Course Overview

The course covers the following areas of Strategic planning:

1. An introduction to Outcomes Based Planning
2. The need for Longer Term Strategic Planning
3. Just how important is the visioning process in strategic planning?
4. Making our IDPs work for us
5. How serious are we about Participatory Planning?
6. Does our planning align with budgeting processes?

Who should attend?

Whilst all planners or other built environment practitioners who are currently engaged in strategic planning will find this session most insightful, it is a must
for all IDP Managers working in South African municipalities.

The course will be run in English.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this Master Class, participants should have:

•    An appreciation of the importance of adopting a strategic, outcomes-based approach to planning
•    A deeper understanding of the need to factor in long range planning into current municipal planning
•    Critical insights and better practice examples of how to improve their respective IDP processes (refining methodology, deepening participatory planning, aligning planning with budgeting and performance management systems)
•    Improved access to a range of learning networks, contacts and potential support around strategic planning.

Fundamental Concepts and Learning Methodologies

Using the blended learning approach the Master Class will incorporate case studies, presentations, discussion and debates.

Duration of Master Class

The course runs over a period of Two CONSECUTIVE DAYS.

Course Arrangements / Details

Date: 30 January 2013 to 1 February 2013

Venue: Paradise Valley, Durban

Detailed Programme/Schedule

The Detailed programme will be included as part of the registration folders that contain all material for the course.

Texts and Supporting Material/ Recommended Reading List

Pre-course reading materials and a Needs Assessment questionnaire will be distributed once participants have confirmed. This is to ensure maximum participation.

Our Facilitator Team


Sogen Moodley is a Senior Manager in the Office of the City Manager, eThekwini Municipality, Durban, South Africa. He has managed the city’s strategic planning process for over ten years and has authored the City’s first ever in-house publication Making City Strategy Come Alive which documents the lessons learned during his experience as a strategic planner. He has also authored The Power of Imagination which documents lessons learned in eThekwini’s long term planning process. He has presented numerous papers at international conferences on strategic planning including Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Dakar and Vermont. He is also a skilled facilitator who has run numerous strategic planning workshops on behalf of the Municipality assisting other local municipalities in KwaZulu Natal, and in African cities, including Harare, Bulawayo, Mombasa and Windhoek. He is currently co-ordinating the Knowledge Management agenda in the city.

Puven Akkiah

Is a Senior Programme Manager in the eThekwini Municipality, responsible for the City’s Integrated Development Plan. Having been part of the the City’s South Durban Basin ABM project, he has a wealth of knowledge of development planning and implementation. He is also directly involved in the strategic planning for the development of the port and associated infrastructure. He has presented papers at International conferences in Ahmadabad and Sydney on strategic and port related planning. Puven is currently involved in mentoring the City of Mzuzu, in Malawi.

Bongumusa Zondo

Is a Senior Programme Manager responsible for the Long Term Development Framework (LTDF) that is also known as “Imagine Durban” in eThekwini Municipality. He has many years of experience in development planning and coordination of municipal support at provincial and national level.

Ken Breetzke

Is a Strategic Executive: Infrastructure Planning in eThekwini municipality in the Engineering Department. He holds a Masters Degree in Planning and has been managing a number of infrastructure planning projects for eThekwini Municipality. Over the past years Ken has also been involved in a number budget planning projects including Zonal budgeting and linking Capital Budget to the city’s IDP.

Strategic Planning: A Summary of Course Modules

Participants in this Master Class will spend an intensive, but exciting, two days getting to grips with the ins and outs of strategic planning. The focus here is to enhance the existing capacity of planners or other built environment practitioners who are currently engaged in strategic planning. During the two days an active space is created for honest, open and frank reflection on current planning practices and processes.  Better and innovative practice around strategic planning is shared in a participative, but highly structured learning environment. The six related modules in Strategic Planning include the following:

Module 1: Introduction to Outcomes Based Planning

This introductory module sets the tone for the Master Class. In this session participants learn the difference between activity-based and outcomes-based planning. They are inspired by the lessons learnt in eThekwini Municipality’s long strategic planning journey, and are challenged to think about their own processes and how they can be improved.

Module 2: The need for Long Term Strategic Planning

South African planning legislation currently requires municipalities to prepare five year integrated plans. Whilst some municipalities have gone beyond the five year horizon to prepare non-statutory twenty – fifty year plans, should all municipalities not be thinking more seriously about longer term planning? How should planners be responding to long-term trends, such as climate change, scarcity of resources, technological innovation, demographic changes, social conflict and globalization? If we consider longer term planning necessary, just where do we begin? Who do we involve, and what methodology do we use?

These are some of the questions that this session will explore, reflecting on the experiences of eThekwini Municipality’s Imagine Durban process, and led by the Manager of eThekwini’s Imagine Durban project.

Module 3: The visioning process in Strategic Planning

The creation of the Vision Statements is often considered quite frankly, a waste of time! Why is this case? Can a well-constructed city vision help direct and focus the energy of municipality? In this third module, participants are challenged to reflect on their own municipal visioning processes and determine whether their Visions help to inspire action.

Module 4: Making our IDPs work for us

The challenge of integrated planning for holistic development is something that South Africa has been grappling with for nearly fifteen years. Indeed great strides have been made, and South African cities are seen as trailblazers not just by Subharan Africa, but by the entire developing world. The key policy instrument – the IDP has over the decade been refined and sharpened. Some argue however, that planners in under-capacitated municipalities often are burdened by the weight of compliance with IDP legislation. Is there a real danger that in a time and resource scarce environment, the IDP as a powerful transformative development planning tool may not be achieving what it has set out to? What are some of the challenges facing IDP planners, and how do we make this instrument work for us? These questions will be debated with inputs from the current IDP Manager from eThekwini.

Module 5: Participatory Planning

Developmental local government as defined by South African legislation is local government committed to working with citizens and groups within the community in order to find sustainable ways to meet their social, economic and material needs and improve the quality of their lives. It is in this context that participatory planning is fundamental to the ethos of developmental local government.

Whilst municipalities remain committed to this ideal, practitioners are faced with a myriad of challenges in ensuring that citizenry actively participate in strategic planning processes. Just how does one conceptualize participation? Is it real participation, or mere consultation dressed up? Who gets to participate and when do they participate? These are the thorny issues that we critically engage in, with the aim of raising the bar, and challenging planning practitioners to remain true to the ideals of developmental local government.

In this SAPI Master Class, we are fortunate to have with us, the Deputy City Manager of the Governance Cluster to share his thoughts on how far we have come in the participatory planning journey, some of our successes, some of our key challenges that we still face, and to inspire planning practitioners with practical advice on how to ensure that we keep citizens at the centre of our planning process.  

Module 6: Budgeting Process

Strategic planning without adequate resource mobilization for implementation is not only wasteful, but very disempowering. In this last session, planners will engage with the relationship between planning, budgeting and implementation. They will share their challenges, and be exposed to new initiatives from eThekwini to ensure that there is greater alignment between what is planned, budgeted and actually delivered – all within a participatory planning framework. Note that due to time constraints, the monitoring and evaluation issues around planning will not be explored here, but is the subject of a separate Master Class.

Click here for the learning note: Strategic Planning Master Class Learning Notes