Original Research

The district development model as a catalyst for improved integrated development planning

Mzwandile Teti, Ogochukwu Iruoma Nzewi, Sithenkosi Lungisa
Journal of Local Government Research and Innovation | Vol 5 | a153 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jolgri.v5i0.153 | © 2024 Mzwandile Teti, Ogochukwu Iruoma Nzewi, Sithenkosi Lungisa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 July 2023 | Published: 04 March 2024

About the author(s)

Mzwandile Teti, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Commerce, University of Fort Hare, Bhisho, South Africa
Ogochukwu Iruoma Nzewi, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Commerce, University of Fort Hare, Bhisho, South Africa
Sithenkosi Lungisa, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Commerce, University of Fort Hare, Bhisho, South Africa

Abstract

Background: In the search for a panacea to local government dysfunction, the structure of local government is an important area of focus. Largely, district and local municipalities which were carved out of the need for post-apartheid transformational spatial development, struggle to achieve the delivery of planning goals. In 2019, the South African government introduced the District Development Model (DDM), an innovative platform that will tackle poor coordination of service delivery in the local sphere. The model has been piloted in the O.R. Tambo District in the Eastern Cape province.

Aim: This research critically explores the potential of the DDM to improve Integrated Development Planning (IDP) in O.R. Tambo District Municipality.

Methods: In search for meaningful exploration of this latest intervention, the study anchors itself on the interpretivist research paradigm. Semi-structured interview with in-depth preset open-ended questions was conducted with five senior managers.

Results: The results show that although there seems to be a general awareness of the DDM among principal actors, there are some grey areas on how it is to function and how the expected results are to be achieved. Internal and external grey areas include coordination and communication dynamics within the model, and the whole change management process needed to effectively put this initiative in place.

Conclusion: The article recommends an open systems approach to the DDM which makes the DDM hub an agile team.

Contribution: This study adds to the knowledge on alternative service delivery models; it provides as a source to the introduction of the DDM, and it represents initial exploratory research into DDM.


Keywords

local government; district development model; service delivery; intergovernmental relations; coordination.

JEL Codes

N47: Africa • Oceania

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

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