Major criteria of credible integrated development planning in local government: city of Mbombela, Ehlanzeni District, South Africa

Dovhani Johannes Mulaudzi (Institute for Rural Development, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa)
Joseph Francis (Institute for Rural Development, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa)
Jethro Zuwarimwe (Institute for Rural Development, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa)
James Chakwizira (Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa) (Department of Urban and Regional Planning, North-West University – Potchefstroom Campus, Potchefstroom, South Africa)

International Journal of Public Leadership

ISSN: 2056-4929

Article publication date: 21 November 2023

Issue publication date: 28 November 2023

2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to determine the major criteria for a credible integrated development planning (IDP) process in Mbombela municipality, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilizes a combination of sequential exploratory and explanatory mixed methods. About 120 key informants participated in the structured questionnaire, and a further seven interviews were conducted as elite interviews. Four multistakeholder workshop sessions with up to sixty-six participants each were conducted.

Findings

To strengthen the integrated planning in local government, the study recommended “stakeholder participation and ownership,” “leadership and accountability,” “impact and outcome-based focus,” “a compact value chain” and “monitoring and evaluation.”

Originality/value

The IDP process is a tactical planning gadget designed to achieve transformation and introduce new systems of governance. IDPs currently tend to lack standard criteria to measure their performance in promoting public leadership and responding to community needs, which is a major challenge in many municipalities across South Africa. Since its introduction in 2000 to fast-track service delivery, concerns have been raised about why there are still constant protests alleged to be caused by poor service delivery.

Keywords

Citation

Mulaudzi, D.J., Francis, J., Zuwarimwe, J. and Chakwizira, J. (2023), "Major criteria of credible integrated development planning in local government: city of Mbombela, Ehlanzeni District, South Africa", International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 316-338. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPL-02-2023-0006

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Dovhani Johannes Mulaudzi, Joseph Francis, Jethro Zuwarimwe and James Chakwizira

License

Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode


1. Introduction

There has been a gradual shift toward the simultaneous rather than sequential pursuit of development tools and public leadership. In a connected and linked world, public leadership must encompass more than just managing public institutions and be accordant to the rationales of designing and yielding impactful leadership training agendas for the parties, the served communities and the organizations they oversee (Broussine and Callahan, 2015). To this end, integrated development planning (IDP) can provide comprehensive training on public leadership and effective service delivery to grassroots communities when optimally and rationally implemented. Studies on leadership in the public sector present a broad spectrum of theories and norms of leadership (Callahan, 2017). With these in mind, substantive planning theories have taken the lead in informing poverty eradication, providing quality daily essential services, gender empowerment, public leadership, environmental sustainability and governmental transparency and accountability (Ramaano, 2023a, b).

The concept of IDP was identified as one of the perfect tools of planning to give effect to the shift from ad-hoc project-based approaches to a more strategic and integrated form, particularly in developing countries (Sibanda, 2018; Ramaano, 2022a; Mamokhere and Meyer, 2022a). IDP is a mechanism to drive a needs-based practice in which equity, institutional transformation and participatory management are stressed and has had a prolonged incubation involving the recycling and recombination of old and political contexts (Sibanda and Lues, 2019). In some instances, IDP was used to assist the government in shifting its emphasis from a progressive, state-driven development path to the economic orthodoxies of sustainable livelihood. Mamokhere and Meyer (2022b) argue that the IDP, by its nature, strengthens democracy and promotes coordination between different actors to achieve the desired outcome. This explains why, throughout the world, researchers and policymakers have given special attention to the various models of development decision-making tools such as the IDP (Madzivhandila and Asha, 2012; Ramaano, 2023c, d).

In South Africa, the IDP was introduced in 2000 to enhance the transformation of municipal development planning processes (Coetzee, 2010; Sibanda and Lues, 2021). This came after the African National Congress (ANC)-led government in 1994, through the Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP), identified the need for participatory and inclusive planning (ANC, 1994). On one hand, it transformed the typical modernist planning system, which was rigid, into a more post-modern, democratic, strategic and developmental type of planning system (Biljohn and Lues, 2020; Ramaano, 2022c, d, e). On the other hand, it replaced the top-down segregation planning of the apartheid regime with bottom-up planning comprising the joint engagement of the public, private and voluntary sectors in local planning (RSA, 2000; Mamokhere, 2022; Mamokhere and Meyer, 2022c). To achieve this, municipalities were compelled, in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996) and the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act (2000), to adopt IDPs to guide the planning and development across the entire municipal area (RSA, 1996, 2000).

