25-10:30-2-4 / Bridging the urban-rural gap in facilitating Local Economic Development: The case study of…

Municipalities are still challenged by issues of poverty, unemployment and inequality, which hinder the realization of growth and development within the country. As mandated by the Constitution, municipalities must promote and facilitate Local Economic Development (LED) within their locality. However,…

25-10:30-2-4 / Bridging the urban-rural gap in facilitating Local Economic Development: The case study of...

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Municipalities are still challenged by issues of poverty, unemployment and inequality, which hinder the realization of growth and development within the country. As mandated by the Constitution, municipalities must promote and facilitate Local Economic Development (LED) within their locality. However, municipalities cannot undertake this function alone, consequently, collaborative effort is needed among all local stakeholders within the municipality to promote LED. The aim of this study was to investigate how to bridge the urban-rural gap in facilitating LED within a district municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and provide an understanding of this phenomenon. The qualitative research method was used to collect data from purposely selected participants through in-depth open-ended interviews. The data collected through interviews was themed and categorized using the thematic approach and then analysed. The results revealed that there were gaps in the understanding of LED planning, facilitation and implementation along with gaps in resource planning and provision within the District. The study also revealed that numerous stakeholders were relevant in facilitating LED within the District. It is recommended that the District improves on service delivery and infrastructure provision, especially in the more rural areas, to enable access of opportunities and create a platform for stakeholder engagement, with the inclusion of traditional leaders to help drive LED facilitation within rural areas.

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