Updated : March 5, 2018

What is the District Development Model and has it replaced the IUDF?

Posted : March 17, 2020

Since the introduction of the District Development Model (DDM) there is a perception that it has replaced the Integrated Urban Development Framework  (IUDF). These perceptions are not factual and are incorrect. This article will argue how the DDM and IUDF complement each other in addressing major social, spatial and economic challenges in our country. It will demonstrate how they cannot replace each other but are complimentary in achieving the goals outlined in the National Development Plan.

The article will first look at the definition of the DDM, why it was introduced and what it seeks to achieve. It will further discuss how the IUDF and DDM are aligned by giving examples of how specific IUDF levers  offer a granular perspective to make sense of the district story.

 What is the District Development Model?

President, Cyril Ramaphosa in the State of the Nation Address (SoNA) indicated that it is time for government to break away from the silo mentality of working and went on to introduce a new approach called the District Development Model (DDM). The DDM was subsequently adopted by cabinet on the 21stof August 2019. The District Development Model (DDM) is an operational model for improving Cooperative Governance aimed at building a capable, ethical Developmental State. It embodies an approach by which the three spheres of government and state entities work in unison in an impact-oriented way, and where there is higher performance and accountability for coherent service delivery and development outcomes. It is a method of government operating in unison focusing on the municipal district and metropolitan spaces as the impact areas of joint planning, budgeting and implementation.

The President also highlighted that the DDM will help government address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Informed by the National Development Plan (NDP) and the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) and other government policies, legislations and previous similar programmes, the DDM seeks to ensure maximum coordination and cooperation among all three spheres of government (National, provincial and local). Amongst others, the Model will be implemented through a collaborative process to develop One Plans for all 44 districts and 8 Metropolitan Municipalities which will be further synchronized with Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) of municipalities.

Each district and metro plan will develop a long-term government agenda in these spaces and unpack at least the following developmental issues:

  • Managing urbanisation, growth and development;
  • Supporting local economic drivers;
  • Accelerating land release and land development;
  • Investing in infrastructure for integrated human settlement, economic activity and the provision of basic services; and
  • Addressing service delivery in municipalities.


What is the IUDF?

The IUDF is our National Urban Policy which marks a New Deal for South African cities and towns. The framework will steer urban growth towards a sustainable model of compact, connected and coordinated towns and cities. It provides a roadmap to implement the NDP’s vision for spatial transformation – creating liveable, inclusive and resilient towns and cities while reversing the apartheid spatial legacy.

The IUDF provides key principles and policy levers for creating better urban spaces. It seeks to strengthen urban-rural linkages, promote urban resilience, create safe urban spaces and ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable groups are addressed

How is the DDM aligned with the IUDF?

As a start, to illustrate that the DDM has not replaced the IUDF, we must acknowledge that the IUDF is a national urban policy of the South Africa while the DDM is an approach that government has adopted to tackle the deep rooted silo mentality that exists in how government plans, budgets, and deliver services across the three spheres of government, while not capitalizing on opportunity that exist to mobilize other actors in the private sector, NGOs and communities to achieve social compact. Both the DDM and the IUDF subscribe to the concept of social compact, an all of society approach towards improving the lives of people and lastly spatial transformation. These are critical philosophies that the 5thand 6thadministration is determined to decisively address.

The DDM as a way of working and doing things differently will play a key role in enhancing the implementation of the IUDF, for instance, one of the short term priorities of the IUDF is to institutionalise long-term planning. The DDM, through the introduction of the One Plan, is on course to make this a reality. While the IUDF advocates for greater involvement of Premiers and MECs in planning and development, the DDM also advocates for the same intervention across all three spheres of government, i.e. the recent nomination of political district champions at a national level that cascades to district level is a perfect example of how the IUDF and the DDM complement one another.

