Original Research

Contending for the designs and features of integrated development planning in South Africa? An empirical analysis of the Limpopo Province

Pandelani H. Munzhedzi, Kedibone Phago, Betty Mubangizi
Journal of Local Government Research and Innovation | Vol 3 | a77 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jolgri.v3i0.77 | © 2022 Pandelani H. Munzhedzi, Kedibone Phago, Betty Mubangizi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 April 2022 | Published: 31 October 2022

About the author(s)

Pandelani H. Munzhedzi, Department of Public and Development Administration, Faculty of Management, Commerce and Law, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
Kedibone Phago, School of Government Studies, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Betty Mubangizi, School of Management, IT & Governance, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville, South Africa


Background: The Sphere of Local Government in South Africa serves a pertinent role of realising the provision of basic municipal services. In this case, the legislative interventions consider it mandatory for every municipality to develop integrated development plans (IDPs) to facilitate their developmental agendas. These municipalities are required to undertake approval process of IDPs to eventually generate measurable municipal agenda as the basis for basic municipal service delivery.

Aim: This empirical study sought to analyse contentious issues regarding the structural design and operational features of the IDP process.

Setting: Some municipalities in the Limpopo Province were selected for case study purpose where data were collected. This was in two district municipalities.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews with adept municipal officials and councillors as well as surveys with some members of the community were conducted to gather relevant data so that informed analysis could be generated.

Results: The findings highlight that the fundamental challenges of designs and features manifest on both the development and the implementation parts of the IDP process.

Conclusion: It is therefore proposed, on the one hand, that there is a need to strengthen municipal capacity building for officials to facilitate an effective IDP process. On the other hand, municipal councils are considered necessary to have the capacity to undertake their oversight role over the municipal executive and functions in driving the IDP process agenda. In this way, a remedial consideration suitable for various categories of municipalities should be introduced.

Contribution: No contentious issues regarding the structural design and operational features of the integrated development planning process was discovered and also demonstrates that there is no one-size-fits-all regarding municipal planning and implementation.


integrated development planning; participation; implementation; capacity; local communities.


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