Scoring Local Economic Development Goals in South Africa: Why Local Government is Failing to Score
AbstractLocal Economic Development entered the development lexicon in South Africa in the 1990s and from that time it has become not just an “isolated local development initiative” but an obligation for all local authorities according to a plethora of government policies and the South African Constitution of 1996. While this paper explicates the Local Economic Development episteme in South Africa, it also seeks to explore reasons for the demise of local economic development in South Africa. The paper is exploratory and descriptive in design and relied on extensive literature review. It argues that LED in South Africa suffers from both conceptual imprecision and theoretical underdevelopment. The assumption of a local economy underpinning LED is also questioned in an era of globalisation. Moreover, other challenges confronting the success of LED in the country highlighted entail lack of local government capacity for implementation, funding for LED, lack of effective planning methodologies and failure to manage participation at the local level.
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