Community participation in the Integrated Development Plan preparation process : the case of Ndwedwe Local Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal.
Matosse, Elijah Phumlane.
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This study examines community participation and focuses on the preparation of the Integrated Development Plan in Ndwedwe Local Municipality. Before 1994, the apartheid government had a top down approach that did not engage communities to participate in the preparation of integrated development planning process and rural areas were neglected. After 1994 the new democratic government sought to establish a people driven approach to development characterised by community participation. Homelands formed part of segregation development hence there were no local municipalities to drive development in rural areas such as Ndwedwe. The new dispensation of democratically elected government focuses on integrated development and mandated by policies such as Municipality Systems, Act No. 32 of 2000; Municipality Structural Act No 32 of 2000 and Development Facilitation Act of 1995. They provide a mandate to local municipalities to render service to local communities and to endeavour to address the problems of the past through integrated development planning process. The policies provide the responsibility for the municipality to administer development and transform local communities from the segregation development to IDP process which involves all the stakeholders. The purpose of this study is to examine community participation in the Integrated Development Plan preparation in Ndwedwe Local Municipality, focusing on ward 15 and 16 which, are amongst the 19 wards that constitute Ndwedwe local municipality. Data for the study was collected from ward communities and the local municipality through interviews which were conducted with the ward councillor's, the Mayor, the IDP Manager and members of community. The study findings revealed there was tokenism with respect to community participation in the preparation of the plan, since the citizens were not fully empowered to drive the process. Poverty and the backlogs in terms of social, infrastructural and environmental could be addressed through strong participation with support systems such as funds, skills development and investments in infrastructural development.