The IDP is expected to fast-track service delivery, ensure equal distribution of state resources, promote the participation of communities in the development processes of municipalities and coordinate the work of the three spheres of government to ensure sustainable democracy (Coetzee, 2005; Lues, 2014). It is also meant to introduce a demand-driven approach to service delivery where the government and the communities identify and prioritize needs that must be considered in the planning and budgeting processes (Coetzee and Oranje, 2006). In addition, it is the creation of a process that integrates procedural and substantive aspects of planning and comprises dependent and interlocked phases such as analyses, strategy, project, integration and approval that operate as a value chain.

Since the introduction of the IDP in 2000, no criteria have been set to assess its performance against its mandate. This has created a vacuum in terms of determining whether the process is reliable in terms of service delivery. The South African Government, through the “Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs,” once introduced the IDP assessment templates, which were later suspended due to disputes by many municipalities based on their relevance to the IDP process. To others, the template was viewed as a checklist for compliance, which did not add any value to the process. The challenge was exacerbated by the fact that the IDP Guidelines, which were introduced to guide the development of the IDP, did not include the norms and standards to determine credibility and genuine public leadership. The community's protests in 2018 and 2019 have been triggered by the ineffectiveness of the IDP process to bring about the desired change (Mbombela Municipality IDP, 2018–2019).

There are indications that the communities are not satisfied with the municipality-approved IDP, which they believe does not respond to their service delivery needs. Hence, it is crucial to involve Madzivhandila and Asha's (2012) vision of equipping and involving the grassroots communities in all phases of the IDP processes. This is despite the theory of change guiding the IDP, which is to be the product of a consultative process made up of dependent and interconnected phases that are participatory and in which all the communities make inputs before approval. The lack of criteria to assess the quality of the IDP makes it difficult for the municipality to determine whether the existing IDP is credible in responding to the needs of the communities. This study sought to determine the major criteria for a credible IDP process and improving public leadership and service delivery in Mbombela Municipality, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.

2. Methodology

The study was conducted in the Mbombela Municipality of Ehlanzeni District in Mpumalanga province (Figure 1). Figure 1 shows the location of Mbombela Municipality. Mbombela Municipality is one of the four local municipalities that form the Ehlanzeni District Municipality. It was established in terms of Section 12 of the Municipal System Act (2000) by the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in Mpumalanga after the disestablishment of former Mbombela (MP322) and uMjindi (MP323) local municipalities. Its strategic location and status as a capital city provide the municipality with a competitive advantage as a corridor for growth and development, which, on the negative side, exacerbates the problem of urbanization in the municipal area. This study adopted a combination of sequential exploratory and explanatory mixed-methods design. This is because the data were collected and analyzed in phases. The first phase constituted qualitative data collection and analysis, and the results thereafter informed the second phase, which in this case was quantitative data collection and analysis. During the first phase of the study, respondents were purposively sampled, and the data were collected using multistakeholder workshop sessions and elite interviews.

The respondents to the study were the municipality's general manager, members of the mayoral committee, IDP practitioners within the Ehlanzeni District Municipality, the Mpumalanga Provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and registered stakeholders who were on the municipality's stakeholders list, such as ward councilors, ward committees, community development workers (CWDs), organized business, community leaders, traditional leaders and the war room. The respondents were engaged to explore their perspectives on the overall observations and thoughts on the IDP process and its influence on service delivery. Special attention was given to the respondents' perceptions of the major criteria for credible IDP in local government. The results of the first phase were summarized and organized into subthemes. The consolidated information was then used to construct a structured questionnaire with closed-ended questions that was administered to the respondents as part of phase two of the study. The quantitative data were collected using a structured questionnaire that was administered to the same respondents who participated in the first phase of the study to authenticate the qualitative results. Appendix 1 shows the questionnaire administered, Appendix 2 is the key informant interview guide and Figure A1 presents the multistakeholder workshop guide.

