Enterprise development trends : a case study of Mthatha, King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality.
Local Economic Development (LED) in South Africa has grown in significance since the 1994 democratic transition. This study investigates and analyses enterprise development trends in and around Mthatha, in the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality (KSDM) for the period 1995 to 2006. The study briefly examines the local economic development in the context of developmental local government with reference to enterprise developments. For the purpose of the study, a case study research method was adopted. Yin (1984:23) defines the case study research method as an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context; when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident; and in which multiple sources of evidence are used. Both quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques were used in a complementary way. A thorough literature review was conducted to lay a theoretical foundation for the study. Secondary data was used from publicly available sources. Primary data was gathered by means of face-to-face structured interviews and questionnaires. The findings indicated that a number of factors have been identified as contributing to the retarded development and economic growth in the area, namely limited skills base, high levels of poverty, high unemployment rate, lack of co-ordination and integration of development initiatives. These lead to ineffective use of resources and a poor condition of the roads. Such factors, coupled with inadequate maintenance, may have also resulted in the failure to maximise the economic potential of the area and poor infrastructure provision that cannot support business or industrial development. The study further reveals that there are local government policies and legislative frameworks in KSDM to address municipal developments, although some of these are still in their draft phases. The Integrated Development Plan (IDP) emerged as the most popular local development plan and strategy, particularly, because it provides a holistic and participatory approach to planning at a local government level. The government also emphasises IDP in its strategic planning and development frameworks. The study undertaken will contribute to policy development in the critical area of local economic development and, more specifically, enterprise development. The study recommends that KSDM needs to plan and ensure that the developments that take place are within stipulated Spatial Development Framework (SDF) Guidelines, and Land Use Management Guidelines.