The role of Local Government in Promoting a Sense of Belonging as an Aspect of Social Cohesion: A Document Analysis

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Fundiswa T Khaile
Nicolette V Roman
Gregory J Davids

Abstract

Local government in South Africa is expected to contribute towards efforts to realise the constitutional vision of building national unity, diversity, belonging, social justice and a cohesive society. Municipalities as spheres of government closest to communities are expected to contribute towards this constitutional vision by facilitating among other things a sense of belonging as an aspect of social cohesion. However, there is insufficient evidence of what and how municipalities should facilitate a sense of belonging as an aspect of social cohesion. Accordingly, this paper explores various government documents to determine what is envisaged for municipalities to facilitate a sense of belonging as an aspect of social cohesion. The study utilised a qualitative document analysis method to explore what government highlights as the role of a municipality pursuing social cohesion through the facilitation of a sense of belonging. The analysis indicates that most government documents do not provide explicit and coherent approaches and objectives to be pursued by municipalities to facilitate social cohesion and a sense of belonging. Thus, the article found that documents make reference to social cohesion, but these references are not comprehensive enough. Likewise, documents seldom mention a sense of belonging. Accordingly, the article recommends that government documents should be more explicit in terms of the role of local government. In relation to the Cape Town case study, it also recommends that the City of Cape Town should include in its documents how it is facilitating a sense of belonging.

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How to Cite
Khaile, F., Roman, N., & Davids, G. (2021). The role of Local Government in Promoting a Sense of Belonging as an Aspect of Social Cohesion: A Document Analysis. African Journal of Governance & Development, 10(1), 8-33. Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/jgd/article/view/2165
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Articles
Author Biographies

Fundiswa T Khaile, University of the Western Cape

Fundiswa T Khaile is a Lecturer and PhD candidate at the University of the Western Cape School of Government. She has been a faculty member of Economic and Management Sciences since 2007. She has taught in areas of Public Administration, Public Policy, Leadership and Managing People, South African Government and Politics.

Nicolette V Roman, University of the Western Cape

Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Children, Families and Society, Faculty of Community and Health Sciences, University of the Western Cape

Gregory J Davids, University of the Western Cape

Dr. Gregory Davids has a PhD in Public Administration at the University of the Western Cape. His research focuses on public participation, local government, social justice and Citizenship. He has published and presented his research locally and internationally. He is a member of various boards in Government.