To uphold research ethics and secure informed consent, approval to undertake the study was sought from the University of Venda's Research Ethics Committee. Permission and approval for conducting the study was sought from the accounting officer of the Mbombela Municipality. The aim and purpose of the study, its implications and possible risks of involvement in the study were communicated to the respondents. Written consent from the respondents was sought, and they were informed that they have the right to withdraw from the study at any time and doing so will not expose them to any form of prejudice or criticism. Those who volunteered to participate were asked to sign an informed consent form before participating, and attendance registers were stored separately from all the other research materials. Permission to capture photographs and tape records of the deliberations of the multistakeholder workshop sessions and interviews was sought and granted. Two enumerators were appointed as research assistants to assist the principal researcher during the multistakeholder workshop sessions.

The enumerator's role was to take minutes and pictures and ensure that the attendance register was signed during the multistakeholder focus group sessions, which were led by the principal researcher. Before embarking on data collection, an hour-long training session was arranged with the research assistants on how to administer the tools designed for the purpose, specifically, minutes taking, recording, pictures and the research assistants' conduct or behavior during the multistakeholder workshop sessions. A schedule was developed to guide the process concerning the dates, times and venues of the four multistakeholder workshop sessions. Each multistakeholder workshop was requested to write their perceptions or views on the flipcharts using markers after consensus was reached on issues relating to the allocated topics. The flipcharts were labeled correctly, showing the respective focused workshop's identification, composition and region it belongs to. Participants were also given notebooks to record their perceptions regarding the given topics. The data collected through the multistakeholder workshop sessions were used to construct a structured questionnaire with closed-ended questions. The purpose was to confirm the results from the focused multistakeholder workshop sessions as part of phase two of the study. The questionnaire expected the participants to give responses on a five-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (completely disagree) to 10 (completely agree). About 120 structured questionnaires were administered to the selected respondents, which included the councilors, ward committee secretaries, CDWs, organized business, community leaders, traditional leaders and war room representatives. Thematic content analysis was used to analyze the data.

The data were logically packaged, transcribed into reflective statements and analyzed per the specific objectives; they focus on the need for a credible IDP process and the influence of stakeholders on hoisted public leadership and service delivery in Mbombela Municipality. This was achieved through coding the text and developing descriptive themes to establish whether there were common themes among the responses given by stakeholders. The three stages of the process were followed, namely data reduction, data display and data drawing. The data were sorted and organized (data reduction) and then arranged in concepts and thoughts to make it easier to establish some meaning (data display). The data were then categorized based on similar patterns, themes and interrelationships (data drawing) to build conceptual coherence and consistency of the data. The data were stored in the Microsoft Office Word Processor before being exported to ATLAS, version 8.4, which is a qualitative data analysis software package.

Code groups were created to cluster related subthemes, which were adopted as the broad themes. Three types of outputs were generated: code-document tables, network diagrams and textual reports. Code-document tables were used to show the sources of the data, broad themes, subthemes and number of associated quotations. Network diagrams presented an overview of themes and subthemes as well as relevant quotations. This assisted in showing the relationships existing among themes. Lastly, textual output was used to retrieve relevant verbatim quotations. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 26.0 was used to analyze the quantitative data from the structured questionnaire. The data collected from the respondents were cleaned before being coded, captured and stored on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. All the data were nonparametric. Thereafter, the data were imported into the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 23.0 for analysis, and the mean scores and standard deviations of the imported data were calculated and used for ranking purposes.

3. Results

3.1 Demographic information

Consistent with the essence of descriptive data, demography is a significant aspect of the population. With 33% male and about 79% adult, Table 1 spells out the cumulative age group and gender for the study's participants from all phases, showing the dominance of females and older age groups over men and youths.

3.2 Preferred criteria for assessing the quality of IDP process

In Phase 1 of the study, 107 quotations relating to preferred criteria for assessing the quality of phases of IDP were drawn. They were categorized into 14 sub-themes. When further processed, 6 themes were identified. The six themes were: (1) “Stakeholder participation and ownership,” (2) “Leadership and accountability,” (3) “Impact and outcome-based focus,” (4) “Compact value chain,” (5) “Monitoring and evaluation” and (6) “Others or general” (Table 2). “Stakeholder participation and ownership” and “Leadership and accountability” were the most popular themes, whereas “Impact and outcome-based” and “Others” yielded the least quotations. The various interest groups expressed views that were related to the extent to which the grassroots community, other stakeholders and the Municipal Council considered and adopted reports of each phase of IDP. The distribution of quotations also varied among interest groups regarding the need for transparency in the process and the involvement of the mayor(s) and municipal manager(s). Below are some verbatim quotes that confirmed that “stakeholder participation and leadership” were of major concern to the respondents:

Communities know what they need; no development will succeed without their buy-in. It is important to understand the role that communities play in development. (Councilor).

