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n Journal of Public Administration - Addressing social exclusion : the Bloekombos case
The challenge which local authorities face entails the establishment of appropriate partnerships between communities and municipalities. Research conducted as part of Integrated Development Planning (IDP) has shown through needs assessment that social exclusion is one of the challenges to be addressed.
Social exclusion is a concept which encompasses forms of social disadvantage that people, especially in developing countries, are exposed to. It relates to most aspects of poverty and includes the broader issues associated with public participation, capacity building, empowerment and sustainable development. In this context, the lack of basic human needs is considered part of social exclusion.
This Bloekombos case - study was conducted in two settlements in a peri-urban area to determine whether communities are capable of identifying their basic needs and prioritising them; whether the provision of housing, as a basic need, to the poor helps them to overcome the stigma of being socially excluded and whether housing in this area was the most pressing need, the provision of which could lead to other development gains and therefore alleviate social exclusion.
The case-study reveals that communities are capable of prioritising their needs and expound on the reasons underlying their priorities. The findings show that the basic need for housing is one of the priorities in socially excluded communities. It is argued that public participation is crucial in the implementation of development projects and that the level of social exclusion drops with the provision of housing.
Addressing social exclusion through the housing delivery process is part of the challenge of Developmental Local Government. Integrated Development Planning (IDP) and planning partnerships between communities and municipalities will lead towards a "new" local government which establishes the "building blocks of development", i.e. public participation, - social learning, - capacity building, - empowerment and sustainability.
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