An approach to sustainable development in Ekurhuleni : the role of sustainable management tools
South Africa is a signatory to the Rio Earth Summit Agenda 21 and the World Summit on Sustainable Development's, Johannesburg Plan of lmplernentation. These documents are the definitive guidelines towards sustainable development. As a local authority within South Africa, Ekurhuleni is therefore obliged to implement these sustainability principles as highlighted in Chapter 28 of Agenda 21, namely Local Agenda 21. Various tools are available to implement the Local Agenda 21 principles. The Municipal Systems Act, 32 of 2000, prescribes the compilation of an lntegrated Development Plan for all local authorities, part of this is a Performance Management System that measure performance in terms of specified indicators. Another management tool is the State of the Environment Report, which in turn identifies indicators in terms of which environmentally sustainable development can be measured. The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality's lntegrated Development Plan have been compared with the objectives set out in Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of lmplementation, to assess whether this document can be used as the Ekurhuleni Local Agenda 21 Strategy. It was found that the requirements for an lntegrated Development Plan are very similar to the requirements for a Local Agenda 21. The Ekurhuleni lntegrated Development Plan to a great extent complies with the Agenda 21 and Johannesburg Plan of lmplementation. In terms of sustainable development, the economic and social aspects, receive substantial attention, however the biophysical environmental aspect of sustainable development is not sufficiently integrated into all aspects of the lntegrated Development Plan. Neither are the target dates as specified in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation highlighted in the lntegrated Development Plan. By integrating the biophysical environmental aspects into the Ekurhuleni lntegrated Development Plan and setting target dates in line with the Johannesburg Plan of lmplernentation great strides will be made towards achieving sustainable development. If the further step is taken to combine the sustainability indictors as identified in the state of the Environment Report with the Performance Management System, the Ekurhuleni lntegrated Development Plan with its Performance Management System, can be accepted as the Ekurhuleni Local Agenda 21 Strategy.