School of Social Sciences

Sagie Narsiah

Sagie Narsiah

Associate Professor

DisciplineSocial Policy

Last Updated 2 years ago


Position Associate Professor (Cluster leader: IPA)
Discipline Social Policy
Phone 031 260 2470/2628
Campus Howard College Campus
Office Address F161, MTB


  • BA(Hons) University of Durban-Westville
  • MA (cum laude) University of Durban-Westville
  • PhD Clark University, United States of America

Research interests

  • I am a Geographer by training.  My expertise is in the geography of
    development focusing on the impact of development policy at various
    geographical scales and the resistance of communities to neoliberal
    state interventions.  I do this using the lens of water and other basic
    services.  I have been working in the water sector for the better part
    of the past decade.  I have published in leading national and
    international journals.  I  also have on-going interests in the
    political economy of South Africa; social and critical theory; local
    government; boundaries and boundary disputes; social movements in
    general; sustainable livelihoods; and public participation among

Selected Publications

  • Narsiah, S. 2017. The Spatiality of Citizenship and Governance: The Case of Water and Sanitation in Durban, South Africa. In Reilly, T. (Ed.). The Governance of Local Communities: Global Perspectives and Challenges. Nova Science Publishers, New York. Pp. 183-198.
  • Narsiah, S. 2016. The Hindu Response to Climate Change in South Africa. In Hiralal, K (Ed.) Global Hindu Diaspora: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Manohar Publishers, New Delhi. Pp. 143-162.
  • Woldemariam, B and Narsiah, S. 2014. The Poor and Differential access to water in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In Asuelime, L; Yaro, J and Francis, S (eds.) Selected Themes in African Studies: Contemporary African Development Issues Vol. II, pp. 27-38.
  • Narsiah, S. 2013. Neoliberalism as Spatial Fix: An example from South Africa. Geoforum,45, 136-144.
  • Narsiah, S. 2012. Beyond consultation: Towards alternative public participation practices. Re-establishing the people’s contract: meaningful participation in building sustainable human settlements. Department of Human Settlements, Pretoria, Pp. 71 -94.
  • Narsiah,S and Ahmed, W. 2012. The Neoliberalisation of the Water and Energy sectors in South Africa and India. Journal of Asian and African Studies, 47(6), 679-694.
  • Narsiah, S. 2011. Urban Pulse- The Struggle for Life and Dignity in South African Cities: The Case of Johannesburg. Urban Geography, 32(2), 149-155.*
  • Narsiah, S. 2011. Creating an Alternative Space for Public Participation. In Good Governance Learning Network. State of Local Government Report: Recognising Community Voice and Dissatisfaction: A civil society perspective on Local governance in South Africa. Pp. 86-95.
  • Narsiah, S. 2010. Government, Profit and Inequality: Linking hands in the water sector. South African Labour Bulletin, 34(2), 43-45.
  • Narsiah, S. 2010. The Neoliberalisation of the Local State in Durban, South Africa. Antipode, 42(2), 374-403.
  • Narsiah, S. 2009. Frontier Wars: The case of the Matatiele Boundary Dispute. In Boujrouf, S, Antheaume, B, Giraut, F and Landel, PA (eds.) Les territories a repreuve des norms: referents et innovations – contributions croisees sud-africaines, francaises et marocaines. Pp. 343-358.
  • Naidu, R and Narsiah, S. 2009. Cooperative Governance in South Africa: The experience of Cross-boundary municipalities. In De Villiers, B (ed). Crossing the Line: Dealing with Cross-Border Communities. KAS. Johannesburg. Pp. 17-30.
  • Narsiah, S. 2008 . Discourses of Privatisation: The case of South Africa’s Water Sector. Development Southern Africa, 25(1), 19-33.
  • *publications are available on request.

Selected Awards and Professional Honours

  • Fulbright scholar to USA to do a PhD at Clark University, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Ford Foundation Grant
  • UKZN competitive grant
  • Honorary Secretary of the Society of South African Geographers (2009 – 2012)
  • Council Member of Society of South African Geographers (2007-2012)


Recent and current graduate students supervised with thesis/research interests.

  • Berhanu Woldemariam.  Water Resources Management in Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia. MSc (Completed 2010)
  • Innocent Nxele ‘Public Participation in Wetland Rehabilitation: The Case of Hlatikulu and Ntskeni  (Completed 2007). MA.
  • Kevin Ayanda Ndlovu.  An evaluation of the University of KwaZulu-Natal Intensive Tuition for Engineers Program (UNITE) (MSocSci)(Completed 2015). 
  • Khulekani Mhlongo.  Educator’s Readiness to Implement Inclusive Education: The case of Umzumbe Rural Schools, Sayidi Circuit.  (MSocSci).  (Completed 2015).
  • Mcebo Zulu.  Public Participation in the Blue Lagoon Beach Project, Durban North.  MA(Public Policy).  (Completed 2016).
  • Ntombifuthi Khumalo.  An Evaluation of the In-Service Training Policy in Swaziland with specific reference to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Health. (MSocSci) (Completed 2015).
  • Olivia Victoria Davies.  An assessment of the African Union Mission in Somalia’s role in Conflict Transformation in Somalia. (MSocSci). (Completed 2015).
  • Paballo Moerane.  A study of graduates’ experience of unemployment in Durban, South Africa.  (MA).  (Completed 2016).
  • S’Phelele Khali. An exploration of students’ perceptions of the implementation of Language Policy. A case study of the Cultural and Heritage Tourism programme at the University of KwaZulu Natal, Howard College campus.  (MsocSci). (Completed 2015).
  • Sulaimon Muse.  Public Participation in Democratic Governance: A Case-Study of Participatory Budgeting In Lagos, Nigeria. (Phd).  (Completed 2016).
  • Temitope Edward Akinyemi.  Climate Change, Migration and Resource Contestations: A Case Study of North-South Migration in Nigeria.  (Phd).  (Completed 2016)

Community Involvement

  • Research associate with the Democracy Development Programme (DDP).