Makana Municipality (MM) Draft Budget 2017/18 Not Aligned to the IDP (2017-2022)


07 April 2017

By Lungile Penxa

On the 30th of March 2017, the Makana Municipality had a Special Council Meeting, amongst others, to consider the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) (2017-2022) and the 2017/18 draft Budget. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO), who is responsible for aligning the IDP with the budget, confirmed that the IDP is aligned to the Budget. What is an IDP? What is a municipal budget? And what does alignment mean?

An IDP is developmentally orientated planning document given effect by chapter 5 of the Municipal Systems Act (MSA) of 2000. The IDP is a process of consultation, participation and information sharing at municipal level for a five year period. It outlines the time frames of scheduled development activities, and co-ordinate structures and resources involved in the processes. It addresses the municipal budget and more.

A Municipal Budget is the financial expression of the municipal plans and policies that will be implemented in a financial year (i.e. 2017/18 in Makana Municipality). The budget process involves the municipality planning, collaborating, negotiating and deciding together on a comprehensive plan for spending money over an agreed period (2017/18 Financial Year in Makana Municipality).

Is the IDP aligned to the Budget?

The IDP (2017-2022) reflects the current socio-economic situation in the Makana Municipality. The 2017/18 draft Budget complies with the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) and its regulations. However, I argue that the IDP is not aligned to the draft Budget 2017/18.  The IDP developers may defer with me due to our different understanding of the concept ‘align’. In the context of IDP and budget, my understanding of the term is that the IDP is only aligned or corresponds with the Budget when the IDP developers incorporated the latest socio-economic needs of Makana residents, so that the Municipality can deliver on these needs in the 2017/18. Throughout of the IDP document, there is heavy reliance on the 2006 -2011 statistics for information as opposite to the latest 2016 statistics. This   misleads the drafting of a budget that reflects the present socio-economic needs of the Makana communities.

The importance of citing the latest statistics (i.e. 2016) is that the IDP reflects the latest socio-economic needs of Makana residents. The challenge of citing old and outdated statistics in early 2017 is that it misleads the budget development for 2017/18 by under budgeting for socio-economic needs that have increased between 2011 and 2016/17 including the population of Makana Municipality which stands at 82.060 according to Statistics South Africa 2016. The reliance on old and outdated statistics for information also questions the regular performance and capacity of officials responsible for the IDP management. The production of an IDP is a collective effort from the municipal staff, communities, and civil society. The municipal staff are involved in the following roles: The Municipal Manager (MM) prepares, decides and monitors the IDP process; the IDP Manager deals with the day to day management of the IDP process; the CFO & the IDP Steering Committee aligns IDP with Budget. The state of the current IDP suggests that the IDP Manager is not daily managing the IDP process unless ‘day to day management’ does not involve updating information in the IDP document. Moreover, the role of communities is to correctly identify their socio-economic needs. This IDP & Budget Roadshows planned by the Municipality from 03 April – 17 April 2017 will assist in verifying the socio-economic needs of the Makana communities as opposed to the exaggerated figures indicated in the current IDP document according to Wards. Moreover, civil society also has a responsibility to give input, monitor, analyse the IDP development and alignment to the Budget, and to ensure that the budget is spent in an accountable manner. Post the IDP & Budget Roadshow, the Public looks forward to reading an updated, improved IDP that will assist in refining the 2017/18  Budget projections.