Agenda 21 in south africa

Unsustainable consumption and production is rooted in value systems that drive how natural resources are used. Such value systems have proven slow to adapt. Overseas development assistance has declined over the last decade, and debt burdens limit the opportunities of many developing countries to address sustainability issues.

Agenda 21 in south africa


All the IDPs reviewed as part of this study focuses on alleviating poverty and addressing past injustices and inequities through identification of programmes and projects that respond to the needs and priorities of local communities.

This was confirmed at the various workshops held during Agenda 21 in south africa case study review process. Furthermore, this second round of IDPs displays a strong move towards a more integrated and participatory approach to local planning with varying success at incorporating sustainability principles throughout the process.

The Municipal Systems Act of makes it mandatory that all sectors and interested parties be consulted has led to improved communication and co-operation between different spheres of government and between traditional authorities and the newly established local authority structures.


The Municipal Systems Act of and the IDPs, as the primary planning tool within it, signify the deepening of democracy and good governance as it is mandatory for the participation of communities and various stakeholders through the ward committees.

It also enables the bottom up approach of democracy to become practical reality for those that have participated in the IDP processes. Sustainability principles and participatory approaches are seen as key to developing a plan that responds to local needs, conditions and capacities.

However, while these plans represent a significant move towards achieving sustainable development there are, however, key challenges and a few areas of weakness that needs to be addressed in the review process. Various lessons have emerged from this review and analysis. The IDP philosophy, principles and processes are complex and require a high level of conceptual understanding and skills.

Although there has been significant improvement in incorporating sustainability principles in this second round of IDPs, limited experience in the application of an integrated approach and a lack of a deep understanding of the concepts of sustainability has meant that some of the plans and projects reviewed are sectorally based and while attempts to, falls a little short of fully addressing sustainability principles.

This is especially true of the poorer and more rural areas such as the Greater Groblersdal and the Kgalagadi District Municipalities. The extent to which sustainability principles have been successfully integrated into the IDP process differed amongst the four case studies reviewed.

However, all the case studies had a strong focus on satisfying basic human needs and promoting social justice and equity. Economic growth and vitality is also promoted through the identification of economic development strategies that build on regional strengths and provide support to emerging businesses, farmers and the informal sector.

The involvement of key stakeholders and to a lesser extent, civil society in the planning process represents a commitment by government to plan with, rather than for its communities.

Using local talents and skills, building capacity, and putting in place appropriate monitoring and evaluation systems were also key elements of most IDPs reviewed. However, the principles of conservation of biodiversity and maintenance of ecological integrity, concern for the future and linking local to global dimensions were not specifically addressed in all the case studies and represent a key challenge for officials and stakeholders involved in implementing and reviewing the IDPs, especially in the Buffalo City, Greater Groblersdal and the Kgalagadi District Municipalities.

Consequently, certain strategies proposed, and programmes and projects identified, are not consistent with the principles of sustainability and may not result in sustainable outcomes, or maximise opportunities that could enhance livelihoods and quality of life.

The incorporation of environmental, social and economic sustainability principles at the plan and programme level is critical to the achievement of sustainability at the project level. An important starting point for improving the performance of IDPs, as well as programmes, and associated LED projects emanating from the IDP process, is capacity building for local authorities and institutional role players, specifically councillors and traditional leaders, so that they can effectively drive the IDP development and implementation process.

Another important target group for such capacity building interventions are members of the Ward Committees in view of their interaction with the broader community.

Of critical importance is that such training and capacity building interventions address the training needs of specific target audiences, adopt a more programmatic and continuous approach, seek accreditation for training and where possible integrate such training and capacity building efforts with career aspirations of recipients.

It must however be noted that the strength of the current IDPs is that all of them do budget for training, skills development and capacity building. Involvement of key stakeholder groupings in most IDP processes reviewed, appears to have been successfully achieved, with the exception of the private sector, and in particular the wealthy white business community, which was largely absent from the Groblersdal and Kgalagadi IDP processes.

