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Title: Enhancing pro-poor local economic development initiatives towards expediting Sustainable Development Goals: King Cetshwayo District Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal.
Authors: Masuku, Mandla Mfundo.
School of Development Studies
Keywords: Pro-poor LED initiatives.;Local government.;Poverty.;Unemployment.;Involvement of stakeholders.
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM).
Abstract: Local government is mandated by the Constitution to play a leading role in promoting social and economic development. Local Economic Development (LED) is everybody's business, including the local populace, local business and government. In developing countries such as South Africa, LED is seen as a vehicle for driving solutions to improve the three social challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. This article used a qualitative approach in determining the role of local government in enhancing pro-poor LED initiatives towards expediting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly goal number one (no poverty) and goal number eight (decent work and economic growth). King Cetshwayo District Municipality (KCDM) was used as a case study whereby eight interviews were conducted with municipal members, and fourteen focus group discussions were undertaken with community organisations. The findings revealed that LED initiatives that were established in different communities, particularly the KCDM, lack uniqueness and face stiff competition. There is also a lack of skills to manage LED initiatives, and a lack of knowledge/education about the processes and the procedures of LED. Moreover, there is inadequate funding to facilitate and implement LED, as well as a need to involve the people and request for more community participation. In order to expedite the SDGs, it is recommended that partnerships with young people, businesses and community organisations must be strengthened, as this will also assist in addressing the problem of unemployment. It will further open a space for more stable job opportunities for the residents.
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