n Journal of Public Administration - Participatory budgeting for sustainable local governance in South Africa

Volume 47, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



In the last decade in South Africa, participatory budgeting analysts have debated the merits and deficiencies of diverse methods to strengthen municipal public budgeting. The aim was to involve citizens not only in the planning processes, but also in the budgeting decisions that would inform the implementation of local government policies and projects, while meeting the developmental needs of the people. This article discusses two issues: how participatory budgeting (PB) is applied and the challenges of implementing Participatory Budgeting methods in South Africa. It also calls for inclusive participatory budgeting in local governance, whereby previously marginalised and excluded groups are given the opportunity to influence public decision making in allocating resources. The main focus of this article, in examining the experiences and challenges in practising PB, includes the context of PB; the application of PB in South Africa using various methods; the challenges experienced in the implementation of PB in the country; implications for service delivery; and conclusions and recommendations. The article recommends and proposes a workable approach towards the implementation of PB to enhance effective service delivery, with some contributions towards a framework for good governance, and municipal service delivery in South Africa.

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