I feel like the IDP process lacks leadership; it has been relegated to junior officials who do not take decisions. So, for the process to be credible, the center must have an IDP practitioner.

Across the six themes, “the extent to which the grassroots community, other stakeholders and Municipal Council consider and adopt reports of each phase of the IDP,” “transparency of process in terms of prioritization of projects and allocation of budget” and “the quality of the respective leadership and management provided by the mayor (s) and municipal manager (s) in each phase of the IDP” were most common. Regarding the “regularity of progress monitoring and reporting on all phases of the IDP,” the interest groups suggested that monthly community meetings be used to provide feedback to the communities on the progress of each phase of the IDP process. The following excerpt from one ward committee member sheds some light on the need for regular feedback at each phase of the IDP process:

Having a regular progress report on each phase of the IDP process will add value to the process since the quality of each phase will be monitored and improved before the next phase rather than proceeding to the last phase without having any report.

In Phase 2 of the study, 13 criteria were identified as the most preferred ones for assessing the quality of phases of IDP (Table 3). The criteria were categorized into six themes, which were subsequently ranked according to the mean scores. According to the rankings, most of the respondents reported that “the grassroots community, other stakeholders and municipal council must consider and adopt reports of each phase of the IDP.” This was followed by the need for “transparency of process in terms of prioritization of projects and allocation of budget” and the “involvement of councilors and ward committees in the phases of the IDP,” respectively. Across the 13 criteria, “involvement of a multi-stakeholder team” and “progress monitoring and reporting on all phases of the IDP” were ranked at the center between the most and least common criteria. On the other hand, the views expressed about Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and the district municipalities assessing phases of the IDP and the “non-necessity to have formal criteria for the IDP phases” received the least support from the respondents.

4. Discussions

The majority of stakeholders who participated in the study were adults and predominantly female, with 21% being youth and 67% being women (Table 1). Studies carried out by various scholars (Gueli et al., 2007; Ramaano, 2021d, 2022g) revealed that most service delivery-related programs such as IDP are dominated by women compared to their male counterparts. The nonavailability of essential services such as potable clean water, electricity and sewer directly affects women because they get frustrated when there is no water to bathe, clean or wash and no electricity to cook (Katsande, 2012). This, in turn, encourages women to participate in processes like IDP that are aimed at discussing service delivery matters. The fact that youth constitute only 21% of the total respondents is a major concern for the credibility of the IDP considering that they form the majority of the municipality and South African population (Stats SA, 2016). Logically, it means that youth should be involved in the development planning processes, in particular the IDP, to make sure that their interests are covered. Thus, the question is whether the low number of youth in the IDP process is associated with their being sidelined or unwilling to participate in the process. In this regard, youth might be too engaged with other activities, such as still progressing in their tertiary studies or different sporting activities, which could limit their meaningful dedication and participation, among other possibilities. This observation was echoed by Gebre-Mariam and Fruijtier (2018), who asserted that IDP activities are time-demanding and require full-time people to achieve credibility. Henceforth, from the youth aspect, overall, the majority of respondents were women compared to their male counterparts.

Most stakeholders had attained secondary and tertiary education. This might imply that the stakeholders have acquired sufficient knowledge to understand the municipal processes, such as the IDP process. This observation is in agreement with the findings of Chambers's (2009) study, which revealed that education is one of the indicators that depicts the level of development and the potential for one to have better chances of participating in and contributing positively to the IDP process. Therefore, the failure or challenge with the IDP process in Mbombela Municipality cannot be linked with the education status of the stakeholders. Most stakeholders who participated in the study are not full-time employed; those who are full-time employed are councilors and ward committees. This raises a major concern about the stakeholders' commitment, particularly their availability to actively participate in IDP activities. Some might not be able to afford to attend IDP meetings, while others might prioritize other activities to earn money for living, which might affect their participation in the process (Gebre-Mariam and Fruijtier, 2018).

