Local, district, and metropolitan municipalities as spheres of government should deploy a highly competent and professional management corps to address complex integrated development planning demands, local service delivery issues, and various governance-related dynamics (Polo & Kantola, 2019). However, official oversight, performance reports, and media scrutiny regularly reveal that the current South African situation fails to meet these requirements. Corruption, maladministration, political factionalism, and managerial incompetence have led to violent public protests (SACN, 2016). This paper assesses the current competency profile of senior managers in the South African local government sector, focusing on their integrated development planning responsibilities. The methodology followed a qualitative design involving an intensive literature review on international management competency models, document analyses to assess official statutory and regulatory prescriptions for senior managers, and semi-structured interviews with senior managers in sampled municipalities. The study established that most challenges faced by municipalities stem from a lack of senior management competency. Recommendations are made to address the current competency deficit.