Review Article

Strengthening policy- and decision-making processes through community participation: A municipal perspective

Themba A. Petunia, Modupi Selepe
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 8, No 1 | a409 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v8i1.409 | © 2020 Themba A. Petunia, Modupi Selepe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 May 2020 | Published: 17 December 2020

About the author(s)

Themba A. Petunia, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Law, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa
Modupi Selepe, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Law, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Post-apartheid South Africa has been experiencing massive service delivery protests where local communities express their disenchantment with municipal service provision. The critical component of the latter is supposedly the result of lack of sufficient and adequate community consultation when municipalities take decisions or formulate policies.

Aim: It is against this background that this article explored the extent of community participation in local government (local municipalities), with specific attention to policy- and decision-making, using Mbombela Local Municipality as a case study.

Setting: The study focused on the local government administration, with specific reference to policy- and decision-making process in local municipalities using the notion of community participation.

Methods: The study used both qualitative and quantitative research approaches using semi-structured questionnaires (quantitative) and in-depth personal face-to-face interviews (qualitative) as data collection methods. The sample groups of the study were community members of the Mbombela Local Municipality and municipal officials. The findings derived from these sample groups.

Results: The study found that there was little to no community participation.

Conclusion: Inter alia, the recommendation is that local municipalities should adhere strongly to community participation strategies.


Keywords

community; participation; service delivery; local municipalities; Mbombela; public; administration.

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