The impact of the Community Based Public Works Programme of the Department of Public Works in Groutville

Mthembu, N. (Hymnal Nkosinathi) (2003-04)

Thesis (MPA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The basic principles of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) include “an integrated and sustainable programme” and “a people-driven process”. Section 2.3 of the RDP identifies the National Public Works Programme (NPWP) as a key implementation strategy of the RDP, with the primary purpose of creating jobs and providing community infrastructure, in a manner that impacts on the socio-economic conditions of the poor (ANC, 1994:1-18). The NPWP was operationalised in late 1995 as a Community Based Public Works Project (CBPWP) to carry out this broad mandate. Government was faced by numerous challenges in the form of poverty, joblessness, a shrinking economy and lack of job-related skills. The expectations were also high that after long years of struggle and suffering, an ANC-led Government would deliver a better life soon. Wittingly or unwittingly, in the face of these challenges and mounting expectations, Government rushed to deliver a better life through school feeding schemes, free health care to children under the age of six and to pregnant women and allocated about R250m to the Department of Public Works to deliver a job creation and poverty relief programme. It was this rush that saw the Government losing sight of important conditions for sustainable delivery of goods and services. The purpose of the study is to show that the Community Based Public Works Programme of the Department of Public Works, which was implemented in Groutville in 1996, failed to bring about visible change. The starting point is to create a contextual framework for the research problem and the suggested answer (Bless & Higson - Smith, 1995:37), which is established through various means in the sections that follow. The first part, the literature review, offers both conceptual and operational definitions (Bless & Higson - Smith, 1995:35-37) of key concepts or variables that form elements of the research problem and the proposed hypothesis. Methodology and research design outlines the process, procedure and instruments used to test the hypothesis. The section on data analysis gives an overview on how data on the general field of interest (Brynard & Hanekom, 1997:48-50), community development (De Beer & Swanepoel, 1998:17-28), is filtered to focus on the National Public Works Programme (NPWP) and the Community Based Public Works Programme (CBPWP) as strategies for community development , using Groutville as a case study. As part of data analysis, using the model of Brynard & Hanekom (1997:54-55) viewpoints of authors on community development are integrated in the context of the results and data obtained. Finally, the study outlines and discusses the results and recommendations. The reliability and generalizability of the findings is based on consistence between the findings of this particular study and the CASE/ILO Report, on the one hand, and the empirical evidence as provided by grassroots structures and as observed by the researcher. The study finds that while the project succeeded in targeting women and youth, employment opportunities could not be sustained. In addition there is no evidence of training and the ability of employees to use skills gained during the life of the project to earn a decent living. Finally, the study also finds that one of the major failures of the CBPWP, in addition to a lack of sustainability, was that it was not co-ordinated and integrated with other local development initiatives such as the Masakhane Campaign, the Clean and Green Campaign and the Local Economic Development Plan. The study concludes by suggesting recommendations, which include: - • The need to redefine sustainability in a way that does not emphasize the quality and life span of infrastructure but prioritizes the beneficiaries’ ability to use the infrastructure and skills gained to engage in productive economic activities; • Recognize local leadership and built capacity before a project is introduced; • Focus, as part of capacity building, on institutional development and organizational development for local communities; • Communicate and seek consensus on the goals and intended objectives of the programme; • Link national programmes with local economic development plans and initiatives and education and training for life-long employment.