n Journal of Public Administration - Making participation real in integrated development planning in South Africa

Volume 49, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The South African local government legislation provides for community participation in Integrated development planning. However, the concept of community participation suffers from conceptual imprecision and to some extent, theoretical underdevelopment. This article is an explication of how community participation can be made real in integrated development planning. Adopting participatory development as a theoretical framework and extensive literature review as a method, the article argues that participatory integrated development planning is the refocusing of the integrated development planning agenda to embrace the primacy of the people or beneficiaries in integrated development planning endeavours. Therefore, ensuring participation by poor ordinary villagers and not "village elites" is key in making participation real in integrated development planning. The following arguments are presented in making participation real. There is need for effective and efficient participatory methodologies to enhance participation by communities and making it real. Communities need to be empowered for them to participate meaningfully. IDP Road shows and advertising in newspapers are not effective in ensuring participation by the poorest of the poor since they are either illiterate or lack access to such methods. Critiques of the participatory approach allude to tokenism, myths of communities as coherent and cohesive and 'elite capture of local power' as pitfalls that may compromise the effectiveness of the approach. All of these factors need careful consideration so that capacity is built and competency enhanced in the design of participatory methodologies which are ideal for real participation in integrated development planning.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error