Public participation : a South African local government perspective

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    The need for enhanced community consultation and participation is clearly articulated in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Constitution), and also in terms of a variety of developmental local government legislation. Community members are now expected to play a more meaningful role in terms of their involvement in civic matters. Community members who play an active role in local government matters and who are well-informed, will have greater confidence in their local government structures. However, various recent studies on community participation reveal that the envisaged participatory role has generally not met the expectations of government. A great deal of apathy still exists, especially regarding matters pertaining to local government. The article reviews the need for community consultation and participation from a variety of perspectives within the South African context. Certain strategies to enhance public participation are reviewed with emphasis on the third sphere of government.