chapter  14
11 Pages

FM as a Social Enterprise

ByKATHY MICHELL

It has been 17 years since South Africa’s fi rst democratic elections. Service delivery, infrastructure development and poverty alleviation remain some of the biggest challenges facing the South African local government (McLennan, 2009). Furthermore, the experience of the last 17 years has done little more than consolidate our understanding of the central role of local government in poverty alleviation and employment creation (Mufamadi, 2008). In this context, local government has a critical role to play in rebuilding local communities. It is widely acknowledged that government, at all three tiers, is the single largest property portfolio holder in the country. Hence it is appropriate to ask the question: to what extent does local government utilize an integrated approach to the maintenance, improvement and adaptation of the land and buildings within a community in order to support its social objectives? This contention requires an initial orientation towards the intrinsic social reality that is created in and around the use of public land and buildings and therefore the role that FM can play in the uplifting and empowerment of impoverished communities. In this chapter I explore this question in more depth. To this end, I use the fi ndings from a grounded theory study into the role of FM as a social and community enterprise in the context of the townships of South Africa. I argue that the management, maintenance and operation of infrastructure and public facilities within the marginalized communities are essential to the success of township/urban regeneration initiatives.