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die basiese beginsels van die Heropbou en Ontwikkelingsprogram (HOP) sluit ‘n geïntegreerde volhoubare program en ‘n gemeenskapsgeïnspireerde proses in. Die Nasionale Openbare Werke Program (NOWP) is as ‘n sleutel implementeringstrategie geïdentifiseer in klousule 2.3 van die HOP met die primêre doel om werkverskaffing en die voorsiening van infrastruktuur aan die gemeenskap te lewer. Die primêre doel is om ‘n impak te lewer op die sosio-ekonomiese toestand van die hulpbehoewende persoon. (ANC, 1994:1-18). Die NOWP is in 1995 as ‘n Gemeenskapsgebaseerde Openbare Werke Program in werking gestel om hierdie breë mandaat uit te voer. Die Staat was gekonfronteer met verskeie uitdagings wat onder andere armoede, werkloosheid, ‘n krimpende ekonomie en die gebrek aan toepaslike werksgeoriënteerde vaardighede ingesluit het. Hoë verwagtinge is van die ANC regering gekoester om na die lang jare van stryd en lyding ‘n beter lewe vir almal te verseker. Wetende of onwetende, in die aangesig van al hierdie uitdagings en verwagtinge, het die Staat beleid bepaal wat daarop gemik was om dienstelewering te versnel ten einde ‘n beter lewe te waarborg. Hierdie beleid het voedingskemas by skole en gratis gesondheidsorg aan kinders onder die ouderdom van ses jaar en verwagtende vroue verskaf. Daar is ook ‘n bedrag van R250 miljoen bewillig aan die Departement van Openbare Werke om ‘n armoedeverligting en werkverskaffingsprogram daar te stel. Dit was as gevolg van hierdie druk waaronder die Staat verkeer het, dat die belangrike vereistes vir volhoubare lewering van goedere en dienste uit die oog verloor is. Die doel van hierdie studie is om te bewys dat die Gemeenskapsgebaseerde Openbare Werke Program, soos onder andere geïmplementeer in Groutville in 1996, nie daarin geslaag het om enige merkbare veranderinge teweeg te bring nie. Die aanvangspunt vir hierdie studie is om ‘n kontekstuele raamwerk vir die navorsingsprobleem daar te stel, met toepaslike moontlike oplossings, (Bless & Higson - Smith, 1995:37), wat geskep is deur verskeie middele te ondersoek in die gedeeltes wat volg. Die eerste gedeelte, naamlik die literatuurstudie, verskaf konseptuele en algemene gebruiksdefinisies (Bless & Higson - Smith, 1995:35-37) van sleutelkonsepte of veranderlikes wat die kritiese elemente van die navorsingsprobleem en die voorgestelde hipotese vorm. Die metodiek en navorsingsontwerp-raamwerk omskryf die proses, prosedure en instrumente wat gebruik is om die hipotese te toets. Die gedeelte oor data-analise gee ‘n oorsig oor hoe die data wat betrekking het op die algemene veld van belangstelling (Brynard & Hanekom, 1997:48- 50), naamlik gemeenskapsontwikkeling (De Beer & Swanepoel, 1998:17-28) gefiltreer is om te fokus op die Nasionale Openbare Werke Program en die Gemeenskapsgebaseerde Openbare Werke Program wat as strategieë vir gemeenskapsontwikkeling in die Groutville gevallestudie gebruik is. As deel van die data-analise is die Bryard & Hanekom (1997:54- 55) model gebruik om verskillende standpunte van verskeie skrywers aangaande gemeenskapsontwikkeling te integreer met die resultate en die inligting wat ingesamel is. Die laaste afdeling bespreek die bevindinge en maak aanbevelings. Bevindinge in hierdie studie gemaak kan as algemeen betroubaar beskou word. Die stelling word gebaseer op die feit dat ‘n konsekwente ooreenstemming telkemale verkry is tussen die bevindinge van die spesifieke studie soos vervat in die CASE/ILO - verslag, en die empiriese bewyslewering, soos voorsien deur voetsoolvlak gemeenskapstrukture en soos waargeneem deur die navorser. Bevindinge van die studie sluit die volgende in; die Groutville projek het daarin geslaag om vroue en die jeug te betrek, maar dit kon nie daarin slaag om volhoubare werkverskaffing te verskaf nie. Daar kon ook geen bewys gevind word dat opleiding plaasgevind het nie, en die werknemers wat vaardighede aangeleer het gedurende die verloop van die projek, kon nie hul vermoë bewys om hierdie vaardighede sodanig aan te wend om ‘n ordentlike bestaan te voer nie. Ten slotte het die studie bevind dat een van die hoof tekortkominge van die GBOWP was, tesame met die gebrek aan volhoubaarheid van die program, die gebrek aan ko-ordinasie en integrering met ander plaaslike ontwikkelingsinisiatiewe, soos onder andere die Masakhane projek, die “Clean and Green” projek en die plaaslike ekonomiese ontwikkelingsplan. Die laaste gedeelte van die studie stel die volgende aanbevelings voor: • Om volhoubaarheid op plaaslike vlak so te definieër dat die klem nie geplaas word op die lewensverwagting van infrastruktuur nie, maar dat voorkeur eerder verleen word aan die vermoë van die gemeenskap om hierdie infrastruktuur te gebruik, en die vaardighede wat aangeleer is in die proses, om betrokke te raak in produktiewe volhoubare ekonomiese aktiwiteite; • Om plaaslike leierskap te erken, en om toepaslike bekwaamhede op te bou, voordat ‘n projek aangebied en geïmplementeer word; • As deel van die opbou van bekwaamhede, moet klem geplaas word op institusionele en organisatoriese ontwikkeling van plaaslike gemeenskappe; • Eenstemmigheid moet verkry word rakende die doelwitte van die program; • Skakel nasionale programme in by plaaslike ekonomiese ontwikkelingsplanne en inisiatiewe, en verseker opvoeding en opleiding vir lewenslange indiensneming.

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