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25 APR 2018

A hybrid local government approach towards planning and development

Postmasburg is a rural small mining town in South Africa that has seen recent expansion in its population. To plan and provide services for these expanding mining operations, a tripartite entity was formed between the local government (municipality) and two mining companies. This paper assesses the success of the tripartite entity against the background of a hybrid approach of governance.

The extraction of natural resources places additional pressure on the infrastructure of mining towns. The past ten years has seen the traditional boomtown cycle in Postmasburg, a rural small mining town, which required the development of bulk infrastructure for an additional 2,000 families in a town which already had approximately 6,500 houses.

Qualitative research was conducted amongst town and regional planners, mining and municipal employees, municipal councillors, as well as local business people. Ten years on, the success of this model is evident to all stakeholders and reflects on a model where much was learned by all parties, and based on the positive results, a model that could be replicated in other rural small towns.

The current emphasis in planning is on collaboration with stakeholders. Stakeholders in planning include the community and not only the local government and its business partners. However it could be argued that a participatory democracy within a participatory society influences municipal plans.

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