Journal of Social Development in Africa

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Balancing government-regulated participation with community support for South Africa's Taung Skull World Heritage Site

Ralph M. Manyane, Tsholofelo Darmas


While much research has emphasised either the host community's support for or participation in tourism development, less attention has been given to an analysis of interrelationships between the much neglected government-regulated participation in tourism and sustainable community support. This article seeks to explore the nature and extent of community participation and support for the Taung Skull World Heritage Site (TSWHS) scheme. Utilising the social exchange theory, the paper's central argument suggests meaningful community involvement in government-sponsored participation as a prerequisite to public support. Indeed, qualitative methodology and interviews revealed the community's commitment to support the scheme; to share knowledge and learn more about the site's tourism- and conservation-related activities.

Keywords: Government-regulated participation, community support, social exchange theory, world heritage site, South Africa, North West Province

AJOL African Journals Online