It is, however, important to take into account the views of communities on the ground and, in big municipalities, ensure that ordinary, part-time councillors also have a say.
Finally, IDPs are often completed in isolation from developments at national and provincial level. Instead of a synergy between spheres, there is often duplication of resources and little creative thought about how plans and action can dovetail to provide better services to citizens. There are, however, many positive features of IDPs, and well-crafted ones have the potential to move impasses and change the lives of citizens. The City of Cape Town recently re-leased its draft IDP for public comment and consultation. It takes a fairly long-term view and promises to channel resources toward the achievement of a very ambitious vision for Cape Town in the year 2020. Some of the targets are so ambitious that cynics could argue the current city leadership will not be around in 2020 to explain why the targets were not achieved.
They include a massive reduction in informal settlements to 5% of the city (currently estimated at about 20%), universal access to water, electricity and sanitation, a 90% reduction in violent crime, a doubling of annual household income, unemployment below 8%, illiteracy under 5%, a 50% reduction in waste generated, a safe green area in walking distance for all and 10% of all energy generated from renewable resources.
Equally as ambitious are six strategies at the heart of the IDP. These target job creation, economic development and the provision of quality, mixed- income housing on State land close to the centre of Cape Town. This aims to halt the urban sprawl that has been exacerbated by Recon-struction and Development Programme housing built on the outskirts of the city far from opportunities and amenities. Pie in the sky or visionary and exciting? Only time will tell, but at least Cape Town’s 2004 IDP starts from the premise that its human and social development outcomes continue to fall way below where they should be and that these must be tackled if Cape Town is to be a city that works for all.