The Role of Civil Society Organisations in the Pilot District Development Model in Waterberg District Municipality, Limpopo Province – Brief
The South African Government adopted the District Development Model (DDM) as an operational model for improving cooperative governance and building a capable, ethical and developmental state. In his 2019 Budget Speech, President Cyril Ramaphosa concluded that the poor coordination within government departments results in incoherent planning (silo approach), and poor monitoring and implementation of programmes. Subsequently, Cabinet approved the model, through which, the Government sought a paradigm shift whereby 52 District and Metropolitan Municipalities in South Africa are to develop and implement ‘One Plan’ to improve coordination of state institutions in infrastructure development and service delivery. The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) began piloting the DDM in three districts – eThekwini, OR Tambo and Waterberg District Municipalities.
In 2022, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) in partnership with Twende Mbele – a multilateral government partnership – commissioned a study on the DDM piloted in the Waterberg District. The main purpose of the study was to develop a consensus on the role of civil society organisations in the DDM, in particular their contribution to the planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of the DDM ‘One Plan’. Planact conducted the research for the study over a three-month period. A total of 136 people representing 113 civil society organisations across all five local municipalities participated in the study.
The study focused on six thematic issues, which served as a basis of reporting the findings, namely:
•Awareness about the District Development Model (DDM);
•Awareness of the Waterberg One Plan;
•Modes of communication about the DDM and One Plan employed by the municipalities;
•Extent and quality of civil society involvement (including the DDM Hub);
•Challenges and opportunities regarding involvement of the civil society organisations in the One Plan; and
•Possible strategies that can improve the participation of civil society organisations in the development of the One Plan.