Public participation at a grassroots level : it's impact on service delivery in Elsies River, Cape Town
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The birth of democracy in South Africa in 1994 not only meant the end of apartheid, but also served as the catalyst for community participation in the affairs of local government. Despite the creation of an enabling environment, i.e. the adoption of the concept of Developmental Local Government and Integrated Development Planning Framework to ensure the participation of communities, public participation remains contested today and still does not achieve its expected results. A range of problems besets public participation in governance and development planning. Accordingly, this thesis presents a case study of the barriers to meaningful public participation as well as exploration of the context and extent of public participation in Ward 28, Elsies River, Cape Town, South Africa. The investigation examined the link between public participation, development planning and service delivery. In order to achieve the stated aim, the researcher employed a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods including secondary analysis, observation, informal interviewing, focus group discussions as well as the administration of a structured questionnaire to various stakeholders. Based on the empirical results of this research, the study provides a number of developmental guidelines and public participation recommendations to enhance planning and service delivery, especially in poor communities.