From Shepstone to Mufamadi: the community as an object of local government systems

SOURCE: Ikamva International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2007
TITLE AUTHOR(S): P.M.Sithole
KEYWORDS: DEVELOPMENT, KWAZULU-NATAL, LOCAL GOVERNMENT
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 5642

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Abstract

this paper looks at the history of development in KwaZulu-Natal selectively and comparatively, arguing that even though it is well known that development should be participatory, bottom-up, and even redressive and pro-poor, the new development regime is still not designed to deal with people's development in a manner directly responsive to their development challenges. Development practice, it is argued in this paper, is systems-friendly, not community-centric. Thus despite the good rhetoric that emphasizes sensitivity to community perspective, development continues to be: sectorally-rigid, 'trophy'-oriented, administration heavy, and community-oriented with less economic gain value. The paper makes a distinction between community-centrism and community-orientation of development and seeks to instigate a debate as to whether the former is achievable and whether current initiatives are sufficient in achieving this as a development approach. The paper makes reference to examples illustrating issues of sectoralism, 'trophy'-orientation of development and community participation being a good ideal that suffers constraints that make it remain at a rhetoric and tokenistic level.