This article focuses on the principles of participatory development communication.
It is argued that that participation may exist only on a conceptual and ideological
level in government policies in South Africa, resulting in the practice of diffusion
communication. This article reports on how the communication approach of
the Thusong Service Centres with their communities in Tshwane align with the
normative principles of participatory development communication. A qualitative
research approach was adopted to gather data, and purposive sampling was used,
focusing on the six Thusong Service Centres in Tshwane, which are considered
to be development communication vehicles. It was found that Thusong Service
Centres do not fully meet the required principles of participatory development
communication, which was used as the theoretical framework in this research.
This inadequate alignment with the principles of participatory development
communication implies that authentic development is not being realised