. Residents of Jakarta filed a citizen lawsuit against water privatisation in Jakarta at Central Jakarta District Court in November 2012. They argued in the lawsuit that water privatisation failed to fulfil the residents’ access to safe water, caused a series of corruptions and financial harm to the public budgets. In March 2015, the court ruled in favour of the residents, annulling the contract agreement with two private water operators. It was a significant victory of people. The decision, however, was challenged by these private companies and other defendants. Unfortunately the residents lost in the High Court in February 2016. Jakarta people decided to challenge the High Court ruling at the Supreme Court.
Susan George, aleksej, Mthandeki Nhlapo, Peter Waldorff
28 April 2011
Privatisation offers nothing to the 43 percent of Africans in cities who have no access to water. On World Water Day 2011, experts met in Cape Town to share experiences of successful public-public partnerships for equal public access.
It had been billed as a summit to push for universal access to water, but attending the Budapest Water Summit held last week felt like grasping at a mirage of water in a desert. The slogans and appearance were attractive, but held no prospect of delivering the human right to water for all.
Despite large aid support, Ghana's privatised water utility AVRL consistently failed to meet its contractual commitments. Water is now back in state hands, but it will need increased investment and a vigilant civil society to deliver the services Ghanaians need.
Jakarta is currently striving to join many cities around the world and remunicipalising its water. A series of fact-sheets that outline how and why water privatisation failed and the potential for a renewed effective public service.
While both North–South partnerships and SouthSouth Partnerships have strengths and limitations, linking these in networked models is an effective way to mobilise expertise and funding and achieve success.
TNI and other civil society organisations, in an open letter, have denounced the European Comission's admission that it imposes water privatization conditionalities as part of its 'rescue' package to crisis countries.