While the IUDF assists with focusing in our cities and towns, the DDM takes on a district wide approach. The complementarity can be seen in a sense that, the IUDF provides a more granular focus within a district, i.e. cities and towns, while DDM takes on a regional posture. This may also mean that IUDF interventions in cities and towns will be critical to provide a district wide perspective, especially in areas of integrated urban planning and management, integrated sustainable human settlement, integrated urban infrastructure, efficient land governance and management, inclusive economic development etc

The DDM is not divorced from existing government policies such as the IUDF but if implemented properly, will amplify and seek to facilitate the implementation of the short and long term priorities of the IUDF. District and metropolitan spaces are a perfect starting point to improve the performance and coherent service delivery as they are close to the ground which ensures that the whole of government is responsive to the need of communities. The vision for the district model has been articulated through the slogan: “One District, One Budget and One Plan”, which directly correlates with IUDF’s vision of reaping the urban dividend. The IUDF describes the urban dividend as “an optimal situation where the increasing concentration of an economically active population translates into higher levels of economic activity, greater productivity and higher rates of growth” To optimise the urban dividend we must focus on three areas 1. People ( enhancing their capabilities) 2.Economy( More resilient productive and job creation) 3. Place(More liveable pleasure, greater social integration, safety and access to opportunities). The common theme between the DDM and IUDF is the need to invest in people the economy and environment to improve quality of life.

The DDM has since been piloted in two district municipalities and one metropolitan municipality, OR Tambo, Waterberg and Ethekwini respectively. There has been some cross-cutting lessons from the piloting phase that further buttress  how interlinked the IUDF and DDM are. The pilots revealed that there are high levels of youth unemployment,  and a high number of women and child- headed households in our district spaces which is what IUDF lever 7 seeks to address through empowering communities to be active citizens in the economy and access job opportunities. There is also a challenge in high rural to urban migration which is also a cross-cutting theme in the IUDF where urban-rural interdependency is advocated for.

It is therefore clear that the DDM has not replaced or duplicated the work of the IUDF but the two need to be perceived as complimentary. It is a myth and it is not factual that the DDM is the new sheriff in town that has replaced the IUDF. Therefore better communication strategies and approach need to be employed to educate and  mobilize all of society to  be more aware of the two policies and how they can be utilised in addressing socio- economic challenges.




South Africa participated at the 10th Session of the World Urban Forum

Posted : February 20, 2020

Last week UN Habitat hosted the 10thsession of the world urban forum in Abu Dhabi. The global conference brought together delegates from all across the world under the theme “Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation, focusing on harnessing culture and innovation as drivers of sustainable urban development”


South Africa participated at the WUF 10 with  the South African delegation being led by Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Pamela Tshwete , the Department of Cooperative Governance was also among the delegates representing South Africa at the Forum. The 10ThSession of the World Urban Forum provided an opportunity to promote and gain knowledge on the key areas of sustainable human settlements, urban development and spatial integration, including the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the housing and urban development aspects of other global agendas.  The session further provided a platform for key engagements on monitoring frameworks, funding instruments, planning and programme implementation approaches, informal settlements upgrading, and creating inclusive, safe and resilient spaces which is what our national urban policy- the IUDF advocates for.


The South African delegation participated in the relevant Roundtables, Dialogues, Special Sessions, the WUF 10 Exhibition, and a wide-range of side events and networking events, including:

  • Special Session on Addressing inequality and exclusion through culture and innovation
  • Side event on peer learning network for Intermediate cities as a mechanism for implementation of the national urban policy.
  • Side event of the Slums and Informal Settlements Upgrading Network (SISNet)
  • The African Union Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee (HUD) side event on adapting the International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning to Africa’s context.
  • Side event on creating safe and inclusive public spaces
  • Side event on monitoring the right to the city


The Department of Cooperative Governance in partnership with The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH hosted a side event on “Peer learning Networks as a mechanism for implementing the national urban policy”. The session echoed the voices of intermediate city municipalities in South Africa sharing their experiences in implementing the national urban policy as well partner organisations such as ICLEI.

Participating members of the peer learning network expressed that being part of the network allows for creative ways of community engagement as well as create a conducive environment for partnerships and collegial support across municipal boundaries. Implementing a national urban policy forces line departments to work together leading to integration of urban development.

The national urban policy has cut-crossing thematic areas, one of them being urban resilience. The network through partnerships such as ICLEI have made it easy for municipalities to have bilateral engagements on key thematic areas such as climate change.

