English: A prominent feature of public life in South Africa the last decade has been
an increasing demand for more participation in the formulation and making
of decisions affecting the public’s quality of life. This demand has also become
a focus of political activism. Public participation in plan formulation and in
decision making has to be seen as a reality, and not as an optional extra. It
can be argued that unless plan formulation and decision making take cogni
sance of different political traditions and cultures and are inclusive and parti
cipatory it has little chance of producing long lasting solutions.
The aim of this research is to compare the public participation process in a
lower socio economic area with that in a higher socio economic area to de
termine if the process and focus of the public participation process differ in
accordance with the socio economic status of an area.
The study compares the public participation process in two case studies: the
Mabopane and Muckleneuk areas in Pretoria, with specific reference to the
Mabopane Inter modal Facility Redevelopment Project and the Gautrain
Rapid Rail Project going through the Muckleneuk neighbourhood, respectively.
Findings indicate that the driving force for participation in the higher socio
economic areas is based on the effect that the proposed development plan
ning would have on the area as a whole, whereas the focus of public partici
pation process in the area with a lower socio economic status tends to be on
the influence on job creation and the impact it has on the affected individual.