Influenced by the new development paradigm, which puts people before things, BUSA Africa follows a participatory approach in every sphere of its work. The traditional knowledge of the poor is valued and respected, and there is confidence that township people are capable of self-reliant organization. On a practical level, the fundamental thrust of this approach is decentralization and empowerment.
For a community to be able to work for its own development and reduce its dependency there is a need for full involvement at all stages of the development cycle. The participation of communities in identification, planning, management, implementation and evaluation of projects is a key factor in BUSA Africa’s work. Internally a participatory approach is adopted in managing the affairs of BUSA Africa.
Externally, BUSA Africa’s role as a “change agent” helps to develop community management structures that are capable of managing their own development. This increases the ability of the community to demand accountability in all their affairs, from leaders and officials. It reinforces the community's belief in the value of their own development choices and efforts. These community management structures are not parallel structures, but are built upon traditional institutions, promoting equitable representation and participation
Human resource development is an essential part of our development work. This means ensuring that the community is trained and skilled, as well as organized, to maximize the potential of the community to take hold of its own development.
BUSA Africa strongly believes in maximizing its impact by transferring field experiences into knowledge to influence the development policies and practices of NGOs, donors and Government agencies. This is important for working towards the long-term goal of eradicating poverty.
During the process of social mobilization, BUSA Africa adopted a participatory, self-help, self-sustainable approach through community involvement and formation of volunteer groups in some areas of South Africa.
BUSA Africa has strong linkages with NGOs and funding agencies working in South Africa. It has undertaken initiatives in Soweto with special reference to schools, District (D14), Corna Sotra, and churches, through collaboration with local institutions and community members. BUSA Africa enjoys a rich experience of working in the diverse socio-cultural environment of South Africa and an extensive networking with the District & Provincial Governments, civil society institutions, media and community leaders and members.