The results from phases one and two of the study revealed that “stakeholders’ participation and ownership” and “leadership and accountability” were perceived to be the most important norms for assessing the quality of phases of the IDP in the quest for an improved or credible planning process. On one hand, this observation might imply that grassroots communities and key stakeholders are not satisfied with the IDP process or how the process (IDP) is conducted; they feel sidelined during the IDP process in the municipality. For this reason, transparency and the involvement of stakeholders, including communities, to solicit their buy-in are required. Various scholars (Harmse, 2010; Marambana, 2018) highlight the importance of stakeholders’ involvement as an enabler of success in any development planning tool and, in particular, the IDP process. Presumably, this might also work in African countries such as South Africa, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Zambia that have adopted the concept of IDP to deepen democracy and also serve as an enabler for sustainable service delivery.

In support of the preceding argument, Marambana (2018) advances the view that there should be transparency in the prioritization of projects and budget allocation. To this end, Marambana focused on stakeholder concentration in IDP processes in the Blue Crane Route Local Municipality, South Africa. This, in turn, will build confidence and solicit buy-in from the stakeholders in the IDP process. In this regard, Mashiteng (2017) recommends that stakeholders be actively involved in all phases of the IDP process and not only during the analysis phase and approval phase, as is currently happening at the moment in most municipalities in the country, including the Mbombela local municipality. With that, Sibanda and Lues (202l) focused on shared participation and power dynamics in strategic growth planning in an urban municipality in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Ramaano (2022a, 2023e), with a case study of Musina Municipality, South Africa, assessed the tourism-oriented IDP, community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) and local economic development (LED) for enhanced community-based organizations (CBOs), community participation, service delivery and livelihoods. His study revealed minimal adherence to IDP and LED processes in the study area, resulting in poor tourism-based public leadership and meager livelihoods.

In the Zambia case study, Banda et al. (2022) used legal and policy frameworks to coordinate and mainstream climate and disaster stability alternatives into municipality-integrated development plans. Likewise, Dlamini and Reddy (2018) critiqued the approach and technique of IDP with a case study of the Umtshezi Local Municipality in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. On the other hand, the observation implies that stakeholders feel that there is a lack of decision-making in the IDP process due to the nonparticipation of municipal managers and senior managers. This view was echoed by some of the respondents during the interviews, who indicated that the IDP process lacks leadership because the municipal managers and senior managers have relegated the process (IDP) to the junior officials, who cannot take decisions during the municipal engagements with the stakeholders, including communities.

In a similar study to the aforesaid, Dlulisa (2013) found that the Randfontein local municipality's IDP is not credible because of a lack of proper leadership in the municipality, specifically by the municipal manager and the executive mayor. For this reason, “leadership and accountability” in the IDP process are required from the municipal manager and the entire management. This finding was alluded to by various scholars (Madzivhandila and Asha, 2012; Dlamini and Reddy, 2018; Sebake and Mukonza, 2020) who asserted that the IDP process is the responsibility of the municipal manager, who is the sole accounting officer in the municipality and, therefore, cannot be relegated to the junior officials.

The study also revealed that “impact and outcome-based” and “others” were perceived to be the least norms for assessing the quality of the phases of the IDP. Initially, the findings might imply that IDPs in general are not responding to the actual challenges facing communities on the ground. For this reason, alignment of IDP and community priorities is required. These sentiments were supported by various scholars (StepSA, 2010; Dlulisa, 2013; Wesolowska et al., 2021) who highlighted the importance of alignment using the implementation of sequential and identification models of the development planning process. Central to the models is the linkage between problem identification and intervention thereto. In this regard, Irvin and Stansbury (2004) recommend that there should be synergy between the phases of the IDP and the communities' aspirations to strengthen the quality of the IDP process in general. On the other hand, the findings imply that the notion that there is no need to have formal criteria for the IDP process is not justified. This was proven by the fact that the latter notion received the least support from respondents in both phases one and two of the study. It is consonant with Binns and Nel (2002), who found that development planning tools such as IDP require a criterion to measure their success in fulfilling their purpose.

