Why Community Based Programme?
The purpose of this programme is to create an enabling environment for citizens to participate in improving their quality of life using their maximum strengths. Community involvement is at the centre of developmental local government and Community Based Planning (CBP) is the main project implemented under this programme. CBP is the methodology built on local vision, preferred outcomes and strengths of communities. The process concentrates on what the community can do for itself, understanding its resources and making maximum use of its strengths. It is a process that empowers communities and encourages them to move away from dependency syndrome.
CBP informs the Integrated Development Plan of the Municipality. Wards’ desired outcomes are linked to eight city outcomes contained in the IDP. CBP methodology has been found to be working very well in ensuring community participation in planning, budgeting, implementation and evaluation. EThekwini Municipality has endorsed this model, ensuring that plans are implemented and citizens are fully empowered to be actively involved in planning and managing their own development and contributing towards their improved quality of life.
What does Community Based Planning entail?
EThekwini Municipality has been one of the pilot municipalities identified by South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG). We are implementing this project in a two-phased approach. The first phase focuses on 40 wards which were part of the pilot and the second phase focuses on 60 remaining wards.
This project has been implemented in all 100 wards. Each ward was fully engaged in the planning process for the period of two weeks or more. As a result of community involvement, each ward has its own plan with a budget. The completed ward plans are directed to all relevant municipal departments for appraisal. Each of these wards received goods (valued at R50 000 per ward) that they are going to utilize in order to realize their local vision. These goods range from office, PA system, garden, carpentry, sewing, sport and block-making equipments.
In other municipalities CBP is driven by the community through their Ward Committees. Since eThekwini currently does not have such structures, each ward has elected a Working Group that works close with the Councillor to oversee the project. This is a temporal arrangement until Ward committees are fully established.