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