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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Public participation as participatory conflict resolution: shortcomings and best practices at the local level in South Africa
Author:Mbuyisa, Sifiso
Periodical:African Journal on Conflict Resolution (ISSN 1562-6997)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:popular participation
local government
conflict resolution
Abstract:The debate on public participation in local government in the new South Africa is presented and the need for consensual approaches to participation is outlined. The post-apartheid Constitution and the subsequent policy and legislation frameworks have enabled ordinary people to participate in governance and policy making. Yet, ward councillors charged with promoting and facilitating participatory democracy have failed to appreciate the various tools, methods, skills and expertise necessary to include everyone in the structures and institutional arrangements that have been set up and make developmental local government a reality. Over the past years (2007-2011), community frustration has become more frequent, but the underlying causes of protests are not just poor service delivery, but must also be understood as systemic (maladministration, fraud, nepotism, corruption), structural (healthcare, unemployment, land issues), and governance-related (weak leadership, erosion of public confidence). The author argues that consensual approaches and conflict resolution practices, including conflict transformation, hold strong potential for facilitating more acceptable and equitable public participation. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]