Local Government > The Role of Municipal Councils > Drawing Up an Integrated Development Plan (IDP)
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Drawing Up an Integrated Development Plan (IDP)

Integrated development planning is an approach to planning that involves the whole municipality and its citizens in finding the best solutions to achieve effective long-term development. An IDP is a broad plan for an area that gives an overall framework for development. It looks at existing conditions and facilities, at the problems and needs and finally at the resources available for development.

The six main reasons why a municipality should have an IDP are to:

  • Make good use of scarce resources
  • Help speed up delivery of services to poor areas
  • Attract additional funds (government departments and private investors are more willing to invest their money where municipalities have an IDP)
  • Strengthen democracy
  • Overcome the inequalities and discrimination of the apartheid system
  • Promote co-ordination between local, provincial and national government

All municipalities have to draw up an IDP in consultation with local forums and stakeholders. In other words, the public must participate fully in the process. The final IDP document has to be approved by the council. The plan must show:

  • The basic needs of disadvantaged sections of the community
  • The long-term vision for meeting those needs
  • The need for these sections of the community to advance socially and economically
  • How the plan will be financed and whether it is financially sustainable, that there will be money in the future to keep the plan going
  • The capacity of the municipal council to carry out the plan and what resources are available to help carry out the plan.

The municipality is responsible for co-ordinating the IDP and must draw in other stakeholders in the area who can help and/or benefit from development in the area. Decision-making is devolved from the the executive mayor or Exco, who pass on responsibility to the municipal manager and municipal officials. All municipal planning must take place using the IDP, related policies, by-laws and plans as a guide. The annual council budget should be based on the IDP.