Participatory Approach and Good Governance: the Alpha and Omega of Sustainable Local Development in South Africa


  • Robert Walter Dumisani Zondo


good governance, local autonomy, indigenous knowledge, participatory approach, rural areas, South Africa, sustainable development


This paper assesses the significance for good governance of inclusiveness through participatory processes in rural communities.  It describes the importance of a participatory approach as a means for sustainable development, an approach that has exerted an increasing influence upon the conduct of local, national and international public administration.  Similarly, sustainable development exhibits a fundamental contemporary expression of the commitment towards humankind, enabling them to develop economically while improving or maintaining their wellbeing.  Over time, it has as its principal objective the integration of social considerations in economic development.  The constructs for a participatory approach and sustainable development are discussed in this paper.  These constructs are considered as essential considerations for rural development in South Africa. 

Rural communities are said to be unproductive and passive, hence the level of underdevelopment.  Their contribution does not have an economic value and cannot be counted in hard currency.  Resources developed through rural initiatives are not utilised for the betterment of the rural communities.  Hence, there is a gap between what the rural communities understand as development compared with those who facilitate the development process.