Decolonising the Rural-Urban Dichotomy in South Africa: An Asset-Based Approach
The rural-urban migration syndrome has eaten deep into the fabric of rural development in South Africa, thereby denying rural dwellers equitable access to social and economic amenities and social empowerment. This study, therefore, seeks to emancipate rural communities through an asset-based community development approach by forming university-community synergies for the purpose of decolonising these rural communities. The study attempted to provide a solution to the question of inequalities between rural and urban communities with a focus on how university engagement can be used to enhance community development in QwaQwa/Harismith Township and its environments. The study adopted a participatory action research design and the free attitude interview technique was used to collect data. The research participants consisted of one research assistant and 10 ordinary community members, members of NGOs and community leaders in QwaQwa/Harrismith Township in the Free State province of South Africa. Data collected were analysed through Laws, Harpes and Marcus’s seven-step model. The study revealed that rural dwellers face challenges of inequitable educational facilities and resources, and a lack of security in terms of their lives, properties, and means of travelling. Likewise, the study also showed a lack of access to health facilities in their communities. It was therefore concluded that community engagement through the asset-based approach and decoloniality would enable the university to empower rural dwellers with the freedom to attain their well-being by ensuring an environment that is sufficient and adequate for social investment.
Copyright Notice for Subscription Content
Copyright will be vested in Unisa Press. However, as long as you do not use the article in ways which would directly conflict with the publisher's business interests, you retain the right to use your own article (provided you acknowledge the published version of the article) as follows:
- to make further copies of all or part of the published article for your use in classroom teaching;
- to make copies of the final accepted version of the article for internal distribution within your institution, or to place it on your own or your institution's website or repository, or on a site that does not charge for access to the article, but you must arrange not to make the final accepted version of the article available to the public until 18 months after the date of acceptance;
- to reâ€use all or part of this material in a compilation of your own works or in a textbook of which you are the author, or as the basis for a conference presentation.