Addressing sustainable development issues in integrated development plans in the Western Cape Province

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The integrated development plan (IDP) has been described as a key tool to ensure the incorporation of sustainability considerations at the local planning level within government. In the South African context this suggests a linking of planning and environmental management functions within local level government. Various theoretical studies have been conducted regarding the incorporation of environmental and sustainability concerns in the integrated development planning process. Evidence from these studies indicates that consideration of the environment and sustainability issues is largely inadequate. Furthermore, the need to consider the environment as a cross-cutting issue has not been realized at the local government level, subsequently the environment is still considered as a separate sector or as an add-on after plan and project formulation. These findings are further indicative of the fact that a gap exists between policy and practice at the local government level. In terms of sustainability concerns and the integrated development plan, there are few empirical studies that provide evidence to support these claims. The broad aim of this study has been to determine to what extent sustainability concerns are being incorporated into Integrated Development Plans (lOP) at the metropolitan, district and local municipal authority level within the Western Cape Province of South Africa. To address the aim of this study, four main methods were employed. Firstly, a literature review was carried out to provide the theoretical and conceptual basis for the research. Secondly, the legislative and policy context in South Africa in terms of integrated development plans, environmental management and planning was examined. Thirdly, an analytical framework was developed based on a set of environmental and sustainability questions that need to be taken into consideration during each phase of the IDP process. Fourthly, this analytical framework was used to review and analyse a sample of lOP documents within the Western Cape Province. Lastly, interviews were conducted with various key officials at all three levels of government involved in different aspects of the IDP in the Western Cape.

Includes abstract.

Includes bibliographical references (leave 110-114).