An evaluation of stakeholder (people) participation in Mhlontlo Local Municipality rural development programme.
Nodlabi, Mboniswa Cornelius.
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Since its democratic dispensation, South Africa has been striving to find the right economic tool to confront the challenges of poverty, joblessness, widening income gap and lack of job related skills. Numerous methods have been put to trial in an attempt to rescue the rural masses from the scourge of poverty, joblessness and social degradation, but with limited impact. Literature surveys in this regard attest to social intervention programmes failing, due to the absence or little involvement of beneficiary rural communities in the programme establishment. Renewed rural development initiative at Mhlontlo Municipality occurs within this context. The study was then undertaken to evaluate stakeholder participation in the planning, the implementation and the monitoring and evaluation of the pilot programme. This is a study of the rural development pilot programme at Mhlontlo Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape. The statistical population for the study included all institutionalised stakeholder’s organizations, as critical components of engagement to realise the programme setting. The study target participants were 90 adult individuals involve in local stakeholder’s public participation institutions. A self-completed questionnaire was administered to the 90 target participants with 64 returned completely filled. The results were analysed using statistical mean, standard deviation and coefficient of variance and presented as tables and graphs. Findings were that there was more participation in the programme implementation phase, than in the programme planning and monitoring phase. Assessment of programme outputs by respondents was diverse and inconclusive. This was attributed to poor participation by programme stakeholders in programme’s planning.