An evaluation of community participation in the integrated development planning (IDP) process : a case study of Umzumbe Municipality in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa
Khawula, Bhekuyise Mhawukelwa Sixtus
MetadataShow full item record
In order to eradicate the legacy of the apartheid past, the South African democratic government adopted a development approach to local government. This necessitated a commitment on the part of local government, through the Integrated Development Plan (IDP), to facilitating community participation by finding ways to meet economic, social and material needs, as well as improving quality of life. The IDP can only be well received and implemented if there is an effective public participation process to ensure that the needs and aspirations of the people are met. This research focused primarily on evaluating community participation in the IDP process through the use of the case study of Umzumbe Municipality in the KwaZulu-Natal province. Furthermore, the research answers the following questions: to what extent do communities participate in the IDP process?; what were the challenges facing communities with regard to participation in the IDP process?; and what was the role of ward councillors and ward committees in promoting community participation in the IDP process? In order to answer these questions, an empirical study was conducted using quantitative research methodology. The case study approach was used in this study in order to obtain detailed views of respondents and issues relating to the objectives of the study. Using the quantitative research methodology, the study employed a questionnaire to collect information linked to community participation. Three hundred and ninety respondents from ten wards in the local municipality were randomly sampled. In addition, ten ward councillors were requested to participate in the study in order to explore the factors influencing community participation in the study area. The questionnaires were developed and approved by the Durban University of Technology’s ethics committee before the commencement of the study. Data was then collected. The results of the study, conclusions and recommendations are provided in a way that will enable the reader to draw his or her own conclusions on the value of this study. The study was worth undertaking since the challenges of community participation for local economic development and the IDP enhance service delivery. The results of the study should expand the knowledge base of rural community participation in the IDP process in Umzumbe Municipality. The findings of this study should benefit the municipality by highlighting the challenges of community involvement in the IDP process. The envisaged outcome of this study is the development of a theoretical framework for rural community participation in the IDP process in local government. Findings from the study point to the profusion of poor or non-participation of the community in the IDP process. The study shows sour relationship between ward councillors, ward committee members and community members. Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations have been made: upgrade levels of education/capacity development for ward councillors, ward committee members and community members; poverty alleviation and economic development to create employment; encourage youth and adults to engage in public forums; encourage the involvement of all stakeholders in the identification of development initiatives; co-ordination and information sharing sessions; and systems of monitoring and evaluation should be put in place to monitor community participation in the IDP process, with guidelines for the implementation of community participation initiatives.