The role of skills development initiatives in promoting local economic development (LED) in South African townships : a case study of Cato Manor, Durban.
MetadataShow full item record
This study assesses the role of skills development initiatives in promoting Local Economic Development in Cato Manor Township. The study objectives were: To investigate the concept of skills development initiatives as it is used as an LED strategy in South Africa and Cato Manor Township in particular; to identify and evaluate the methods or procedures used for skills development initiatives towards LED strategies in Cato Manor Township; to assess the effectiveness of skills development initiatives in Cato Manor Township and to highlight the lessons learnt through comparison with international and local precedents on the effective implementation of skills development initiatives. The methodology for this research study incorporated the use of primary and secondary data sources. Primary data sources include interviews with stakeholders that play a role in the implementation of skill development initiatives in Cato Manor. Interviews were conducted with the Cato Manor Development Association (CMDA) as the core founder of LED in Cato Manor Township. Key Area Based Management (ABM) officials and the eThekwini Municipality Town Planner were also interviewed. A questionnaire survey was administered to a sample of 20 Small, Medium and Micro-Enterprises and the perceptions of the Ward Councillor and Ward Committee added value to the discussion. The key findings revealed the extent to which skills development initiatives as LED strategies have been effective in Cato Manor Township. Such initiatives have been used as tools to lower the level of prevailing, eradicate poverty, create employment opportunities and encourage the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises. Skills development initiatives have been major role players in the redevelopment strategy for this township, even though shortcomings were identified as hindrances to their contribution to sustainable development. Four main factors that contributed to the success and failure of skills development initiatives in Cato Manor Township were identified: skills development and employment opportunities; the upgrading and maintenance of business infrastructure; social development, poverty alleviation and skills development initiatives in Cato Manor Township; and youth empowerment with skills training programmes. Major findings revealed that skills development initiatives as LED strategies do not effectively target all areas of development, there is still more to be done to accelerate the economic and social growth. Therefore, the study recommends new and transformed methods or procedures of skills development initiatives as LED strategies in Cato Manor Township. That includes a holistic target of all principles of sustainable development such as economic, social and environmental development. The study also emphasizes the importance of adopting monitoring mechanisms such as the developing an LED model to guide and monitor development strategies within the area. Keywords: Skills development initiatives, Cato Manor, South Africa, Sustainable development, small and medium sized Enterprises