The role of multi-stakeholder engagement in local economic development projects in Ethekwini Municipality: a case study of Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu.
Mkhize, Thembinkosi Gelvas.
MetadataShow full item record
The objective of the study was to explore the role of multi-stakeholder engagement in Local Economic Development (LED) in eThekwini Municipality. The LED has been utilized for several decades by the countries of the North with an aim of shifting from the top-down approach. The number of scholars state that this concept has been introduced throughout the world by different governments with an idea of embracing the bottom-up and people- centred approach. The idea behind this approach is to empower all relevant stakeholders in developing partnership with localities. Generally, the LED in South African perspective is associated with co-operatives and Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). The LED in the post-1994 era in South Africa has entrenched the constitutional mandate of the municipalities to ensure the active participatory and optimal allocation of scarce resources to communities. Due to the number of changes introduced by the ANC-led government since the demise of apartheid, the LED is supported by numerous legal frameworks and, hence it is still an unfunded mandate. These policies and legal documents include the Reconstruction Development Programme (RDP), Growth Employment and Redistribution (GEAR), The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996, Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000, National Spatial Development Perspective (NSDP) and Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Strategy (ISRDS) just to name a few. The existing literature states that in the developing countries in general and with reference to South Africa the little success that has been made by the LED. The study employed pragmatist paradigm in order to attain the study’s aims and objectives. The study also adopts the mixed-method research which draws from the population of 218 people and 165 participants participated in this study through the usage of in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and survey questionnaires to obtain data. The thematic analysis and Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse the collected data. The study revealed that multi-stakeholder engagement is very good in LED projects in eThekwini Municipality. The study further revealed that eThekwini Municipality has to ensure and make use of informal and formal structures such as Community Development Workers (CDWs), CBOs, NGOs, Ward committees and community mobilizers to ensure active citizenship participation. However, some of the are groups are more dominant than others.The study recommended that all stakeholders, including the society, private sector, business forums, local leaders, donors and voluntary organizations should be involved in all projects in eThekwini Municipality.