Community Participation in Local Government Planning Processes: A Paramount Step Towards a Successful Service Delivery


  • Thanyani S Madzivhandila
  • Caswell M Maloka


In recent years, planning for service delivery mandate has been strategically shifted from a centralised (national) to a more localised (municipal) sphere of government. That is, planning is no longer seen as a top-down but rather regarded as an inclusive process where communities are viewed as key stakeholders. In this sense, community participation is seen as having a major implication on democratising service delivery beyond just representative government but locating users and communities as central role players in the process. Community participation in this context offers a greater control of the underprivileged over their own situation and ensures their full involvement in determining their own developmental needs. Therefore, municipalities must play a significant role in promoting democracy and ensuring that communities participate in decisions that affect them directly. The article argues that despite its complex structures, obstacles and severe managerial challenges, community participation remain paramount to the success of planning for service delivery. This article discusses the concept of community participation as a prerequisite for successful governance and service delivery in the local sphere of government. It also examines the challenges and obstacles facing community participation during the planning and implementation processes of integrated development planning (IDP) as a tool for delivery of services in the local sphere of government. Practical possible solutions on the facilitation of a successful service delivery process are considered. The article concludes that an improved means of community participation and involvement in IDP processes is essential for service delivery.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n16p652


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How to Cite

Madzivhandila, T. S., & Maloka, C. M. (2014). Community Participation in Local Government Planning Processes: A Paramount Step Towards a Successful Service Delivery. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(16), 652. Retrieved from