Original Research

The role of urban regeneration to improve community development in a metropolitan municipality

Christian Kayembe, Danielle Nel-Sanders
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 10, No 1 | a629 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v10i1.629 | © 2022 Christian Kayembe, Danielle Nel-Sanders | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 January 2022 | Published: 07 December 2022

About the author(s)

Christian Kayembe, School of Public Management, Governance and Policy, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Danielle Nel-Sanders, School of Public Management, Governance and Policy, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The purpose of this article was to explore the role of urban regeneration to improve community development in a metropolitan municipality. This is important in light of the current strenuous socioeconomic situation, due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Some of the pandemic’s consequences on communities include socioeconomic challenges, loss of income, business disruption and health concerns. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the different mechanisms government uses to promote community development, and one of these mechanisms is urban regeneration.

Aim: The study aims to establish whether urban regeneration can be used as a mechanism to promote community development.

Setting: The article is based on South African metropolitan municipalities, mainly the three biggest municipalities in the country. These municipalities include the City of Johannesburg, the City of Cape Town and the eThekwini municipality.

Methods: This research is based on unobtrusive qualitative research techniques or methods in order to collect and analyse information. The techniques used include conceptual, content, documentary and comparative analysis. Therefore, the contents and information used were collected from various secondary sources such as journal articles, books and government documents such as White Papers. In addition, political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal analytical framework is also used.

Results: Urban regeneration is not a new phenomenon in South Africa; however, the mechanism is not fully embraced by municipalities in the country. The practice of both urban regeneration and community development goes hand in hand. Different metropolitan municipalities in the country have developed plans to incorporate urban regeneration as part of their community development programmes. Community development and urban regeneration are implemented in South Africa under different developmental policies. However, it is the sole mandate of the local government (municipalities) to promote this programme in their communities. The study also found that urban regeneration was also impacted both positively and negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic. The negative impact of COVID-19 is that various projects were postponed in order to redirect resources towards the COVID-19 response. Some of the projects affected municipal infrastructure grants to provide water to households and sanitise public transport facilities in municipalities that do not receive the public transport network grant. South African metropolitan municipalities lack a common shared plan on urban regeneration and community development.

Conclusion: The main finding of this research study is that there is no concrete plan put in place to promote urban regeneration in municipalities. Hence, the study recommended that in conjunction with the national government, local levels should develop such a plan.

Contribution: This research study will contribute to the decision-making process in local government. The research will also contribute to policy development and design on the topic of urban regeneration and community development.


Keywords

community development; urban regeneration; metropolitan municipality; PESTEL analysis; good governance; Public Administration; alternative service delivery

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