An evaluation of the extent of community participation in the upgrading of informal settlements : the case study of Joe Slovo settlement upgrading project in Lamontville.
Bhengu, Octavia Thembani.
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This research study evaluates the extent of community participation in the upgrading of informal settlements using the case study of the Joe Slovo settlement in Lamontville, KwaZulu-Natal. The study used mixed methods to evaluate the extent of community participation. Primary and secondary sources of information were used to ascertain the views and opinions of community members regarding participation in the upgrading process and to measure the extent of such participation. Semi-structured and structured questionnaires were administered and interviews were conducted with informants. The findings reveal that the Joe Slovo community has partially participated in the project. The study found that the Joe Slovo community partially participated in the management of the project at the execution phase. It is noted that effective participation in an upgrading project ensures the sustainability and maintenance of such a project. Community members noted that the lack of ownership and responsibility, which should have been facilitated by capacity building and empowerment programmes, had led to maintenance problems. The findings reveal differences between the training programme provided and beneficiaries’ expectations. The study recommends communicative, collaborative and partnerships approaches to encourage involvement and create a sense of ownership and responsibility within communities.