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An investigation of integrated development planning (IDP) as a mechanism for poverty alleviation in Grahamstown in the Makana Municipality, Eastern Cape, South Africa

by Alebiosu, Olumide Ademola

Abstract (Summary)
Poverty among individuals, households or communities is not a static condition. There are many factors which contribute to its causes and depth. In South Africa the economic gaps imposed by the previous apartheid government aggravated economic inequalities and caused considerable disparities, which has resulted in high unemployment rates. Inequalities were also manifest in the neglect of infrastructural and service provision as well in the effective absence of independent governance among some race group. This led to a call for pro-active initiatives by the post-1994 democratic government to remedy the living condition of the previously disadvantaged people. As part of its poverty relief drive the South African government has embarked on a series of developmental initiatives in bringing infrastructure related services to the poor and to reduce the enormous prevailing backlog, with the aim of increasing community participation, improving service delivery and promoting the upliftment of the lives of poor people through the medium of local governance.

This study investigated the Integrated Development Planning, which has been undertaken in Grahamstown in the Makana Municipality in the Eastern Cape to respond to the prevailing poverty and underdevelopment among the poor communities. Relying on their developmental mandate to initiate and co-ordinate all development activities within their area of jurisdiction through the IDP, the Makana Municipality has drawn up a development strategic plan in conjunction with the local communities and with other stakeholders and organisations to identify and assess development backlogs within the communities with the aim of addressing such backlogs.

This study revealed from the interviews conducted with some municipal personnel and questionnaires administered to sampled residents of Grahamstown that some faces of poverty, such as unemployment and lack of access to some of the most basic of infrastructure such as, sanitation facilities, water, electricity, formal house, education, security and recreation facilities are apparent in Grahamstown. However, the Makana Municipality through, the IDP has achieved some notable feats in the provision of providing some of the basic amenities such as water, housing, electricity and sanitation albeit at a slow rate. The mechanism of delivery is hampered by bureaucratic settings within government and the ambiguity attached to some of the projects.

The service and infrastructural developments targeted towards the poor and the involvement of communities in the affairs of the local government might be seen as a partially panacea for poverty alleviation in South Africa. However the capacity of the local governments to effectively carry out this developmental challenge ssignment might be a new twist in the developmental challenge facing local governments in South Africa. The thesis provides an overview of the Makana Municipality IDP and the degree to which is serving as one mechanism to address poverty in the Grahamstown urban area.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:geography

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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