At the end of the forum certain actions were declared  as we gear into the decade of action in achieving sustainable development goals. Participants who represented national, subnational and local governments international organisations, civil society  and private sector. The declaration recognized that an increasingly urbanized world constitutes a transformative force which can be harnessed and steered for more sustainable development.  “Declared Actions are strategic level goals that will result from the implementation of new initiatives from a variety of institutions and actors. These strategic goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound”


You can read the full declaration here:

Check out the highlights from WUF10 on this link



South Africa and Germany’s Partnership on Long-Term Planning

Posted : September 28, 2019

South African and Germany enjoy a long-standing relationship in a wide range of areas. Collaboration between South Africa and Germany dates back to the late 1990s when the Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) were introduced in South Africa. The relationship between the two countries was strengthened during the development of South Africa’s national urban policy called the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF). The relationship between the two countries has remained strong for almost two decades. While Germany adopted its National Urban Policy in 2007, South Africa adopted its national urban policy almost a decade later. As the forerunner in the development of national urban policies, Germany provided guidance and advice to the development of its national urban policy.

In implementing the IUDF, the country has placed a strong focus on the intermediate city municipalities which find themselves confronted by high growth rate and inevitably, high urbanization rate and its subsequent challenges when not properly planned for.

A peer learning network has been  established between 6 intermediate city municipalities that are amongst the first few to implement and test certain aspects of our national urban policy. These are City of Mbombela, City of uMhlathuze, KwaDukuza Local Municipality, Polokwane Local Municipality, Stellenbosch Municipality and Steve Tshwete Local Municipality.

Peer Learning networks are widely recognized as instruments through which peers from different organisations, countries etc can learn from each other, collaborate to enhance ideas and content as well as share knowledge. Following the long standing partnership between German and South African governments on the topic of integrated urban development, a study tour was undertaken between the already mentioned 6 intermediated city municipalities and 5 German cities, the study tour was concluded with delegates attending Germany’s Annual Federal Congress on Urban Development Policy. The study tour was the beginning of many planned activities of the Intermediate Cities Peer Learning Network .

The study tour served as the first step to create a sustainable peer learning network amongst local governance practitioners from six secondary cities from around the country and officials from national institutions. Individual bonds between the officials were formed around a diversity of topics and common objectives.

Now the creation of a structured peer learning network is aiming to further enable the municipalities to apply the IUDF in a local context, taking this policy imperative to a tangible reality for municipal citizens. The network is set up to run from October 2019 to September 2021 and will be based on actual urban development initiatives of the municipalities. Each municipality will be hosting one of the network meeting where it will dig deep into its development project with the network partners, all these long-term development projects will serve as case studies for the duration of the network. Cross-cutting issues such as climate change, public participation and the creation of safe and liveable public spaces will be as much in focus as the financing of these integrated measures. So will be the role and support of the national partners. All participants in the network will be able to shape the network and propose additional topics to be discussed in order to make it as relevant as possible to the work of the participating partners. Learnings from this network will be spread through diverse channels of the national partners: DCoG, National Treasury, SALGA and other national networks (and international networks) where possible to ensure that all IUDF municipalities are able to benefit from this learning.


Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Cooperative Governance and ICLEI Africa

Posted : July 26, 2019

The Department of Cooperative Governance and ICLEI Africa have entered into a memorandum of understanding on local government support and spatial urban transformation, urban development, institutional development and localizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The partnership is aimed at offering support  in the implementation of the Integrated Urban development Framework (IUDF). The first phase of the MOU will look at providing Intermediate city municipalities support in localizing SDGs as well as institutionalizing climate change within their long term plans.

The official signing ceremony of the MOU took place at the Local Government Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Symposium held in Durban ICC at eThekwini Municipality. ICLEI Africa Regional Director, Kobie Brand, Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance, Parks Tau and Director General of Cooperative Governance Mr Dan Mashitisho were present to sign the MOU.


The symposium was a partnership between MILE, eThekwini Municipality, ICLEI Africa, SALGA, Department of Cooperative Governance and United National Institute for Training and Research.

