Towards integrating sustainability in the eThekwini Municipality integrated development planning process.
Many of today‟s global environmental problems can be traced back to cities. Managing the urban environment has become a priority not only for cities themselves, but also for the global environment as a whole. It has also placed considerable pressure on local governments to capacitate themselves with strategies, tools, and other competencies that enable them to effectively manage the environment. This thesis was undertaken to explore how the eThekwini Municipality located in South Africa is integrating sustainability, specifically within its Integrated Development Planning Process. This thesis is underpinned by the literature works of environmental policy making and discourse analysis as a methodology purported by Hajer (1995). One of the central premises of this literature is that any understanding of the natural environment is based on various representations coupled with assumptions and social choices. Therefore a detailed understanding of discursive practices that guides our perception of reality must be understood (Hajer, 1995). Ecological Modernisation, a newer policy discourse, does not comprise a unified set of ideas but has developed over many years of institutional debate. These set of ideas were initially drawn from large firms, environmental organizations, and scientific experts and to a lesser extent from local communities. Consequently this discourse represents a form of weak sustainability. The strong sustainability discourse calls for more involvement of local communities in respect of environmental issues and includes the discourse of LA21. The literature review therefore spans over a spectrum of discourses covering both weak and strong sustainability thinking as a base foundation on which to explore the case study of the eThekwini Municipality‟s Integrated Development Plans (IDPs): 2002-2005.