This paper situates the question of shale gas mining in South Africa within broader debates on policy co-ordination within governmental systems. The prospect of shale gas mining has posed severe challenges for the complex inter-governmental system in South Africa. Three key Departments are affected by possible shale gas mining: Mineral Resources, Environmental Affairs and Water Resources. Each of these Departments have different relationships with the provincial and municipal “spheres of government”. The Department of Mineral Resources has attempted to promote shale gas mining with no reference to municipalities, whereas the other two Departments have attempted to build up municipal capacity. Municipalities have key functions which are protected in the Constitution. However, many municipalities are weak institutions, unwilling to defend their powers. The paper examines Municipal Integrated Development Plans in the potential shale gas region. Most municipalities seem to have no awareness at all of the shale gas issue. Recently, a High Court ruled that any shale gas mining regulations must be made by the Department of Environmental Affairs. With its more decentralist approach to governance, it will mean that municipalities will have more opportunities to participate in shale gas mining decisions.

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Since the early 2000s, the roll-out of the MeerKAT astronomy project and the subsequent Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project in the Carnarvon area of the northern Karoo has been remarkably rapid and well managed. This article argues that the project, and the Department of Science and Technology in South Africa, have taken on the characteristics of a ‘developmental state’. This is remarkable, particularly in the context of the general problem of high-level government corruption and ‘state capture’. In the process, the SKA project has also shown a significant degree of centralist direction, which has brought it into tension with the constitutional provisions for decentralised municipal leadership in developmental planning. The weakness of the relevant local and district municipalities can be ascribed to the general problems of poor financing and local leadership; in addition, the Department of Co-operative Governance, at both national and provincial levels, has made no meaningful effort to assist the municipalities in grappling with a highly sophisticated scientific project being implemented within their jurisdiction. In particular, the extensive land acquisition by SKA and its requirements for restrictions on radio-frequency interference may have extensive implications for local and regional development. The article engages with theories of a ‘developmental state’ in South Africa, by arguing that it is possible for a single department to adopt such a centralist modus operandi, even though the rest of the state is characterised by dysfunctions.

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Atkinson, D and Marais, L (2007), District Socio-Economic Profile and Development Plans, Arid Areas Research Programme Vol. 1, Centre for Development Support, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein.



The arid areas comprise a major part of South Africa’s land surface. These areas are the Karoo (including the Little Karoo), Namaqualand and Kalahari, and straddle five provinces in South Africa: Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Free State, and North-West. They also extend into Botswana and Namibia.

This volume contains a socio-economic profile of these areas. It is the first time that the arid components of South Africa are described in a way that highlights their similarities with one another. In most planning documents, such as Provincial Growth and Development Strategies, these areas are typically discussed in relation to non-arid areas, such as the coastal cities. Until now, this has blurred the focus on the arid areas. They are generally regarded as a hinterland, or even as an economic backwater.

This report therefore intends to “foreground” the arid areas in their own right. It focuses on the five “core” District Municipalities of the arid areas, viz. Cacadu (Graaff-Reinet area of the Eastern Cape), Central Karoo (Beaufort West area of theWestern Cape), and three districts of the Northern Cape: Pixley ka Seme (De Aar area), Namakwa


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Kitchin, F (2008), “Land use management, spatial planning and the land market in small towns” (with Wendy Ovens), in ASSAF (Academy of Science of South Africa), Local Economic Development in Small Towns, Housing Delivery and Impact on the Environment, Pretoria – p53 – 59



Research conducted by Urban LandMark has shown that land management in South Africa is inefficient, exclusionary and unsustainable, with negative impacts on the poor and the state. All spheres of government need to better understand the fiscal implications of the costs associated with land development for the poor. Research also demonstrates that access to well-located state-owned land benefits the city and the poor. It may not be necessary to invest large amounts to reap substantial benefits in terms of integration of the poor into the city. Economic interventions are often more successful at lower costs. However, integration is complex and does not always lead to social inclusion. It is necessary for local government to act to reduce the vulnerability of the poor when they seek access to urban areas.

Several towns and their municipalities have been examined to assess the extent to which land use policies and practices enable municipalities to provide the poor with access to well-located land in a sustainable manner to integrate them effectively into the daily workings of the town. This considered planning and urban land management and the way the market works in several smaller urban centres, namely Pietermaritzburg/Msunduzi, Rustenburg, Sasolburg/Metsimaholo, Lusikisiki/Ingquza Hill, Ulundi and Dullstroom/Emakhazeni. Since the re-demarcation of municipal boundaries in 2000, the administrative area of municipalities has been extended so that it is important to consider both the town and its hinterland when discussing land use management in municipalities.


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Van Niekerk, J and Marais, L (2008), Public policy and small towns in arid South Africa: The case of Philippolis (Free State, South Africa), Urban Forum, 19, 363 – 380.



Internationally and in South Africa, small towns have been subjected to several external factors leading to their decline, with decentralisation processes placing increased pressure on them to develop locally based responses to these external realities. However, very little academic research has been conducted on the impact of national and sub-national public policies on small towns. Instead, the emphasis has tended to fall on policy frameworks and formulas which can be applied in blanket fashion across different settlement types. South African developmental policies have made no provision for coherent socio-economic developmental support strategies aimed at the more than 500 small towns and the numerous struggling local governance structures, which are virtually all fighting for long-term sustainability. This research is based on a review focusing on selected social, economic and governance policies. The aim is to investigate both the influence of some of these policies and the impact of their implementation in the context of the small town of Philippolis. It will be argued that these policies have not benefited Philippolis and/or that they have been applied inappropriately within this small town. Finally, a number of general recommendations will be made, along with certain policy-related considerations.

