n Journal of Public Administration - Community development and service delivery in South Africa : work, workers and challenges

Volume 44, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The critical role of an effective service delivery process in ensuring sustainable access to basic services by the citizenry cannot be overemphasised. Its critical relationship to social stability and democracy can also not be ignored. In this regard, attempts should thus be made to explore a variety of approaches that promote effective service delivery. Community development is one such approach. The concept of community development places people at the centre of the development process, with the emphasis being on enabling people to realise their potential and participate in activities that are responsive to problem issues within their communities. This article reflects on the role community development workers can and do play in promoting effective service delivery in South Africa and explores the tensions between the policy and implementation environment within which they function. In addition, and against the backdrop of community development theory, the article highlights the challenges faced by community development workers in service delivery and social development.

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