Community participation in housing development : the Boystown informal settlement project
One of the problems with development planning is a lack of community participation. This is due to the top-down approach that dominates development planning. To improve chances of sustainable development there is a need to shift from a top-down approach towards a bottom-up approach. The bottom-up approach promotes people-centred development. People-centred development focuses on people and enhances their capacity to influence the direction and implementation of the development process. Communities can only influence the development process through their participation. International bodies such as the United Nations and the World Bank support the concept of community participation in development planning. The South African policy framework also provides for community participation. The change agents should utilise this opportunity by sharing knowledge and by learning from the indigenous knowledge of the community. This knowledge exchange between the community and the change agents creates a platform for social learning, capacity building and empowerment. It is through this platform that sustainable development could be achieved. This kind of development process accommodates the building blocks of development. This study examines the level of community participation in a housing development project at the Boystown informal settlement. It was found that there is a lack of community participation in this project and that the project could be a success if there is a higher level of participation by the beneficiaries.