Integrated Development Plans

What Is Integrated Development Planning?

Local municipalities in South Africa have to use "integrated development planning" as a method to plan future development in their areas. Apartheid planning left us with cities and towns that:

  • Have racially divided business and residential areas  
  •     Are badly planned to cater for the poor - with long traveling distances to work and poor access to business and other services.
  •     Have great differences in level of services between rich and poor areas
  •     Have sprawling informal settlements and spread out residential areas that make cheap service delivery difficult.

Rural areas were left underdeveloped and largely un serviced. The new approach to local government has to be developmental and aims to overcome the poor planning of the past.

Integrated Development Planning is an approach to planning that involves the entire municipality and its citizens in finding the best solutions to achieve good long-term development.

An Integrated Development Plan is a super plan for an area that gives an overall framework for development.

It aims to co-ordinate the work of local and other spheres of government in a coherent plan to improve the quality of life for all the people living in an area. It should take into account the existing conditions and problems and resources available for development.

The plan should look at economic and social development for the area as a whole. It must set a framework for how land should be used, what infrastructure and services are needed and how the environment should be protected

All municipalities have to produce an Integrated Development Plan (IDP). The municipality is responsible for the co-ordination of the IDP and must draw in other stakeholders in the area who can impact on and/or benefit from development in the area.

Once the IDP is drawn up all municipal planning and projects should happen in terms of the IDP. The annual council budget should be based on the IDP. Other government departments working in the area should take the IDP into account when making their own plans.

It should take 6 to 9 months to develop an IDP. During this period service delivery and development continues.

The IDP is reviewed every year and necessary changes can be made.

The IDP has a lifespan of 5 years that is linked directly to the term of office for local councilors. After every local government elections, the new council has to decide on the future of the IDP. The council can adopt the existing IDP or develop a new IDP that takes into consideration existing plans.

The Executive Mayor and the Mayoral Executive Committee of the municipality have to manage the IDP. He may assign this responsibility to the municipal manager.

In most municipalities, an IDP co-coordinator is appointed to oversee the process. The IDP co-coordinator reports directly to the municipal manager and the executive committee or the executive mayor.
The IDP has to be drawn up in consultation with forums and stakeholders. The final IDP document has to be approved by the council.