Nico Steytler outlines the obligations resting on local government to give effect to socio-economic rights, focusing in particular on the legislative framework in terms of which privatisation of municipal services may occur. Concerns have been raised about the ability of privatised services to be provided on an equitable and affordable basis.

To the extent that the provision of basic services gives expression to certain socia-economic rights, the question arises whether privatisation of these services 'undercuts the realisation of these rights'. Looking at the current delivery mechanisms used by municipalities, the author argues that the process and end result of privatising a basic municipal service must comply with the normative framework of socio-economic rights.

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