Implementation of strategies and programmes aimed at boosting local economic development at Sobonakhona Makhanya Traditional Area
Dladla, Alfred Makhosathini
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The dissertation focuses on the implementation of strategies and programmes that are aimed at boosting local economic development at Sobonakhona Makhanya Traditional Area by the EThekwini Municipality. Sobonakhona Makhanya Traditional Area is one of the three main traditional/rural areas making up the Greater Umbumbulu Area, which is situated some 20 kilometres south-west of the Durban Central District. Each of these traditional/rural areas is ruled by its own Traditional Leader. The Sobonakhona Area is made up of areas that can be described as deep rural and peri-urban. For the purpose of this study a municipality and a local government are treated as the same entity. The implementation of these strategies in the deep rural Sobonakhona Area has, however, so far proven to be more challenging than it was initially conceived. This can be partly attributed to the following factors, firstly; before 1994, all matters related to rural economic development initiatives in South Africa fell under the jurisdiction of either the provincial governments or national line ministries or homeland governments – not municipalities. Secondly, between 1994 and 2002, all strategies/programmes that were aimed at boosting economic development were, through the national government’s previous SMME strategy, carried out at national level by the Department of Trade and Industry and its affiliated agencies. Thirdly, the 2000 demarcation of municipal boundaries saw a number of rural areas being incorporated under some municipalities that had jurisdiction over urban areas only, and this created an additional service delivery challenge for these municipalities. Whilst these municipalities were still baffled by how to accommodate/incorporate the rural areas under their programmes, the national government, in 2002, introduced a new SMME strategy (replacing the previous SMME strategy) that required municipalities to effect economic development at local government level. This also presented its own challenge as very few of these municipalities had experience and/or knowledge in the formulation and implementation of local economic development programmes/strategies. This dissertation therefore seeks to uncover the challenges that the EThekwini Municipality faces as it attempts to implement its economic development strategies and programmes for its rural areas in particular, with Sobonakhona Area being the area of focus. The EThekwini Municipality is one of those municipalities that previously had no rural areas under its control. Chapter One of the dissertation introduces the topic of the study together with the relevant background to the study. Chapter Two discusses the research methodology used in an attempt to unravel the study’s research problem. Chapter Three discusses literature review on implementation of strategies and programmes aimed at boosting economic development in rural areas. Chapter Four outlines both the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and the EThekwini Municipality’s strategies and programmes that are thought would promote economic development in the province and in the EThekwini region respectively. Results uncovered by this study are discussed in Chapter Five. Chapter Six concludes the study by presenting recommendations on how to improve implementation efforts.