ASSESSING THE ROLE OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN SERVICE DELIVERY: THE CASE OF EKURHULENI METROPOLITAN MUNICIPALITY
Keywords:Public Participation, service delivery, municipality, community
Local governments play an important role in the development of the livelihoods of local communities in South Africa. Local governments are responsible for the provision and delivery of basic services such as running water, proper sanitation, clean energy, waste removal, and decent housing. Public participation (PP) is arguably an essential element of local democracy through which local communities can contribute to improved service delivery. The current study focused on assessing the role of PP in service delivery in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality. This was done by adopting a descriptive research design. Data on the factors affecting PP were collected from four different community groups (i.e., citizens, businesses, municipal managers, and ward committee members), using questionnaires and interviews. The results showed that information about PP is obtained via radio, television, newspapers, and mobile phones. Generally the initiatives relating to the ‘Batho Pele’ principles are acceptable in the Ekurhuleni community. Furthermore, concerning the quality of the services delivered by the municipality, the findings established that citizens agree that the municipality is aware of the service quality offered in the EMM. Although some citizens agree with the quality of the service delivery, some of them believe that the process still lacks consistency.
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