The participation of women in the preparation and formulation of Local Council budget : a case study of Enseleni Community in uMhlathuze Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.
Shozi, Dizline Mfanozelwe.
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis focuses on the participation of women in the preparation and formulation of local council budgets: A case study of the Enseleni Community in uMhlathuze Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal. It examines whether or not uMhlathuze municipality enables women to participate in the preparation and formulation of the municipal budget. The questions that this research will be trying to answer are the following: 1. Are women participating in the preparation and formulation of the local council budget, and if so, to what extent? If not, what barriers hinder the participation of women? How can these barriers be removed? 2. What can be done to improve the participation of women in preparation of the local council budget? 3. What structures exist that can enhance the participation of women in the preparation of the local council budget? Through an analysis of data obtained from questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussions and observations this research reveals the following findings: The perceptions of women's role, by both men and women, coupled with women's traditional domestic responsibility impedes their ability to participate. In addition, there is a complex array of factors, which range from financial constraints to institutional cultures, poverty, little knowledge about local government, and gender issues, in addition to the traditionally acknowledged self-denial and lack of confidence, that also hinders participation. The municipality does not target women as an important constituency but rather applies a generic approach to involving the public to comment on the preparation and formulation of the local council budget. There are, however, internal and external avenues for participation. There is an internal process, where women who work in the municipality are involved in the preparation of local council budgets, although most of the women who work in the municipality denied that it really happens. There is also external participation, where women from different organizations and communities, as individuals and ordinary citizens, can participate. The impact and benefit of women's participation in the preparation and formulation of local council budgets ensures that they would, in addition, know about tender opportunities and budget issues and this would create job opportunities and boost women's income. The research revealed that the municipality does not have a gender policy. The municipality needs to be gender sensitive in all respects, including budget issues. A gender policy would ensure that a gender forum and gender desk are established. The research demonstrated that the issue of political parties is critical since they are the ones who nominate more males than females to positions in councils. This results in the numerical dominance of males over females. Over and above this, very few women are elected as ward councillors - a key role, since ward councillors are tasked with driving the programmes of the municipality at ward level. The research depicts a nominal presence of women's organizations at grassroots level in rural areas and townships. Rather, women are organized more specifically to perform activities that are to do with daily living. Finally, this research depicts the need for more robust action to ensure that women participate in the preparation and formulation of the local council budget. It is envisaged that the conclusions drawn and suggested way forward in this study will be translated into an implementation plan which could possibly influence future public participation initiatives in uMhlathuze Municipality.