The aim of the Symposium was to foster cooperation (whole-of-society-approach) as well as endorse the SDGs as an enabling framework that can effectively be aligned with the IUDF, NDP and municipal IDPs, with the aim of supporting local officials in aligning their work thereto. The two day gathering provided a space to exchange knowledge and celebrate and share best practice initiatives, programmes, and projects that have been implemented at the local level.


2nd Annual Integrated Urban Development Grant Seminar

Posted : July 9, 2019

On the 9thof July, the Department of Cooperative Governance hosted the 2ndannual Integrated Urban Development Grant (IUDG) Seminar at Birchwood Hotel in Ekurhuleni. The aim of the seminar was to provide progress on the implementation of the Integrated Urban Development Framework  (IUDF), discuss and provide roadmap on the IUDG roll out process and also  discuss roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders in the IUDG process

The Deputy Director General of Cooperative Governance  Mr Fosi highlighted  the importance of the annual IUDG Seminar particularly in responding to the priority of Spatial integration, human settlements and local government stipulated by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the  State Of the Nation Address (SONA 2019)

The  annual seminar champions IUDF’s policy lever 4: Integrated Urban infrastructure, particularly looking at the short-medium term priorities namely; – Consolidate & coordinate infrastructure funding

  • Institutionalise municipal long-term infrastructure planning.
  • Strengthen intergovernmental planning,
  • roles and partnerships
  • Widen sources of finance for urban infrastructure

During the seminar, the first 7 municipalities in the country to develop Capital Expenditure Frameworks (CEFs) got to exhibit their CEFs which highlight their 10 year long-term financial plans and how they plan to prioritise their projects.

The 7 Municipalities are

  1. City of uMhlathuze
  2. Drakenstein Municipality
  3. Mogale City
  4. Polokwane Municipality
  5. Ray Nkonyeni Municipality
  6. Sol Plaatje Municipality
  7. Stellenbosch Municipality



An emphasis was made that capital expenditure frameworks should not only be a compliance exercise but should steer a change in management and so breaking away from the silo mentality in municipalities

Not only is it important to break away from the silo mentality, project preparation is also key in achieving success within our municipalities.

Key steps in project preparation:

  1. Long term planning
  2. Project life
  3. Procurement procedure
  4. Execution
  5. Operation
  6. End of life

At the end of the successful seminar this is what some participants had to say:

“If implemented correctly the Capital Expenditure Framework is a gem” Mapula Mamabolo from Polokwane Municipality

“Re-imagine it, plan it and implement it!. The CEF allows us to do that, achieve Integrated development”  Shireen DeVisser from Stellenbosch Municipality

“The  IUDF is not a programme but an approach which #WholeOfSocietymust use to respond to the challenges of urbanisation” Mr Fosi, DDG Cooperative Governance






Capital Expenditure Framework Workshop

Posted : April 25, 2019

The department of Cooperative Governance ( IUDF unit) hosted a CEF workshop with  municipalities, sector departments, private sector, provinces and development financial institutions . The workshop was aimed at discussing the value of CEFs in long term planning and CEFSs can  be utilised as a tool to institutionalise long term municipal planning.

Municipalities who are part of the Intermediate cities support programme and have completed their capital expenditure frameworks had the opportunity to present their  draft CEFs which highlight key functional areas and priority development areas within their municipality.



What is a CEF?

SALGA describes it as: “A consolidated high-level view of infrastructure investment needs in municipalities over a long term period, 10/20 years, while the guidelines for the implementation of the (IUDG) describes the CEF as: “A high-level long-term-infrastructure plan that flows from a spatial development framework. it estimates the level of affordable capital investment by the municipality over the long term.

What is the value of a CEF?

It will provide context for performance measurement against development objectives and outcomes. Engagements with stakeholders will be guided by evidence based planning (reality and affordability)

CEFs  will  also result in the conceptualisation of strategically framed projects that supports the #IUDFobjectives


The CEF seeks to answer the following questions

  1. What infrastructure does the municipality currently have?
  2. What is the municipality trying to do with the infrastructure over the next 10 to 20 years.
  3. Wer does the municipality need infrastructure?
  4. What are others spheres of government or service providers planning to do with infrastructure in the municipal area.
  5. How much infrastructure does the municipality need & of what type? 6.
  6. What impact will it have on financial viability





Capturing hearts for truly inclusive cities

Posted : April 16, 2019

The Department of Cooperative Governance in partnership with the South African Cities Network hosted an IUDF workshop “All of Society”. The workshop was a follow up  from the Urban Conference In 2018. Representatives of all 3 spheres of government worked together to discuss moving the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) off the words on paper to a whole of government approach.