Lack of monitoring and evaluation was also perceived to be one of the crucial criteria in the quest for a quality IDP process. This finding might imply that the performance of the phases of the IDP process is not monitored, which affects its outcome. For this reason, regular progress monitoring and reporting of each phase of the IDP is required. This proposal is in line with Banda et al.'s (2020) sentiments, which highlighted the importance of monitoring in every development planning tool, including the IDP process, to increase the chances of achieving its desired goal. They juxtaposed the two IDP models of South Africa and Zambia and posited that overall, the Zambian model can still benefit from adapting some of the harmonizations of other legal and functional frameworks relating to the IDP process and synergizing among parties. Piotrowicz (2018), with the case of Polish humanitarian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and Ukrainian IDPs, also advances the view that each phase of the IDP should be assessed and adopted before the next phase to strengthen the quality of the entire IDP process value chain. Similarly, again using Poland as an example and the development of planning strategies, Wesolowska et al. (2021) critiqued the transition from short-term planning, subordinated to the necessities of the country's financial development, to a long-term planning system incorporating diverse facets of development.

5. Conclusions, limitations and further study implications

5.1 Conclusions

This study identified stakeholder participation and ownership, public leadership and accountability, an impact and outcome-based focus, a compact value chain, monitoring and evaluation as the preferred criteria for assessing the quality of the IDP. The grassroots communities and key stakeholders are not satisfied with the IDP process or how the process is conducted; they feel sidelined during the IDP process in the municipality. For this reason, transparency and the involvement of stakeholders, including communities, to solicit their buy-in are required.

The stakeholders feel that there is a lack of decision-making in the IDP process due to the nonparticipation of municipal managers and senior managers. This view was echoed by some of the respondents during the interviews, who indicated that the IDP process lacks leadership because the municipal managers and senior managers have relegated the process (IDP) to the junior officials, who cannot take decisions during the municipal engagements with the stakeholders, including communities. Impact and outcome-based were perceived to be the least normative criteria for assessing the quality of the phases of the IDP.

Initially, the findings might imply that IDPs in general are not responding to the actual challenges facing communities on the ground. For this reason, alignment of IDP and community priorities is required to improve the post-apartheid management history and their challenges and foster effective governance and practice for enhanced service delivery (Binns and Nel, 2002; Gunter, 2005; Holtzhausen and Naidoo, 2011). This study thus adheres to the cited authors in theoretically contributing to the body of academic knowledge. Lack of monitoring and evaluation was also perceived as one of the crucial criteria in the quest for a quality IDP process. This finding might infer that the performance of the phases of the IDP process is not monitored, which affects its outcome. Due to this, regular progress monitoring and reporting of each phase of the IDP is required.

5.2 Limitations and further study directions

There are limitations to the study; while 265 questionnaires were distributed, only 120 were accounted for and processed. Additionally, only seven elite interviews were conducted to inform the study's current results. Perhaps more such interviews would have enriched the study even further. Instead of traditional and all-inclusive focus group discussions, this study selected four multistakeholder workshop sessions, sourced data and recorded minutes, in which up to 66 participants each attended. However, all the cited limitations did not compromise the credibility and reliability of the study.

As for the future direction of this study, Rogerson (2010) asserts that the processes of IDP and LED are complementary. Hence, they can be vital aspects of rural development processes, public leadership, inclusion and communities' livelihoods (Gunter, 2005; Ramaano, 2008, 2021c; Rogerson and Rogerson, 2019). Therefore, Rogerson (2014) further reminds us of the essence of place-branding efforts and LED values. The cited are significant aspects of IDP and can function well with pro-poor tourism in the promotion of livelihoods in the municipalities. It is consistent with Ramaano's findings in tourism literature and LED and IDP values, with specific references to Musina municipality (Ramaano, 2021a, b, 2022a, b, f). Therefore, further research can take the diverse route of IDP and LED processes in conjunction with rural developments, tourism value and livelihoods.

Figures

Map of South Africa showing the location of Mbombela municipality

Figure 1

Map of South Africa showing the location of Mbombela municipality

Refined Integrated development planning process in Mbombela local municipality

Figure A1

Refined Integrated development planning process in Mbombela local municipality

Age group and gender of the respondents


Age group
% of gender type
Male %Female %Total %
11–180%2%2%
19–353%16%19%
36–408%30%38%
41–5020%18%38%
51+2%1%3%
Total33%67%100%

