The greater number of government efforts to stimulate participative governance in communities using Information
and Communication Technology (ICT) often fall short of expectations. In South Africa extending egovernment
to communities has been in the form of more and/or better equipped ICT-enabled community
centres, called Thusong Service Centres. In this paper, based on action research experiences, we report outcomes
of interpretive research into ICT-enabled approaches to participative governance in communities.
Using the Diffusion of Innovations theory as an analytic lens, the findings reveal a subtlety that is not often
mentioned in the call for participative e-governance; people from communities prefer to work in groups
rather than individually. The collectiveness inclination is a common denominator of many developing countries
where people choose to come together to leverage the few available resources. Individuals become apprehensive
when made to work on their own using the ICT. The research reveals the necessity to re-design
ICT to suit small groups as part of participative e-governance rather than the normative ICT design that
suits individual work styles. Additionally, the research reveals that by working in groups, communities are
more willing to accept the government initiatives that are being energised with the use of ICT. Methodologically,
the research revealed the ethical issue that arises from action research in its raising of unrealistic expectations
in a community.