Impact of community involvement in the integrated development planning process of Ratlou Local Municipality, North West province
Ndaba, Segomotsi Felicia
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The objective of the study was to explore the impact of community involvement in the Integrated Developmental Planning Process (IDPP) in Ratlou Local Municipality of the North-West province of South Africa. The study was premised on the argument that the increasing service delivery protests in Ratlou Local Municipality are a result of poor community involvement in the IDPP. The study utilises primary data from a cross-sectional survey of municipality employees, community representatives (councillors) and community members. The data was collected using a structured questionnaire and the suitability of the instrument was tested using Cronbach's alpha. The overall scale of the six different constructs was 0.974. A stratified sampling process was followed and a total of 57 participants were selected. The results from the analysis of personal characteristics revealed that more female participated in the IDP process than males (40.4% males and 59.6% females). The most active age group involved in the IDP process are those between 31to 40 years of age. Municipal employees mostly participated at operational level (46.8%) with most having diploma or certificate (34.5%) as formal qualifications and who have less than 5 years' (45.3%) experience in the IDP process. The analysis of the measurement of association between community members, community representatives and municipality officials and the six constructs revealed a very strong association in determining the final outcome of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP). Correlation analysis was performed with regard to the six constructs. The results indicated that characteristics predicated on gender had a negative correlation with number of years of experience (-0.251), while the characteristics of community representatives showed a positive correlation with job category (0.352). The changes due to community involvement in the IDP process had a positive correlation with job category (0.427), while there was a negative correlation between qualification (-0.304) and the number of councillors(-0.417). The attitudes of community members towards IDP process were found to be positively correlated to job category (0.446), but negatively correlated with the number of councillors (0.232). The impact of community involvement on service delivery had a positive relationship with job status (0.427) and the number of councillors (0.511). The study demonstrated shown that the Integrated Development Planning process (IDPP) in Ratlou municipality present challenges due to inadequate community participation in the process, leading to the persistence of service delivery protests in the municipality.