In addition, active involvement of community groups and members in the process was more difficult to achieve, except in the case of the Buffalo City IDP, where the participation process was extensive and inclusive. Limited involvement from civil society can be attributed to a number of factors including the vast areas covered by the IDPs reviewed, the practical realities of transporting large numbers of people, the large resources required to engage civil society in an inclusive and meaningful way, and what appears to be a diminished capacity amongst civil society groupings to participate in the processes.

Furthermore, the participation methods and communication strategies employed were not always appropriate to the local context especially with respect to the medium, choice of language and technical terms used. More attention needs to be given to identifying and applying appropriate methods of participation that enable all sectors of civil society to participate effectively.

Building of representative and accountable structures at the community level is needed to foster better links with the IDP process. Improving communication mechanisms between elected representatives and their constituencies, while strengthening the role and capacity of the Ward Committees, needs urgent attention.

At the project level, although participation by local communities in all phases of the project cycle process is important to the overall performance of projects, factors such as accountability, transparency, commitment and conflict resolution mechanisms might be more significant to project success than participation per se.

This point to the importance of building capacity amongst all groups engaged in this process see above.

Agenda 21 in south africa

Although various fora were established and workshops held to engage with different stakeholders and groupings during the development of the IDP, the establishment of real partnerships between local government, civil society and the private sector that extend beyond the development of the IDP phase, has been limited.

The extent, to which local institutions, including local government, civic and private sector institutions interact with the local LED project participants, plays a crucial role in the definition of the problem, allocation of resources and the formation of partnerships.

This in turn impacts on the performance of the project. Local governance authorities should play a more prominent and active role in coordinating, facilitating and stimulating such linkages and partnerships than they have done in the past.

The IDP calls for an integrated and holistic approach to planning and development.

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Although the IDP process has resulted in improved co-ordination and communication across the sectors, and has required the development of integrated strategies and plans, mechanisms need to be put in place to enhance co-ordination across all sectors both horizontally and vertically.

Local authorities also face the challenge of making institutional changes needed to give effect to implementing the IDPs, especially if the principles of sustainability are to be upheld.

The continuing lack of clarity regarding land ownership and resource rights, particularly in the communal areas, remains a major challenge to the sustainability of IDP projects and programmes. In this regard, government needs to take bold steps to clarify the powers and responsibilities of traditional leaders and the role of customary law with respect to resource rights and land ownership.

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However, it should also be noted that many of the traditional leaders interviewed during the research process supported the IDP processes and stated their commitment to its success.

Secondly, government needs to put in place mechanisms to expedite the land reform process and in particular tenurial security.

A key issue that needs to be addressed is the alignment of provincial and local priorities and budgets.Graça Machel calls on Africa to 'aggressively address its gender-specific challenges' Graça Machel has called on African women and policymakers to challenge gender inequality and inadequate.

South Africa [email protected] Agenda 21 for Sustainable Construction in Developing Countries Agenda 21 for Sustainable Construction in Developing Countries sets out an R & D agenda and a strategy for action agreed Agenda on Sustainable Construction was highlighted early on, and in the International Council for.

The full implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Commitments to the Rio principles, were strongly reaffirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26 August to 4 September The South African ‘custodian’ for Agenda 21 is the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT).

Chapter 28 of Agenda 21 sets out targets and an approach that local authorities in each country should undertake a consultative process with their populations and achieve a consensus on a local Agenda 21 for the community.

Agenda 21 Case Studies. CONCLUSION, OBSERVATIONS AND LESSONS LEARNT. Within the South African framework of transition, constitutional developments of a young, eight year old democracy, the local municipalities demarcation processes, transition of many local authorities and the gazetting of the Municipal Systems Act of , the .

Located on the tip of the African continent, South Africa is famous for its diamond and gold mines and Jews have been a part of South Africa’s development from the very beginning. Today, South Africa's Jewish population stands at approximately 67, - the twelfth largest Jewish community in the world.

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