|dc.description.abstract||Since 1994, South African governance has been in transition from bureaucracy to democracy. In tenns
of democracy, local government is specifically tasked with providing goods and services equitably and
sustainably not only to it's citizens, but along with them.
In South Africa, the provision of refuse removal services and landfill sites for waste disposal are under
local government control. Recently, Durban Solid Waste, a municipal waste management contractor
in the Durban Metropolitan Area, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa embarked on a comprehensive
exercise, the first of it's kind in the country. to locate, plan, develop and operate new generation landfill
sites with the aid of a public participation process involving capacity building which is a requirement
of legislation. It is in the North Zone of this area that the existing landfill is to close by December 2000,
and so there is an urgent need to locate and develop a new landfill site for the region. It is the capacity
building and public participation process of the North Zone landfill site selection process which is the
subject of this study.
A case study format provides an intensive examination of the public participation and capacity building
process. Qualitative research methodology was employed to compliment the interp retive approach
undertaken in the research process, which used conceptual frameworks drawn from literature for the
data interpretation. Data were collected via participant observation at meetings and workshops, and
semi-strucrured interviews with stakeholders of the North Zone process.
The research findings revealed that while a variety of capacity building and public participation means
suggested by government policy have been utilised., none of the statutory principles of public
participation for landfill siting have been implemented satisfactorily by participants in the North Zone
public participation process. The findings also indicate that the predominant type of public
participation being followed in the North Zone is instrumental in nature. and thus in the main does not
exhibit outcome measures of empowerment which are associated with transformative participation.
Furthermore. the findings demonstrate that while capacity building made the North Zone public
participation process more democratic than previous landfill site selection exercises, principles of
equity were only satisfied to the extent that the statutory requirements, the will of the developer, a
shortage of time and adequate funding pennitted.
The recommendations suggest: lobbying for changes to the statutory requirements. ways of building
trust between stakeholders. activities to promote equity and democracy, and the use of more suitable
means of capacity building and public participation for landfill site selection public participation
processes in South Africa||en