Among those present at the workshop were National, Provincial, Municipal officials, SALGA, CSIR and other stakeholders.

The workshop was anchored on the  narrative that “Before we can talk about whole of society, we need to have a whole of government that works” Deputy Minister Andries Nel who was part of the session buttressed this point when he encouraged the participants that “ We need to own the mandate of spatial transformation and work together as whole of government to realise the outcomes of the IUDF on the ground”

It  was an interactive workshop where  participants  were required to get out of their norm and engage in  more hands-on  activities from building models according to theme that contribute to IUDF, fishbowl conversation and a  timeline reflection of urbanization work and policies in the country and how it shapes and informs  the implementation of the IUDF going forward.

There was a strong emphasis on getting back our hearts into the work we do. In the era of technology and the wave of the 4thIndustrial revolution it is important to still  keep citizens at the centre.

‘The hardware of cities depend on the software of social life’ – Andrew Boraine

The workshop was facilitated  by Rehana of Barefoot facilitation







Deputy Minister Nel’s Message of Support to Municipal Demarcation Board (MBD)

Posted : January 23, 2019


We congratulate the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) on its twentieth birthday.

The MDB has played a vital role in the long, complex, difficult, but also exciting, journey of building democratic developmental local government and transforming the painful legacy of spatial injustice bequeathed by the ruinous and unjust system of more than 1200 segregated apartheid local entities.

The MDB continues to be a firm and important ally in achieving our National Development Plan’s goal of transforming the national space economy and ensuring that by 2030 South Africa observes meaningful and measurable progress in reviving rural areas and in creating more functionally integrated, balanced and vibrant urban settlements.

The MDB has participated actively in both the formulation and implementation of the Integrated Urban Development Plan (IUDF) which marks a New Deal for South African cities and towns.

The IUDF aims at steering urban growth towards a sustainable model of compact, connected and coordinated cities and towns that are liveable, safe, resource-efficient, socially integrated, economically inclusive and globally competitive, where residents actively participate in urban life.

The MDB has also supported the Back to Basics approach to supporting municipalities to ensure that they put people first, deliver basic services, practice good governance, adhere to sound financial management and build capable institutions.

The MDB has carried out the often sensitive task of demarcating municipalities and wards in a way that is independent and credible. In so doing has contributed to consolidating our constitutional democracy and building a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous nation.

We commend the leadership and officials of the MDB, past and present, for acquitting their difficult and complex tasks with dedication and integrity, often under difficult circumstances.

We thank Ms Jane Thupana, the Chairperson, and members of the MDB as well as Mr Muthotho Sigidi, the CEO, and staff of the MDB for the excellent working relationship that we have enjoyed with them. We wish them well in their future endeavours.

As the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs we respect the independence of the MDB and undertake to continue supporting its important work and ensuring the collaboration of all relevant stakeholders in the spirit of co-operative governance.

uMhlathuze explores how the municipality will ‘live, work and play’ in 2038

Posted : December 22, 2018

In line with the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF), the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) with its partners designed an Intermediate City Municipalities programme that provides support to enable them to respond to challenges that municipalities face. The City of uMhlathuze was chosen as one of two intermediate cities for the IUDF pilot project because it is one of the best performing municipalities that has amongst others, achieved clean audits consistently for the past five years. (more…)

Deputy Minister Nel’s address at Planning Africa 2018

Posted : December 12, 2018

Deputy Minister Nel’s address at the Planning Africa 2018 conference made on 15 October 2018

Programme Director

SAPI President, Ms Nthato Minyuku,

MEC Western Cape Government, Mr Anton Bredell,

MMC for Transport and Urban Planning of the City of Cape Town, Mr Brett Heron,

International guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you very much for the opportunity to address this very important Planning Africa Conference on: “The Making of Modern African Cities.” (more…)

These partners have been supporting the IUDF: