An assessment of the influence of the Community Based Plan (CBP) on the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) of Vulamehlo Local Municipality.
In the late 1990s consultants played an important role in the developing the Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) in various municipalities in South Africa including KwaZulu- Natal. What has been noticed is that, there has been a poor progress with regard to community participation in the formulation of the IDP. It was impossible for communities to make meaningful contribution into inter-sectoral opportunities for development. Community Based Plan is one of the tools initiated by the current government to encourage community participation in developing IDPs. Therefore this research is aiming at assessing the influence of the Community Based Plan on the Integrated Development Plan of Vulamehlo Local Municipality. The study was carried by looking at roles of ward committees and other role players during the community based planning and the integrated development plan processes. A qualitative research method was used to identify challenges which are associated with the use of the community based plan. The study looked at various theories of community participation including collaborative theory, bottom-up approach, the theory of citizen participation and Arnstein’s ladder of participation in order to understand the importance of community participation in the CBP and IDP process. The findings of the study revealed that the key challenge was lack of feedback from the officials indicating that there is no constant feedback from the officials indicating that there is no constant feedback provided to the community regarding community based once it is developed. Moreover the findings indicated that ward committees are unable to play their role effectively during the IDP process. They only participate during the IDP roadshows/izimbizo and are not involved from the inception to implementation. Both local and international case studies were used to support the idea that community participation should form part of the compilation of both the community based plan and the Integrated Development Plan. The culture of community participation enhances cooperation and effective implementation of municipal developmental programmes. In conclusion this dissertation recommends that community based plan does have an influence towards the integrated development plan of the municipality, but its effectiveness lies in the proper planning and giving it the attention it deserves as one of the tools to be used to promote community participation in the affairs of the municipality.