Community empowerment through housing consumer education and training programme: a case of a programme of the department of human settlements in Uthukela district.
Khumalo, Mthambisi Ellias.
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This study sought to explore the need for conducting housing consumer education and training as a community empowerment programme on human settlements development. It further established the effectiveness of the programme and whether the programme is able to address the needs of the community as beneficiaries of human settlements development. The study was conducted in Okhahlamba Local Municipality at Dukuza Housing Project. To fulfill the purpose of this study, the critical questions such as why is there a need for the delivery of the housing consumer education and training programmes by the Department of Human Settlements to communities, and how is the housing consumer education and training programme conceptualised by the Department of Human Settlements and rolled out to communities and what are the views of the community on the efficacy of the housing consumer education and training delivered by the Department of Human Settlements as a programme for community empowerment were the main questions that info1med · the investigation of this study. The responses to these critical questions were used to provide findings and recommendations for the study. There are two theories that were employed to underpin the study, that is Bush's theories of collegiality in education leadership and management combined with Zimmerman's theory of community empowerment for the purpose of understanding the significance of proper management of an educational community empowerment programme. The study was conducted in the confines of critical paradigm and qualitative case study was adopted as a research approach. Data were collected using semi-structured and focus group interviews. The Municipal and Department of Human Settlements officials including the PSC Chairperson participated in the individual semi-structured interviews and fifteen community members were grouped to participate in focus group interviews as three groups of five members in each group. The findings of the study revealed that there is a great need for the delivery of housing consumer education to empower community on human settlements development and the housing consumer education is an effective community educational empowerment programme that capacitate the community with skills and knowledge to lead their development project and finally that there is a need to involve other stakeholders in developing the annual programme for the housing consumer education and training as it is rolled out to communities. The community members that participated in the research were overwhelmed by the effectiveness of the programme and wished that all development projects had the same educational programme. The study finally recommended further study on the rolling out of the housing consumer education and training programme to find out new and improved strategies that can be used to implement the programme.