In post-apartheid South Africa, access to sufficient and effective basic services cannot be viewed as a privilege, but as a right that must be granted to all citizens especially the previously disadvantaged. The local government is the only sphere that is able to manage and implement this right. The provision of public services to the community is an indicator that is used to determine whether local government is being developmental. Public participation is essential to ensure that the community’s needs are taken into consideration and disparate areas are prioritized with the resources that are available. The Integrated Development Plan was developed to ensure that local government implements its constitutional obligations of managing structures and programs that will ensure service delivery, social and economic development in conjunction with the provincial and national spheres. The aim of the document is to determine whether the Integrated Development Plan is an effective strategic planning tool by assessing the objectives, process, impact or intended results and citizen participation in the process.
The concept of Integrated Development Planning has its roots from the United Nation Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Rio-Conference adopted Agenda 21 as a blue print for sustainable development. All member states were called upon to implement Agenda 21 by developing locally tailored-Agenda 21 called Local Agenda 21. South Africa embraced the principles of Agenda 21 in developing Integrated Development Plans; thus rendering IDPs – Local Agenda 21 for South Africa. Furthermore Agenda 21 principles are embedded in the Constitution of South Africa and in...
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...nable ways to solve them. The IDP is a participative process that allows for engagement from various role-players. The mere voicing of development priorities during the public participation process without financial implementation, lack of integration from the three spheres of government especially the provincial government that fails to plan with local government to solve local issues and strategic engagements hamper the strategic and developmental intent of the IDP. Training should be provided for the Mayor, Political and Department heads and Municipal Manager about the importance of the IDP process and the role it potentially could play in transforming communities socially, economically and environmentally in the municipality. The Integrated Development Plan should be assessed not on implementation but on whether it has achieved its intended goals and objectives.
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