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Conference papers

29 APR 2018

Condescending benevolence: comparing consultation protocols

This research sought to run a comparison between South Africa and major democracies to see if consultation protocols in South Africa are either misdirected, inappropriate or not inclusive enough. A case study of Gauteng Highway Improvement Project (GFIP) was utilised to assess the consultation because of its sheer size, reach and centrality.

Not a week passes by in South Africa without a major public protest being shown on national television. Most of these protests are centred on poor service delivery especially at the local municipality level. Even when new developments are about to be commissioned they are more often stalled by public resistance which sometimes manifests itself in virulent claims of lack of consultation and sentiments of marginalisation by the grassroots general populace.

What has transpired is that although the consultation processes are not fully developed they however compare well with international best practices. This is especially bolstered by a very democratically advanced constitution which dictates a very inclusive governance at all levels. The problem lies in the actual implementation of the consultation processes as there is no robust monitoring regimen and elaborately prescriptive and frequentative directive(s) to ensure the elimination of box ticking and superficiality in implementation.