Assessing public participation during the compilation of the housing sector plan of the IDP of eThekwini Municipality. a case study of KwaDabeka.
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This study aims to assess public’s participation during the compilation of the Housing Sector Plan (HSP) of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) of the eThekwini Municipality. The study further aims at assessing the role of the municipality in ensuring that public participation in the HSP does take place. The study focuses on assessing if public participating does take place during the compilation of the HSP, by exploring the level of understanding of public participation through the lens of the community. The KwaDabeka A Infill Housing Project was used as the case study. The problem statement emanated from questioning the housing delivery process. One of the major problems which the study addressed was that beneficiaries were not part of the participatory process. However, the study will look at the public’s participation in the policy making process for housing delivery, namely their input into the HSP of the IDP. The study utilised qualitative and quantitative research techniques to collect primary data. The theories used to inform this included Participatory Democracy, Constitutionalism as well as the Theory of Public Participation by Pretty Arnstein (1969). The Theory of Public Participation by Arnstein (1969) informed this study, as a tool to evaluated if the public of KwaDabeka did participate in the compilation of the HSP for the IDP of the eThekwini Municipality. It further evaluated if the public of KwaDabeka was aware of the process of public participation that was needed for the compilation of the HSP. The findings of the study indicated that a lack of knowledge about the processes during compilation of the HSP led to minimal public participation because of uncertainty from the public. The study made a number of recommendations which highlighted the importance of public participation in the compilation of the HSP. One of the recommendations stated that municipal officials should perform good public governance by explaining the processes of participation for the compilation of the HSP, and by using the bottom-up approach during public engagements to understand the point of view of the public. The study concluded that there was a need to create awareness about public participation in the creation of public policies, especially the HSP. This required the public to be well informed about the processes regarding the compilation of the HSP.