• Tanusha Raniga University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Barbara Simpson University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Ntokozo Mthembu University of KwaZulu-Natal



authentic partnerships, informal settlement, service partners, resource constraints


In contemporary South Africa, partnerships between service providers in government, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and community based organisations have been identified as a means to strengthen communities and the sustainability of social services. However, the unequal power relations that exists between and within these organisations often leads to fragmentation, duplication, and lack of coordination of social services. Using Fowler’s (1998) conceptualisation of authentic partnerships, this qualitative phase of a larger study explored the challenges of building authentic partnerships in Bhambayi, a predominantly informal settlement in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Individual interviews and a focus group held with nine service providers revealed that intraorganisational challenges, cross-boundary and inter-organisational relations as well as political influences were obstacles to the development of authentic partnerships. The article suggests that open communication, clarity of roles and mutual trust between service providers is vital.


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How to Cite

Raniga, Tanusha, Barbara Simpson, and Ntokozo Mthembu. 2014. “CHALLENGES TO BUILDING AUTHENTIC PARTNERSHIPS: LESSONS FROM BHAMBAYI, KWAZULU-NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 26 (2):124-40.



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