Community participation in South Africa: an assessment of the N2 gateway housing project in Langa/Joe Slovo Township

21 Jul 2016

The principle of community participation entails that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process. The implication of this is that the public?s contribution can influence decisions taken as well as outcomes of those decisions. This study was conducted in Langa (Joe Slovo) community in Cape Town, Western Cape Province. Langa (Joe Slovo) is the largest informal settlement in South Africa and has been the focal point of one of Government?s largest and most well-publicised housing delivery initiatives, known as the N2 Gateway Housing Project. This article is based on a project which is intergovernmental in scope as it calls upon each of the three spheres of government in South Africa to cooperate with each other in order to address public housing needs as part of the effort towards poverty alleviation in the country. The project also employed public-private partnership as a strategy vis-?-vis outsourcing project management, construction contracting, and oversight to a Section 21 (non-profit) company, Thubelisha Homes. Within the context of the N2 Gateway Housing Project, the article interrogates the effectiveness of approaches initiated by Government to deliver low-cost housing to low-income communities, and the extent to which community participation featured in the project