Preferred criteria for assessing the quality of integrated development planning

Perception or viewIDP practitionersCouncilorsWard committeesCommunity development workersOrganized businessTraditional representatives or IndunaWar roomTotals
Stakeholder participation and ownership
(i) Extent to which grassroots community, other stakeholders and municipal council consider and adopt reports of each phase of IDP154323523
(ii) Transparency of process in terms of prioritization of projects and allocation of budget122222213
(iii) Involvement of multistakeholder team in assessment of IDP phases11101116
(iv) Involvement of councilors and ward committees in assessing quality of the IDP01100013
Leadership and accountability
(i) Quality of respective leadership and management provided by mayor (s) and municipal manager (s) in each phase of the IDP421121213
(ii) Local stakeholders to assess the IDP not COGTA assessors032111210
(iii) COGTA and the district municipalities assessment of every phase11100014
(iv) Evidence of power and influence of war rooms in determining the quality of each IDP phase01000124
(v) Level of confidence of organized business that its inputs are used to influence decisions in integrated development planning and budgeting10002003
Impact and outcome-based
(i) Responsiveness of IDP to citizen and stakeholder aspirations and expectations01011205
Compact value chain
(i) Comprehensiveness of checklist or scorecard of deliverables of each phase22110129
Monitoring and evaluation
(i) Regularity of progress monitoring and reporting on all phases of the IDP222111211
Others
(i) No need to have formal criteria of the IDP phases00011013

Ranked scores of preferred criteria for assessing the quality of integrated development planning

Themes of preferred criteriaMeanStandard deviationRank
Stakeholder participation and ownership
(a) Extent to which grassroots community, other stakeholders and municipal council consider and adopt reports of each phase of IDP8.161.9791
(b) Transparency of process in terms of prioritization of projects and allocation of budget7.932.2442
(c) Involvement of councilors and ward committees in assessing quality of the IDP7.822.2193
(d) Involvement of multistakeholder team in assessment of IDP phases7.492.2796
Leadership and accountability
(a) Local stakeholders to assess the IDP not COGTA assessors7.682.1394
(b) Quality of respective leadership and management provided by mayor (s) and municipal manager (s) in each phase of the IDP7.582.4625
(c) Evidence of power and influence of war rooms in determining the quality of each IDP phase6.832.62911
(d) Level of confidence of organized business that its inputs are used to influence decisions in integrated development planning and budgeting6.742.49512
(e) COGTA and the district municipalities assessment of every phase6.672.62310
Impact and outcome-based
(a) Responsiveness of IDP to citizen and stakeholder aspirations6.932.1938
Compact value chain
(a) Comprehensiveness of checklist or scorecard of deliverables of each phase6.882.4579
Monitoring and evaluation
(a) Regularity of progress monitoring and reporting on all phases of the IDP7.012.8127
Others
(a) No need to have formal criteria of the IDP phases6.012.81813

Disclosure statement: The authors declare that there is no potential conflict of interest in this study.

Appendix 1

Appendix 2 Key informant interview guide

Refined IDP process for Mbombela local municipality

  1. What criteria can be used to assess quality at each phase of the IDP?

    • What are the major criteria at each phase?

  2. Who are the key role players in the IDP value chain?

    • To what extent are the stakeholders satisfied with execution of roles by each role player?

    • What are the reasons for the satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the extent of execution of designated roles by each stakeholder?

    • Are you satisfied with the participation of the stakeholders in the IDP process?

  3. What are the major strengths and weaknesses identified at each phase of the IDP value chain?

    • What are the origins or causes of the strengths and weaknesses?

    • How can the weaknesses be addressed?

    • How can the strengths be enhanced?

  4. What modifications or changes can be made at each phase of the IDP value chain in order to improve its quality?

    • What are the risks likely to be faced when implementing proposed modifications?

    • What action should be taken to mitigate the identified risks?

Thank you for your cooperation

Appendix 3Multistakeholder workshops guide

References

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Acknowledgements

The authors recognize the editors and anonymous reviewers for their efforts in producing the final product of this manuscript. To this end, credit is due to the University of Venda (Univen) scholar and a rural development geography, ethnobiology, urban and regional planning (URP), and tourism geography professional, Dr. Azwindini Isaac Ramaano, for a thorough proofreading, enhancing document structure, advising on publication outlets, and determining the final destination of the current manuscript. His public leadership and community-based tourism-oriented, integrated development planning (IDP) and local economic development (LED) literature strengthened this study, significantly influencing further study imports. May God shower you with blessings! The bursary offer from Univen, in conjunction with the National Research Foundation (NRF), and all the participants in the study area are duly acknowledged.

Corresponding author

Dovhani Johannes Mulaudzi can be contacted at: dovhimu@gmail.com

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