Local Economic Development (LED), Challenges and Solutions: The Case of the Northern Free State Region, South Africa
AbstractLocal economic development (LED) should be everybody’s business, including local residents, local business people and government. LED is globally, but especially in developing countries, seen as the solution to improved quality of life, unemployment, poverty and inequality. LED is a relatively new field of research and policy formulation, planning processes and implementation plans are still evolving with various alternative theories and approaches.This article analyse LED theory and approaches with a focus on South Africa, with a case study on the northern Free State region. Five municipalities in this region were analysed in terms of their LED approaches, planning and implementation. The research methodology is based on a qualitative approach which includes a literary review and various interviews with role players in the area. Results include solutions, lessons learnt and generic strategies for LED. LED processes could achieve its promise of ensuring improved quality of life if LED strategies are formulated for effective implementation.
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