The District Development Model

Date: 14 September 2020

  1. The District Development Model: a coherent plan to change the state of local government in South Africa

Extracts from a keynote address by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma during the NCOP’s Local Government Week, 8 September 2020:

The District Development Model (DDM) seeks to strengthen the local sphere of governance, moving us away from silo planning, budgeting and implementation. The DDM enables us to pursue socio-economic and spatial transformation through a more tangible common vision for development of the country. By adopting a long term view and interconnecting the local economies we are able to reimagine a better community, district and nation. We are able to transcend our current limitations by capitalising on the endowment structure – what each district has.

By identifying these in every district and metro we are therefore enabled to locate the district’s competitive advantage and utilise it for shared growth and prosperity. By purposefully linking local economies with our district and national economies we can massify, optimise and transform the structure of the economy. This will require that we also pay particular attention to the participation of women and youth, by amongst others reskilling them and paying attention to them accessing financing and credit.

All these will require a developmental and appropriately capacitated local government. To this end, we are employing skilled people to the District Hubs so that we may avail shared skills where local municipalities may lack. The Hubs form part of the district’s capacity and will link the localities to provinces and national departments. Thus, the DDM Hubs will serve as a functional network of support and a facilitation system for Intergovernmental Planning in relation to a specific district space. The Hubs will also house critical and scarce skills such as engineers, planners, ICT specialists and administrators, to the districts and local municipalities. Just this past weekend we introduced these professionals to the community of Waterberg, one of the DDM pilot sites in Limpopo.

The District Development Model is an operational model for improving Cooperative Governance aimed at building a capable, ethical Developmental State. It is an all of Government and Society Approach with a method by which all three spheres of government and state entities work in unison in an impact-oriented way. It is changing the way government functions.

The District Development Model will be implemented through the spatialisation and reprioritisation of each and every department, state entity and municipality’s plans and budgets. The One Plan which will inform the One Budget is an intergovernmental strategic framework for investment and delivery in relation to the district and metropolitan spaces.

Note:  The complete text of the Minister’s speech can be accessed here

Download the other keynote speeches, and provincial presentations, delivered to the NCOP’s 2020 Local Government Week (8-11 September 2020) here.

  1. The government has created an official District Development Model website. Explore its resources, here.
  2. Metropolitan and district municipal profiles, per province:

Eastern Cape 

  • Buffalo City Metropolitan
  • Nelson Mandela District
  • Alfred Nzo District
  • Amathole District
  • Chris Hani District
  • Joe Gqabi District
  • OR Tambo District
  • Sarah Baartman District

Free State

  • Mangaung Metropolitan
  • Fezile Dabi District
  • Lejweleputswa District
  • Thabo Mofutsanyane District
  • Xhariep District


  • City of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan
  • City of Johannesburg Metropolitan
  • City of Tshwane Metropolitan
  • West Rand District
  • Sedibeng District


  • Ethekwini Metro
  • Amajuba District
  • Harry Gwala District
  • Ilembe District Profile
  • King Cetshwayo District
  • Ugu District
  • uMgungundlovu District
  • uMkhanyakude District
  • uThukela District
  • Umzinyathi District
  • Zululand District


  • Capricorn District
  • Sekhukhune District
  • Waterberg District
  • Mopani District
  • Vhembe District


  • Ehlanzeni District
  • Gert Sibande District
  • Nkangala District

Northern Cape

  • Frances Baard District
  • Johan Taolo Gaetsewe District
  • Pixley Ka Seme District

North West

  • Bojanala District
  • Dr Kenneth Kaunda District
  • Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District
  • Ngaka Modiri Molema District

Western Cape

  • City of Cape Town Profile
  • Cape Winelands District
  • Central Karoo District
  • Garden Route District
  • Overberg District
  • West Coast District
  1. National Technical Planning Forum presentation
  2. District Development Model progress: briefing by COGTA to the Portfolio Committee (23 February 2021)
  3. DCOG Annual Performance Plan 2021/22: presentation to the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Portfolio Committee (22 April 2021)

7. Earlier perspectives towards the District Development Model:

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