The IDP is the City’s most important document – it is the 5-year strategic plan for the City. Yet so few formal community and private sector bodies and organisations commented on it. Most don’t even know it exists, many don’t bother. Thus it is little more than a top-down political plan generated from the Mayors office.
Speech to council – 3 mins allocated
The public participation process seems to have improved in many respects and for that we congratulate the City – but there remains room for very necessary improvement.
The ACDP is pleased to note that literally thousands had their say using the online comment opportunities provided, but very few civic organisations, professional institutions, NGO’s, Universities, businesses, etc, participated besides a few ratepayers associations. The vast majority didn’t comment.
It should also be noted that the IDP focus group sessions late last year were not very well attended and that the vast majority of the inputs received focused on making operational proposals relating to their immediate community, and that very few had anything to say about the 5 year strategic focus areas of the IDP itself.
In Mitchells Plain for example, only around 300 people attended the one focus group session, the majority of whom do not even live in Mitchells Plain.
The City will need to do more to ensure these sessions are well attended and that those who attend understand the intention of the session and come prepared to give long term, city-wide strategic input.
It would also be appropriate for organisations to be invited to participate based on their particular area of expertise. Consider the huge number of professional institutes, university departments, private companies, research and policy institutes, etc, in all the sectors of society that the IDP touches, and then consider that only around 14 of these entities commented.
Once again this year, their professional expertise is lost to this 5 year IDP strategic plan of the City – and most of these outside bodies don’t even know it exists.
Consider the many vital long terms strategic matters that the IDP addresses including water security, food security, safety and security, environmental and development issues, economic development, personal, family and community development, etc, and note the complete lack of any strategic IDP input in most of these areas by these professional organisations, universities, the private sector, policy research institutes, etc.
This is of great concern to the ACDP, because the City knows who these professional organisations are, and engages with them regularly. Furthermore we believe the City ought to have targeted invitations to them to comment during the drafting of the IDP firstly and then again during the public participation phase once the document was drafted.
Thus on the face of it, considering the very small number of inputs received that deal with the strategic nature of the 5 year IDP, which is the very purpose of the public participation process, the IDP is little more than a top down political document that excludes professional expertise in areas most needed.
Thus the ACDP cannot support the IDP.