According to Section 25 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000), each municipal council must, after the start of its elected term, adopt a single, inclusive and strategic plan (Integrated Development Plan or IDP) for the development of the municipality which links, integrates and coordinates plans and takes into account proposals for the development of the municipality and which aligns the resources and capacity of the municipality with the implementation of the said plan.
An Integrated Development Plan is a super plan for an area that gives an overall framework for development. It aims to co-ordinate the work of local and other spheres of government in a coherent plan to improve the quality of life for all the people living in an area. It takes into account the existing conditions and problems and resources available for development. It looks at economic and social development for the area as a whole. It is used by municipalities as a tool to plan short and long term future development.