Integrated development planning is a process through which municipalities prepare a strategic development plan which extends over a five-year period. The Integrated Development Plan (IDP) is a product of the IDP process. The SPM IDP is the principal strategic planning instrument which guides and informs all planning, budgeting,management and decision –making processes in the municipality.
Through IDP process, which necessitates the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, the Municipality :
- Formulate a clear vision and mission;
- Identify its key development priorities;
- Formulate appropriate strategies;
- Align resources with the developmental priorities
- Implement projects with available resources to address the development priorities
In terms of the Municipal Systems Act, the Municipalities have to produce an IDP every 5 years that coincide with the term of office of an elected council. This Plan is reviewed annually and therefore has legal status and supersedes all other plans that guide development at local government level.
In a nutshell, the IDP process entails an assessment of the existing level of development and the identification of key development priorities. The vision and mission statements for the long term development flow from the aforesaid, with specific reference to critical developmental and internal transformational needs. The development strategies and objectives will be directed at bridging the gap between the existing level of development and the vision and mission. A very critical phase of the IDP process is to link planning to the municipal budget (i.e. allocation of internal or external funding to the identified projects) because this will ensure that the IDP directs the development and implementation of projects to address the key development priorities.