Nestling national ‘transformation’ imperatives in local ‘servicing’ space: critical reflections on an inter-governmental planning and implementation project

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 11
  • Abstract:

    English: In this article, it is argued that South Africa’s post-1994 dream is marked by a tension between servicing and transformation – mutually supporting, but potentially also divergent set of intentions, processes and outcomes. Towards the end of 2006 the national Presidency in South Africa embarked on an ambitious project of using the spatial logic and principles of the National Spatial Development Perspective (NSDP) to structure a process of high-level intergovernmental and civil society dialogue, strategising, plan-preparation, resource-allocation and implementation in all District Municipalities in the country over a three-year period. This project, in which both authors were intensively involved, is used to illustrate this tension and need for convergence and balance between servicing and transformation. The project context and key planning and governance challenges are described, the project outcomes highlighted, possible explanations for the findings probed, and the lessons learnt, documented.