Critical analysis of sustainable community planning and development principles as applied within the Tlokwe Municipality
Van Schalkwyk, Bernice Bernadette
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Due to the current high levels of urbanisation and the lingering effects of Apartheid, South African municipalities have experienced difficulties in planning for sustainability and more specifically sustainable community development. Sustainable community development is needed in order to achieve more integrated and sustainable towns and cities with an improved urban environment and a higher quality of life. Due to this sustainable community development is of particular relevance to South Africa. Although policies and legislation exist at international, national and local level, there is a lack of suitable planning instruments to guide sustainable community development. Tlokwe Local Municipality is researched as study area to test and develop planning instruments for sustainable community development. An assessment matrix of sustainability indicators is linked to Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) and applied to identify the themes and sub-themes applicable to sustainability in which intervention is required to improve the sustainability rating of the municipality. A Goal Assessment Matrix (GAM) approach is used to score and prioritise municipal projects, plans and strategies according to sustainable community development fundamentals. The top scoring projects are indicative of the achievement of sustainable community development goals and objectives. The result of the sustainability assessment is that the Tlokwe Local Municipality is considered to be relatively sustainable, performing overall better than the three spheres of government against which it was measured. Subsequent to the GAM assessment a lack of alignment between the sectoral plans was identified as well as the duplication of projects. The projects, plans and strategies of the municipality are found to not have been formulated with sustainable community development framework as a guiding goal. It is recommended that municipalities use the assessment matrix methods to determine its level of sustainability when developing respective sectoral plans (SDFs, ITPs, EMFs and IDPs). Areas in which there is a lack of sustainability are highlighted and can consequently be addressed through intervention strategies. Prioritising municipal projects, plans and strategies through the use of GAM identifies crucial projects that need special attention to ensure their successful implementation as this will largely aid sustainable community development. Both the assessment matrix method and the GAM approach are valuable planning instruments with which to achieve sustainable community development.