Transfers, taxes and tariffs: fiscal instruments and urban statecraft in Cape Town, South Africa
Municipal revenue is an important site of urban statecraft.
Against the backdrop of the metropolitan consolidation of Cape Town’s urban governance in 2000, this paper traces two key revenue sources: national transfers to local government, with a focus on conditional grants; and the City’s own sources, including property tax and service charges.
While the design of these instruments intends to be redistributive and support metropolitan autonomy, their deployment poses challenges and contradictions, particularly for the everyday operations of the urban state. Not only does the analysis demonstrate the underexplored role of revenue instruments and logics in urban statecraft, but also the importance of ‘placing’ debates about urban fiscal geographies in southern cities.
Liza Rose Cirolia & Glen Robbins (2021) Transfers, taxes and tariffs: fiscal instruments and urban statecraft in Cape Town, South Africa, Area Development and Policy, DOI: 10.1080/23792949.2021.1921599