"The community of Blue downs in the Oostenberg municipality".
Harmse, Jacobus J.P.
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This research study focuses on the community of Blue Downs and their associated problems. The study furthermore provides some insight on the history of Local Government, the past policies of the Government of the day with specific reference to separation of communities, which was based on racial segregation. In this context the distribution of wealth, resources and income was uneven and separate development of population groups was a deliberate policy of the previous government. Townships such as Mitchells Plain, Atlantis and Blue Downs came into being as a result of these policies, while no employment opportunities existed. This and other social factors all lead to hardship and poverty. It is commonly accepted and consensus exists that the continuing high levels of poverty are the single biggest threat to sustainable economic growth and democratic consolidation. It is thus important to understand and appreciate why Local Government can playa critical meaningful role in addressing these challenges. The purpose of the study is to identify the needs of the people in specifically the Blue Downs area and to look at ways to address and implement the findings of the research. The research can also be regarded as a blue print, which could be adapted to the needs of the communities in other areas within the Oostenberg Municipal area. The methodology adopted to achieve the objectives of this research comprises a literature review of relevant legislation, existing documentation on the Oostenberg Municipal socio-economic indicators and a literature review on any existing literature on Blue Downs. Public meetings were held during the months of June, July and September 2000. Whilst a quantitative approach in the form of open-ended questions was also undertaken. The research study is divided into the following 5 chapters: Chapter 1 sets out the scope of and the approach of the work, and draws together the themes and key fmdings of the research. Chapter 2 deals with a case study of Blue Downs, the historical perspective with relation to Local Government and the community and set the stage for job creation as determined in Chapter 4 of this study, which could be implemented to address the outcomes of the survey and workshops held with the community. Chapter 3 sets out the framework for analysing the data captured from the needsassessments, which was executed and provides descriptions of the key features and outcomes of the surveys. The ultimate objective of this research is to look at ways to improve the quality of life of the communities of Oostenberg, especially in the Blue Downs area. The research also paves the way for other research projects within the Municipal area or can be used or adapted for communities to address their own needs. Nonetheless, in a research of this nature, issues pertaining to communities are of vital importance. Where I have made comments and/or recommendations, it is important that these be reviewed for implementation. Chapter 4 looks at the existing and new economic opportunities that are available in the Blue Downs Area. Chapter 5 describes the fmdings of the research and recommendations. The research highlights the unemployment situation in the Blue Downs area. It is thus imperative that the local community, together with the Local authority becomes the driving force in order to ensure that the recommendations and implementation gets underway. The research study could be used as a tool for the upliftment of the local community by the community through a joint partnership with the business sector and local auth