Lack of Citizen Participation and Inefficient Service Delivery at Local Level in South Africa

By Shikha Vyas-Doorgapersad.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The democratic, decentralized and developmental role of municipal government in South Africa has paved a way towards citizen participation. Citizens have a right to participate in the process of governance to strengthen the notion of participatory governance.
Lack of knowledge regarding participatory mechanisms is one of the challenges that hinder the involvement of citizens in the matters of local government for social welfare service delivery. This paper identifies how citizens could be more effective participants to increase service delivery provisions. Suggestions are made for a transferal from citizen participation to municipal-citizen partnership.
Municipal-citizen partnership is a strategy that leads towards mutual agreements on decisions taken in regard to service delivery; improves the access of basic services through sharing of information; and contributes to institutionalization of service delivery systems through interventions. This partnership lays the responsibility over municipalities to enhance citizen participation in order to create an environment of open democracy. The role of citizens responsible to run the affairs of the municipalities make sure that they adhere to the democratic values in order to create an environment of responsible government. This partnership leads towards good governance that is a requirement for increased service delivery.

Keywords: Citizen Participation, Municipal-Citizen Partnership, Service Delivery, Participative Governance

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.87-98. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.151MB).

Prof. Shikha Vyas-Doorgapersad

Senior Lecturer, Department of Public Management and Administration, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, South Africa

Dr. Shikha Vyas-Doorgapersad obtained her Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Rajasthan, India. She is specialized in Public Administration with additional qualifications in Business Management and Public Relations. She was a Research Fellow at the York University in Canada. She has authored three books and contributed chapters to books. She has published 26 research papers in accredited and non-accredited journals. She has presented 37 research papers in conferences in South Africa, India, Japan, Namibia and United Arab Emirates. She is a life-member of nine professional bodies of Public Administration and Higher Education in India and South Africa. Her main research areas of interest are service delivery, public policy, gender issues and governance.

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