Participatory communication, focusing on the active involvement of the people in all stages of development projects, is crucial for sustainable development. South Africa acknowledges the importance of following a participatory communication approach for development, and policies and strategies both on national as well as local government level support this resolve. This article discusses a study which aimed at ascertaining to what extent local government follows accepted participatory communication principles and practices to communicate with the community. The investigation focused on the Kungwini Local Municipality. Interviews with relevant role players were conducted, meetings between the municipality and the community were observed, and documents used by the municipality to communicate with the community were studied. Results indicate that the participatory communication approach is appreciated as being critical for development at local government level and is being successfully applied by the local municipality. Some challenges for further practical implementation of participatory communication were identified, and recommendations for addressing them are offered.
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