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Ingle, M (2010), An Assessment of the Karoo-Hoogland Integrated Development Plan, Politeia 29(2): 85-102.



The Karoo-Hoogland Local Municipality is situated in the extreme south of the Northern Cape, perched atop the escarpment, and consists of the three small towns of Sutherland, Fraserburg and Williston. The municipality’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) provides an interesting example of a very small municipality that deliberately restructured itself to give effect to a rather novel, do-it-yourself approach to planning. After providing some contextual background, this case study analyses Karoo-Hoogland’s distinctively ‘home grown’ IDP with a view to assessing its strengths and weaknesses as a strategic planning tool. The evaluation uses a range of criteria that local government practitioners may find useful in performing similar exercises. It is found that, notwithstanding an undue emphasis on the touristic potentials held out by the Southern Africa Large Telescope (SALT ) for Sutherland, the municipality was remarkably prescient in identifying its intangible assets, and astute in positioning itself to capitalise on these. It is concluded that this IDP embodies the spirit of real local engagement which the IDP process aspires to nurture within communities.


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Ingle, M (2007), Exercising the Mind with Integrated Development Planning, Politeia 26(1):5-17.



The contention of this article is that an undue fixation on the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) as an end product, as opposed to the processes that should be implicit in its formulation, has tended to detract from the IDP’s considerable potential for instilling an ethos of real intellectual engagement within local authorities. All too often municipalities have elected to outsource the hard thinking that is part and parcel of the growth towards planning maturity that grappling with the IDP should engender.The paper presents a brief rationale for the IDP along with some of its envisaged outcomes. It then turns to unpacking different gradations of knowledge by way of showing how adherence to the IDP disciplines should take the form of a progression from ignorance to enlightenment. The article concludes with a short analysis of a Free State Local Municipality’s IDP where the focus is on its HIV / Aids programme. It is concluded that the document’s shortcomings betray a failure on the part of the municipality concerned to come to grips with its responsibilities as outlined by the legislative framework that informs the IDP.The fact that many local authorities have proved unequal to exhibiting the rigorous thinking that the IDP calls for is no good reason to abandon what is, in its essence, a sine qua non for effective developmental local government.


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Ingle, M and Van Schalkwyk, C (2002), Service delivery to farming areas, Unpublished report, Local Government Support and Learning Programme, Department of Local Government, Northern Cape.



Kareeberg Municipality consists of the three towns of Vanwyksvlei, Vosburg and Carnarvon, and their associated farming hinterland. The three towns form an inverted, roughly equilateral, triangle with Vosburg in the east and Carnarvon, much the biggest of the three towns, in the extreme south and very near the Municipality’s southern boundary. The farming districts correspond more or less with the area which, in the past, went to make up the Kareeberg Transitional Rural Council (TRC). It is the farmlands of Kareeberg with which this study will be primarily concerned.

Kareeberg Municipality falls within the jurisdiction of the Karoo District Council but it is important to note that roughly the western two thirds of the Municipality, as it is currently delineated, fell within the old Hantam District Council. The eastern portion, that centred on Vosburg, was always within the Bo-Karoo District Council and has therefore not had to adjust to an unfamiliar administration.


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Botes, L and Abrahams, D (2008, 2009), Noka e Tlatswa ke Dinokana – A river swells from little streams: Responsive partnership-building approaches to development, in S De Gruchy, N Koopman and S Strijbos (eds), From our side: Emerging Perspectives on Development and Ethics, Amsterdam and Pretoria: Rozenberg Publishers & UNISA Press, pp. 117-133.


Synopsis: From our side is a collaborative effort of younger scholars in southern Africa and the Netherlands who are interested in the relationship between development and ethics, from a Christian point of view. The 17 chapters that make up the book have been produced through a unique set of partnerships, in which the authors have intentionally worked with practitioners who are working in the development arena. The essays were also shared in a number of settings with the authors, so that they have also benefited from this creative partnership process, and these partnerships have embraced people in both the South and the North, signalling a desire for a global dialogue led by Africa on matters which have a strong impact upon the continent. The title is constructed around three clusters of key development themes. The first theme is identity, culture and gender, which comprises four essays that focus on what it means to be a person or a people in a global world where local identities are under threat through the dominant powers of the world. This section makes the point that development has a very strong social and cultural aspect. The second theme is globalisation, poverty and the market, and we have five essays that explore poverty, ecology and the global economy from a Christian ethical perspective. The third theme is power and the struggle for life, comprising five essays that reflect on issues of power and ethical responsibility in post-colonial politics, and the impact this has upon people’s health and wellbeing.


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Botes, L (2002), Institutional Capacity for Local Economic Development in the Karoo District Municipality, Local Government Support and Learning (LOGOSUL) Programme, Northern Cape Department of Local Government & DFID (UK), Unpublished report.



1. The priority option that is proposed by Urban Econ to implement in the Karoo District Municipality is the temporary centralisation of the LED function at district level for an interim period, with the intention of decentralizing it to local level once they have built sufficient capacity to manage this function. Due to the capacity and resource problems of local municipalities it is proposed to transfer the LED function to the District Municipality. This option was taken as the underlying assumption of this study.

2. The work of the LED Unit will be complemented by a Development Forum or Association (“DDA”) representing the private sector. The DDA could be a Section 21 Company or a Development Corporation. The DDA would be strongly a-political, and would be driven by a delivery-oriented CEO. It should have a commercial approach to its activities. In the short- and medium-term, it will need government grants, but in the longer-term, it should become financially self-sustaining by claiming a percentage of profits of businesses established under its umbrella. It could also take out loans from agencies such as the DBSA. Local business and agriculture groups should be represented in the DDA.


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