Experiences and Challenges of Community Participation in Urban Renewal Projects: The Case of Johannesburg, South Africa


"Urban renewal and inner city regeneration have become critical for the South African government which has invested in several structures to stem the tide of decline in its nine major cities. Commitment to the alleviation of poverty is a focal point of the renewal and regeneration agenda and will remain so in the future. This is motivated by the fact that, currently around 24% of the population lives on less than $1 a day, below the poverty line defined by the World Bank. The Central Government has made numerous public commitments to development, a part of it concerning extensive infrastructure investment and service delivery. Communities are supposed to participate fully in the planning and implementation of urban renewal projects. Participation is a process through which stakeholders influence and share control over development initiatives, and the decisions and resources which affect them. Community participation should be aimed at empowering people by ensuring that skills are developed and that employment opportunities are created. This paper will firstly explore the concept of community participation. It will then look at some past experiences in relation to community participation in urban renewal projects. Furthermore the paper will outline the challenges and problems of community participation in urban renewal projects in Johannesburg. Finally, it closes with some recommendations for the future."



community participation, poverty, unemployment, urban affairs